INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Nodu C. Mullick...

 

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Beenkarji
Nodu C. Mullick... Sep 13, 2003 04:29 a.m.


Hi, does anyone know much of Nodu C. Mullick. I am just curious on how in the world he went from a cabinet maker, to a master sitar maker, to a drunk, to a goner. I have heard rumors he "beefed" up Kanai Lal sitars and he didn't make them, and also if I am right there was 8 or 9 sitars he fabricated in total, and apparenlty one is somewhere in Switzerland....(hope that house has a security system...hehe).
Also about the finish on sitars since people are wondering. It is a base coat of sealer with oil color added, or in the old days, just pigments. The actually "french polish" has no color, they just use orange shellac flakes. If you used only shellac on a sitar, it would be really ugly, you would notice all the spots where they use puddy on the tumba, and all the imperfections in the wood. I dont think the finish on a lot of Raviji's sitars is completely original, I know Tony at least refinished one of them, not sure about the others. And about Ravij's Rikhi Ram sitar, I think there is some underground contract going on with him and Ajay Sharma, not possitive, but I get that feeling.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Amitava
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 09:52 a.m.


Usually sign of respect...also used in a specific grammatical way to address someone.

So Panditji and Ustadji...are ultra respect I guess

A


Estiven (Oct 16, 2003 03:28 p.m.):
sorry for going off topic,
but what does the "ji" at the end of names mean?
Or when would you use it?

thanks


Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 10:24 a.m.



Amitava (Oct 17, 2003 09:52 a.m.):
Usually sign of respect...also used in a specific grammatical way to address someone.

So Panditji and Ustadji...are ultra respect I guess


Estiven (Oct 16, 2003 03:28 p.m.):

Wow, I was going to ask if "Ustadji" was being too cross-culture, similar to calling a Muslim "Pandit", but I did a quick google on Ustadji and found it all over the place, including on Shahid Parvez' own site at sitar school.

I'm learning new stuff every day! Many thanks!


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Prabhu
Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 09:23 a.m.


Hey Ji,
Nothing underground about it. Ravi Shankar is Ajay's guru.
Robin
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 12:25 p.m.


Prabhuji,
You are wrong. Ajay's father is disciple of Raviji, not him. He never ever learnt anything from him.
Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 12:50 p.m.



Beenkarji (Sep 13, 2003 04:29 a.m.):
And about Ravij's Rikhi Ram sitar, I think there is some underground contract going on with him and Ajay Sharma, not possitive, but I get that feeling.

I mentioned this in a message a couple of months ago, on Ravi's Carnegie Hall CD, he introduces Ajay, who was playing tanpura, as being the builder of the sitar Ravi was playing.
Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 01:08 p.m.


I too would like to know more about Mullick. I've looked around and haven't found much on the web. Here is what Buckingham's site had to say about him:

...Nodu Mullick, who was the man who made Ravi Shankar's magnificent original "Strad."sitar. Nodu Mullick is said to have only produced 36 instruments in his entire lifetime, such was his passion for perfection. It is said that he would take more than three days to make the jawari as he wished it to be on one sigle instrument.

I've also read each sitar takes him 2-3 years to make, which would mean he would have to have been pretty old when he stopped making them. But I do believe he handcrafted the entire sitar, no matter how long it took.

I've seen a couple of references that he made sitars only for Ravi Shankar. One of the sitars did go to one of Ravi's students. Ravi gave one of his sitars to Anoushka. When the student died, she got his sitar also. So she has two, and Ravi has three or four.

All of the above I've gleaned from different places on the Internet and mostly, from this forum.

Mullick plays tanpura on at least a couple of Ravi's CD's I have, "Improvisions" and "India's Master Musician/Recorded in London."


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Estiven
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 03:28 p.m.


sorry for going off topic,
but what does the "ji" at the end of names mean?
Or when would you use it?

thanks

Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 04:10 p.m.


I've mentioned this before, but on the front of Anoushka's "Live at Carnegie Hall" CD is a picture of her and the head of one of her Nodu Sitars. Nice....


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
AJ
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 04:02 p.m.


In "My Music, My Life", there's a small and rather fuzzy photo of a sitar that Ravi has labeled, "My own "Stradivarius" sitar, fashioned for me by N. C. Mullick."
Seems to be the one he has in all the photos of himself in this book.

"ji" seems to be an affectionate addendum for male names.

See ya round like a narka!
AJji

Prabhu
Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 07:04 p.m.



Robin (Oct 16, 2003 12:25 p.m.):
Prabhuji,
You are wrong. Ajay's father is disciple of Raviji, not him. He never ever learnt anything from him.

I respectfully disagree. Your definition of Guru is - how to say this without seeming combative? - narrow. In the Indian family, particularly a music family, the Guru of the father is always the guru of the sons. Trust me on this Bhai.
Jeff
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 16, 2003 08:32 p.m.


Wow! What a looker! Nice picture Billy. I'd like to pluck that!
Jeffrey R King
Beenkarji
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 04:24 p.m.


First of all I was under the impression that Nodu made only 7-9 sitars, I forgot the figure, but somebody had told me that once. There is a theremin player named Peter Pringle who claims to have a surbahar by him, but if you look closesly it is indeed a kanai lal because of the generally asthetics, and proportions. After all Nodu was so worried about perfecting sitar, I highly doubt he would messed around with the though of working on surbahar.
I think the terms Ustad, Pandit, and Sumita very from region to region, and culture to culture. For instance I refer to Ustad Asad Ali Khan as Ustad, and on occasion as Asadji when I am dealing in a discussion involving more than one Ustad. And the term Ji is just a respect marker, or form of endearment. So whoever in the above post called me "Beens" you were in fact calling me "rudra veenas" which makes no sense. Beenkar refers to anyone who is strictly devoted to bina as their primary instrument, it does not denote any technical skill whatsoever, it is just like sarodiya, sarangiya, sitariya, pakhawaji, or other like terms.
I really just wanna find out who the person in Switzerland is that supposedly has this other Mulick sitar, and also apparently has a SurSagar (essentially a bass sarangi with swarmandal attached), which there are only a few around still.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
The Bad Ustad
Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 02:34 p.m.


Dear Beens,
As you must know their are certain mantras used by Hindu musicians that are used maintain a connection to the Guru and God. One that would be most useful to you would be.
"God Grant Me The Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change, The Courage To Change The Things I Can, And The Wisdom To Know The Difference."
You have accumulated a vast store of knowlege from visiting websites. Knowlege is not wisdom. If you wish to establish yourself as a credible musician - you must wise up enough to know the difference between reality and fantasy or you will wind up just another lonely guy sitting at a computer with no date on Saturday night. There are some things that you simply cannot "research" from in your bedroom in Wisconsin. You may convince some gullible first-year sitar hobbiest that you at 18 yrs of age are actually shaping up the quality of the most respected artisans of India. But nobody over of consequence will ever be taken in by this grandiose nonsense. If you learn to use what you learn to help other musicians it will stand you well. If you focus all the time on delusional charades, you will never gain anyone's respect or admiration. The person you are is already quite interesting. The person you want everyone to think you are is a waste of your time and energy.

BTW - All / - Ustad always refers to Muslims and Pandit always refers to Hindus. As in your country, where attorneys of Jewish decent never have the signifier "Esquire" after their names on business cards.
Estiven
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 03:25 p.m.


Thanks guys, for clearing that up!!

Estiven
(PS: sorry I couldnt help you, with original question)

Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 03:47 p.m.



The Bad Ustad (Oct 17, 2003 02:34 p.m.):
BTW - All / - Ustad always refers to Muslims and Pandit always refers to Hindus. As in your country, where attorneys of Jewish decent never have the signifier "Esquire" after their names on business cards.

Just to clarify, I think long ago we had established who should be called Ustad and who should be called Pandit. The question was the use of "ji" after Pandit and Ustad, and I had wondered if it was poor form to use Ustadji. But after researching on the Internet, I saw that Ustadji was quite common.

There is a lot that can be learned from the Internet, if one knows how to research, and is able to filter out the wheat from the chaff. Don't sell the Internet short, it is a great tool. No, it won't replace a guru or personal teacher, but that's not the point.


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Stephen
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 04:06 p.m.


"ji" is tacked on the end of any title or name to denote familiarity in Hindi (and I would imagine other languages too, as I know it is used often by speakers of Bengali, Urdu and others). An example would be to a young woman (kumara)that you know well (Kumaraji). To a close friend (Raviji) or in speaking of a teacher that you are connected to (Ustadji). I don't really think it should be used when you are speaking about someone that you have e-mailed a few times as gives the impression that you are a friend of theirs. That person might not agree in your familiarity.
Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 17, 2003 08:48 p.m.



Beenkarji (Oct 17, 2003 04:24 p.m.):
There is a theremin player named Peter Pringle who claims to have a surbahar by him, but if you look closesly it is indeed a kanai lal because of the generally asthetics, and proportions. After all Nodu was so worried about perfecting sitar, I highly doubt he would messed around with the though of working on surbahar..

Well, I saw the site too the other day, and just went back for another look. Remember, he said the instrument was "customized" by Mullick, which could mean a lot of things.

I've heard Mullick made anywhere between five and thirty-six sitars. If I had a guess, he maybe "made" five, each one taking a couple of years to make. And he probably "customized" a bunch more. Hard to say. It would be interesting to find out his story.


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Beenkarji
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 18, 2003 12:01 a.m.


It seems after I email peter a few months ago and got no response he decided to change his webpage. Perhaps some of his theremins are also not what they are advertised as.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Matt
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 19, 2003 09:05 p.m.


[quote]Beenkarji (Oct 17, 2003 04:24 p.m.):
Beenkar refers to anyone who is strictly devoted to bina as their primary instrument, it does not denote any technical skill whatsoever, it is just like sarodiya, sarangiya, sitariya, pakhawaji, or other like terms.

In my opinion, I still think there needs to be some humility and humbleness involved. For example, I have played bass for 23 years. Some people say I sound good and tell me they like the way I play. Do I consider myself a "bass player"? Well, okay, but ask me that after I've just listened to Charlie Haden, Victor Wooten, or Chris Squire...

pb
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 19, 2003 11:39 p.m.


Hey Beenkarji,
regarding nomenclature, so, let's say you become a famous artist one day. How do we refer to you respectfully, beenkarjiji? beenkar(ji^2)? beenkarji(avec extra ji)

Ok, I am being a pest.

regards,
Pb

Jeff
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 12:34 a.m.



pb (Oct 19, 2003 11:39 p.m.):
Hey Beenkarji,
so, let's say you become a famous artist one day.

regards,
Pb


Hey PB,
Now who's living in fantasy land?


Jeffrey R King
Stephen
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 08:25 a.m.


Matt,
Dude, you forgot Jaco.
Speaking of Chris Squire. Years ago, I had an album of his that I adored, but haven't seen it on CD. I can't remember the title, can you help? Had something like a inside photo of stained glass and perhaps a song with a title like "Waterfall or Falling Down". Kick butt Lp, hope it's on CD.
Saw Victor with Bela about six weeks ago in the infield at Churchill Downs (Home of the Kentucky Derby). They had a kid with them as a back up bassist as Victor was days/hours away from becoming a father. This kid was also very dangerous with a bass. Fun to watch this show with a break every 25 minute to watch a horse race.
Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 10:28 a.m.



Stephen (Oct 20, 2003 08:25 a.m.):
Speaking of Chris Squire. Years ago, I had an album of his that I adored, but haven't seen it on CD. I can't remember the title, can you help? Had something like a inside photo of stained glass and perhaps a song with a title like "Waterfall or Falling Down".

Could you be thinking of "Silently Falling" from his "Fish out of Water" album? Check out Barnes & Noble at http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?sourceid=00401402268851277979&ean=075678150029&bfdate=10-20-2003+09:58:24

They have a German Import of this on CD.

By the way, my son has been playing bass for maybe nine months. I call him a bass player, and he calls himself a bass player, though he will admit he's a beginner. I don't understand what's wrong with someone learning an instrument, whether they've been playing for a few months or a few decades describing themselves as a player of that instrument. At this point, I wouldn't call myself a sitar player, perhaps more of a sitar enthusiast.

I do understand though that when using the Indian term, such as sitariya or beenkar, some people might misunderstand and think that means expert or master. But within our group, I think we probably have an idea who's an expert or not, and likely won't be thus confused.


Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
Matt
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 01:25 p.m.


Stephen - yeah, I know - Jaco was too obvious!

Squire's album is available as import only. I have a CD-R copy from a Japanese version - if you want it, send me an email (mkalles@inav.net) and I'll get a copy out to you.

Matt
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 01:27 p.m.


Good points, Billy - must just be my insecurities in my abilities!
Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 03:07 p.m.


BTW, if you want to talk great bassists, how about Stanley Clark?? I think he could call himself a "bass player."
Namaste',
Billy Godfrey
pb
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 04:05 p.m.


Well, according to that theory, Billy, I'm a sitar owner/sitar holder/sitar poser. There is always someone better who can humble you, so I am not too worried. "Sitar Poser" it is !

Actually, I tell people I'm learning sitar, I never say I am a sitar player. I've been called a player (or playa) but never a sitar playa.

Pb

Stephen
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 04:45 p.m.


Billy,
We were talking about the REALLY phenominal bassists, not just the greats. I guess we could really go into it and bring up Stanley Clarke, along with Charles Mingus, Dave Holland, Miroslav Vitous. Just kidding, all of these guys can wear out the lower registers, but I guess we all have personal preference going on to. I still prefer Jaco Pastorius, but there is a new wave of bassists that have emerged since his demise that keep gaining my attentions. Wooten is one that comes to mind, and that guy from the Jazz Mandolin Project, WOW!
Matt's hooking me up with Fish out of the Water, that was the one.
Lars
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 08:55 p.m.


Stephen, you forgot my uncle:
http://www.vinding.dk

Lars
Billy
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 20, 2003 10:36 p.m.


OK, I wasn't knocking Jaco or Squires, I just really enjoyed Clarke. I like diverse styles; so much so, I'm adding one last name to the list, then back to the topic: Larry Graham, as in Graham Central Station, Sly and Family Stone. Love that slap-bass funk!
Beenkarji
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 21, 2003 11:04 a.m.


I still say, I am a beenkar, considering the fact that I practice 3 hours everyday(unless I sleep in...hehe), and do everything humanly possible to promote the instrument, and devote myself to it, so much that I would risk everything and move to India.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Jaym
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 21, 2003 11:33 a.m.


LARS- Your Uncle is burnin' ! Nice clip of him trading off with the piano player.

I am also a bass player of 20 years...both electric and upright. Since I started studying Sitar, I haven't touched either, unless I have a gig. I am so into this instrument and ICM. By the way....it begins and ends with RAY BROWN!!!

Have a good day, all

K.K.
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 21, 2003 03:20 p.m.



Billy (Oct 20, 2003 10:36 p.m.):
OK, I wasn't knocking Jaco or Squires, I just really enjoyed Clarke. I like diverse styles; so much so, I'm adding one last name to the list, then back to the topic: Larry Graham, as in Graham Central Station, Sly and Family Stone. Love that slap-bass funk!

Billy, if you get to add Larry Grahm, then I get to add Rocco Prestia, as in Tower Of Power! Can't get any funkier than that!

Stephen
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 22, 2003 12:04 p.m.


Matt,
Dhrupad care package is on it's way.
Enjoy,
S
Johnnysitarwhatson
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 23, 2003 11:52 a.m.


Applause to remco: Hellborgs band were the greatest, sort of Shakti for real .... but bad news is that Shawn Lane passed away in September ....
Peace, Ingo
Remco
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 22, 2003 06:13 p.m.


To add a bassplayer that actually has a ICM connection: Jonas Hellborg.....stunning player (I saw them last year with Shawn Lane; probably the best guitarplayer I've ever seen) They did a carnatic set with a ghatam and mridangam player and a singer. GREAT stuff.

Peace,

Remco

Remco
Re:Nodu C. Mullick... Oct 23, 2003 06:57 p.m.


This is truly sad, SAD news....f&5k!!! For all the other members of this forum: I can really advise you to listen to the recordings of this great player. For me he'll always be the big guy that totally blew the audience away with sheer virtuosity and feeling.

I saw him for the first time in 2002. One thing that will always stay with me was, that during an improv he looped himself (livesampling): he played one of the most frightning, lightning fast riffs you ever heard, just rediculous. Anyway....he looped that riff, pressed a button on his looping device and the riff is played double speed and an octave higher.... and he DOUBLES the riff...twice as fast........the audience just burst out in laughter, it was THAT fast....

I think he studied with the mandolinplayer U. Srinivas the last couple of years. He possesed that same warbling vibrato.........

There are some (very lofi) samples at his recordcompany site:
http://bardorecords.com/idx.htm

This really shocks/saddens me...he was truly a unique musician.......

Peace,

Remco

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