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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #1 
Namaste to all here.

A point came up in my review of the Ashu Bhattacharya concert regarding Shen's tabla intro.
What are your views on length of intro for an accompanying performance? :?
What is an acceptable criteria if any?

Nick
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Chando

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Reply with quote  #2 
8) hi,
I guess it should be hardly of two avartan or rounds of the theka which depends ,otherwise the performer may get disturbed or even worse annoyed :x .
Bye then,
Abhi

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shen

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Reply with quote  #3 
Here is the discussion so far from the "Ashu Bhattacharya" thread on the sitar forum:

NICK:
We started with Sri Yasuhiro Minamizawa playing Puria Kalyan in a very sweet 'gayaki' style ably supported by Shen Flindell on tabla. From the start there was a feeling of two solo artists on stage with quite a long tabla intro from Shen when the vilambit gat commenced but they played so well together that this didn't get in the way of the music. Well done to both players.

SHEN:
Thanks for your review Nick. Sorry if you thought my first solo was too long - I'm a bit surprised you thought that actually. One cycle slow, one with bayan, one in ari lay, one with rela - 4 cycles in all in following alap jor jhala, seems pretty normal to me. Wonder what others think?

NICK:
I didn't think it was TOO long just longer than most I've tended to hear. Is an intro as you describe a regular for tabla players?

SHEN:
Re: tabla intro - perhaps we should start a thread or two - one on tabla forum, one here. I'm sure the opinions would be different. But here's what I think: Having listened to many recordings, the tabla intro usually varies from 1 to 5 cycles. It depends partly on the relative seniority of the players, eg with Ali Akbar Khan-saheb, players tend to play short intros. However quite a few Nikhil-Anindo recordings I've heard are similar in form to what I played. I also think it depends on what the tabla player is responding to; eg following only alap, a slow beautiful short intro would be suitable; following alap-jor-jhala, there should be some development in the tabla bols too. In my own case, having practised with several good Varanasi players - and being practice they played only short alap - I often played a short slow intro. But I was often advised to play longer. I was also told (by sitar players) that the tabla player should "announce the tabla's arrival."

I think in the end it should depend on the taste of the instrumentalist, and in Minamizawa-san's case he also asked me to play longer and more exciting. With many practice sessions with him, I found that he is a very sensitive and emotional artist. I generally try to make my solos answer the instrumentalist, and with most musicians that is quite easy. But with Minamizawa-san, I found that he took a lot of inspiration from my playing. So if he was playing a bit flat or lacklustre and I answered correspondingly, our session would stay that way, but if I put a lot of energy into my solos it always gave him a big lift. (Energy not necessarily meaning loud or fast!)

NICK:
As I said I'm glad you balanced my own personal review.
Yes, a new post would be good over on the tabla forum.
Good point about the 'main' artist's mood too.

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Shen
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Shawn

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think that this is something that definitely relates to who the tabla player is, who the soloist is, and what gharana they are from. From my perspective, generally speaking, the intro should be proportional to the alap of the soloist. So, for example, if the soloist does a 30 minute alap, then it should be no problem for the tabla player to do an intro that lasts 2-3 minutes. However, if the alap is 5-10 minutes, then probably one mohara will suffice. It's a question of proportions.

In a serious piece, with a proper alap, a 4-5 cycle tabla intro is quite fine, and it definitely NOT too long.

Regards,

Shawn

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #5 
It probably is more of a personal thing between both players.

Shen, I rewatched your performance on my tape & it really wasn't as long as I once thought so I crave forgiveness.

The days of the tabla player JUST supporting the main artists has long gone & now he/she has his/her own spotlight. We have Ravi Shankar to thank for this, I believe.

Shawn
Proportions could also depend on the ego of both artists too. :wink:
Pre-talks are always a good thing as happened for Shen & Minamizawa-san. As per Sri Chando's comment too.

Thanks to all so far.
Nick
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evening84

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Reply with quote  #6 
A couple of avartans is not too long I think especially after a long alaap. What is the most aesthetically pleasing is where the mohra is structured such that one starts to feels that the theka is there. Oh wait. Not yet. Now its there. Not quite. Now its definitely there. Aah. Beautiful.

Horrible description, I know. But can't quite describe it technically.

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subbarao1

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Reply with quote  #7 
But the mood and treatment of the raga should always be more important than the sheer number of avartans, though perhaps they would have more bearing on the type of solo played.

I've always admired players who not only alter their solos but also their thekas, ever so slightly, depending on the mood. Shankar Ghosh comes to mind first. I think Zakir Hussain can be too sensitive at times.

Subbarao
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