The Lyrical Tradition of Dhrupad - Pandit Vidur Mallick

Posted By MiOd On Friday, December 20, 2013 Under
[01]. Pandit Vidur Mallick, 1994

Born in 1936 in Amta (Bihar), Pandit Vidur Mallick has inherited from his family one of the oldest tradition of Indian classical music , dhrupad. His family has been for centuries the depository of the Darbangha style and this is where he has learnt the music in the ancestral way, through the guru shishye parampara. Court musician of the maharaja of Darbhanga, he is today the head of his family. He is also a professor in one of the most famous schools of music : the VrajaKala Gurukul of Vrindavan, where he teaches all those who wish to learn dhrupad. Well known in India, he has started an international carreer in 1983, and performs regulary in Europe with the help of Unesco, Applauded during the "India festival" in Germany, he has been repeatedly invited there as a Master of Indian art. Since 1991 he has toured every year all over the world. Anand Kumar Mallick (pakhawaj), is one of the sons of Pandit Vidur Mallick. A young artist, he is becoming one of the virtuosos of pakhavaj. THE MUSIC Dhrupad and dhamar belong to the classical tradition of Hindu religious music, and take very sophisticated musical and poetical forms. The Darbhanga school, according to legend, was born in the 18th century when two brothers (whose pious occupation was to sing in a temple) made the rains pour down when asked to do so by the Maharaia of Darbangha : for that miracle the maharaja rewarded them with land and the title of Mallick (land owner). Consisting of an alap (first improvised movement) followed by one or several compositions (accompanied by the pakhawaj drum), dhrupad pours out precisely the notes and intervals that shape the rag. Compositions are set on a fixed rhythm structure (tal) of 12, 14, or 10 beats. Soloist and drumer develop the composition, playing with rythm and notes, in simultaneous and different ways. They both end on a musical phrase typical of the composition. The rag ends on the sam, the starting and finishing point of the rythmic cycle. The tonic in this recording is C sharp, The tonic in this recording is C sharp, The accompaniment consists of two tampuras (tuned in SA SA SA PA), and a packawa, traditional drum with two sides. A disk of ferric oxide stuck on one side allows the emission of an harmonic (C sharp). 1-2-3-4 RAG BAIRAGI BHAIRAV (dhrupad & dhamar) Very unusual rag of the beginning of the day (just before midday). This variety of rag Bhairav is based on the following ascending and descending scales : SA REK MA NIK SA I SA NIK PA MA REK SA II The note DHA is forbidden and the GA is sometimes suggested. Two notes are systematically enhanced, MA and SA. They are played in important phrases, typical of the rag: SA REK- MA--PA MA--NIK, NIK PA MA PA SA II (The alap (1) is an improvised part, in which slow, medium and fast movements can be distinguished. During the slow alap Pandit Vidur Mallick develops the rag on the central. low then high octaves. using vocal techniques such as meends (glissandos). On those meends are sung syllabes like Ha Re Na Ne Tum (parts of the mantra Hari Om Narayan...). In the medium and fast alap, those techniques are mixed with violent undulations around the notes (gamak). The first poem (2) is a dhrupad, structured by a 12 beat tal, This poem is dedicated to Ram, and enumerates his attributes and qualities. After a quick presentation of the poem, followed by a tihai (a musical phrase repeated thrice and ending on the sam) Pandit Vidur Mallick improvises, alternating presentation of the poem, dislocation of its words following a rhythmical canvas (bolbanav) and tihai. The second poem (3) is a dhamar using a 14 beat tal (dhamar tal) sung on a medium lay (speed), Following the same poetical theme on a different composition, Pandit Vidur Mallick offers here a more rythmical improvisation. On his bolbanavs, the packavaj player improvises too, and he plays tihai and rhythm phrases following the music of the singer. The third poem (4) is a dhrupad using a 10 beat tal called sultal, sung on a fast lay (speed), A short poem manages to expose the incredible virtuosity of the singer. First the divides the matras (poetical meters) used in a complete cycle to slow down then he progressively accelerates. He finishes with some extraordinary bolbanavs. It is easier to understand the fast rhythm used if you listen to the singer on the sam and the two talis of the theka. 5 RAG NAND (dhamar) Traditionally sung around midnight, Nand is a very old rag. This rag (a zig-zag rag) is based on the following ascending and descending scales, On this strange rag, Pandit Vidur Mallick offers, after a short alap, a beautiful and melodically interesting improvisation. 6 RAG SAHANA KANRA (dhamar) Magnificent rag of the middle of the night, this rag is an old mix of two nights rags: sahana or shahana, and kanra. It is based on these ascending on these ascending and descending scales: SA MA PA GHAK MA DHA NI SA I SA DHA NIK PA MA PA GHAK MA RE SA II Two notes are used a lot : PA and SA. Some signifiant phrases of the rag : SA NIK PA I MA PA SA --II, The poem is sung in dhamar tal. This poem is dedicated to the Holi festivities, the festival of spring and colors. During a inspired alap, Pandit Vidur mallick develops all the melodic caracteristics of this rag. The poem is then offered with joy by the musicians, The agitation at the vivid memory of this playful occasion can be clearly felt. 7 RAG BHAIRAVI Morning rag, This poem, sung on jhaptal, is one of the favourites of Pandit Vidur Mallick and frequently ends his concerts. bhairavi is a famous rag which can be performed at any time of the day. It follows the scales: SA REK GHAK MA PA DHAK NIK SA I SA NIK DHAK PA MA GHAK REK SA II, The key phrase of the rag is easily recognized : SA GHAK MA PA DHAK PA I MA GAK REK --SA II, The natural RE is used when ascending in phrases like RE GAK REK -- but the komal RE remains the important note and the one which closes the phrases. The poem is an hymn to Bhavani (Durga), under her guise of Mahishasur Mardini (who killed the buffalo-demon).

Rag Bhairagi Bhairav
1. Rag Beiragi Bhaira - Alap
2. Rag Beiragi Bhaira - Dhrupad
3. Rag Beiragi Bhaira - Dhamar
4. Rag Beiragi Bhaira - Sulfatal
5. Rag Nand - Dhamar
6. Rag Shahana Kanra - Dhamar
7. Rag Bhairavi - Jhaptal

Anand Kumar Mallick - pakhawaj

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