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Monica

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Reply with quote  #16 
Actually Tony, I think that using sitar as part of a medley of Persian and Indian music and dance could be really neat. (In fact, if I had the skill level myself, I would love to occasionally join in on "Gypsy Soup", one of the local equivalents of that).

But the "Psycho Nighmare Circus Sitarist" concept still scares me! It is doubtful that someone advertising themselves in that manner can really have a lot of sitar experience under their belt. This seems more like sitar sounds being advertised as a bizzare curiousity, or as spectacle for the general public's wry amusement.

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povster

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Reply with quote  #17 
But the "Psycho Nighmare Circus Sitarist" concept still scares me!

I recently bought a car and went through a ton of ads before settling on one. One of the ads boasted "shoots flames from the backfire". I was intriqued so called and spoke to the fellow, who had modified the exhaust system so that, indeed, flames shot from the exhaust when you hit the gas and then quickly released it. Naturally this "selling point" had the opposite of the intended effect.

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SitarMac

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Reply with quote  #18 
Everyone has either been one, and or seen someone who had the lesson or 2 and is now the regular at Joe's Coffee house. It works like this...Most Americans had to endure musical lessons or class while young...private or in school, etc. Armed with minimal understanding of western music...maybe more than minimal, but anyway, this is minimal knowledge is somehow confused in the sense that it is applicable to ICM. The thrill of learning how to hold and tune a Sitar is just about enough to send a newbie to the stars. Armed with that , plus a little western musical training.....an "attempt" or "a faking session" is all this person can do. People will "oo" and "ah" because they don't know what sounds proper. They "know" what a Sitar sounds like and what it looks like....But "faking" and the proper technique are something they could not discern. So this person feels that since he sat through an evening for 3 hours strumming and doing horrid vibrato and pseudo meends, and weren't laughed out of the establishment qualifies this person in their head as a "professional".

I guess i was the same way at one point years ago...and hey, money talks.....Even for horrid vibrato and pseudo meends. But that is the reality on this problem.

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #19 
Exactly, Monica. Using the sitar and all the string things in my arsenal was very neat and tidy. They provided a delightful and unique 'sonic' background the dancers and audience really got into. The variety also kept me employed as a semi-live musician through the first OPEC squeeze, disco and the newfound fascination with drum machines. It also allowed me to approach sitar and the gang from a different perspective. Invaluable lessons (musicianship and stuff like that) there which I've applied most successfully since. Keeping the 'presence' of sitar was the key to surviving all that. On stage, it was all presented as entertainment, accurate and authentic despite the venue. As a "Sitar teacher", I was and still am, adament in explaining right up front that I'm 95% self taught. What I've learned has been through observation (three rows from the stage with 10 power binocs and a notebook), experimenting and tons of hours sitting at home playing for the cats. If the prospective student was interested in learning from me, I was always right up front in pointing these facts out and that I would be willing to show what I've picked up, which in all actuality was quite a bit, looking back! One student in particular, a wonderfully talented young lady, I relayed to Kartik Seshadri who also saw the immense potential in her. She then went on to study with Deepak Chaudhuri in Calcutta for some years. I think the brunt of this already deviated topic is that the person with the instrument should remain totally honest with it and the realationship with and to it. I would have been too afraid of getting busted by someone in the know to pass myself off as anything above my station. Another good lesson learned on that stage.
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AbdulLatif

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Reply with quote  #20 
Glad to see this topic has stayed positive. Yea I played gigs I look back on with some embarrasment, I suspect we all have.
I wish we had a better noun than "newbies" it has a degrading connotation. I fully support and am happy to meet or through the forum chat,offer questionable advice and such to novices and as has been pointed out we all started sometime. so it is the PsyhcoCircus or the folks seeking a justification or agenda that diminishes the music that work my nerve. So all you novices for what my attaboy is worth carry on you will enrich our lives and your own.

ps, My most embarrassing gig was with a "psychic healer" at a meditation in Santa Barbara, I could handle it when she channeled a First Persons Indian chief, even Koot Hoomie, when she channelled a gray whale in a parlor (way too small for a gray whale, maybe a beluga?) I just couldn't endure that kinda BS anymore...

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #21 
"Channeling a Grey Whale" ! ! !? ? ! ! That's chocolate truffle rich! I love it! - and I thought the guy with the PVC pyrmamid pipework on his head with Merlin robe at a physic fair was the ultimate slap. This is a new low - right down where the whales go! Great stuff! Anybody got more gigues from Hell ? I'm laughing my dimpled butt off!
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