EMI India - ECSD 2533 - P.1978
A1 Mian ki todi - alap, jod and jhala 21'28
B1 Desh - jod, jhala and composition in jhanpatal 21'55
Here is another treasure I like to share with you. The sound is far from the deep long sustain of the sonorous been of Zia Mohiuddin, but nonetheless a wonderful vital echo from the past and it is no wonder, Asad Ali Khan's father, Ustad Sadiq Ali, served in the Alwar court before he moved to the Rampur court. It was at Rampur that Asad Ali was born and initiated into the instrument by his father, when he was just six. Fourteen hours of practice every day for 15 years was the painstaking discipline he was put through until the Rudra veena itself became a part of his existence. His father studied the same way under his grandfather Ustad Musharraf Ali Khan, who in turn was groomed by Khan Saheb's great grandfather the legendary Ustad Rajab Ali Khan. This is another of the great findings from my good friend ‘His Excellency's’ collection of records. The kindness of his voice, unable to subdue a light chuckle, still lingering in my ears... Just take it, take the lot, and do what you please with them, there can be no harm letting those Luobaniyans here some good music...
Ustad Asad Ali Khan is considered to be the only surviving exponent of Rudra Veena in ‘Khandarbani’, one of the four ancient styles of Indian Classical music. The history of his family can be traced back to seven generations. His ancestors belonged to Jaipur Gharana of Rajasthan. They were court-musicians to the Maharajas of Jaipur and also taught them music. An account of this family is available in the history of Rajasthan and the instruments of Asad Ali's ancestors are displayed in the museums of Jaipur and Alwar. His grandfather, a leading Veena player of the country, was chosen by the British Government to represent India at the fair of Oriental Wonders in Paris at the beginning of this century.
Ustad Asad Ali Khan was born at Alwar in 1937 - 2011)
(he passed away 14 June 2011 ed. bolingo)
He had his early training in vocal music. Sitar and Veena from his illustrious father, late Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan, who was a great exponent of the Veena and a court-musician of Rampur. Through innate talent, vigourous practice, and playing in duets with his father for years, Asad Ali Khan consummated his style with complete control over the instrument.
An accomplished musician today, Ustad Asad Ali Khan plays with rare skill and utmost precision. His recitals are marked with detailed elaboration and masterly treatment of the Ragas. Particularly notable in his performance are the meditative character of his Alap and the clarity of his strokes, particularly in Gamak-Jod and Jhala.
Ustad Asad Ali Khan is the recipient of the ‘Sangeet Shiromani’ Award from Lalit Kala Kendra of Kanpur. He has been regularly participating in Radio Sangeet Sammelans, Television, National Programmes and various music conferences all over the country. He has visited Afghanisthan. Italy and England and appeared in many concerts abroad.
Rudra Veena sometimes called ‘Been’ or ‘Veena’ (North Indian) is the most sacred and ancient instrument of India according to the Hindu faith and is said to be more than 5000 years old. It is the only stringed instrument created by lord Shiva. one of the three ‘Rupas’ (faces) of God. It is further said that he created this instrument while contemplating the shapely figure of His Wife, the Goddess Parvati.
‘Rudra Veena’ has a bamboo fret-board about 22' long and 2' wide, upon which are fixed 19 to 24 metallic frets, one for each semitone of two octaves. The fretboard is mounted on two full gourds, each about 14" in diameter. The instrument has four main strings and three side strings.
A Rudra Veena player masters ‘alap’ which is elaboration of the ‘raga’ in slow tempo, ‘gamak-jod’ in medium tempo, and ‘Jhala’ which is quick tempo. Usually the serious classical music of the purest form called ‘Dhrupad’ is played on this instrument and the main percussion accompaniment is the ‘Pakhawaj’.
It is stated that the Veena is the forerunner of the Sitar. Amir Khusro of legendary fame invented the Sitar on the basis of the Veena around the 13th Century. With this instrument, all the twenty-two ‘shrutis’ (subnotes) of Indian music can be explained and demonstrated distinctively. Though a stringed instrument, it is claimed that it can display the subtleties of a Raga more effectively than a Veena.
For this, his first LP on the Rudra Veena, Ustad Asad Ali Khan has selected two Ragas: Mian Ki Todi and Desh. He is ably accompanied on Pakhawaj by Pandit Gopal Das who is an artiste of All India Radio, Delhi.
Don't miss these webpages that focus on the been
Here is an article from The Hindu describing a documentary made about him, anyone knows how to get to see that movie?
Music ▼ +