With Ajit Acharya, tabla, and Srinivas Reddy, sitar.
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. Srinivas and Ajit are practitioners of the Hindustani genre which they learned from their respective teachers in the traditional master-disciple mode of apprenticeship. 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 Srinivas and Ajit will perform a medley of early evening ragas set to a variety of talas.
Links for further reading: My Maestro As I Saw Him by Nikhil Banerjee
Srinivas Reddy is a scholar, translator and musician. He studied classical sitar in the traditional guru-shishya style with Sri Partha Chatterjee, a direct disciple of the late sitar maestro Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Srinivas also trained in classical South Asian languages and literatures at Brown University and UC Berkeley. He has released three independent CDs and published three books of Indic translations with Penguin Books. Currently Srinivas is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies and Contemplative Studies at Brown University. He lives in Rhode Island and spends his time performing, teaching and conducting research around the world.
New England-based tabla player Ajit Acharya began his training under the tutelage of Sri Sheshagiri Rao of Bangalore, India. He also studied extensively with Dr. Rajan Sachdeva, one of the most respected and prolific Indian music teachers in the midwest. His table apprenticeship continues under the guidance of Pandit Samar Saha of the Benares gharana (or style) of tabla. Ajit has accompanied instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers. He has also given workshops all over the country and performed extensively with fusion, jazz and experimental musicians.