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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #16 
Yes, I am indeed talking about Ananda Ashram, my teacher being Acharya Roop Verma. Please try to make it this year! (as well as any of the number of excellent concerts they have year-round!) It's a very special place.

-Tomek
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Lukecash12

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Reply with quote  #17 
In my opinion, neither is inherently better than the other. It's simply a matter of different acoustics. This seems more subject to personal taste than it is subject to evidence and facts.
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #18 
It also just depends on the venue.
Some indoor venues are beautiful and comfortable, and sound great.
Some aren't and don't.
Some outdoor venues are awesome, but some suck.

I personally feel that this music sounds best is a small to medium size room.
It is personal and you hear and feel the sound coming from the actual instrument, not just from the sound system.
I saw Shahid Parvez at a small house concert with about 50 people there.
It was intimate and awesome. I sat about 8 feet from his tabli and could feel the sound from the instrument.

Unfortunately, touring artists earn their income from live performance.
CD sales dont usually earn an adequate income for anyone. (Even big Pop acts)
It is hard for an artist to choose a small room when they are able to fill a large theater or hall.
When you can sell ten times the tickets, you make ten times the money.
Without the royal patronage of the old days, the artists have to maximize the income from each event.
Raviji can fill huge concert halls. It would be hard for him to go for a small room.
He is responsible for the livelihood of a lot of people, and funds a lot of great organizations that promote ICM.

I would be happy to have access to more great concerts regardless of the venue.
Even a bad venue is better than none.
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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
Raviji can fill huge concert halls. It would be hard for him to go for a small room.
He is responsible for the livelihood of a lot of people, and funds a lot of great organizations that promote ICM.
That didn't use to be the case, even if it is now. When I was in London years ago I remember Ravi Shankar (who at that time could fill the Albert Hall - and did) playing small venues. I recall particularly memorable occasions with small audiences - a church hall with a late night mehfil-type audience/setting, a morning concert at the Barbican in a small room with a small audience, later in Devon at Dartington College.

I thoroughly agree with everyone saying these small chamber settings are the best way....

But as has also been said, these days I am grateful for any opportunity, I just happen to be lucky at the moment spending a concert-filled trip to India, otherwise I could go years without a single concert.

A true artist will take the time to play small audiences as well as the money-earners, I think.

I was fortunate enough the other day to speak with Bahauddin Dagar, before and after his performance at DLMC. He told me his concert in November in London was the day the big snow came. Only 20 people turned up when he was due to play. The organisrers wanted to cancel, but he said no, I want to play, for the people who had taken the trouble to arrive. A gentleman, as well as a brilliant artist.
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Bill

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Mulamoodan"
And you guys blamed us when we told them to stay in the kitchen.
At numerous mehfils I've attended the women were in fact allotted to the kitchen, cooking; presumably for the men.
I will say that mehfil performances do seem more congenial if for no other reason than there is no alternative with everyone sitting so close together.
...A straightforward question for Jaan, or anyone else: is it still customary in some regions for men and women to sit separately at performances?
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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Bill"
...A straightforward question for Jaan, or anyone else: is it still customary in some regions for men and women to sit separately at performances?
I can't answer for Oz, but can relate that this is still in practice in India in some parts. I went last week to a wednesday recital at ITCSRA, and the ladies sat on the left and the gents on the right.

Unfortunately the efforts of the young lady who was trying to enforce this went astray somewhat. the performer was Ulhas Kashalkar and the room (which could seat on the floor maybe 150 comfortably, had to accommodate a great number more than that. The gents were encouraged to move their rows forward (the shuffling reminded me of yogic flying) but after many attempts at this the organisers gave in and the later-coming gents were accommodated in the ladies' section towards the rear. I saw no untoward behaviour resulting from this, you'll be relieved to know.
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Bill

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Reply with quote  #22 
Thanks ragamala, I'm quite relieved.

p.s. a 'restless' child (Ustad Rashid Khan) at ITCSRA:

http://www.itcsra.org/images2/wednesday/1.jpg
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talasiga

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
......
Feel free to express any ideas, any of your own experiences etc.
Yes, a good way to magic one's raga playing is to play or sing it in a natural landscape situation, alone, at the appropriate time of day.

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jaan e kharabat

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Reply with quote  #24 
I found the following lengthy article on the RMIC archives. Though not directly related to the Indoor-Outdoor dichotomy it nevertheless opines on related issues of Rasa, Samay and theory vs practice in general. A personal view it is but I happen to agree with most of Arthur Levine's ideas here:



For just about as long as I've been aware of the "rasa" theory,
I've thought of it as being ten parts "inspiration", and one part
"information". There are sufficient internal contradictions in the
system to explode any attempt to arrive at a systematic overview.
One is left, finally, with a huge corpus of individual emotional
responses which, in turn, feed into the miraculously syncretic
sensibility that forms the backdrop of the Indian musical practice.
Or, to be less verbose (not my strength), there is "something for
everyone".

There is probably something universal, one of those Jungian
"archetype" things, in the need to address, through music, the
affective side of human experience. Like the Indian musicians of
the present, the ancient Greeks had a system of modes or
"harmoniai" and each mode was believed to possess or generate a
particular affect, or emotion, or -- as they called it -- "ethos".
(Michaelides, Solon. *The Music of Ancient Greece - An
Encyclopedia*. London: Faber & Faber, 1978. See the terms
"harmonia" & "ethos".) The Greek system used only seven modes, just
a few less than the number of ragas!

Greek name Thaat Melakarta
-----

Phrygian Kafi Kharaharapriya

- "ethos": "manly and majestic", "somber and impetuous",
"distinguished and dignified", "steadfast and masculine"
-----

Dorian Bhairavi Hanumatodi

- "ethos": "inspired, enthusiastic, also violently exciting and
emotional"
-----

Lydian Bilaval Sankarabharanam

- "ethos": "mild and agreeable"
-----

Mixolydian none: none:
S r g m M d n S> R1 G2 M1 M2 D1 N2

- "ethos": "passionate"; "plaintve and restrained"; "lamenting"
-----

Aeolian Asavari Natabhairavi

- "ethos": "haughty, pompous, somewhat conceited"; "deep-toned";
"majestic and steady"
------

Ionian Khamaj Harikhamboji
(Hypophrygian)

- "ethos": "hard and austere"; "elegant"

-----
Hypolydian Kalyan Mechakalyani

- "ethos": "bacchic, voluptuous, intoxicating"
-----

Despite problems in transmission, this theory of "ethos" and "mode"
was carried over into the European middle ages, where a system of
eight modes was used to organize the vast repertory of Gregorian
chant. And music theorists were still using these ideas in the
sixteenth century, at around the time when the modal system was
expanded from eight to twelve. (Palisca, Claude. *Humanism in
Italian Renaissance Musical Thought*. New Haven: Yale U.P., 1985,
p.345.)

In the course of the seventeenth century, the modal system was
largely supplanted by what has come to be known as the system of
major and minor keys. In comparison with Indian music, the European
scalar/melodic repertory had never been a particularly rich one;
now, with the promotion of two scales, major and minor, to a
predominant position, the melodic resource of Europe was depleted
still further. European musicians had to rely increasingly on the
power of harmony, key changes, and polyphony, to give their music
dramatic and emotional power.

It is probably one of the minor miracles of European music history
that the theory of "affect" or "ethos" managed to survive this
trauma. In fact, it survived in two ways. One of these was as the
"doctrine of affections", the belief that each piece should possess
a "unity of affection", and thus address itself to a single
emotion.

The other adjustment was that the various emotional responses began
to be attributed to the different KEYS, no longer modes. Thus the
key of A minor was felt to have such-and-such an affect, the key of
D minor something else, and so on. And here we have more indication
that musicians, as a general class of human being, never gave a
good you-know-what about the scientific side of music when it stood
in the way of their feelings. Basically, all major keys sound more
alike than they sound different, as do the minors. So to base a
perception of affect on the "absolute pitch" of the tonic was
pretty Martian. But that's what they did. (Imagine going to your
lesson and having the guru tell you, say, that the "rasa" of
Bhairavi only comes out if the tampura is tuned to "black 4", that
of Todi only on "black 2", etc.) And even some of the 18th-c.
European characters who drew up the fancy charts for which key had
which "rasa" conveniently managed to forget most of what they said
when it came time to write music. (Steblin, Rita. *A History of Key
Characteristics in the 18th & early 19th Centuries*. Ann Arbor: UMI
Research Press, 1983.)

This "affect" theory more or less disintegrated in the 18th
century (Mozart, Haydn, and friends), perhaps under the influence
of a less mechanistic model of human psychology, perhaps because of
the drive to evolve a musical style capable of a much higher degree
of drama and contrast. But at no point in its history can it be
shown to have exerted a simple and articulate influence on the
nature of the music being composed in one or another key or mode.

Even this sketchy overview of the Western experience sheds what I
think is an interesting light on the Indian side of things. As far
as I know the "rasa" theory developed in the context of dramaturgy
and literary criticism, or whatever, and was only later (when?)
carried over into music.

The theoretical systems of Indian music attempt to organize the
totality of musical knowledge into various categories, topics, and
so on. What this means is that the theory has its own needs, namely
that the intellectual system be self-contained and perfect in
itself. Aristotle was into it, and so were -- and are -- all the
Shastra wallahs. When the reality of music as a practical
discipline comes up, however, all sorts of problems start rearing
their ugly heads. Essentially, theory offers practice much more
than it can ever use -- classifications of vadi / samvadi which are
often of little practical utility; performance time theory which is
constantly being disregarded; an affective designation for each rag
without regard for other crucial musical factors such as tempo, a
system of a million or so talas, of which ten are in use, and so
on. Actually, my favourite is the Carnatic raga system, which
theoretically posits some 78,000 or so ragas. Of these, less than
0.5% are in actual use. It's a bit like lighting a beedie with a
blowtorch! Beautiful.

And so we turn, in our faltering but obsessive way, to the reality
of music-as-sound. If we start to look at "rasa" from an intuitive
and psychological point of view, it seems fairly obvious that tempo
is a fundamental consideration for dividing introspective and
meditative sentiments from extroverted and dynamic ones.

Another factor stems from the acoustical background provided by the
drone. Because of the overtone series, the most "inside" notes are,
in order, Sa Pa shuddh Ga (G3) and komal Ni (N2). (After that,
things get a bit tricky, but I figure the most acoustically
"grounded" scale is Khamaj / Harikambhoji.) Particularly with
regard to Sa and Pa, tension is generated by the use of
neighbouring notes, the closer the more tense. Thus, according to
this thinking, a rag like Gujri Todi, with N< r g M d N (R1 G2 M2
D1 N3) is very tense. But what the tension is "about" is anybody's
guess. The psycho-acoustical phenomenon is there, but I don't think
it can be described as inducing any particular affect, beyond the
need for some sort of completion or resolution.

Actually, I'd like to test this out. If a rag like Gujri Todi or
Shekhara Chandrika (see Raganidhi, vol.2, p.101) has so much
tension, then a rag with more of the "inside" notes would lend
itself to the creation of "shanta", wouldn't it? In one of my
weirder theory books (Ram Avtar 'Vir', *Theory of Indian Music*,
New Delhi: Pankaj, 1980, p.119), it says that "Shanta" (peace,
tranquility) is the ninth sentiment, and that it was added later
"because it is the absence of real feeling. It has not been
recognized by Bharata, the author of Natyashastra, as a feeling
giving rise to a sentiment." Could it be that "shanta", from a
purely musical side, is kinda boring? Great for world politics and
all that, but not strong music?

So my question to the net-people is: what are some ragas which, to
you, embody "shanta"? On the basis of my "inside-outside" theory,
a rag like Tilang (S G m P n P m G) is pretty much ideal. Raganidhi
informs me that Tilang has been adopted, under the same name, by
Southern musicians, and that (I already knew this), it is used for
lighter music (read: "not emotionally tense"?). And here's a bit of
Indian music trivia for you: which rag does Air India start piping
through the sound system as their planes begin the final descent?
What would YOU use, just to keep people calm? Check it out!

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #25 
Raga Groundhitteesoon?!?!?!??!

Nick
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Greg

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Reply with quote  #26 
I love playing outside...the sound seems to "go" rather than bouncing around your internal walls.... 8)

G

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tablatime

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Reply with quote  #27 
i think there is a great difference between performing outside and listening to a recording or an indoor concert heard from the outside. it is very disorienting to perform outside, when you cannot hear your instrument's tuning or it keeps changing from the weather. to have your tabla sound flat as the breezes take your sounds away from you, to not be able to retune your sarode because of ambient noise or changing weather, like a thunderstorm arising. sometimes you cannot hear the person next to you although the music is going out over a microphone and can be heard nicely 100 feet away. some rooms are problematic also. we once played at the fairmont hotel in san francisco and during the performance 100 waiters picked up 1000 plates. the monitor was across the stage and all we could do was concentrate on what we were doing since we couldn't really hear eachother....and a huge room with bright lights on stage and a dark audience is disorienting too. it's nice to have the feedback from your audience.just give us a decent room and the music shines. our practice/performance room has a large (3meter) dome over it and has the best acoustics yet.....although i will say that there is something magical about singing a raga in nature.
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arjaycob

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
I like outdoor concerts.
I get claustrophobic in small packed rooms.
Outside you can breath and there is no roof overhead.
Having said that, outdoor concerts can have terrible sound as it is hard to keep the sound from dissipating without walls and ceiling.

Interestingly, I would think originally a great deal of this music was outside because of the designs of the royal Palaces.
Akbar's palace had great outdoor spaces and halls that open up to the outside.
I bet that a great deal of time was spent outside.
http://picasaweb.google.com/christian.minnens/India#5128313362354710946
http://aplapindia2005.nic.in/postconf_tour_files/postco1.jpg

I know that is a stretch, but it just seemed logical.
Me too outdoors concert is more exciting than ever.



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glorplaxy

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Reply with quote  #29 
I like the sound of real, unplugged music without any microphones.

For me, a delicate combination like a sarangi, tabla, and flute should be indoors, but a loud, uplifting combination like dhol and shehnai or thavil and nagaswaram is just so much better outdoors.
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Christianamr

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Reply with quote  #30 
I found the following lengthy article on the RMIC archives. Though not directly related to the Indoor-Outdoor dichotomy it nevertheless opines on related issues of Rasa, Samay and theory vs practice in general. A personal view it is but I happen to agree with most of Arthur Levine's ideas here:



[i]For just about as long as I've been aware of the "rasa" theory,
I've thought of it as being ten parts "inspiration", and one part
"information". There are sufficient internal contradictions in the
system to explode any attempt to arrive at a systematic overview.
One is left, finally, with a huge corpus of individual emotional
responses which, in turn, feed into the miraculously syncretic
sensibility that forms the backdrop of the Indian musical practice.
Or, to be less verbose (not my strength), there is "something for
everyone".

There is probably something universal, one of those Jungian
"archetype" things, in the need to address, through music, the
affective side of human experience. Like the Indian musicians of
the present, the ancient Greeks had a system of modes or
"harmoniai" and each mode was believed to possess or generate a
particular affect, or emotion, or -- as they called it -- "ethos".
(Michaelides, Solon. *The Music of Ancient Greece - An
Encyclopedia*. London: Faber & Faber, 1978. See the terms
"harmonia" & "ethos".) The Greek system used only seven modes, just
a few less than the number of ragas!

Greek name Thaat Melakarta
-----

Phrygian Kafi Kharaharapriya

- "ethos]


A very important atricle ( I have shortened it in the quote ) - many important points :
Ethos of the Greeks and their scales - somewhat similar to the rasa theory
Medieval European -
major and minor systems

The evolution of western music with its drastical changes is seen in one spot .

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