Monday, May 11, 2009

collecting memories --A memorable concert by Pandita Shubhada Paradkar

Very recently:
Classical Music Lovers of Bangkok,
Under the Kind Patronage of Embassy of India, Bangkok
Presented Indian Classical Vocal Recital by
Pandita Shubhada Paradkar
A Renowned and Versatile Vocalist of the Gwalior and Agra Gharanas,
Accompanied by
Sameer Shivgar (disciple of Ramdas Palsule) On The Tabla
Satish Paradkar On The Harmonium

Hindustani classical music lovers in Bangkok have been fortunate to learn from Pandita since year 2004. She has visited Bangkok periodically to teach music at the Activity Center of the Indians Women's club. I think we are highly obliged to Dr. Shrinivasa Rao (We miss him, his tabla and his wife Mukti here in Bangkok) and his guru Pandit Suresh Talwalkar for encouraging musicians to come to Bangkok to teach and to Mrs. Santosh Azad to have taken the initiative to support Tara, Viji and Gayathri who were striving hard to change the music scene here in Bangkok. I believe that we Bangkokians do owe it to them and their constant endeavour to make Indian music happen here.

Shubhadaji has many students in Bangkok, Tara, Viji, Manjiri, Aruni, Chattarbir and Ravinder, to name a few! As they beagan learning, we could perceive great improvement in their singing. In fact, it would have been very hard for them to learn from such an eminent artist if they were living in India. On each of her visits, a concert is invariably arranged by her students and it is always a treat for the music lovers of Classical Indian Music.

Sometimes I and Khalid would talk about how she deserved a greater recognition than what she has received from the Indian Diaspora. It was surprising to us that she had never been on a concert tour in the US. I think it spoke of her innate modesty. She comes across as a very pleasant person with a sense of humor and has really no airs about her.

As the years passed Tara, Viji and Gayathri also developed skills apart from music and have mastered the art of organizing excellent concerts and the concert on 29 March 2009 was one of the best we have heard from Shubhadaji. The auditorium, the multimedia presentation and the compeering were all of a very high standard. It is also time to acknowledge Tinny's (Kittima Sethi) contribution in arranging publicity for the concert in Newspapers and Magazines and for arranging Shubhadaji's interview in one of them. She is a welcome and a useful addition to the group of Music lovers.

We can truly say that we had a memorable evening and it was also a tribute to the artist who richly deserved this recognition from us all.

Here is a report thanks to Gayathri, one of the organizers and the compeer:

(Photos courtsey: Kuhn Kong Mangkornkarn a lover of Indian classical music.)

"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

Those who attended the concert by Pandita Shubhada Paradkar would most definitely agree that the evening’s music embodied this quote. There was a divinity and warmth in the music that transcended all limitations of language or technical knowledge.

Accompanied by her husband, Shri Satish Paradkar on the harmonium and on the tabla by Sameer Shivgar, the trio kept the audience in a state of supreme serenity.

Shubhadaji began the Bada Khyal in Raag Miya Malhar, a late night, rainy season raag, with "Re Ata Dhum Dhar", Taal Tilwada (16 beat cycle) followed by Drut Teen Taal composition "Ali More Naina Barasat" and Tarana :"Udatana derena derena "(16 beat with a different weightage and tabla bols or language).

Shubhadaji sang her own composition that was inspired by her journies in Europe in the Chota Khyal, Raag Bhup in Rupak (7 beat cycle). "Ye Jaga Sara Sundar pyara” was rendered with the emotion she felt on the wonders of creation that she saw around her.

Raga Bhoopali is a very melodious raga and is sung at the first prahar of the night (7 pm – 10 pm). This raga is called Mohanam in South Indian Classical Music and consists of all shudha swaras or full notes. Thumri is a common style of light classical music. The text is romantic and devotional in nature, and usually revolves around a girl's love for Krishna. The language is a dialect of Hindi called Brij bhasha.

Shubhadaju’s rendition of “Ab Na Bajao Shyam” in Raag Mishra Khamaj set to Taal Deepchandi (14 beat cycle) was an absolute treat.Tappa is a light classical style of music from the Punjab. “Bol Suna Janee”, sung in this style, was in the Raag Kafi set to taal Pashto (7 beat cycle).

Shubhadaji added a dimension of mystery to the composition with her style of enunciation and voice modulation. Dadra is a light classical style that is very similar to thumri. Although it resembles thumri it is much looser and allows more freedom for the artist. “Chodo Chodo Dagariya O Shyam” in Raag Mishra Pahadi set to taal Dadra (6 beat cycle) and “Nahi Aaye Ghar Ghanshyam Re” in Raag Piloo set to taal Keherva (8 beat cycle), both in the dadra style demonstrated the artists’ expertise in manoevering through the complicated combinations that left the audience breathless!

Raag Bhairavi has traditionally been performed in the early morning hours. However, due to the fact that performances lasted all night, it has now become common to consider Bhairavi to be the finale. Today this rag is performed at any time provided it is the concluding piece. The devotional composition in raag Bhairavi, Jhap taal (10 beat cycle), "Dayani Bhavani” was Shubhadaji’s finale and had the audience hoping that the evening wouldn’t end.

The Tabla and the Harmonium are integral components of Hindustani classical music and Satishji and Sameer added the degree of accompaniment that enhanced the vocal recital. Chattarbir Kaur and Tara Srinidhi accompanied her on the tanpura. Considering that there is so much spontaneity and creativity in Indian classical music, it requires a depth of knowledge and immense energy in each of the artists to create the fusion, the harmony, and set the tempo and ambience. We thank our artists for providing this indelible experience."

*The organisers and the Artists with the Ambassador of India, H.E. Latha Reddy, Mr. Azad and Nidhi.
This time with Mrs. Azad and Mukund, we missed Khalid!

Here is a brief note on the artists:

Inspired by Shubhadaji’s guru, Guru GajananRao Bua Joshi, to become the eminent artist he is,
Shri Satish Paradkar has accompanied artists of great repute such as Pandita Shubhada Paradkar, Pandita Padma Talwalkar, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Arun Kashalkar and Devaki Pandit.

Pandita Shubhada Paradkar is one of the leading exponents of the Gwalior gharana and is one of the few Hindustani vocalists to have trained under the Kirana, Agra and Jaipur gharanas as well. Combined with an absolute control over the stringent requirements of this classical art form, her melodious voice adds a dimension of spirituality to the compositions

Sameer Shivgar started learning tabla in Pune under the able guidance of Pandit Suresh Talwalkar and Pandit Ramdas Palsule. He has accompanied many distinguished artists like Girija Devi, Shobha Gurtu, Sanjay Abhayankar, Aarti Anklikar, Jagjit Singh and Talat Azi.

Here a few more pictures capturing the many moods of Shubhadaji.

1 comment:

  1. I love her singing.On Sunday(25/11/2018) heard her live after 16-17 years once again in baroda!!!