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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all.
I regret with great sadness the passing away of Dr Rajbhan Singh. I gather he was about 85.

Now, not many here will know the name of my teacher, Padmabhan Singh's father. Some will most definately know it, such as Mahadev whom, I believe, knew him personally.

He was Head of the Music Dept at the Banaras Hindu University, BHU, for many years. He was a top class sitarist & surbahar player in his prime but had physical hand problems that reduced his performing drastically in recent years.

Legend has it he taught 'all' the major sitarists of Varanasi at some time. He was 'one of the gang' with such personalities as Pt Ravi Shankar. He received many awards for his work too.

ALL musicians here knew him in some way. I had the good fortune to see him regularly on my visits to the house near Aloknanda Hospital, not far from Assi Ghat.

He always struck me as being a very gentle man, not very tall & absoluely NO airs & graces. He would sometimes pop into the room when anyone was playing or just to see what was happening. I would always greet him with a pranam at his feet.
I saw him still teaching only a week ago.

I haven't the full details of the hows & whys of his passing yet but will go to the house tomorrow & see what I can find out.

Another, not quite so well known as he should have been, has been taken away. His knowledge must have been immense.

Nick
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi again all

As promised I went to the Singh household today to pay my respects.
The venerable gent was 80 BTW.
It seems as though the shifting temperatures here from mid to low to high had some effect on him. It's been much colder than usual when it dropped. Obviously not as cold as the UK etc but at least overseas the temp stays reasonably constant. NOT so in north India.
He was feeling ill that very morning & the doctor came but found him in good health.
He passed away about 10 that night.
The cremation was in the afternoon the next day. Many were there but, due to the quickness of the funeral, many relatives & friends couldn't attend. I believe there's a kind of mourning period of so many days in which well-wishers can call & give their condolences. This'll give time to those that can't get here easily to pay their respects.

As we sat there talking, Padmabhan & I got talking about his father's legacy regarding pictures & recordings. As Rajbhan -ji played for AIR, All India Radio, they MUST have something we may be able to get hold of. WE getting it is something else though.

P also brought in 2 packets of pics & I went through them all & found some amazing shots of his father playing all over the place & with various tabla players of the day. I found about 10 of Pt Ravi Shankar that I'll bet the Pandit himself hasn't got. Several of a group inc Raj-ji with Ravi-ji standing near Assi Ghat at south varanasi, from many years since as well as a lovely shot, must be from the 60s or early 70s, of Ravi-ji with one of his magnificent sitars. Another of Ravi-ji watching Singh-ji playing, from sometime in the 80s, I would say.

As well as the 2 Pandits there's other shots of either NOW very old or passed away players & masters. I'll see what I can scan & be allowed to put on my GMAIL pages. I'm sure there''ll not be any problem with this.
Unique history which I'm sure most here will love to see.
I wouldn't mind one or two of those sitars too.

I think it would be great, as I AM here a while, to try to get this historical legend of Banarsi ICM down in a recorded fashion. I seem to be quite good at sniffing things out.
I believe there was a movie made in the late 70s which I'll try to track down.
Many pics with Ustad Shahid Parvez at HIS feet, he being Singh-ji.

Anyway, to conclude, as we were both in a much happier state of mind, P'S uncle, Raj-ji's brother, came & confirmed he has some pics of Raj-ji with Ustad Vilayat Khan as well as more with Pt Ravi-ji. Also possible recordings too.

I suggested we get together in a few days to play again as I'm sure his father will be looking down & saying 'why are you not practicing or playing'? 8)

Nick
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theprosperone

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Reply with quote  #3 
Sorry to hear of his passing, my condolences to his loved ones, friends and students.

Thanks for sharing the stories, look forward to any recordings or pictures. Thanks again Nick.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks P

I thought 'why grieve in the usual way? This is a golden opportunity to CELEBRATE a life lived to the full, even up to the end'.
I'm not direct family but I feel by doing this we can keep Pt Rajbhan's memory alive by viewing his life again.

It may surprise a lot of people just how much the 'background' players contribute to the success of more prominent 'stars' such as Pt Ravi Shankar.

Nick
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #5 
Nick
As stated elsewhere I have been offline for a couple weeks and am just checking in.
Please accept my deepest condolences and pass them on to the family.
With each passing we loose another precious resource and linc to the past. May God bless his soul and comfort his family.

Brian

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks
I'm off to the family house again tonight & will pass on your best wishes.

Nick
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Sanjeeb

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Reply with quote  #7 
I am indeed saddened to hear this.
I had learned sitar from him in the seventies and through him came to know a lot of people & about the music scene in Beneras and even stayed at his house for sometime but haven't been too much in touch with him except about three years ago.
Thanks for the information.
Please convey my condolences.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #8 
Sanjeeb
I certainly will & thanks.

Nick
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anandvyasorg

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Reply with quote  #9 
Brother ~ i am so sorry. You are right celebrate ~ but what a LOSS ~ a REAL LOSS. I thought of my Guru when hearing this story ~ he is 90 as well. Condolences ~ please practice Nick-Ji
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #10 
Anand Bhai
8)
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Timothy-of-Alaska

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hello Friends. I was a Student of Dr. Rajbhan Singh since 1993 and a friend of his special family. I have 2 video recordings of small performances I made of him in the years 2000 and 2002. I just recently got the high-8 videos converted to DVD format. For serious Sitar players who personally knew my dear Guruji, I can make these available. I also have many videos of him giving fairly beginning lessons to me that might be of some archivial interest to some, one or two of which are on one of the dvd conversations already done, though most others are not yet converted. Timothy Stathis e-mail: tstathis1@gmail.com
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #12 
Timothy
Hi from the UK.
I have 2 off-air recordings given to me by a student of his from his 'playing' days. Both are from All India Radio I think. Powerful player.

I also have 2 Dhrupad Mela recordings on video from 2007 & 2008 of him on surbahar but, as he explained in Hindi then, his hands are too far gone to do what he used to but he acquits himself admirably.

Anything we can collect together is going to go towards a special exhibition of Pt Rajbhan Singh's legacy next year on his death anniversary.
Any contributions would be most welcome & acknowledged at the exhibition. PM me if you like.

Nick
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #13 
Here's the link to Rajbhan-ji's Raga Kirwani recorded by All India Radio, I believe, sometime in the 70s or 80s. See what you think!!!

http://www.mediafire.com/?fq8dedho4o59zag

The Maru Bihag is...

http://www.mediafire.com/?524zg4grmvre8ed

Nick
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