The Bansuri or bamboo flute one of India’s ancient and natural musical instruments. The image of Lord Krishna playing his flute or murali, surrounded by his admirers is a favorite theme of Indian art and mythology. Despite its simplicity in design the Indian Bansuri flute is notoriously difficult to master. It requires skillful breath control and intricate manipulation of the fingers to effect the sliding of notes a pre-requisite of Indian classical music.
For centuries, the flute was India’s Principal folk instrument playing a popular role in religious ceremonies and court music. It was Pandit Pannalal Ghosh who was first responsible for bringing the flute into the classical music repertoire in the 1930s. His transformation of the Bansuri into an instrument with tonal depth and expressive power carved out a path for others to follow. This recording features the most popular flautist of the younger generation.
Pt. Ronu Majumdar was born in Varanasi, a spiritual home for Indian music and dance. His wide ranges of improvisatory skills have made him a major attraction at music festivals in India and abroad. Like many accomplished artists, his first exposure to Indian music was through singing, and this training is evident in the use of subtle vocal inflexions in his playing.
He learnt flute initially from Pt. Vijay Raghav Rao, who was responsible for nurturing young Ronu into an accomplished musician. Later, he became influenced by the music of Pandit Pannalal Ghosh and Pandit Ravi Shankar.
As Ronu Majumdar matured into a distinguished artist, he began to experiment on his instrument and made changes to the traditional Bansuri to make it more suitable for the music that he wanted to play. He increased the tonal range of the flute to include more notes from the lower octaves. His experimentations resulted in the 'Shankh Bansuri' a modified Bansuri with twin pipes that sounded much like the conch shell.
On this recording, Pt. Ronu Majumdar has chosen one of the most attractive raags of North India. Raag Jhinjhoti is a very flexible evening raag, in which it is possible to portray moods like devotion, innocence and romance. The beauty of Jhinjhoti lies in its simple yet attractive structure, which allows the raag to adapt to all genres of classical composition and performance, be it Dhrupad, Khayal,Thumri or tappa.
He begins his recital with Aalaap, the slow improvised unfolding of the notes. The Aalaap expresses and then unfolds the characteristics of the raag through the execution of particular melodic phrases. After the conclusion of the Aalaap, Ronu plays a composition set to a rhythmic framework of seven beats (Rupak). A series of improvised patterns weave effortlessly around the movement of the rhythm. The performance of Jhinjoti concludes with a lively composition fixed to a rhythmic cycle of sixteen beats (Teentaal).
The final piece is a semi classical composition (dhun) in Raag Pancham se pahadi. The dhun is largely free from the strict rules of classical music and the use of notes and phrases outside of the raag are acceptable. Pahadi is associated with nature particularly the mountains rivers and valleys.
Tabla accompaniment is provided by Shri Ramkumar Mishra grandson of the legendary tabla maestro Late Pandit Anokhelal Mishra of Varanasi (Benares). His training in the traditions of the Benaras Tabla Gharana began when he was just five under Pandit Chhotelal Mishra. Since then he has achieved consideratble fame as an accompanist with a fine sense of balance and proportion combined with an attractive crisp tonal quality.
|1||Raag Jhinjhoti - Aalaap||29:50|
|2||Raag Jhinjhoti – Gat in Roopak, Teentaal||30:15|
|3||Dhut in Raag Pancham Se Pahadi||13:26|
Excutive Produce: Alpesh Patel
Recorded at Virtual Studios; Sanjay Gujarat