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Hypnotic Santoor - EP

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Album Review

An unusual repertoire item, "Raga Gorakh Kalyan," opens this album and, acting as an acknowledgment of Shivkumar Sharma's cultural and folk roots, the album closes with "Dogri Folklore." (Dogri is his first language.) It is a semiclassical piece set in a folk "Raga Mishra Pahadi" to a six-beat metrical cycle. Shafaat Ahmed Khan accompanies on tabla.

Customer Reviews

Santoor really hypnotizes you in this album

Gorakh Kalyan is one of the most melodious and romantic ragas and it is simply magical on the santoor. Shivkumar Sharma is at his usual best and Shafaat Ahmed Khan's tabla sounds very good. The lilting "Dogri Folk Tune" is another signature track of the maestro. If you love melodious music, definitely check this out.

A brilliant, magical compilation

Shivkumar Sharma shows his sublime, mesmerizing ability on santoor. Whether stargazing the night sky through a telescope on your back porch, putting a small one down to sleep to some low volume music, or just your own silent meditation, the master does not let down! I am not a "new-ager", but one needs not to be to appreciate the technical mastery Shivkumar Sharma displays!

Original inlay notes

Raga Gorakh Kalyan is an uncommon but beautiful Raga. Only six notes are used. The third and fifth notes are omitted, the seventh note is flat, and the rest of the notes are major. Some musicians occasionally use the fifth note also but in this version the fifth note is not used at all. That gives this Raga a distinct character of its own. The basic mood of this Raga is romantic. Details of playing: Alap, Jod and Jhala in part one is followed in part two by two compositions in Jhap Taal, a ten beat rhythmic cycle, and in Teen Taal, a sixteen beat rhythmic cycle. (However, this EP omits the Alap in the first track and the Jhap Taal Gat in the second track.) The concluding piece is based on a Dogri folklore from Jammu, Kashmir which is in Raga Mishra Pahadi and in Taal Dadra, a six beat rhythmic cycle. Shivkumar Sharma Born in Jammu, Shivkumar Sharma was brought up in an atmosphere rich in compositions and rhythm. His father, Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, was an exponent of the Benares tradition of vocal music and a famous percussionist. He first initiated Shivkumar Sharma into vocal music and percussion instruments, and later coaxed him to take to Santoor. Shivkumar started to study and exploit Santoor's possibilities after he had overcome his initial lack of interest for this instrument. At the beginning of his career as Santoor player, Shivkumar fought an intense and lonely battle against the rigid and orthodox world of classical Indian music which declared that Santoor was totally unsuited to the demands of it. It ended in his rising to the position of a musician commanding respect in the most scholarly circles for the depth of his musicianship. In his approach to music Shivkumar takes no liberties with the Ragas and follows the correct traditional Dhrupad style of Alaap, Jod, and Jhala. He maintains a perfect balance between Sur (melody) and Laya (rhythm). Shivkumar is one of the few Indian musicians to enjoy a global reputation. Shafaat Ahmed Khan is one of the most brilliant and popular young Tabla players of India. He belongs to Delhi School of Tabla Playing and had his training under his father Ustad Chhamma Khan. He is a versatile Tabla player, equally at ease while playing solo, or accompanying an instrumentalist, a vocalist, or a dancer. He has accompanied almost all the leading musicians of India. He plays regularly with Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and has made many albums. (Sadly, Shafaat passed away in July 2005). -Nikhil Chatterjee


Born: January, 1938 in Jammu, Kashmir

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Shivkumar Sharma is one of the truly great visionaries in the Hindustani classical music firmament. His popularity has created a knotty problem for his admirers. Popularity has led to a demand for recordings by him, to a degree that having a Shivkumar Sharma album acts like a kind of validation for a label. Consequently the market is flooded with his recordings. His playing is consummate, therefore he is unlikely to produce a piece of work that is below par, which makes selecting a shortlist even...
Full Bio

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