Posts Tagged ‘Misrabani’

Pt. Chhotelal Misra: A Tribute

10.15.13

Clm_Recall

A dear member of Madhukali family, a stalwart like others, a living legend and a conscious musician, a loving giving soul and  responsible academic ,  Pt. Chhotelal Misra – disciple and son of Pt. Anokhelal Misra – died of cardiac arrest at his Kushtmanda residence in Varanasi today at 11:30 am.

Grieving on the loss of  a dear friend since their adolescence, founder director of Madhukali, Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya said that Pt. Chhotelal Misra represented the spirit of Varanasi music tradition – innovative in thought, calm in tradition and soft in presentation.

Dr. Ragini Trivedi recalled that both she and brother Gopal Shankar began their first lessons in Sitar with Chhotelal ji accompanying them. It was due playing with him, from the very beginning that she developed such strong sense and mastery over rhythm. She remembers that the day debut function of her elder brother Gopal Shankar was organized, her mother applied tika to both Gopal Shankar and Chhotelal Misra before they proceeded to performance stage. In the BHU inter-faculty competition in year 1976 when she came on stage, the whooping and clapping of students in the over-packed hall was overwhelming. In the noise, she could not hear her own Sitar. It was Chhotelal ji who calmed her with a brief remark –“Sitar dekhaa, aur kucch na dekhaa! (Pay attention to Sitar, nothing else)” It was during her visit to Varanasi when she presented jal tarang at Ganga Mahotsav that Chhotelal ji advised her – “Veena bajawa, Veena!”. It was this that moved her to take her father’s Vichitra Veena with her.

Dr. Naval Krishna said that he was the favorite of Mrs. Rajam and during beginning of her career, she relied only on Chhotelal ji. His rfelexes were wonderful and provided great support to her in ‘Ladant’. He was always smiling and would greet friends with “Ka Guru!” managing the phrase out through a pan-filled mouth.

A cheerful witty person who would laugh over hurt and pain will be remembered for keeping alive the non-pareil style of  Pt. Anokhelal Misra. His disciple Pt. Premshankar Misra who took notes for the two books Chhotelal ji wrote, shall now have the task of bringing out English versions all by himself.

Pt. Chhotelal Misra on Dr. Gopal Shankar and his father Dr. Lalmani Misra

Veena Heritage Alive

08.12.13

llm_ca_bw1

Music has been as much a discipline for study as it has been an art-form. Natural ease with musical expression had prompted Dr. Lalmani Misra to try out various instruments. It was both, the extra-ordinary quality of the instrument and the diminishing number of its practitioners, that he decided to take up Vichitra Veena.  By the daytime he played and taught various instruments to students, at night, he played Vichitra Veena working out ways to exploit the range of this grand incarnation of Ektantri Veena.

Invited to initiate study of Indian classical music, when he reached America, willing students enrolled to learn melody-based structured system. By now, the continent was familiar with sound of Sitar and Sarod. The deep tonal sound of Vichitra Veena accorded a new experience. He was invited to play at one venue after other and soon invites from other cities started floating in. Dr. Misra was a teacher first and so had to defer several of them.

Back to his duties as Dean, Faculty of Performing Arts and Fine Arts, at B.H.U. he had still less time to give public recitals. He could find time only for the Akashvani recordings at due intervals and for occasional  recitals at Malviya Bhawan in B.H.U.,  and in the city. So, it was in America that he could play Vichitra Veena in public at least once a week. A prodigy, he had started out being an artiste  at an early age and having experienced this life to full, accepted the role of an academic in his thirties.  Never had he stopped playing; but, little benefit would reach public, as his academic responsibilities kept him from public performances.   Almost two decades later, he could perform with some regularity.

4PAN1TIf all his recordings are preserved, Akashvani would have over fifty Raga-s he played on Vichitra Veena. If all these recordings find the light of day the quality of appreciation of Indian music is sure to improve. For the time being, it is his live recordings in America that are surer to reach the listeners. These recordings were preserved with care first  by son Gopal Shankar Misra and after his death on August 13, 1999, by daughter-in-law Padmaja Misra. On this occasion, Dr. Padmaja Misra said, “If Akashvani publishes even a few of  their (Dr. Lalmani Misra and Dr. Gopal Shankar Misra) recordings, it shall greatly benefit as example and encouragement to Veena players.” It would indeed make it easier to understand and practice the Misrabani style, if both father and son’s recordings were made available. Some of these recordings may have been collected on cassettes after broadcast, but Akashvani alone has the original tapes. Till then, it is only recitals recorded in America that might reach the audience. The music world shall be deeply indebted to his American disciples, especially Nancy Nalbandian, for recording Dr. Misra’s Vichitra Veena performances.

In the first volume of Misrabani Vichitra Veena heritage aLive, RagaMalgunji and Raga Bhupali have been presented. The technique of Misrabani makes both presentations unique. Pt. Ishwarlal Mishra accompanied on Tabla. The CD is contained in a digi-pack and album cover displays a close up of Veena being played from one of the photographs taken during recital.  The music is available from several online music stores both for download and as compact disc.

Continuity called heritage

07.21.13

Over two years back, Madhukali invited unpublished analog recordings of Indian classical music in self-raised or inherited collections. Unplucked flowers, in mysterious ways, may turn into gems to be discovered by the fortunate. Heritage, like all things natural, is a presence waiting to be recognized. In a country rich in heritage like India, many scions of musicians families are blessed with letters, photographs and recordings of their ancestors. Yet, the urgent necessities of immediate life keep pushing the care of their inheritance off till they verge on brink of oblivion. Some music was received; not all of it can be restored fully or published at once. Commemorating the tenth anniversary of  UNESCO Convention 2003 for Safeguarding of  Intangible Cultural Heritage, Madhukali has released three compact discs restored from analog originals.

cdWork is also on progress for restoration and digitization of recordings of Dr. Lalmani Misra’s live recitals on Vichitra Veena, Sitar and other instruments as well as  wealth of  knowledge in lectures and lessons on Raga-s and essentials of Indian classical music. Apart from rich listening experience that each Raga recital provides, the collection is significant in another way. It constitutes an elaborate illustration of the Misrabani technique and style. How through  adequate application of Mizrab Bol-s, an artiste may create compositions starting from any beat in any Tal.

Dr. Misra had initiated a course in Indian music at University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1969. He taught there off and on throughout the seventies. Many of the recitals he presented in Philadelphia, New York and other cities were recorded by disciples . Almost all recitals were in different Raga-s. The students benefitted from such rich resource by making copies from the original tapes. It is possible that such copies may still be available with them while a few originals have been misplaced or deteriorated beyond restoration.  It would benefit the music world if  copies of such recordings are added to the main collection available with Dr. Misra’s family.  Madhukali in collaboration with Misrabani, would soon release the first volume to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Lalmani Misra on 11th August.

MisraBani TantriCharya–Varanasi

04.26.13

Dr Lalmani Misra 

The first MisraBani TantriCharya is proposed to be organized at Varanasi in October 2013 with collaboration of  cultural organization(s) at local/ national level. Benares Hindu University has kindly offered its facilities for organizing Tantricharya. The event shall be held at Academic Staff College from 12 to 18 and at Faculty of Music and Performing Arts no 19th and 20th October 2013.

 

Dr. Lalmani Misra

Dr. Lalmani Misra, well known as a Vichitra Veena player, had an extraordinary ability for creating music. Spontaneity and perfection defined his music. The following remarkable quotes by prominent artists and members of the musico-academic community would give a brief notion of Dr. Misra’s exemplary creative strength before we proceed to analyze his genius:

"Prof. Misra was the Music Director of Udaya Shankar’s troupe and job amply speaks of his eminence as musician. He contributed some of lively tunes and melodious notes to music performances given in foreign countries which kept the audience spell bound. He gave his performance in almost 150 big towns of America and Europe and was hailed by one and all as a talented artist of the age. Prof. Misra can play on eight instruments with a master’s hand." [News Paper item (Telegraph May 6, 1952) excerpt]

Dr. Misra’s contribution to the music world is that he has written hundreds of compositions for sitar in more than 150 common and uncommon Ragas. Moved by a desire to perfect a system in instrumental music that would be as complete as the vocal tradition, he created a new Gat style, which gradually has come to be known as ‘Misrabani’. It was also referred to as ‘Koot Ki Gat’ owing to the complexity of the Gat. They were so labeled, recalling instances of using such complex rhythmic patterns by earlier musicians in flourishes hailed by the aficionados as Koot ki Taan.

 

MisraBani

DawnVeenThe Misrabani compositions he created are serious compositions in stylistic sense. They clarify that selection of Raga-s influences the minds of musicians.

Under this style he created a new Gatkari in Vilambit Jhoomara Tal, Vilambit Jhap Tal and Madhya-laya Ada Char Tal. In this new style Dr. Misra introduced Mizrab Bol DA RDA -R DA. Especially, in vilambit pace Da Rda -R Da shows a very different dimension of manifestation.

The oblique movement and complexity of a Raga is considered one of the main reasons for its unpopularity. There are many Raga-s that are extremely melodious and fulfill all the desired norms of Indian classical music (proper consonances with lower and upper tetra-chords) but owing to their complex nature they are rarely played by the instrumentalists. Most of such demanding Raga-s like Basant Bahar, Gandhari, Malhua Kedar, Anand Bhairav, Multani, Kaushik Kanhada, Malgunji, Bageshri Kanhada, Sindoora, Neelambari etc. were played by Dr. Misra.

Workshops have been engaged by Dr. Ragini Trivedi around the country to train Sitarists in this advanced and cerebral style of playing. One may view few excerpts on Youtube channel of Omenadnet.

 

Programme

MisraBani TantriCharya is aimed at young instrumentalists who have received professional training for 5 years or more.

Learners in the group (10 to 15) would be trained by two Misrabani Sitarists under supervision of Dr. Ragini Trivedi, daughter of Sangeetendu Pt. Lalmani Misra, creator of Misrabani string style. Senior-most disciple of Dr. Misra, Dr. Pushpa Basu would give expert guidance.

MisraBani TantriCharya would be hands-on intensive workshop of two four- hour sessions each day for 7 days.

  • Learners would be provided detailed syllabus with Mizrab Bol-s, Alankar-s and Compositions in play-as-you-read digital notation system, Ome Swarlipi.
  • Learners would make their own arrangements for lodging & boarding.
  • Learners would bring their own instruments: Sitar/ Sarod/ Veena/ Santoor.

 

Registration

Interested learner may send in their application forms through email and hard copy.

Email should be sent to ich@madhukali.org with subject; MisraBani TantriCharya attaching filled in application form by 15th August 2013 and scanned image of Demand Draft. The hard copy should be sent to Astha, B-31, Aakriti Garden, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal – 462003 (M.P.) India so as to reach before 31st August 2013.

Registration Fee:

Till 30th June 2013 Rs. 3,000.

Till 31st July 2013 Rs. 4,000.

Till 31st August 2013 Rs. 5,000.

Till 30th September 2013 Rs. 9,000 provided seats are available.

Discount for Students* Rs. 1,000.

 

Sponsorships

A limited number of Sponsorships by disciples of Sangeetendu Pt. Lalmani Misra have been reserved for exceptional learners between 21 to 28 years pursuing regular course in music in college/ UTD, subject to their selection by Madhukali.

Those desirous of Sponsorship should submit a detailed note of recommendation from a teacher of repute. The note should detail particulars of Raga, Tal the candidate can perform flawlessly. Application form & detailed note with Demand Draft of Rupees 1000 only payable to Madhukali at Bhopal should reach Astha, B-31, Aakriti Garden, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal – 462003 (M.P.) India before 15th June 2013. Scanned image of Demand Draft and duly signed note of recommendation, along with application in pdf (Portable Document Format), should be emailed to ich@madhukali.org before 10th June 2013.

*Students of UGC recognized College and University Teaching Departments would have to present current Scholar Identity Card along with recommendation of Head of Department.

Application

Click here to download form.

Resources

Articles on Omenad
Video on Omenadnet
Tweets #Tantricharya    Follow  @madhukali and @omenadnet

Discography

Misrabani Vichitra Veena: heritage aLive Vol. 1 {Published}

Format:  Sound Recording
Year: 2013
Publisher: Misrabani, Philadelphia, 2013
Description 1 audio disc (52 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

lalmanimisra-884501956475 

Tracklist

Raga Malgunji                             38:50
            Alap, Jod
             Vilambit Jhumra Tal (slow 14 beats)
              Drut Ada CharTal (fast 14 beats)
Raga Bhupali                                  12:50
              Alap
               Kaharwa Tal (8 beats)

A Dawn of Veena: Bairagi  on Vichitra Veena by Dr. Lalmani Misra {more}

Format:  Sound Recording
Year: 2013
Publisher: Madhukali, Bhopal, 2013
Description 1 audio disc (51 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

Tracklist

Raga Bairagi 
                Alap:  19:33
                   Jod:  10:24
                    Gat:   11:20
Raga Bhairavi
                  Dhun:  05:22 

Celestial Music of Pandit Lalmani Misra: Vichitra Vina  {more at omenad}

Format:  Video
Year: 2006
Publisher: Rohnert Park, CA: Music Dept., Sonoma State University, 2006
Description: 1 video disc (45 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

Tracklist

Raga Sindura 
           Alap, Vilambit & Drut teental:  31:28
Raga Tilang                                                   10:23
Raga Bhupali                                                 15:31

India: Vicitra Vina : The Music of Pandit Lalmani Misra = Inde : Vicitra Vina : La Musique De Pandit Lalmani Misra    {buy at amazon?}

Format: Sound Recording
Year: 1996
Publisher: France: Auvidis Unesco, 1996
Description: 1 sound disc (62 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Tracklist

Raga Kausi Kanhada (Malkauns style)
                                                   Alap
                                                    Jod
                                                    Jhala
                                                    Gat in slow tintal
                                                     Gat in fast tintal

Nectar of the Moon: Vichitra Vina Music of Northern India  {buy at amazon?}

Format: Sound Recording
Year: 1981
Publisher: Los Angeles: Nonesuch, 1981
Description: 1 sound disc : 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in.

Tracklist

A Raga Ananda Bhairava                20:04
B1 Raga Multani                                   12:16
B2 Dhun In Raga Ananda Bhairavi  7:54

Material in possession of Libraries (Worldcat)

Publisher: Los Angeles, Ca. : Ravi Shankar Music Circle, ©1979

Document Type: Sound Recording

All Authors / Contributors: Lalmani Mishra; Chotey Lal

OCLC Number: 11153496

Performer(s): Lal Mani Mishra, vichitra veena ; Chotey Lal, tabla.

Production notes:
"Recorded in concert, Herrick Chapel, Occidental College–3/18/78"– Container.

Description: 1 sound cassette (60:00) : stereo.

Contents:

Basant bahar in Ektal, 12 beats and Teental, 16 beats —
Bhairavi  in Dadra, 6 beats —
Tabla solo Delhi style in Teental, 16 beats.

Categorization of Music Practices

04.10.13

Rajiv Trivedi

VibCov2As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention 2003, the idea of conservation and continuance of traditional practices through according them greater visibility has become a familiar concept. It may yet take time to percolate to every working adult, but community leaders have begun to realize its importance and are coming up with plans. It was reported in media that people of Varanasi are busy in making inventory of activities both ancient and current, so the ancient most city (Kashi) may be included in UNESCO’s representative list. Kashi has been seat of all Indian learning not only for creation but also for evaluation and incorporation. Music finds mention in Veda-s and has been an intellectual discipline ever since.

Broadly, practice of Indian classical music is in area of singing and instrument playing. Both these areas involve the form, content and governing rules. The techniques are quite different; yet, still, they are in the same domain of intangible.

Instruments involve the solid and the physical as well.

So, for the heritage worker, the various fields for consideration become distinct.

1. Body of Music.

2. Practice & Technique in distinct areas of Vocal and Instrumental.

3. Actual form of instruments. Tangible and Intangible Aspects.

4.  Intangible aspect of instrument making.

In a way, this implies that field of instruments is more demanding as it involves two extra aspects (No. 3 & 4) than vocal music.

Further divisions might be made on Stream – North Indian/ Hindustani and Karnatic – region, period, style and school. So to work for continuance of practices in the field of Indian Classical Music is a massive one. Existing body of documentation itself requires inventorying. If we leave the last century out of consideration when audio-recording techniques were evolving, music has been an absolute oral practice. Among all arts, it alone takes a form of absolute intangible.

It shall serve the cause if interest of academia may be harnessed for examining their content through the point-of-view of safeguarding ICH. Young researchers should be encouraged to take up studies that aim  either directly at preservation and safeguarding, or employ this as one of the factors for evaluation of current practices. Government and other organizations should come up with schemes to encourage publication of treatises under the head of “Safeguarding ICH”

Sitar in willing hand: 3rd Workshop in Pune

02.13.13

Stalwarts in music were prone to make a trite remark to a novitiate eager to impress – “Prove through performance not by idle talk”. IMG_4566Often did pupils of Dr. Lalmani Misra hear this remark and were motivated to devote themselves to their art. As Dean, Music & Performing Arts and Fine Arts, he introduced a weekly concert where a teacher and a student were selected to present recital each Thursday. He insisted on breaking the monotony of self-same Riyaz through such innovative practices. Madhukali, in keeping with thought and practices of its mentor, has sought ways and means to energize practice and appreciation of music. To mark the tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Madhukali planned this year’s activities to start with teaching of music.  Click here to view a clip of   Workshop in progress

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Book Release: Commitment to Hindi and Knowledge

02.12.13

Though almost a cardinal principle in itself, the fact voiced over several times during the event, that knowledge is dependent on language became the central Vib2Deltheme of Hindi Medium Implementation Directorate’s book-release function at World Book Fair, New Delhi on Sunday the 10th February 2013. Dr. Asha Gupta, Director, with her able team, released over a dozen books written by independent authors as well as team-writers. The function was presided over by Prof. Keshari Lal Verma and included such dignitaries as Prof. Subhash Chandra Kashyap, Prof. Jagdeesh Chandra Muna, Prof. M.P. Singh and Prof. Ramesh Gautam.

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Concerts for Conservation

12.23.11

Performances by various artistes during Omenad Conference on 31st December, 1st January and 2nd January 2011 left a lasting impression on aficionados of Bhopal. Music lovers, scholars and enthusiasts travelled from across country to attend conference and concerts during three-day event organized by Madhukali in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya. Several well-wishers and music-lovers had expressed for another such event and at cities other than Bhopal.

In keeping with its philosophy to collaborate with like-minded bodies, Madhukali consented to cooperate with an upcoming cultural institution from Indore, Swar-Setu to present rare performances once again in both, Bhopal and Indore. Ethnomusicologist from Sonoma State University, Professor Laxmi Ganesh Tewari shall travel to India to perform in both cities. Madhukali, in all previous Omenad Annual Conferences had emphasized on the urgent need of safeguarding medieval and ancient Veena-s that over the past few decades have fast fallen into near obsolescence. The two forms of Veena that reached 20th century –  Rudra Veena and Vichitra Veena – have almost disappeared in 21st. Generational scions alone may find motivation to master these challenging ancient instruments.

Vichitra Veena was almost in oblivion when Dr. Lalmani Misra took it up and crafted a complete style for string instruments — Misrabani. Misrabani grants the instrument a unique identity. The string is freed from following human voiceand brings out unique elements beyond vocal cords. After his death in 1979, son Gopal Shankar taught himself and perfected the art of Vichitra Veena. Ragini Trivedi moved by the silenced Veena after sad demise of brother Gopal in 1999, vowed to regain its voice and trained herself to play Vichitra Veena in Misrabani style. Baha’ud’din Mohiuddin Dagar  son of famous musician Zia Mohiuddin Dagar was ingrained by his father to play Rudra Veena in dagarbani style. He represents the  Dagar lineage. First generations musicians have always enriched musical traditions; the art gains stability with generational artistes. Today, when globalization is changing dreams, mores and opportunities, such artistes are needed to keep their artistic traditions vibrant and current. Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari too was trained by Dr. Lalmani Misra and was first to record vocal rendering of Sameshwari – a Raga consecrated by Dr. Misra to keep the knowledge of Samic notes alive.

 

Bhopal

Bharat Bhawan

7th January 2012

6:30 pm

Vichitra Veena          –         Dr. Ragini Trivedi (Daughter of Pt. Lalmani Misra) View Clip

Vocal Recital            –          Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari  (Santa Rosa, California)

Indore

Preetamlal Dua Sabhagrih

8th January 2012

6:30 pm

RudraVeena                           –                           Bahauddin Dagar                                     

Vocal Recital                          –                           Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari                    

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