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Bandish Bahar - An Evening of Self-Composed Music

November 2007
Bandish Bahar - An Evening of Self-Composed Music

SwarGanga presented a concert titled "Bandish Bahar" with eminent singer Shri Pritam Bhattacharjee, accompanied by Shri Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee (disciple of Ustad Zakir Hussain) on tabla and Shri Amitava Sen on harmonium.

SwarGanga, which was started as a Yahoogroup in October 2004 by Atlanta's Shri Adwait Joshi as an effort to promote Indian classical music, has developed into a website (www.swarganga.org) that is a resource for many classical music lovers and musicians across the globe, where one can find articles about different concepts of ragas and bandishes.

"Bandish Bahar" was a concert of bandishes, which are vocal compositions based upon which the singer develops the melodic phrases of a raga. The featured artist, Shri Pritam Bhattacharjee, a disciple of Pandit Jasraj and teacher at the Pandit Jasraj School of Music in Atlanta, presented self composed bandishes in several ragas.

Each composition was preceded by an explanation of the raga and the bandish by Shri Vivek Bhide. Starting with raga Madhuvanti, a raga typically sung in the early evening, Pritam presented the bandish "balama tore bina," in a slow tempo cycle of twelve beats, followed by a tarana in ektal, and a fast tempo bandish "naiya karo more paar" in teental. Then came "chamakana laage ri bijuri" in raga Madhuranjani, "ab kaahe batiya karata ho" in raga Hamsadhwani in a rare tala of nine-and-half beats called tala kalavati, "nada brahma baaje" in drut ektal, and "ab na rahe man mora dheer" in raga Saraswati.

After the intermission, Pritam presented two compositions in the more familiar raga Yaman. Following these, some rare ragas such as Vachaspati, Bhinna Shadja, Nanak Malhar were performed. The concert concluded with an apt bandish "rasikbar ko manao rijhao" in raga Bhairavi.

Vivek Bhide mentioned, "Atlanta is fortunate to have artists of the calibre of Pritam and Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee who are prime examples of disciples who absorb the teachings of their guru and then go beyond, using their own creativity and innovation, to expand their artistic boundaries. Pritam Bhattacharjee has created over a hundred bandishes, at this young age, and has gained immense praise and blessings of his guru Pandit Jasraj.

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