A Blast from the Past: Anant Manohar Joshi (1881-1967)

Here are four short performances by Pandit Anant Manohar Joshi, also called “Antubuwa.” Disciple of Balakrishnabua Ichalkaranjikar and “Bhugandharva” Ustad Rahmat Khan. Guru of Dr. S.N. Ratanjankar; father and guru of Pandit Gajananrao Joshi. Anant Manohar Joshi was born in Kinhai village, March 8, 1881. His father Manoharbuwa had learned classical styles from Raojibuwa Gogte of Ichalkaranji, and became a court musician at Aundh. He died when Anant was seven. Antubuwa became one of the top-most performers of traditional Gwalior style khyal, although he never achieved the fame of his guru-bhai, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. “A powerful voice, daanedaar taans, and clear pronunciation of words characterised his rich and systematic style” according to Susheela Mishra (“Some Immortals of Hindustani Music”). He died in Bombay on September 12, 1967.

These short performances show Antubuwa at the end of his career. His voice is no longer flexible and his intonation is somewhat coarse, but the vigorous spirit remains.

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What music will become extinct?

Every day, more bad news on climate change.

Fortunately, we’ve recently begun to initiate the process of agreeing on a framework for the development of a concept that will allow us to frame the discussion which will impact the structuring of a procedure for developing a methodology that makes it possible to begin to finally PAY SOME ATTENTION TO A GLOBAL CRISIS!

I am not a climate scientist. I’m a scientifically literate musician. Climate change scares me for dozens of reasons. And it makes me deeply and terribly sad.

With rising sea levels, many island nations will lose much of their land, or even cease to exist. Which brings me to tonight’s question:

What music will become extinct?

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Musical Journeys in India: An Audio Travelogue

I must have been eight or nine when my Uncle Russell began taking me, once a month, to a lecture series at the university where he taught; each month a different world traveler would do a grownup version of show & tell. Slides, movies, anecdotes, facts. Exciting? I loved those outings, and I wish I remember more. But they certainly made their impression: as a boy, I knew that I wanted to travel, to see at least a few of those places first hand. Uncle Russ’ career as a management consultant for the Ford Foundation had taken him and his family to live in places far from the Boston suburbs where I grew up. One of those places was Hyderabad, India, and the souvenirs he and my aunt brought back from their years there were my first introduction to Indian culture.

I was seventeen when I encountered Indian music, and from the moment my ears opened to the sound of Hindustani ragas, I knew that this was something I had to do. Over the years that followed, I collected LPs and cassettes of Indian music with zeal; by the time I actually went to India, I had steeped myself obsessively in its classical and vernacular music. Now, thirty years later, I’ve got some show & tell of my own.

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I have always liked John Cage…

…and in this video he is at his most enjoyable and charming:

I was egosurfing…

…and just found this review of “Boogie For Hanuman,” which I’d never seen before. Nice.

Most fusions of Indian music and jazz have served merely to add Asian accents to pieces that are distinctly Western. Often they have even been timid as jazz, aiming at pretty and soft moods that are as authentic as 1950s albums of Hawaiian music with a full orchestra. Most have employed Indian instruments playing in European time signatures rather than really exploring the possibilities of Hindustani scales and singing styles. Boogie for Hanuman is different. This album makes no compromises with the form of Indian classical music but does add jazz instruments and ideas about soloing and improvisation. The result is definitely not easy listening. Most of these pieces feature driving, complex percussion rhythms overlaid with a tangle of shifting melodies on violin, sitar, and various flutes. To someone unaccustomed to Indian music this can sound cacophonous, but repeated listenings reveal a sonic landscape of vast intricacy and subtle shades. The throbbing title cut is pretty accessible, with sitar and guitar interplay that the CD notes aptly compare to an Indian Dick Dale. The piece is over seven minutes long, but is not at all overextended — there are plenty of ideas here, and they’re deployed in such a way that the new listener is drawn in. From there things get gradually more complicated. “The Mobius Man” has multiple parts of the same theme playing on different instruments — some parts soothing, others hectic and busy, but all somehow integrated into one piece. “This Melody No Verb” has two themes played simultaneously, neither of which seems to suggest the other when considered separately. To describe the latter two tunes in this manner may make them sound like a music student’s composition class final — something bloodless, moodless, and technical — but all three are surprisingly easy listening. From here on things are more challenging — if “Dark House-Midday” was the first cut on the CD, listeners might not be inclined to check out the rest. Hopefully, newcomers to Indian music will have their ears attuned by the time this piece and “Weaving Time” come along, because the frantic, at times chaotic group improvisation takes some getting used to. “G-Mu-Nu” comes as close as this album gets to straight jazz, while “Ishmael” closes things out with boisterous, high-energy fusion. Boogie for Hanuman is a real rarity, a jazz-rock/world fusion album that is true to several sets of roots. The musically adventurous are advised to seek high and low, because this is one fine album. ~ Richard Foss, All Music Guide

‘Are’are music from the Solomon Islands

I love this video.

This music is from the Solomon Islands, and it’s performed by the ‘Are’are people:

Are‘are is the name of a people from the south of the island of Malaita, which is part of the Solomon Islands. Their language is the ‘Are’are language, which part of the Austronesian language family. In 1999 there were an estimated 17,800 speakers,[1], up from about 8-9,000 in the 1970s.[2]

{snip}

The traditional religion was ancestor worship, but during colonization, Christianity made big inroads, and by the mid-1970s at least half of the population was converted.[3] Bible portions were first translated in 1957.[1] About half belong to the South Seas Evangelical Church, and half to either the Catholic Church or Anglican Church of the Province of Melanesia. The former, do not permit traditional music, which is seen as related to the ancestral spirits, deemed “devils.”[3]

The ‘Are’are known for their complex panpipe music, which was studied by ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp.

WIKI

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And because it’s so beautiful…

…and we DO need to be reminded why this crazy human chain is worth preserving: Mallikarjun Mansur, singing Raga Shuddh Nat.

Watch this video from 350.org…

…they are doing important work!