Friday, January 28, 2011

Bhimsen Joshi - Memorial posts - Recorded in his home on his 65th birthday!

Indisk Konstmusik - Gammal tradition i en ny värld
(Indian art-music - Old Tradition in a New World)
Caprice - CAP 2022 - P.1987

Prof. Debu Chaudhuri, sitar

Side A

A1 Raga Bagesri 21'30
A2 Raga Maund 7'55

A1, A2 recorded in the home of Debu Chaudhuri, New Delhi, 87.01.28
recorded 23 years ago on the day!

Dr. S. Balachander, veena

Side B

B1 Raga Varali - Ne pogoda kunte - Thyagaraja 28'45

B1 recorded in Bani Center, Madras 87.01.03

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, vocal

Side C

C1 Raga Todi - Aaj more mana logo langarawa - Khayal 14'59
C2 Raga Bhairavi - Thumri 12'32

C1, C2 recorded in the home of Bhimsen Joshi, Poona 87.02.06
recorded on his 65'th Birthday!

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, flute

Side D

D1 Hariprasad Chaurasia - Raga Mishra Khamaj - 12'46

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, santur

D2 Pandit Shivkumar Sharma - Raga Chandrakauns 12'50

D1 recorded in the home of Hariprasad Chaurasia, Bombay 87.02.03
D2 recorded in the home of Shivkumar Sharma, Bombay 87.02.03

This is the final memorial post of Bhimsen Joshi for at least a week or so. Not because I ran out of records to post but we really should not have so much of the best at the same time.

The good friend Arvind reported in at the last moment with these reading fruits from studying obituaries to Bhimsen Joshi the whole day.

He writes:

This one by Deepa Ganesh in The Hindu I found most interesting. Though its short, there is a considerable amount of insight, into the man and his music, and many good anecdotes. I think she tells the story (which will now enter legend) of how the young Bhimsen ran away from home and ultimately found his way to Sawai Gandharva and the Kirana gharana, in a very interesting way:

A wanderer both in life and in music, Bhimsen would often go missing from home, to his parents' great worry. From the age of three, he was wont to wander off — following the muezzin's prayer of Allahu Akbar as he tried to grasp its notes, or listening to the musicians in a nearby temple. As if in a trance, the little child would follow bhajan mandalis and wedding processions, completely tuned to musical notes and switched off to all else. His father would often lodge complaints with the police, only to find that a Good Samaritan had brought the boy back home. However, at 11, the boy left home for good after quarrelling with his mother, because she could not afford to serve him ghee with rice. He stomped out, leaving his food untouched. This turned out to be the turning point in his musical journey too. Listening to the gramophone recording of Raga Jhinjoti sung by the maestro of the Kirana Gharana, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, in a nearby teashop, he set his heart on learning from him. He stood at the Gadag station and took a train heading north. The penniless lad gave ticket collectors the slip by moving between compartments, singing songs for fellow passengers and begging for food. He stopped at Pune, Bombay and finally, after three months, reached Gwalior. He met and learnt from various maestros, but was not satisfied. He then went from Kharagpur to Calcutta, and on to Delhi, finally reached Jalandhar, where the Gwalior maestro, Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, advised him to learn from Sawai Gandharv in Kundagol, Karnataka. - It continues here

These recordings were made in connection with the India Festival '87, a comprehensive presentation of Indian Culture in Sweden in 1987. Bhimsen Joshi held several concerts in Stockholm and I was fortunateley able to attended all of them. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate any recording from these concerts but maybe if we are lucky, someone sees this post and points me to some location where I can search. Better yet, someone has a recording and shares it with us! There are indeed other very well known artists on this record , and I may come back later with individual post of the these artists but the reason I don't dwell upon them is because my main reason to post this double LP is because of the C-side with Bhimsen Joshi recordings. Again we can thank my good friend his Excellency who kept this record away from the dents of time. The recording with Debu Chaudhuri is made in his home in Bombay 23 years ago on the day! The recording of Bhimsen Joshi is made on the 6th of February in 1987, in his home in Poona, and on his 65th birthday! In little more than a week, that is 23 years ago!

Bhimsen Joshi - Memorial posts - Devotional 2

Bhimsen Joshi - Daaswani - Kannada Bhajans
EMI India - ECSD 2899 - P.1982

Side A

A1 Bhaagyada Lakshmi Baaramma
A2 Tungateeradi Ninta Suyaivara - Pt.Bhimsen Joshi
A3 Kailasavaasa Gaurisha Isha

Side B

B1 Koruni So Ranga
B2 Yake Mukanandyo Guruve
B3 Yadav Nee Baa

During the 13th century, there arose in Karnataka a new religious-cum-literary movement called the Dasa Vangmaya or the Haridasa Sahitya. Through songs written in simple and quite often colloquial Kannada, it sought to bring to the people the message of the newly founded Vaishnava Bhakti School, the Dasakuta.

Through the songs started as a popular expression of the Bhagawata Dharma and the theistic Dwaita Siddhanta, they succeded in attaining a wider appeal not only because of their ethical and devotional content but also because of their penetrating and critical observations of human nature, its follies and foibles.

Pioneered by Shri Naraharitirtha and Sripadaraya, the movement reached great heights during the 16th century through the efforts of Shri Vyasatirtha and two of his most illustrious diciples, Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa.

Vadiraja, Raghavendratirtha, Vijayadasa, Prasanna Venkatedasa and Jagannathadasa are some of its later exponents. The theistic and mystical touches of their songs raised them to the stature of spiritual literature; while their music made them a rousing expression of devotional sentiments. The central theme of these songs is the realisation of the supreme nature of the god Narayana, or Shri Hari, through the twin routes of "Bhakti" and "Vairagya".

Purandaradasa, the most prominent among the deciples of Vyasatirtha was said to have been a greedy, miserly and mean-minded rich merchant before he became a Haridasa, and a member of the "Dasakuta". Vithala is the central deity of all his devotional songs, and forms a spiritual link between the Dasa Sahitya of Karnataka and the Sant Vani of Maharashtra.

It is to Purandaradasa that this new movement owes its most mature achievements. He pioneered "Carnatic Music" and was a major source of inspiration to the well known composer of the South — Thyagaraja.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, in his glorious voice fully recaptures here the spirit of this grand tradition of devotional songs. Through his highly evocative rendering of the worlds, which communicate more than their literal meaning, he brings to life the most endearing features of the Dasa Vangmaya — the intimate and affectionate terms in which God is addressed by the devotee, as also the unique equation that exists between the two.
Listening to these songs and their soul-stirring music is a profound experience.

One of the leading Kannada fiction writers, Yashwant Vithoba Chittal, born on August 3, 1928 in Hanehalli in Karnataka's North Kanara District.
Sri Vyasa Tirtha (1460-1539)

Purandaradasa - Srinivasa Nayaka (1484 - 1564)
"Father of Carnatic Music"

Bhimsen Joshi - Memorial posts - Devotional 1

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi - Abhangwani
EMI India - ECSD 2793 - P.1977

Side A

A1 Maajhe Maaher Pandhari - Sant Eknath
A2 Maajha Bhaav Tujhe Charni - Sant Namdev
A3 Sukhache He Naam Aavdeeney Gavey - Soyrabai

Side B

B1 Kaaya Hi Pandhari - Sant Eknath
B2 Gyaniaancha Raja Guru Maharao - Sant Tukaram
B3 Aata Kothe Dhave Man - Sant Tukaram

Music by: Ram Phatak

All these previous posts feel incomplete without a few of Bhimsen Joshis devotional records, especially if we are to understand his enormous popularity in India. Here is a record that was given to me by a woman friend who also studied bhajan singing. She bought this and some devotional songs by M.S. Subbulakhsmi when she visited Madras in 1984 and liked it very much. This is not typical, as the many friends I have here in the occidental countries, have often frowned when I played them some of his devotional music and they often find it too simplified and usually wave it away as superfluous and as being too light music. One of my friends, a well known composer, who really love Bhimsen Joshis classical vocal, even forced me to stop playing one of Joshis devotional records once, and said that he found it below Bhimsen Joshis dignity to sing such "kitchy" music and he was seriously disturbed by it. I hear similar sentiments often and for sure, I agree that there exists some rather dismal devotional music and much that is being produced especially contemporary should better remain unheard, but Bhimsen Joshi was definitely one to elevate it. Fortunately not all feel like my composer friend, and I for one, get very excited by his songs and find myself in a most exuberant mode upon listening to this record. Hope it will please you also.

My good friend Arvind in Madras, with whom I share much of my musical taste, who kindly helped me to transcribe the names of the tracks, wrote me the following most informative note upon discussing this record:

"Some thoughts on the record and the music. Pandit Bhimsen's incredible popularity can be attributed to a large degree to his devotional music, especially the abhangs in Marathi (featured on this record) and the Dasara Padagalu (songs by Purandara Dasa) in Kannada. Abhangs are devotional hymns by Marathi saint-poets of the bhakthi tradition, like Tukaram, Eknath etc, and they're all written in praise of Lord Vitthal, a form of Vishnu and the presiding deity of Pandharpur. Its my opinion that Bhimsen's popularity would have been restricted to the usual circle of classical aficionados, had he not made these highly successful records and cassettes with Abhangs and other devotional music. His popularity in the hindustani tradition can be suitably compared to that of M.S. Subbulakshmi's in Carnatic music, who also sang lots of devotional songs and bhajans, and is known for these by many thousands of people, most of whom don't follow classical music. So these were really stalwarts, and they deserved their Bharat Ratnas in every way!"

He also contributed this elucidating note on Abhangs,

"Abhangs are a sublime form of Indian Music whose origin can be traced to the spiritual ideologies of the bhakti saints of Maharashtra. Essentially these compositions are bhajans in Marathi sung in praise of Lord Vitthala (also known as Vitthoba) of Pandhrapur. They are characterised by simple appealing tunes and meaningful words. The meaning of the word Abhang can be derived from its root “A-bhang”(that which has no bhanga or hindrance). Abhang literally translates into “that which does not stop”. There is no stoppage between the verses or the main line and the verse; an abhang does not pause until it actually ends. Abhang also means “compositions that would never be wiped off the face of the earth.” It is eternal, ever new and always full of life."

One of the major saint-poets that wrote abhangs was
Sant Tukaram.

You can hear two abhangs by him in this record.

in the back of the picture you can see
Lord Vitthal.

On the pictue below you can see

Ram Phatak

seated at the harmonium

together with

Bhimsen Joshi


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Music of Oceania: The Huli of Papua Niugini

Music of Oceania: The Huli of Papua Niugini
Bärenreiter / Musicaphon - BM 30 SL 2703 - P.1983?

Recordings by Jaqueline Pugh-Kitingan and Bronwyn Peters
Commentary, photographs and map by Jaqueline Pugh-Kitingan

Side A

No. 1 Yodelling
No. 2 Musical bow
No. 3 Jaw's harp and bamboo tube
No. 4 Song in falsetto
No. 5 Ala lawininaga - Homesick Lepers Lament
No. 6 Ngodenaga iba gana - The day Virgin Mary - religious song
No. 7 Panpipes
No. 8 Panpipes
No. 9 Panpipes
No. 10 Musical bow

Side B

No. 10 Laments
No. 11 Declamation and narration
No. 12 Ritual Chant
No. 13 Ritual Chant
No. 14 Ritual Chant
No. 15 Ritual Chant
No. 16 - Dance celebration

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Music of Oceania: The Kaluli of Papua Niugini

Music of Oceania: The Kaluli of Papua Niugini
Bärenreiter • Musicaphon - BM 30 SL 2702 - P.1982?
Recordings by Steven Feld

Side 1

Kaluli weeping and singing

No. 1 Gisalo and weeping at a spirit medium seance
No. 2 Funerary sa yelab weeping; group
No. 3 Funerary sa yelab weeping; duo
No. 4 Funerary sa yelab weeping; solo

Side 2

No. 5 Heyalo duet
No. 6 Koluba solo and duo with cicadas
No. 7 Heyalo solo scraping sago
No. 8 Heyalo quartet with seed rattles
No. 9 Two group heyalo and whooping
No. 10 Sabio quartet with seed rattles
No. 11 Uluna, jaws harp solo
No. 12 Ilib, hand drum duo

Ilib kuwo drummers