Madhukali had initiated a project two years ago for conversion of music, available on analog magnetic tapes and audio cassettes to digital format. Since then, encouraging communication has been received in this regard. People have sent in queries about the process for getting audio and video content on analog systems; some have informed how they could achieve it through use of appliances available at home. Several queries fizzled into silence after initial interest. Still, there is some positive result to report.
Dr. Lalmani Misra first organized Dhrupad Mela at Varanasi in 1975 and in next few years worked for its continuation. In the little time available (he died in July 1979), he could turn it into a tradition. The almost invisible practices of Dhruva-pad singing and Pakhawaj-playing, gained national and international lime-light within a decade and today exist as mainstream practices of classical music. Dr. Misra organized the event in collaboration with Sangeet Natak Akademi, Maharaja of Banaras and Mahant ji of Sankatmochan. He chose Dr. Rajeshwar Acharya and Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya (both were young music students at BHU in 1975) to assist with the project. Prominent citizens and musicians were contacted to maximize participation of Dhrupad singers and Pakhawaj players. During the three day conference ending on Shivratri, discussion were held during day sessions and recitals were given from evening to morning. Pandit Ravishankar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar were present as chief guests in the inaugural function.
For the final session on the last day, Dr. Misra was invited to give recital on Vichitra Veena. Pt. Amarnath Mishra, Mahant of Sankatmochan accompanied him on Pakhawaj. Misrabani technique enhances the range of string instruments to present complex compositions. It was a perfect finale to gathering of Dhrupad musicians. He played Bairagi, bringing in dawn and consummated the festival with Bharavi.
To commemorate tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention 2003, Madhukali planned release of this precious recording and some others in March 2013. “A Dawn of Veena” represents the endeavour to preserve and promote traditional practices – both, the original effort of organization and present attempt at digital preservation.
In a function dedicated to Dr. Lalmani Misra, organized by Madhukali, his son late Dr. Gopal Shankar Misra and disciple Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya presented a duet on Sitar and Santoor. The 1992 recording made on magnetic cassette tapes has been successfully converted to digital format. “Wings on Strings” sports the spontaneous Upaj work m hallmark of Indian Classical Music, in Raga Kirwani.
Madhukali choir, since its very inception has been accomplishing a rare task: combining best poetry with classical music. It has released several titles of such compositions. In “Geet, Ghazal: Abhinav Pahal” poetry of Pt. Krishna Kishor Dwivedi, Shivmangal Singh Suman and several others like Amir Khusro, Ghalib, Meer and Bahadur Shah Zafar.
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