Classical Indian Vocal Music

With Matthew Rahaim (vocal), and Friends.

At Blackstone Field, across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Drive, Providence, RI 02906). Bring a blanket!

To register for the event please click here.

Matthew Rahaim is a Hindustani vocalist in the Gwalior tradition. His guru is Laxman Krishnarao Pandit of Gwalior, currently based in New Delhi; he also studied for twelve years in the Gajanan Rao Joshi lineage with Vikas Kashalkar in Pune. His specialty is Khyal and Tarana, though he also is fluent in Hori, Thumri, and other poetic forms. Matt is also an ethnomusicologist, an improviser (analog synthesizers, electroacoustic instruments, voice) and a composer. He is Professor of Global Creative Studies and Ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota.

The classical music of India is an improvisatory art music tradition with roots in ancient philosophies and yogic practices. Today there are two distinct classical systems: the southern Carnatic tradition and the northern Hindustani tradition. The Hindustani music tradition is unique in its rich blend of Indian and Islamic aesthetics.

All classical music of India is based on two fundamental concepts of melody and rhythm, known respectively as raga and tala. Ragas are melodic landscapes that encode specific musical parameters related to note combinations and embellishments as well as non-musical guidelines regarding the intended mood and time/season of a given performance. Ragas evolved from the voice but can be expressed on any melodic instrument. The exposition of a raga is further accompanied by the complex polyrhythms of various talas as realized on the tabla drum.

This evening Matt and his musical partners will perform a medley of early evening ragas set to a variety of talas.

For further reading:  My Maestro As I Saw Him by Nikhil Banerjee

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