An Evening of Sacred Indian Classical Music
People who attended have commented to me about this particular program. Here’s my point of view:
This concert was very intimate and held in a charming sacred space, the Zen Village in Coconut Grove, FL.
In all the years that I’ve known Amit, shared the stage, the studio and a friendship, I cannot remember that we have ever done a performance of Indian Classical Music together. That spans about 30 years of being colleagues and friends.
I have so enjoyed learning more about the subject from him over the years. In addition to being a master musician, he truly is a font of wisdom. This was a chance for me to have that intimate conversation as he and I unfolded the notes of the Raga and wove the tapestry of notes that day.
Jeff was holding the tala just right for us to explore and make the journey all together. I want to say, “You had to be there.” as explanation. That’s how it often goes in a concert where there is 90+ % improvisation.
The music seemed to move the audience. Amit gave some brief and useful explanations. We so enjoyed the experience of offering up our heartfelt music for all in the joyful dance of playing in this melodic duet.
A couple of my close friends came to listen which is always meaningful to me.
The following shows how the threads of life wove us together through music:
My former tabla player and the father of my children, Tim Richards showed up. It’s always nice when a musician in the audience understands the rhythmic intricacies and encourages the performing tablist. They are from the same gharana (family lineage) and our lives have been woven together over the decades.
Jeff’s mother Grace and father, entrepreneur & author Badru Deen, were there as was the mother of Jeff’s children, Padma. She is the daughter of the late great tablist Pandit Sharda Sahai.
During my studies in India I had met Padma when she was a young child. Her family home was opened up very wide to me, for which I’m very grateful. India is an exquisite place to visit but there is much more for me. I found a special community of musicians who supported me thoroughly.
Pandit Sahai connected me to the late sitarist Amarnath Misra, with whom I began learning Raga in 1979. Pandit Sahai connected me to my violin teacher Dr. N. Rajam at Banaras Hindu University. My Gayaki studies in a vocal/violin tradition began with her.
It was a special concert to know and feel the decades of connectedness to all these people in my life, now together for playing and listening. With the steady movement of the Tal and the expanding flow of the Ragas it was a joyful timelessness.