Friday, March 5, 2010

Sitar and Tabla Concert in Dana Library

Yesterday afternoon the Dana Library was filled with the sounds of sitar and tabla. Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury and Dibyarka Chatterjee performed an hour long set of classical Indian music. I took a few photos that Mary Grace Oania (who also took these awesome Homecoming photos last year) edited for me.

The concert featured what's called an afternoon raga. A raga is traditional Indian music going back thousands of years. There are ragas for each time of the day. I hope to have a video on our YouTube channel once it's edited and approved.

Indrajit and Dibyarka were really great and down to earth and they taught the audience a few things about the instruments and music. Did you know that the big bowl part of the sitar is not made from wood, but rather from a hollowed out gourd? And that the frets on a sitar move up and down for each tuning?

The tabla is just as fascinating. For one, it can be tuned. Dibyarka played it more like a piano than a percussion instrument; his fingers flying all over the place.

Similar to jazz, there is a lot of improvisation and conversation back and forth between the musicians, which was very impressive and seamless. And all the more amazing when we found out that while Indrajit and Dibyarka are both highly accomplished performers, this was actually the first time they'd ever played together.

This concert was part of the Arts at Newark series; the next concert will be the New York Scandia Quartet performing at the Robeson Gallery on March 31. (More details)

No comments:

Post a Comment