Bickram Ghosh and Jawhar Sircar (Photo: Facebook)
The who’s who of Kolkata’s music world gathered to be a part of the celebration organised by Pandit Shankar Ghosh Tabla Foundation to mark his 82nd birth anniversary at Gandhi Bhavan (Jadavpur University Campus) under the aesthetic supervision of Bickram Ghosh.
The worthy percussionist, actor, composer, filmmaker and son of the late tabla maestro and guru, who apart from presenting a selfmade documentary film on the life of his father-guru, also played the role of a compere with disarming warmth Jawhar Sircar, former chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati, inaugurated the event. The highlight of the evening was a duet presented by another renowned fatherson duo Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Anubrata Chatterjee with their tablas tuned on different scales (shadaj and pancham).
Accompanied by Hiranmoy Mitra’s steady naghma on the harmonium, they played a few compositions of Shankar Ghosh, Afaq Hussain Khan, Feroz Khan and his Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh replete with unique chakradharsand thrilling tihais. The senior showcased some of his own compositions too, as a tribute. Anubrata excelled in laya.
Their mutual understanding and coordination was delightful. That was also the winning point of the “Music of Drums”, an all-drum orchestra initially created and directed by Acharya Shankar Ghosh and now carried forward by his disciples under the baton of Sunil Banerjee, their senior most guru-bhai.
It had three segments — Navami (raga Kalavati set to ninebeats), Happiness(solo, sawal-jawab and group pieces by dhak, kansar-ghanta, Western triple-kango, tabla and dholak — all exuding a festive mood that made them sing as well) and Recitation (padhantwith tabla mnemonics tuned in raga Deshkar and set to kaherwa).
Essentially a rhythm-based event, it also featured the students of Bickram Ghosh Academy of Performing Arts who, under the direction of Kumar Mukherjee, commenced the evening with a song dedicated to the legend.
Sangeet Ashram featured two musicians in their pre-Diwali music event organised at Birla Sabhagar. Popular vocalist and television anchor Piu Mukherjee opened the session with a bandishi thumri set to addha in raga Bihag. That she is a confident khayal singer was quite evident from her longish aochar and of course her manner of handling the bandish.
That helped her immensely to play with the lyrics and effortlessly colour them with varied moods (like pleading, cajoling, mildly rebuking, beckoning with love et al). It was followed by a well-rendered tappa (Kafi, addha) with lots of fast taans belonging to khayal’s genre but this brilliant young disciple of the legendary Girija Devi needs to inject more power in the typical penchdaar tappa taans to be effective like her Guruma.
However, ably assisted by Imon Sarkar (tabla) and Debashish Adhikary, she was at her best in Najariya saanwariya kahe maare, a Gara dadra. Excellent bol-banav proved that she has a feel for the lyrics with pleasing adayegi and a brilliant laggi and she displayed her grip on tala and laya. She does promise a bright future in this arena.
The final segment of the evening saw Gaurav Mazumdar, son-disciple of Dulal Mazumdar (Allahabad), who later trained with Pandit Nandkishore Vishwakarma and Pandit Ravi Shankar. This proficient vocalist, violinist turned sitar maestro, who strives to follow his mentor’s style with devotion, played elaborate alapand gatkaris in raga Yaman, supported by Soumen Nandy on the tabla.
Golden jubilee year
Jalsaghar, in association with Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, added another melodious chapter in its yearlong itinerary of celebrating the golden jubilee of its glorious presence in the City of Joy. Dedicated to the hugely promising artistes who left a void due to untimely deaths at the peak of their careers; the segment remained focused on young musicians.
Among them Debanjan Bhattacharya has already arrived as a sarod exponent who can blend emotional appeal and thrilling skill at will. He proved this fact once more while delineating Chandranandan, a beautiful but complex raga created by his dadaguru Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. While the intrinsic pathos of the raga dominated the alap, jod and slow teental gatkari, the five anda-half beat based gatkari came as a sheer skill-show that led to a fast teentalbased rhythm-play.
Ujjwal Bharati’s seasoned tabla made this segment enjoyable by offering well anticipated rejoinders and inspired solo rounds. Earlier, vocalist Shubhajit Patra, a promising disciple of Sangeetacharya Amiya Ranjan Bandyopadhydy, gave a convincing account of raga Pooriya in his robust, tuneful voice that could delve in the depths of lower octave with impressive clarity and ease.
Apparently, paucity of time did not allow him to elaborate the raga at leisure but he could do better with lesser speed and fewer taans.
The GIMA Award for their Moods album in 2016 inspired Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Prodyut Mukherjee to present Rhythmexpress Moods Season II with an added attraction. Its choreography is done by noted Odissi Guru Dona Ganguly.The album consists of tracks based on ragas Kaushik Dhwani, Kirwani, Charukeshi, Pahadi with eclectic use of Spanish guitar, keyboard, drums, mouth percussion, Odissi bols and of course, slide guitar (Mohanveena) and tabla