Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hypnotic Santoor

So finally after a wait of more than a month, I got to attend the "Hypnotic Santoor" concert of Rahul Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussain. And the wait was completely worth it. It was my first time ever listening to Zakir Hussain perform live and also Rahul Sharma.

The concert lasted about two and a half hours only but the way this duo mesmerized the audience was out of the world! The coordination between the two artists or rather maestros was amazing and their communication flawless. So often during the program I sat there and just wondered how two people can play such synchronized music without reading if off from a piece of paper that too at a stretch of more than an hour at a time non-stop. It felt like same person was playing both instruments, specially when you listen to the work where they both slow down and speed up and then in low notes and high notes and low volume and high pitch music... all you can do is sit there shake your head and get lost in the heavenly music that falls on your eardrums. And then there were times when I realized why Zakir Hussain is called THE BEST tabla player of the 20th century.

The first half of the program was more of Rahul's signature work which involves classical Santoor combined with the new age music he experiments with on different taals of tabla, and the latter half was mostly on Raga Kirvani combined with different tabla taals. I liked both parts equally as they both were so enjoyable and I wished the program didn't pause for the break or complete at the end.

Rahul's smile is beautiful as well ;) and the way he performs is so very simple but the music he produces with his Santoor is completely mind-blowing! As for Zakir Hussain, I now know why music lovers all over the world are gaga for his tabla playing skills. To see his hands perform magic with the set of tablas was awesome!! The speed at which he plays tabla, you can feel he's deceiving your eyes and ears. Watching a live program and listening to classical music on audio are two completely different experiences and the first one takes the cake without a doubt! You just have to be part of it to experience it. It is truly a breath-taking feeling!

It was funny how the two artists were so much in hurry even during the break and at the end of the show, they just didn't seem to want to stay on stage. Who knows may be some crazy audience member might jump up on stage and start asking for an autograph. They both literally ran off the stage at the end of the concert after taking a bow towards the audience.

I wish the concert lasted longer but given the fact that it was on a week night, everyone was eager to be out of the theater, including the artists. It was a wonderful concert nevertheless! I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to attend it and watch these artists perform live. It is at times like these I feel blessed that I coexist on mother earth with these divine artists and have an ability to appreciate their art.


AmiDA said...

i have always been mesmerized by both these maestros.. they never fail to charm their audience :)
their jugalbandhi had to be mind blowing !!

chinmai said...

that must ve been an awesome experience.. !! i miss those days wen i used to get a chance to attend spic macay programs .. great going..!!

Kanan said...

Ami, you're right and thanks for the correct terminology - Jugalbandhi! :)

Chinmai, I found out about what Spic macay is very recently and am now subscribed to their newsletter from the local chapter they have. I think what they do is brilliant! Waiting for more of their programs now. This one was just awesome!!