INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Vilayat Khan

 

Author Message
louis
Vilayat Khan May 08, 2002 12:33 a.m.


It feels quite strange that a forum on sitar is so distant from Vilayat Khan 's music and gharana.
From Vilayat's grandfather to his sons and students, this gharana has developped the most complete and intricate sitar vocabulary that can be teach...Every single ornementation (krintans, zamzamas, gamaks,etc) and every taans and meends are played in a pure sitaristic (?) vision. (and the the gayaki ang is always strongly present).
As sitar lovers and fans, you have to be aware of how this fabulous instrument is play in the year 2002. The best way to know that, is by listening to some eminent young representants of this Imdadkhani gharana.
Names? :
Shahid Parvez... An incredibly strong performer. He picked from Allaudin Khan's school a great love of hallucinating tihais and a very good sense of tishram laya (among others qualities..)
Budhaditya Mukherjee: The absolute Mr. Taans! Fast, precise, strong. Very, very bold
Shujaat Khan: The king of ornementations and precision. His meends are out of this world, and, even in a very fast jhala, you will always hear a perfect silence between strokes.
There are other important names: Nishaat Khan, Irshad Khan, etc.!
The important point is that sitar, as an instrument, as never been explored with such emphasis that by the Vilayat Khan's school. And as David suggested, it may take more then one single earing to evaluate the importance of what you are listenig to...

By the way, i am learning sitar from the "opposite camp" (my teacher is a senior Ravi Shankar/ Aashish Khan disciple), so, i am not "sold" to the Vilayat cause...

Regards

Remco
Re:Vilayat Khan May 08, 2002 01:50 p.m.


I feel that all the pro & cons are a bit ridiculous: I'm certainly one not to critize ANY player. I mean: how can somebody who has played 5 months talk sh%t about these giants? All these players have something to offer. Also (don't want to sound like a hippie): this is the way wars start.

Peace,

Remco

louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 08, 2002 11:52 p.m.


I was just trying to propose some interesting paths!
Great young talented sitarists are playing their guts (with some incredible mixed gharana techniques) on international scenes without getting thrue rewards.
I thought that it could have been interesting for some members of this forum to "try" some of them. (Like Lars did with Usman Khan... BTW Lars, i cannot stop listeningto the exquisite Manilal's Darbari...wow! Thanks.)

"I feel that all the pro & cons are a bit ridiculous"

I dont remember any "cons" in my last post....only "pros", i think! Can you be more precise ?

"Also (don't want to sound like a hippie): this is the way wars start."

Man, if this is enough for you to start a war, you shoud reconsider your medication !!

(inner)Peace to you too .

Regards

Lars
Re:Vilayat Khan May 09, 2002 12:34 a.m.


Hi all..........yep, I listened to VK Cd again and I agree he's a very good player but just isn't my favorite.
Glad you like the Manilal, Louis.......check out www.raga.com and look under MP3's and you'll find Gokul Nag (Manilal's father) clips in there.
Indrajit Banerjee is another very good up and coming player.....
Also another one is Purbayan Chatterjee but next to impossible to find any recordings of him here. He's in his mid-20's and sounds a lot like Nikhil...
jerry
Re:Vilayat Khan May 09, 2002 06:20 a.m.


I feel the same way as Lars on this one.
For sure, none of us is suggesting that Vilayat Khan isn't a great artist. But it's kind of interesting that so many of us western listeners find him more difficult. That must mean something. I just don't know what it is yet!
I have a recording by Irshad Khan who Louis mentioned and although I don't dislike it, it too is not my favourite sound. I guess there's something about that school of playing. It's in both the playing style and even in the sound of the instrument, which sounds to my ears somehow 'thinner' (stop me if this is getting too musically technical...!)
Then there's the problem that Nikhil Banerjee is the sound of God talking to earth, so the others are going to have some trouble measuring up...
(No, really, I was kidding... no... aaaaaghhh...)
Remco
Re:Vilayat Khan May 09, 2002 12:42 p.m.


What I meant is: there are people putting this player or that player down because he/she is from that gharana. I feel each player/gharana has something to offer. About the war-thing: if we don't listen because he/she is from THAT gharana.......... (I was speaking metaphorically...)

Peace,

Remco

louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 09, 2002 01:36 p.m.


Thanks Lars for the tips; i will look at them as soon as possible.
I also have a couple of CDs from Irshad Khan and they are very deceiving. I had the chance to see Irshad, Shahid, Shujaat and Budhatitya several time in concert (3 or 4 time each) and i feel that their recordings are far below what they delivered on stage. It seems that they are playing a bit on their heels (Irshad and Shahid specifically). Maybe the explanation is that they dont have yet a lot of studio experience and they are a scare of doing any mistakes. (the competition is very fierce between those young artists!!). So, if you have achance to see them live, dont hesitate!!
Jerry is right about the specific sound that they seem to share. It is a very incisive one, definitely thinner then Nikhil's ("sound of God" ...I realy like this one....since it is thrue..), but not as thin as Ravi's sound.
Can i suggest some great recordings that have a chance to please your ears ?
- Shujaat Khan: Rag Shahana Kanada (India archive music)
- Budhaditya Mukherjee: Rags Myan ki Todi, Purya Kalyan and Sindhu Bhairavi (Audiorec)
- Vilayat Khan: Rag Myan ki Todi (oriental records)

About Gharanas competition, i am really not into that kind of childishness. And the good news is that the last generation of I CM musicians are not into it as strongly as theit father or teachers were. As a matter of fact, they even pick some compositions of other schools without any shame or mixed feelings... Zakir Hussain and Nikhli were very important leaders in this "peacefull" process.

Regards

Remco
Re:Vilayat Khan May 09, 2002 03:30 p.m.


Can't agree with you more,

Peace,

Remco

louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 09, 2002 11:52 p.m.


Just had an idea...
What if i burn a CD oriented on Imdadkhan's gharana approach of sitar? I have recordings from Imdad (1905 I think..) to very recent ones from his grant-grant childrens...
It could be an interesting "flying over" of this Gharana. (I will burn the very best recorded pieces i can find..)
The Cd will be in MP3 format. I could send two copies to the ones interested and able to make copies as well for the others....
I dont see this as a "robbery" from the concerne musicians, but more as a promoting issue.
Anybody interested ?
jerry
Re:Vilayat Khan May 10, 2002 01:58 a.m.


This sounds a wonderful idea Louis. I only have a limited collection but would be happy to share what I have.
K.K.
Re:Vilayat Khan May 10, 2002 03:00 p.m.


Hi All: Hey Louis, could you give us your email address? Thanks - K.K.
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 10, 2002 11:27 p.m.


My email is:
lojo59ca@yahoo.fr

I will begin to work on this "best of" this week-end.
The only thing i ask in returrn, is, after a carefull listening of the proposed tracks, a substantial comeback, here on this forum.
Is it too much asking?
Regards,

K.K.
Re:Vilayat Khan May 11, 2002 12:05 a.m.


Hey All: I purchased a Ustad Vilayat Khan CD on Amazon.com by mistake. It's called Raga Bhairavi. I thought it would be the same as the "Exposision" one. Way different. I'm really enjoying it. Lars, you might like this one. There's a couple of places where he's playing flaminco guitar technique on the sitar. Really trippy. The ASIN # is B000001640.
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 11, 2002 01:30 p.m.


Jerry, if you want a copy, could you send me your address? My email is mentioned in a previous posting.
Will you be able to copy the CD for others? (i dont want to spend the next weeks caught between my CD Writer and the post office!!)
Take care.
David
Re:Vilayat Khan May 11, 2002 01:37 p.m.


That "Bhairavi" solo alap would have been my next step suggestion. Glad you liked it KK. It's why I call UVK a Bhairavi specialist. There's, to my knowledge, no playing like this anywhere!
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 14, 2002 12:54 a.m.


To the ones who answered my offer, Imdadkhan's sitar compilation CDs were mailed today.
Please let me know when it gets into your musical hands...
Ken
Re:Vilayat Khan May 14, 2002 12:37 p.m.


Hey Lars, everyone,
I was fortunate enough to meet another sitar player here in Charlotte and Deb and I went over to her house last Saturday night. She is student of Ustad Habib Khan who's school is in San Jose CA. So this is my first look at the UVK style. She lent me his CD of Raag Maand Bhairav which has Zakir Hussain for Tabla. Her Sitar is a UVK style which had 10 Tarbs and only 6 main strings. I was surprised at this (perhaps not all are this way, also no top toomba). Actually I am listening to the Raag as I write this and, although very different from what I have enjoyed (being principally Ravi and now, thanks to Lars Nihkil and Indradjit Banarjee) I enjoy the different bols he uses. This raag has a 35 min Alap, 18:50 Gat in Vilambit and a 21 min Gat in Drut. I have to say I have enjoyed it very much, even though, again as with lars and Jerry it is not my favorite taste yet anyway.
I posted elsewhere that I was beginning to like Nikhil more than Ravi only because I was enjoying the longer versions of Raga's that he was playing since my only experience until then was Ravi's beautiful expression on the instrument and what got me "hooked" on the instrument.
I hope this observation on my humble, inexperienced part does not start a war We all have our "comfort" zone in listening, as for myself I'll listen to all and get lost in all the subtleties of their playing styles and remain in awe of the emotions their playing induces in me.
Louis, you remind me of both Lars and Russ who seem to be huge Sitar musicologists with vast discographies, you guys just blow me away with your knowledge of the ICM musicians, too cool. I don't have anywhere near the collection you fellows have but will share what I have as well. If you wish
to email me I am at: koneill1@carolina.rr.com for your convenience.
Also while Deb and I were at our friends house she played a video of Ustad Habib Khan's students all in a huge concert, something like 7 or 8 sitars, 3 tabla players, one drum set, two guitar players (just smokin on ICM, one steel string one classical), a piano player 3 lady singers, 4 children and a partridge in a pear tree (just kidding). But it was absolutely riveting. then UHK played a solo with his Tablaji and this was my first listen to Vilyat Khan style of playing. So much to listen to.
Oh great Kudu's to Lars and Russ who've gotten to take lessons from Indrajit Banarjee, too cool what a quantum leap.....see ya guys...ken
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 15, 2002 12:20 a.m.


This is the list of the pieces i decided to put on the "Imdadakhani compilation" CD:

01- imdad khan - jaunpuri (1905)
02- imdad khan - darbari (1910)
03- enayat khan - purvi
04- enayat khan - bhairavi
05- vilayat khan - mian ki todi
06- vilayat khan -darbari
07- vilayat khan - purya
08- imrat khan - chandra kanada
09- imrat khan - imratkauns
10- imrat khan - marwa
11- sujhaat khan - shahana kanada
12- budhaditya mukherjee - purya kalyan
13- budhaditya mukherjee - mian ki todi
14- nishat khan - darbari (live)
15- shahid parvez - yaman
16- shahid parvez - bairagi bhairav
17- shahid parvez - kirwani
18- irshad khan - purya danashree

The fist recording was done in 1905 and the latest in 2001.... almost a century ! (I think that it could give an idea of the orientations of this sitar school.....)
Regards

jerry
Re:Vilayat Khan May 15, 2002 07:36 a.m.


It looks tremendous Louis. I can't wait to hear it.
Many thanks.
Russ
Re:Vilayat Khan May 15, 2002 01:15 p.m.


Ken: Take it easy. I'm just a humble student. You're going to make my head explode!

Louis: That's a most impressive collection of talent and rags on your compilation. Very thorough and good selection. Congratulations!

louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 16, 2002 01:17 a.m.


Ken,
As Russ said, be carefull not to induce us into a kind of intellectual auto-gratification process (some are calling it masturbation...) that could be harmful to our essential humility...
Now, if you excuse me, i have to go admire myself in one of the many mirrors i have in my bedroom...wont be too long....3 or 4 hours maximum!
Be right back
Regards (to me, of course)
mash2
Re:Vilayat Khan May 20, 2002 05:33 a.m.


hi guys..whats all this ravi shanker and vilayat khan..I have had lessons from both..it has been one of my fortunes to have done so..I prefer the vilayat khan style of gayaki ang playing simply because i like the meend very much and it helps to bring out the music in me..But it was ravi Shanker who took the plunge and introduced the sitar and indian classical music to the west..both are excellent players in their own rights as is nikhil..however it is to ravi shanker that i pay my greatest respects as if it were not for him then the sitar would have still be an unknown in the west and prpbably thjis forum would not exist!!..I like ravi because he cared enough to share his music with the west unlike Vilayat khan who initially chose to keep his music a secret artform..oyu know more about the politics when you associate with people who have learned from these great masters..the music is not something we can critisise any of them for..it is just how much each has done to share that music that counts....vilayat khan had no choice but to follow ravi..reluctantly need i add..however vilayat khan still will not experiment with other instrumens of the west like ravi..however that's his choice..i still love his music and he will like ravi and nikhil always be a hero to me..god bless..
Russ
Re:Vilayat Khan May 20, 2002 10:26 a.m.


I agree with you Mash. It's all gravy. Just depends on what flavor you like best.
jerry
Re:Vilayat Khan May 21, 2002 09:52 a.m.


Louis
I got the CD today. Many thanks.
I've ha to chance to have a proper listen only to Raga Mian Ki Todi, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It was certainly the most enjoyable thing I've listened to by Vilayat Khan.
So tell me, what should I be listening for with UVK's music? What is it that makes him great? I know people have talked about his sense of laya, but can we be more specific. What is it that makes lovers of UVK melt the way I can with a certain lyrical phrase from Nikhil?

Thanks again Louis.

Jerry

jerry
Re:Vilayat Khan May 21, 2002 11:48 a.m.


Actually, I'm going to suggest an answer to my own question. I just listened to Mian Ki Todi again, and the meends in his alap are really something else. He's pulling six or seven clear, different notes in the space of less than a beat (I know, no beat in alap, but you get the idea).
Is he known for outstanding meend?
This is certainly great playing. His sitar still sounds somehow glassy (the only word I can think of to describe it), but I am finding this a very interesting listen.
I'm going to get well acquainted with this one before I move on to listen to the next.
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 21, 2002 12:29 p.m.


Jerry,
I am very pleased that you find some joy in the listening of this version of Mian ki Todi.
In the vilambit gat, be attentive to the use of kritans by VK. It may give you a strong example of the possibilities of that mainly sitaristc ornementation you were wondering about in another post.
Maybe, after this piece, you would like to listen to the same rag by B. Mukherjee... just to see the differences (and the similitudes..) in the approaches ! (Just a suggestion...)
Enjoy...
Louis
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 22, 2002 12:14 a.m.


Jerry,
I did not answered some of your questions.
The most difficult one is:
"So tell me, what should I be listening for with UVK's music? What is it that makes him great?"

It is very hard to try to focus your listening on one aspect or another of his playing. I just feel like he is playing the sitar in a very pure vocabulary... those perceptions may be hard to share.Every notes, strokes, ornementations are developped and teached since generations....always in a one track mind orientation: SITAR (in the gayaki ang perspective)
Right now, i am listening to his son's music (Shujaat Khan - Shahana Kanada,you have this on your CD), everything is so right, precise, clean and strongly emotive ! At the same time, you can easily observe that he is not playing at all like his father. Still, he is playing in a pure imdadkhani tradition....
You are right, VK's meends are incredibly strong (as a singer), but, every aspect of his sitar playing is as strong ! (i am getting a bit excited right now...) But this is not the best part!
The best news is the incredible health of the actual generation of sitarist comming from this school..
And, please, do not forget vilayat's brother who had to be in his shadow. (I burned some very good sitar tracks from him on the CD), even if he is reknowned mainly for his surbahaar playing. (this is a plot...playing surbahaar, he wont get in conflict with VK's sitar supremacy...)
Regarsd
Louis

louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 22, 2002 01:00 a.m.


Mash2,
You are indeed a very blessed person ! Having lessons from Ravi AND Vilayat is an incredible privilege that, i am sure, few people can equal !
However, with all do respect, i have to slightly disagree with you on, at least, one subject::
I do not think that VK chose, anywhere in his carrer, to keep his music secret. He shared it with his sons and students...as his ancesters did ! In a traditonnal way of doing things..
On the other hand, (or, if you like, in "opposition"), Ravi was willing to become the "ambassador" of ICM in western culture with the enthousiastic support of the Beattles (nothing less...). He did a fantastic job, but he was far to be alone !
I am not trying to discredit Ravi Shankar by any means....he is my teacher's guru !! I am just trying to place things into perspectives...
Regards

Louis

jerry
Re:Vilayat Khan May 25, 2002 06:02 a.m.


Well I've had Vilayat Khan's Mian Ki Todi in the CD player for a few days now and I've really tried getting into it. The deal with Louis, in exchange for his kind offer of the CD, was to bring the discussion back to the board, so here are a few thoughts from someone who's opinion in this music is worthless:)
Despite owning UVK's Hameer recording, this is the most intensely I've ever listened to him by a long way. I find this recording grows on me and that now I really do like it. I hadn't heard any Mian Ki Todi before and it's a very evocative Raga. I'm looking forward to hearing BM's version next.
Some elements that seemed to me to be VK fingerprints:
In alap he plays at times strings of scales, ascending and descending back to Sa but extending the phrase by a note or so each time. If you know The Miller's Dance from De Falla's Three-Cornered Hat, it sounds a little like the flamenco spanish runs in that piece.
In the jor there is a long passage of melodic phrases punctuated by chickari pauses in which he plays a string of diri (or is it da ra?) bols on one note (I think usually the 3rd or 5th) before landing on a huge, yawning meend that must cover half an octave before falling back to Sa. It's very fine indeed.
In the gats, I listened for the krintans as Louis suggested. If I'm identifying them right, they're good, but much less conspicuous than, say, Ravi's.
What strikes me most about the gats is the cleanness of his playing. It is less ornamented than Ravi or Nikhil (I think; his tans, of course, are very fast. I don't believe I hear a single 'tonk' (is this the correct word for the ra stroke that strikes the board?) in the whole piece.
All in all, it has been worth taking the time to explore the piece, and VK's playing now sounds more familiar to me and therefore more accessible.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?
Every wish
Jerry
louis
Re:Vilayat Khan May 27, 2002 10:51 p.m.


Hi Jerry,
Thanks a lot for respecting your end of the deal.
The quality of your observations is quite impressive. You are indeed a true sitar lover !
After this incursion into VK's Mian ki Todi, may I ask you to give an equivalent attention to Sujhaat Khan's Raag Shahana Kanada . Since he is VK's son, he has a certain pressure to assume...
I would really like to know your perceptions of him. At the same time, i dont want to be too demanding... Feel very free.
.
"All in all, it has been worth taking the time to explore the piece, and VK's playing now sounds more familiar to me and therefore more accessible."

This statement is the best reward i could ask for.

Regards,

Louis

louis
Re:Vilayat Khan Jun 11, 2002 11:08 p.m.


No more comments ?
Lars
Re:Vilayat Khan Jun 11, 2002 11:16 p.m.


Well, Louis.......since you asked.......
Have listened to some of the compilation CD and really like the stuff by Shahid Parvez......he's a wonderful player. Also the clips from the early 1900's are neat too......
For all you sitar junkies.....the Bhairagi Bhairav by Shahid Parvez is one of the best things I've ever heard and also the Yaman is very good too.......
nea;
Re:Vilayat Khan Aug 09, 2002 07:36 p.m.


Hi Louis,

I emailed you a couple of weeks back. I was wondering if your CD offer was still good? Neal

Email me at < alphabiotics@earthlink.net >

This is the list of the pieces i decided to put on the "Imdadakhani compilation" CD:

01- imdad khan - jaunpuri (1905)
02- imdad khan - darbari (1910)
03- enayat khan - purvi
04- enayat khan - bhairavi
05- vilayat khan - mian ki todi
06- vilayat khan -darbari
07- vilayat khan - purya
08- imrat khan - chandra kanada
09- imrat khan - imratkauns
10- imrat khan - marwa
11- sujhaat khan - shahana kanada
12- budhaditya mukherjee - purya kalyan
13- budhaditya mukherjee - mian ki todi
14- nishat khan - darbari (live)
15- shahid parvez - yaman
16- shahid parvez - bairagi bhairav
17- shahid parvez - kirwani
18- irshad khan - purya danashree

The fist recording was done in 1905 and the latest in 2001.... almost a century ! (I think that it could give an idea of the orientations of this sitar school.....)
Regards[/quote]

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