Pooja Goswami Pavan
How Shall I Say? (Innova 232, 2011)
If you listen carefully there are some surprising sound coming from Minneapolis, Minnesota – Indian ghazals. Pooja Goswami Pavan, composer, performer and visiting faculty member and scholar of Hindustani music and culture at the School of Music at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College in St. Paul, has released her debut recording How Shall I Say? on the Innova label.
With a doctoral degree from the University of Delhi and training under the famed vocalist Vidushi Shanti Hiranand, Ms. Goswami Pavan has also appeared at the India Habitat Center, the Vietnam International Tourism Festival and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
With a repertoire that includes Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan and the folk genres of Hori, Chaiti, Kajiri and Khayal, Ms. Goswami Pavan has chosen to explore the wondrous world of the ghazal for
How Shall I Say?.
Dipping into the poetry of Urdu poets like Bahadur Shah Zafar and Momin Khan Momin against music composted by Vidushi Shanti Hiranand, Ms. Goswami Pavan’s father Pandit Surendra Goswami and several of her own compositions, How Shall I Say? finds that place where music, lyrics and emotion coalesce.
Soaked in tabla, harmonium, sarangi and tanpura, How Shall I Say? unfolds with rippling opening track “Kabhii Kahaa Na” before giving way to “Sazaa Ye Khuub Mili” and “Kaise Keh DuuN.” With lyrics full of love, loss and longing, Ms. Goswami Pavan’s vocals weave like a silky ribbon through each composition against a intricate tapestry created by tabla player Pandit Sudhir Pande, harmonium players Ustad Mahmood Dholpuri and Vinay Mishra, sarangi player Murad Ali Khan and tampura player Sunil Goswami. “Ab To Ghabraa Ke,” by the poet Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahim Zauq, is remarkably good, as is closing track “Sabaq Aisaa Parhaa Diyaa,” by the poet Nawab Mirza Khan Dagh Dehlvi.
Ms. Goswami Pavan and company have created a captivating collection of ghazals with
How Shall I Say?.
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