Harmony A Uniquie Jugalbandi in Audio CD (Rare: Only One Piece Available)

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About the CD
To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations, the UN in India, in cooperation with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, organized a special concert by renowned Indian classical musicians Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.

Against the magical backdrop of the Purana Qila (Old Fort) in New Delhi, the maestros unveiled a new raga entitled Shanti Prema (an inspiration for peace) as their unique contribution to the milestone anniversary of the UN.

In the words of the artistes, the genesis of the raga lies in their understanding of the UN as an organization that works for harmony, peace and understanding among all human beings. Music is the universal language, which transcends all barriers of caste, creed, language and religion. This new raga created by the music maestros reflects these values and their admiration for the work of the United Nations.

In its structure, Raga Shanti Prema uses six notes (omitting the second note). Both the major and mino of the third note are used. The raga's aarohan (ascending) notes are Sa-Ga-Ma-Dha-Nee-Sa and the avarohan (descending) notes are Sa-Nee-Dha-Pa-Ma-Ga (major)-Ma-Ga (minor)-Sa. These note uniquely combine to create a tranquil raga, bathed in serenity and harmony. The music begins with mesmerizing Alap (slow paced detailing of the raga's structure) and is followed by 2 compositions: Gat in Rupak Taal (7 beats) and Jod in Teentaal (16 beats).

About the Artistes
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the internationally renowned exponent of the bansuri or bamboo flute, surprisingly does not come from a long lineage of flautists. His father was a famous wrestler who had aspirations of his son following in his footsteps.

The younger Chaurasia had an early love of music and by the age of 15, was taking his first steps towards a lifetime as a performer by training as a vocalist. Within a year, however, he switched to the flute after hearing Pandit Bholanath Bhatt, under whom he tutored for eight years. Later he was accepted as a disciple by Annapoorna Devi, daughter of the legendary sarod maestro Baba Allauddin Khan, who taught him the complexities of dhrupad in the tantrakari mode.

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia's talent and consummate artistry have distinguished him as the greatest living master of the North Indian flute today. He is a rare combination of innovator and traditionalist. Immensely popular in India and abroad, he has collaborated with several western musicians, including John McLaughlin and Jan Gabarek, and has also composed music for a number of Indian films. He heads the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory.

Born in 1938, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia has been honoured with a number of prestigious awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

Rarely has an instrument become as synonymous with a musician (and vice versa) as the santoor with Shiv Kumar Sharma. His long musical journey began with training in vocal music, the tabla and other instruments. Only later did he start learning the santoor, then an obscure folk instrument from the Kashmir valley.

After his first public performance, in 1955, he reconfigured the santoor by increasing the number of bridges to get a wider range of octaves, and changed the system of tuning and the structural configuration of the strings to allow for more precision in note reproduction. With a style evolved out of gayaki (vocal technique), gatkari (instrumental technique) and layakari (rhythmic improvisation), he imparts to his santoor recitals a multi-dimensional appeal.

Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is a purist to the core in his treatment of ragas. He follows the traditional dhrupad style of alap, jod and jhala. His use of intricate and complex rhythms is never at the expense of sur (note). Nor does he reel off fixed tihais (beats); he conjures them up on the spur of the moment. While he never compromises on the purity of music, his open- minded approach has resulted in some of the most popular, innovative experimental albums with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

Born in 1938, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar and the Padma Vibhushan, among others.

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