Hi All: In another thread I was asked by Jaym how the Shahid Parvez workshop was so I figured I'd share it with the group.
It started with a house concert on Sunday night in this incredible mansion in Palos Verdes. There were quite a few people there, maybe 35-40, which is quite a lot for a house concert. Then the workshop was on Tues, Wed, & Thurs. The first night, there were around 10 participants. Shahid had everyone play a little something to give him an idea of where everyone was at musically. Of course everyone felt like their fingers were frozen. Shahid taught everyone the first few lines of what would be the three-day lesson, Raga Hansdhwani. He was very patient. The second night there were only 4 of us left: the sponsor of the workshop, his son, my good friend Mark P. (Hi Mark) and yours truly. I think everyone else got freaked out from the nervousness of the first night. Of course, this turned out great for the four of us, but it�s a shame because the rest of the workshop was very relaxed. What was worth the price of the whole workshop (actually it was worth 10 times the price) was that the second night, after the lesson (a few more lines of Hansdhwani) Shahid demonstrated the raga accompanied by his tabla player, Janab Akram Khan. It was like a mini-concert in the living room of the sponsor�s house. What was really cool was that Shahid was very casual and loose, and played things that he normally wouldn�t attempt in a more formal concert situation. All I can say is I�ve NEVER heard anything like it. He was doing things with time (polyrhythmically) that convinced me that he has an extra brain hidden somewhere. He would do these impossible runs and then pause for a few seconds, during which time you could see in his eyes that he was calculating his next �outburst.� He would be staring into space and then, with this look of �oh wow, what if I try�� BAM he�d launch into another flurry. The third night was even more relaxed. Before the group lesson, we were able to witness Shahid give one-on-one lessons to a couple of his top students. The second of which was Anwar Khurshid. Anwar runs the Sitar School of Toronto (www.sitarschool.com) in Ustadji�s absence, and is responsible for Shahid�s visits to the states. It was very interesting to watch the interaction between guru and shishya. Very few words were spoken, the communication seemed almost telepathic. After the group lesson (another few lines of Hansdhwani) we were again treated to a mini concert. This time it was a sitar duet feat. Anwar. They played a request, raga Desh, from the workshop�s sponsor/host. Again, it was just awesome listening to Ustad�s mastery in such an intimate setting. To sum it up, if you get the opportunity to attend one of Ustad�s workshops, don�t let it pass you by. Just to sit in the same room with one of the greatest musicians in the world, while he�s creating some of the most heavenly music you�ll ever hear, is a dream come true.
pb: Shahid tailored the workshop so that no one got left behind. He is very patient. I consider myself to be a beginner and although I was at times struggling to keep up, I never felt lost. If you are close to Toronto, I'd check out the school. Anwar is an incredible sitar player in his own right. I was blown away at how he was able to keep up with Ustad during their lesson.
Hi KK, that is good to know. I would love to check out that class. I'll keep my eyes open for it. I wonder how it would all work with a RS sitar
K.K. (Feb 27, 2004 04:48 p.m.): pb: Shahid tailored the workshop so that no one got left behind. He is very patient. I consider myself to be a beginner and although I was at times struggling to keep up, I never felt lost. If you are close to Toronto, I'd check out the school. Anwar is an incredible sitar player in his own right. I was blown away at how he was able to keep up with Ustad during their lesson.
pb: I used my MPS at the workshop, although I did take off the top tumba. Shahid personally tuned everyone's sitars (to the key of D) and when he finished tuning the Mangla, he spent some time playing it while he talked with his tabla player. I couldn't tell what they were talking about because they were speaking Hindi, but it seemed like Shahid was demonstrating the use of the low Sa string. He sure made it crowl and moan! When he handed the sitar back to me, he smiled and nodded, so I'm assuming the R.S. tuning is no issue. The only issue that came up over the course of the workshop was on the first night. One participant was using his ring finger to fret with, where you would normally use your middle finger, and Shahid asked him why he was using that finger. The student's answer was something like, "for a better reach across the frets." Parvez replied, "but your middle finger is longer...you'll have to break that habit!"