Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rahul Sharma - Music of the Himalayas

Rahul Kumar Sharma is a master of the santoor, India's oldest stringed instrument and an ancestor of the hammered dulcimer, and this live album shows the extent of his virtuosity. Accompanied by a tabla player, he shimmers over the melodies (which come from the region of the Himalayas -- hence the title), letting the sounds ebb and flow. Whether tracing a slow tune or spiraling into a ravishing, dizzying improvisation, his command is complete -- as is his communication with his musical partner. The way they work together on the long "Melody of Kashmir in Contemporary Music" is nothing less than stunning; both together and alone they create a total sound, pushing each other along, and taking solos that seem to defy the possibilities of their instruments. It's a tour de force -- but that's true of the entire disc, an object lesson in both the santoor and the playing of ragas and folk tunes. - by Chris Nickson, AMG

People equate the Himalayas with Tibet, but in fact the foothills are in India. This poetic live performance is not energetic, but it is powerful in its subtlety and movement with fine fingerwork of Rahul Sharma coupled with the gentle rippling percussions in the background. A slow melodious journey in classical North Indian music. - Jeevan "jsiva", Amazon.com

Artist: Rahul Sharma
Album: Music of the Himalayas
Year: 2000
Label: Real World (2002)
Total time: 72:33

Tracks:
1.  Maqam-E-Navaa (Sufyana Musiqi) (Traditional/arr. by Rahul Sharma) 10:28
2.  Melody of Kashmir (Traditional/arr. by Rahul Sharma) 13:18
3.  Melody of Jammu & Kashmir (Rahul Sharma) 12:37
4.  Melody of Kashmir in Contemporary Music (Rahul Sharma) 36:09

Personnel:
Rahul Sharma (Santoor)
Ustad Shafat Ahmed Khan (Tabla)
Pandit Bhawani Shankar (Pakhawaj, Hudka and Ghungroo)

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