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Chhandayan All Night brings Tranquility, Bliss & Purity to both the artists and the listeners

Submitted by on May 15, 2012 – 1:46 pm4 Comments

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Continuing the tradition of All Night Concerts Samir Chatterjee with Chhandayan hosted another magical night with their 13th all night concert. It had a string of local and India based talents with a mix of both young artists and veterans.

Those who have been following my blogs, know by now that I am not into in depth concert reviews. I leave that to the experts and critics. To me its all about the experience, the atmosphere and my interest is in encouraging this art to a wider audience.

I enjoy it most when veterans bring out their depths and younger artists show their immense talent and focus on innovation. I love it when artists differentiate themselves in some way, so they don’t fall into a canned box. So to me it’s all about the experience, the feeling, the ability to get elated.

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That’s what happened to me and many of us during last Saturday’s, all night concert at the beautiful auditorium of the Society for Ethical Culture at New York. Most of the artists gave a scintillating performance. The crowd was that of an appreciative type and seemed to swell in energy as the night played out.

CD’s made brisk sales, the corridors were packed with social networking and the food hall was bustling with activity.

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To me the highlights were really three. 1st the duo between Pt. Ronu Majumdar on Flute and Samir ji on tabla was simply ecstatic. It was like they were in Dual Harmony, and these days you find this hard to see in concerts. The Raag Jhinjhoti, the duo crafted, was beautiful and filled the atmosphere with positive exuberance, which is exactly what this raag if played properly should bring. I personally felt Samir ji was at his elements when he accompanied Pt. Ronu.

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The 2nd was quite a pleasant surprise; it was this Sanhita Nandi, as she began an unhurried rendering of Raag Megh. It was simply beautiful, her resonating voice, with a touch of huskiness, (quite differentiated from most singers) brought out the beauty of this Raag, so blissfully elaborated and interspersed with some extremely nice taans. It sure is a proud movement for all of us in the US to see that we are housing more and more talented singers. Thanks again to institutions like Chhandayan and IAPA
‘s Sangeet Prabhat
, these treasures are being discovered and brought out into the open.

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The 3rd highlight was Ajoy Chakrabarty as he gave a very soulful and melodious rendering of Raag Gunkali. The sweetness he brought out simply swayed the audience, it was really bringing out the feeling of sadness that this wonderful night was going to end soon. He brought out the emotiveness of this raag in a very touching manner. Simply said it was a fitting finale to one of my most looked forward nights every year.

I would not do justice if I don’t mention some of the other brilliant artists who livened up the night. I enjoyed every minute of Samarth Nagarkar’s Vocal recital. He sang Raag Bhupali with ease and splendor and I loved his Tarana very much. It’s heartening again to know that he is associated with the Chhandayan faculty, so we will all have the privilege to hear more of him for sure.

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Then how can one miss out the little master Tejas Tope on Tabla who accompanied Samarnath. This 14 year youngster, took to stage what people at that age can only dream, and he played the tabla with ease.

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Like Samir ji who later said, that it is no easy feat for a kid to take on main stage and perform with confidence at such an young age. I fully agree with him, in fact it is a combination of 3 essentials that make these wonders happen – the right guru, the perseverance of the student and last but the most important the commitment and encouragement of his parents. When I spoke to his mom after the concert, who was filled with emotions, gave all the credit to Samir ji for making this even possible.

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Due to heavy traffic, I missed the majority of the 1st concert, which was a jugalbandhi between Partha Bose on sitar from Kolkata and Partho Sarothy on Sarod. But the short glimpse I heard and seeing the audience reactions, they seemed to have started the night in a fitting manner. When I spoke to Partha later, he indicated that this was the last concert of his US tour and he was leaving back for India in the morning. When I asked him to comment on his experience here, all he could say was ‘ I am lucky to be a part of this beautiful gathering’ and went on to say that ‘the people here make him feel so much at home’.

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The veteran Rajeev Taranath showed glimpses of his expertise as he played Sarod to Raag Chandranandan. Indicating that the Raag was highly emotional for him and he is playing this for the 1st time in 3 years, since his guru and great maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan passed away.

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One thing the organizers need to set right is the food serving. They just had one counter to cater dinner for the entire lot of 200+, and it was totally chaotic and very badly managed. The token system introduced was very slow and in fact I walked out giving up, as I did not want to miss out on the performance. Needless to say the scene was chaotic. The caterers could easily have had additional counters to better manage the rush. Unfortunately, the caterers did a very poor job, showed lack of experience in catering to large gatherings and tact.

Other then that, every comment from both, artists and listeners, were all clearly showing that this is an experience that should never to be missed. Pt. Ronu was so right when he commented “ I got here just a few hours ago after many issues from flight cancellations, strikes and more, but when I see all of you here, I am so fresh and only filled with emotions – not even a bit tired”. My friend Pedada Rao, who attending the all night for the 6th time commented that “the standard and quality of artists just seem to be getting more and more better every year”, Another in the audience said it all “ this is simply divine”

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So for those who missed this, all I can say is you missed more than just a night and a few concerts … you missed tranquility, bliss and purity in the form of music.

ps. A special thanks to Samir Ji for giving me permission to take a few pictures, without which this article would never feel the same.

4 Comments »

  • From Chhandayan I express my sincere gratitude for such beautiful and detailed account of the night.

    Music is like an ocean and every performance is like a wave. When it comes to you with its beauty and magnitude, you think this is the best and would like to embrace it. Then the next one comes.

    At several moments on this night Music became more important than musicians. This is indeed very rarely experienced. There are several factors that stand on its way. But, this night was a proof that there is still willingness and capability to get it back.

    With some of the contemporary giants of Indian music openly appreciating and embracing one other was a pure example of fraternity that exists within the musicians’ extended family and can freely express itself in the right atmosphere.

    From Chhandayan it is an offering to the tradition and we feel so gratified being able to share it with you all. We sincere thank every bit of help and support that we receive from the community towards our mission.

    Regards
    Samir Chatterjee

  • Samarth says:

    Dear Dileep ji,

    Thank you for the wonderful blog and article. It was so refreshing to read a good review from a true rasika. The all-night concert is indeed a special experience for musicians and listeners alike. Thank you once again particularly for your kind words about my performance.

    ps: My name is spelt incorrectly in the article. It says samarnath instead of samarth. I’d appreciate it very much if you could please make this correction.

    Thank you,

    Samarth

  • Dileep says:

    So well said Samir Ji.
    I just pray that this tradition lives on and grows with every year.
    Dileep

  • Dileep says:

    Samarth,

    Thankyou for reading and appreciating my blog. I profusely apologize for the spelling oversight I have made the correction in the blog.
    I truly enjoyed your concert and loked forward to hearing many more.

    dileep

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