Sunday, February 13, 2011

Religions of India - rec. Deben Bhattacharya

Religions of India - The Living Traditions
Recordings and sleevenotes by Deben Bhattacharya
Argo - ZFB 55 - P.1971

Side A

A1 Temple Bells and drums 1'43
A2 Vedic Chants - Pandit Durga Prasad 3'13
A3 Raga Asavari - Hori Dhamari-ke-pad - Dhruvadas Maharaj 5'38
A4 Kazhagam 2'53
A5 Mariyamman Padal 2'30
A6 Mira's Bhajan 3'35

Side B

B1 Namo tatsat - Pali prayer - Buddhist 3'42
B2 Tibetan prayer - Buddhist 5'35
B3 Pali prayer - Buddhist 4'35
B4 In praise of Guru Nanak - Sikh 6'36

A1, A6, Recorded 1954, Varanasi (Benares)
A2 Recorded 1968, Amer (Jaipur)
A3 Recorded 1968, Brindavan
A4, A5, Recorded 1962, Dehli

B1, B2 Recorded 1968, Sarnath
B3 Recorded 1954, Calcutta
B4 Recorded 1955, Amritsar

Some more of the earlier field recordings by Deben Bhattacharya that not only are valuable historical documents but also makes good listening. Again some of these recordings are very moving and makes for good time travels. I especially enjoy the Sikhs praising Guru Nanak.


arvind said...

Wow, the Sikh kirtan was recorded at the Golden temple in '55! I'll have to check but this might be another instance of a song being one of the oldest extant recordings of the tradition, at least from the ones that have been commercially released.

Happy to have some material from Tamil Nadu as well. I know people here who won't believe their eyes when they see that Kazhagam and Mariyamman songs have been put to record in the West! :)

Its so ironic that this material is usually never available to the communities who performed on the records, and from whom the music originated!

But that should gradually change now, with so much of it being made available on the internet.

Thanks again, bo!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and its already one of my all-time favourites! A lifetime's education is contained in these pages. Thank you for doing this!


bolingo69 said...

Well, Arvind and "Anonymous" I am happy to see that what I intended with this blog is gradually being realized. It was my sincerer hope to make available to many what had been hidden away by record companies not having anything but profit in mind and the few collectors and "hoarders" like myself that, even if they wanted to share never could have made any bigger impact before the internet and digitalization facilitating multiplication. The problem of getting valuable historical material back to originators is truly manifold and one of the very ironical aspects is that the curiosity on other cultures that caused all the explorers to take inventory of he marvels of the worlds cultures has been more or less replaced with consumerism and "theme park" thinking with regards to culture. The aspect of making available rarely comes to fruition and even "preservation and conservation" has to cave in for arguments like "there is no market" for this. Just one thougt! I tried many already years ago now to start a project within a body of european and asian museums to create a network for digitalization and internet publishing historical photography. It turns out that many countries in the east, around the turn of last century, were better documented by "westerners" with cameras than bu the local population. Mainly because they did not have access to the technology but also lacking the keen eye of a visitor to document both the specific and unique as well as having the insight to document every day life and common peoples traditions. These documents are wilting on the shelves and in boxes of institutions originally formed to preserve and organize them, and that today have taken severe budget cuts creating more and more shallow exhibitions that are supposed to provide "infotainment" rather than education and real knowledge. The idea of my original project that kept a few Eurocrats busy a couple of conferences was simple, take all the photos to the descendants of the people in the pictures and to specialists that could pin down locations and monuments in time by also amending this open to the public database of photography with current photography of the same locations the same festivals and what have you! To let them and specialists and present travellers describe on these public photo catalogues what was in the picture of their own heritage combined with billboard discussions and by all means make a freer exchange between the institutions of this material. The same institutions that are under the cover of "preserving" making this material deteriorate into total oblivion. If more people had the foggiest idea of the enourmous amount of historically unique and valuable material that is going into containers and trashbins because of budget cuts they would start having the same nightmares that I get...

woops... someone got me started...
I'll get off my soapbox right now. But there it is...

Janas said...

Another shining gem from your treasure chest, thanks a lot, Bolingo.