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Shivadhyanam

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Hey guys, here is a short clip of a solo played by Pandit Lachu Maharaj (the one who caused much controversy here a while ago because of his love of charas) at the Vishwanath Mandir in BHU. It is only a few minutes due to my battery running out. I know someone who did a slight longer recording (video). Less then 10 minutes I think and I am hoping he will post it here someday. Well, I was actually asked to record the performance (audio) and you can see my M-Audio digital recorder lying there in between the mikes. Just to let you know....lol Unfortunatelly I can't share the full solo as I was asked not to do so.#

The guy indeed plays amazingly!! Very heavy on the tihais and I didn't like much his dheredhere's but WOW!!! What a sweet hand!!! ...two times the thread in his tabla came about and he started playing only the bayan. Man, I've never seen anyone playing (only bayan) the way he did and probably will never see anyone playing the full tabla compositions on the bayan better or anywhere near the way he did!!!! There was a concert a few days before in Varanasi by a world famous tabla player. It was an amazing concert but, but....hahahahaha...It felt like a children's concert compared to Lachu Maharaj. Maharaj has the magic!! You could almost taste the sweetness in hs fingers. The heavy ending (Very Loud Maharaj style tinhais etc) were a bit too much at times but Kya bhat hai!!! I tell you this, when he ended (and I am not joking or making any of this up), we all looked completely hipnotised!! As if we could not believe he had finished!!! As if everybody was saying to themselves: "No, You simply can not have finished". There was a kind of an eery silence in the air for a minute or so!! This clip doesn't really do much justice but hope you will enjoy it.



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Liquid

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you so much for posting this. I have only seen one video of him before and it really impressed me. I like his style. I have only seen your video wihtout sound because I am at work but i cant wait to get home...

Any videos and audios are really appreciated. I really wish I could be in India where it seems that the music is everywhere and you cant not be immersed in it. But I cant right now... it is something to work towards tho...

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gatabera

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Reply with quote  #3 
Here is an older clip of him:

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KC NYC

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Reply with quote  #4 
I saw a lineage of benares gharana on some site and lachu wasn't on it.
is he related to pt. Kishan ji?
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Shivadhyanam

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "KC
I saw a lineage of benares gharana on some site and lachu wasn't on it.
is he related to pt. Kishan ji?

Apparently he doesn't consider himself as a Benaras player. I think the main reason is that he learnt tabla from his father (who, as my guruji told me, was a really, really good, or should we say, great tabla player) who had learnt tabla from four gurus who were all from different gharanas I believe (note that I haven't heard any of this from him but from second parties). So I guess he learnt many other techinques other than benaras. His bayan is very interesting. He doesn't play it like benaras with all that sliding etc ( although I myself really see the sliding technique more as a personal thing than strictly gharana wise). He keeps his hand almost fixed on one spot and kind of presses it but very, very good bayan control and sound. The most interesting part is the dayan (although he may claim that he is not benaras, his right hand is 100% Benaras). He really keeps his finger curly. By watching him playing one can see that he worked on that finger a lot. One of his student was telling tme hat he is very strict on the curly finger technique. I think that a lot of his sweetness of sound his due to the very strict adderance to the bent finger technique. After seeing him playing, I was very surprised that he doesn't consider himself a benaras players (from what I heard, I think he considers himself a kind of an amalgation of styles due to what his father tought him). And he also plays with all fingers of the right hand etc. Plus he can play also very loud...and I mean really loud when ending a composition...the tihais!!! 100% Benaras!!

He is also very peculliar that he is very moody. Recently he went to play in Patna and just as he was about to start playing, he noticed that the VIPs were all there sipping their tea and talking to each other and kind of not paying much attention so he said something to them like "oi, bla, bla, bla", and then got up, packed his tablas and chalo back to Varanasi. Many stories like that about him abound in Benaras. The other thing is, that I think he doesn't like almost any other tabla player (maybe I am being unjust here since I only heard that he didn't really think much of Natu Babu who I simply love to bits...but to tell you the truth, no matter how well (Lachu) plays, for me I think I would prefer to listen to Natu Babu any time than him. Well, that might depend also on my mood at a particular time...who knows)
Overall, I think is an extremelly good player who worked very hard on bringing out the beauty and the essence of tabla. Apparently, the only player he really admires is Thirakwa (and who can blame him?? One could also hear a lot of Thirakwa influence on his bayan. Perhaps he likes other old school players but I only heard of his admiration for Thirakwa).
Conclusion: From that short concert, I think I learned quite a few things. By listening his sound quality, his hands technique and his dedication I think that it might help me change the way I approach my playing for the better.
I will see if I can upload a few minutes of the solo I recorded. I will try to choose different parts so you guys can have a general idea. I also got in touch with one of his students who filmed a few minutes more than I did and he is hopping to youtube (is "youtube" already a verb or is it me starting it??) his clip.

No, I don't think he is related to Kishen Maharaj at all.

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lotusxi

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Reply with quote  #6 
hello, i also wanted to say something about the magic of lachu maharaj
i m a tabla player in calcutta (still student) and went to the shankat mochan festival in april in benares
there lachu maharaj played a short solo at 5 am but in 15 mn he put all the listeners in a deep state of meditation, no one was clapping as i remember, we just were in an other plane of consciousness, it happend one time in my life to see such playingeffect,kya bat,maharaj.
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Liquid

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Reply with quote  #7 
some more


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Ashis

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Lakshmi Narayan Singh, alias Lacchu Maharaj, born on Deepawali of 1944, was attracted towards music since his childhood. At the age of 7, having participated in a very prestgious Music Conference in Bombay, he had captured the hearts of art lovers. Once in Lucknow, in front of an elite audience, when Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa saw his playing, he was so pleased that he gave him a golden coin saying: “my child, by God’s grace, Tabla plating is your right!” (This might explain his admiration for Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirkwa Khansahib) His father, Vasudev Singh-Ji, had the opportunity of learning under six of the topmost Tabla Masters of India. Being in their company and by his own sharp intelligence, Vasudev-Ji developed a new technique of Tabla playing. The special feature of this technique is that one does not tire quickly while playing and can shift easily from one rhythmic pattern to another.

Lachhu Maharaj has dedicated his entire life to the perfection of Tabla Playing, guarding the knowledge and art acquired by his father. Since 1962 he started giving performance for All India Radio. Topmost artists like Sitara Devi, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Maya Chatterji and others, all praised his accompaniment. It happened in some festivals that all the artists wished to play with him and so he had to play for several nights. He always refused to record his playing. By Lord’s grace, now we have the great honour of presenting to the world his first recordings. Thank you!

http://www.j-amba.com/lacchumaharaj.html (I ordered the complete box. It is really phenomenal! Great sound quality! I heard that even Ustad Zakir Hussain insisted on sitting in the front row when Pandit Lachhu Maharaj performed).

Pandit Lacchu Maharaj, a representative of the Banares Style, posseses a classic blend of talent in the field of Tabla. He has the distinction of having the rare combination and ‘Taalim’ of all the living styles of India”. Pioneer Varanasi, November 1985. In Benares, the street on the western side in the centre of the chowk is very famous, wherein once upon a time many well-known musicians dwelled. On one side the voice of singers like Hasnabai, Vidyadhari, Shyama Devi was echoing, on the other side the strings of Sarangi where reverberating and side by side the sound of Tabla was heard.
In this historic street even today there are few painted old houses. One of them was the renowned Tabla player Pandit Vasudev Singh-Ji. On Going through the narrow steps at the upper portion, after crossing the veranda, there is a hall which was his practising room. In this place in front of the portrait of his respected father, keeping the lamp and incense continuously lit, the famous Lachhu Maharaj has been practising in prayer pose.

Yes, it is the same person, Lachhu Maharaj, the mystery of whose fingers once kept the audience spellbound. He took his entire life in the practice of Tabla, keeping safely the invaluble wealth of his father. In order to fulfill this obejective, Lachhu Maharaj has been leading always a simple life with helping tendency. He always stays outside the environment and the dazzling city life. He reagards music as so pure that he extremely dislikes the adptation of commercial style. He respectfully says that an artist must mind on the practice of his art and not on the name and fame. When asked about his facile handling Tabla, Lachhu Maharaj replies that these are all the gifts of his father.

His father, Vasudev Singh-Ji, had the opportnunity of learning this art under the topmost Tabla Masters. First he learned for 10 years from Esaf Ustad, who was the disciple of the historic Tabla Master Gokulji. Then he learned for 12 years from the world famous Biru-Ji Mishra after serving him so much. After Biru-Ji had left to Nepal, he learned for 6 years from Ustad Nathu Khan, Dehliwallah. After that, he learned the detailed grammatical points for so many years from Ustad Channu Khan, Bareillywallah, Ustad Haji Vilayat Ali Khan and Ustad Karam Hahi, Lahorewallah.

There is a strong coincidence that for all these teachers there was no progency and alle these people taught Vasudev-Ji as their own child. Like this, during his lifetime Vasudev-Ji learned more than 10,000 very difficult and intricate compositions like Zamani Laya, Charbagh, Badaiya style, Srinhavaloken, Paramelu, Manedar Laya, Chowpalli, Dah Dun Songs, Madhyodar Laya, Lanhari Laya, Farads, etc. By learning from all these teachers and being in their company and by his succesful sharp intelligence, the Tabla of Vasudev-Ji has seen the emergency of a new technique. The important pecularity of this technique is that one does not get tired while playing and there is no difficulty in the change of patterns. The repsonsability of keeping the knowledge of this everlasting art acquired by his father fell on Lachhu Maharaj-Ji, who involved his entire life for this invaluable wealth.

After having earned a good name in the world of music, he had the desire to acquire the control of playing Tabla of his ancestors. He wanted that control, by which one can attract not only the living beings but also the five elements of nature. Due to this desire, he cut off his connections with All India Radio and similar institutes. In his search for the principles of life and music he came in contact with many Sadhus and Siddhas, learning so many things about life, body and soul. His entire life was changed. He got the opportunity of serving Siddhas like Tangliya Baba, and with his help a member of the music family got relieved from cancer.

How far he has reached his objective? In all humility he says he has achieved a little bit. However, with a smile, he says that: “please, do not dicuss about this now, but a day will come when this world will see the miracle of this”. Lachhu Maharaj is very firm about the future of classical music. He has the opinion that this has been going on since ancient times and there are only very few who keep it alive. In future some people will definitively take the repsonsability and the immortality of the classical music will last forever.

This text is written in de booklet included with the cd-box by Chauthi Dhuniya, Dehli, July 1987.

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SarangiLal

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
The special feature of this technique is that one does not tire quickly while playing and can shift easily from one rhythmic pattern to another
???


Lol...I thought this was called Riyaz..
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