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ITC SRA News - March 2007 - February 2008

ITC Sangeet Research Academy celebrates the advent of spring

The Wednesday recital on February 13, 2008, was a celebration of the advent of spring. Traditionally, Basant Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, and art. It is generally held on the fifth day of the Bengali month of Magh. During this festival, people usually wear yellow garments and worship the goddess. This year, the festival was on Monday February 11, 2008. At the Academy the occasion was celebrated the following Wednesday with a performance by ITC-SRA Guru Padmabhushan Vidushi Girija Devi. In keeping with the custom, yellow sweets were given to all the members of the audience as they came into the auditorium.
The evening began with a Saraswati shloka, followed by khayals and a tappa in Raga Purvi. This was followed by a Hori in Raga Desh, a thumri, a bandish in Raga Bahar and a dadra. She concluded with a Bhairavi thumri. She was accompanied by Shri Sandip Roy Chowdhury on the tabla and Shri Jyoti Goho on the harmonium. Two of her students provided vocal support.

Lec-Dems at the Academy

The week starting February 18, 2008, proved to be a week of great activity at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy.
Prof Clarence Barlow who holds the Corwin Endowed Chair of Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara gave a lecture-demonstration on Tuesday 19, 2008. A renowned Western music composer, he was born in Kolkata and spent several years of his childhood and youth learning and later teaching at the Calcutta School of Music. Developing an interest in Hindustani music, he composed seven pieces - mainly rondos and fugues, using Raga music. These were presented and discussed with the scholars of the Academy.
On Friday 22, 2008, Prof Arun Chanda of The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, presented a lecture-demonstration on his contemporary compositions. Trained in the Western classical tradition, he is a composer of contemporary music and holds the view that today’s standards of music and non-music are not sacrosanct. What is not considered musical today may well become music in the future. The scholars of the Academy had an interesting afternoon of music listening followed by discussions.
Both the visitors were delegates at the International Symposium ‘Frontiers of Research on Speech and Music’ (FRSM 2008), organised by the Scientific Research Dept., ITC Sangeet Research Academy in collaboration with CDAC, Kolkata, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata and Sir C V Raman Centre for Physics and Music, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Wednesday Recitals in January, 2008

In the second Wednesday in January, Steve Gorn presented a flute recital. A disciple of the late bansuri master Shri Gour Goswami of Kolkata, he has also studied with the late Ustad Z. M. Dagar and continues his studies of the bansuri with Pandit Raghunath Seth of Mumbai, whom he often accompanies in concert. He is a member of the Darbari Ensemble which features Pandit Ramesh Mishra, Ms. Allyn Miner and Pandit Samir Chatterjee. He began his recital with alp, jod, gat and jhala in Raga Marwa, followed by gat in Madhukauns, concluding with a thumri. He was ably accompanied by Shri Gopal Mishra.

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