Experience a new wave in Indian classical music with Tarang

Tarang - Photo by Mr. Avinash Pasricha
SUNAAD in collaboration with India International Centre presented a scintillating Fusion Music Ensemble ‘Tarang’ to a discerning audience on the evening of 30th of March 2012. This was embellished by the spring time evening weather – cool & balmy with the environment lush green and woody – the typical India International Centre’s Fountain lawns. This event was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India.

Tarang is an Indian word which means, “waves”. However now, with Tarang’s popularity, it has also come to connote ‘fusion music’ which harmonizes different streams of music. In this age of world music, it is indeed an endeavor in the right direction.

Tarang is a fusion which represents the confluence of different streams of music. Tarang as an ensemble brings out the various converging aspects of Indian music harmonizing with the Western, while retaining their individual elegance, grace and tradition. The finer aspects are embellished aesthetically by blending the technical intricacies of the different instruments that enrich the music. This fusion with aesthetic blending of tones and colours of different instruments produces an impressive and harmonious effect.

Tarang - Saeed Zafar Khan on sitar, Narendrapal Tony on saxophone - Photo by Mr. Avinash Pasricha
The range of instruments in Tarang included the veena, flute, sitar, saxophone, guitar, keyboards and a range of percussion instruments like tabla, mridangam, khanjira, and drums. This wide range of instruments explored the depths of the Indian music highlighting its rich and varied melodic and harmonious aspects, bringing out a beautiful musical experience.

The evening focused on capturing musically the beauty in the unique similarities and distinct individuality in certain raagas prevalent in the two major genres of the Indian Classical music the Hindustani and the Carnatic.

Saraswati Rajagopalan, an eminent veena artist, together with saxophone player Narenderpal Tony, sitarist Saeed Zafar Khan, and flutist Kailash Sharma, conceived and presented this mesmerising Music and Kudos to all of them. It was an audio and visual treat to the lovers of music in the captivating fountain Lawns stage adorned by 12 artists, the stage beautifully lit and the sound perfectly balanced, both providing a great impact.

Tarang - Saraswati Rajagopalan - Photo by Mr. Avinash Pasrich
Tarang started the concert with an invocation “Sri Vigna Rajam Baje “set in Raag Gambhira Natta, a composition of Oothakaadu Venkata Kavi. This was a vocal rendering by Venkatesh with soft accompaniments setting the tempo and the mood for the evening followed by an Overture, which was lively and highlighted the entry of each instrument in the ensemble.

It was followed by a theme “Recollections“with a composition based on the popular evening raga Jog, which conveyed a variety of moods including love, affection and hope. The word “jog” itself means “union”. This composition very aptly titled, portrayed a confluence or union of emotions, through this beautiful confluence of instruments, melodies and rhythms.

The next composition a lilting evening melody titled “Serenade”, based on raag Yaman, captured the emotion of romance. It began with a brief aalap that represented the longing in solitude and progressed into a dialogue, a conversation that encompassed the multitude of emotions that make up love. Both in Recollections and in Serenade, the four core artists in their solo rendition captured the spirit of the theme which was soulful.

The next item was the theme “Mirth” conveying joy, happiness and gaiety, depicting the dance of sounds through a series of rhythmic progressions or cadences. Structured in the pentatonic scale, it explored how a subtle change in a note in the scale transforms the entire mood and tenor of the composition, as it meandered soulfully through the ragas Suddha Dhanyasi, Madhukauns and the ever so beautiful Amritavarshini. The transitions between the different ragas and the rhythmic patterns, followed by the tarana, taanam and konnakol enthralled the audience.

The concert concluded with the theme “The Rhythm of life”, exploring the various moods that rhythm can transcend. The composition paced through a series of percussive exchanges highlighting the individual brilliance of each instrument before they converged to the universal rhythm of life.

This Ensemble beautifully brought out the various aspects of Indian music harmonizing with Western, while retaining their elegance, grace and traditional character with a fine blending of technical intricacies, the tones and the colors of different instruments, which included the veena, flute, sitar, saxophone, guitar, keyboards, Indian percussion instruments and drums. The mridangam artist Vijay Natesan showed his versatility at playing the tiny instrument called khanjira and also a vocal rendering of rhythmic phrases known as konakol.

The Tarang Team comprised of the following artists: Anirudh Bharadwaj on flute (Carnatic); Vijay Natesan on mridangam, khanjira & konakol; Rashid Zafar Khan on tabla; Pradyuth Bannerjee on bass guitar; Mayank Gill and Vicky on keyboards, Akashdeep on drums and octopad, who all accompanied the four lead artists namely, Kailash Sharma on flute, Saeed Zafar Khan on sitar, Narendrapal Tony on saxophone and Saraswati Rajagopalan on the veena.

Music is a language that transcends religion, culture, nationality, etc. and has an overwhelming sense of unification. There are several genres of music that coexist, and each is endemic to a specific region or culture, but they have the power to diffuse through boundaries to interact and harmonize with a variety of other genres. Fusion music represents this beautiful interaction of genres as well as a spectrum of instruments. Each brings out the beauty through individual expression and magnifying in unison and harmony. Tarang encapsulated all these aspects and presented with freshness, grace and elegance which regaled the audience.

India International Centre had not only had this program webcast live but also has archived for viewing at www.iicdelhi.nic.in.

Author: Ms. Lakshmi


One thought on “Experience a new wave in Indian classical music with Tarang”

  1. An evening to remember during one’s lifetime. Perhaps it was the best performance of Saraswati Rajgopalan so far.

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