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Footprints in the desert
fmcd027

Folk Music (Audio CD)
 


Price : U.S $ 25.95


 

The vastness of the desert landscape needs to be responded to in discerning ways to counter its stark, lonely and unfathomable expanse. In the realm of music, the populace of the region over hundreds of years has evolved a rich, complex and enthralling culture comprising of a range of instruments, each unique in its construction and resonance. The sharp, spirited strains of the Mashak or the Rajasthani Bagpipe that come across as wanting to unabashedly proclaim and announce are in total contrast from the countryside flute that manifests the quaint simplicity of yore. The Algoza and Satara straddle the spectrum the two set up, the former being sharper in difference from the subtlety and softness of the latter. There is the deep, complex and mind bogglingly potent Sarangi alongside the heavy strains of the Kamaycha and these polarities are defined further with the rare stick fiddle Rawnhatta that produces a distinct sound of friction as the bow strikes its string. Beats of the Chang as if coming from some place subterranean in location and the resonant sound of Ghunghroos comprise the experience of the folk flavor of the region and not to forget the omnipresent Dholki and Manjeera.    

a. A folk tune of Marwar 

The Khamaycha is a very popular instrument that is particularly used by the professional singing Manganiyar community of Rajasthan. Its large circular belly is covered with parchment, a peg system and a finger board. The Khamaycha has a very deep haunting, booming sound because of the large circular resonator placed in it. A tricky instrument to master, it is a distinctive element of the musical heritage of the Thar Desert.

b. Rajasthan's Bagpipe 

The Mashak and Chang make for a festive, zestful rendition that would enliven any social celebration whatsoever. The boldness of the Mashak is certainly reminiscent of the military vigor and discipline but it is the folk tune that brings back the instrument into the intimacy of the earthy experience of  regional music.

c. Melody of the Thar Desert 

The Satara is a two fluted instrument, one flute produces the melody and the other produces the drone when the musician blows into it. A particular technique goes behind playing the instrument whereby the musician produces a continuous sound using a circular breathing process always maintaining some air in his cheeks as he blows into it. The famed Langa community of Rajasthan boasts of many accomplished players of Satara.

d. Music of the Northern Rajasthan 

The Shekhawati belt has evolved a soothing style of music that seems to be refreshing and entertaining without attempting to raise the decibel level or quicken the pace. The soft, warm strains of the Flute accentuate this feel in complementing the slow rhythm of the Chang. The Ghunghroos add the right amount of joy and the Manjeera and Dholki tie the rendition firmly to the folk culture.

e. Shasvhi Raag

The Indian instrument that is said to resemble the human voice most closely gets its name from ‘sau’ meaning hundred and ‘rang’ meaning colors, that goes on to imply the innumerable possible expressions that it enables a player with. An essential component of Langa performances it offers a perfect accompaniment to the vocals of a classical singer. A well tuned Sarangi sounds a lot like a busy bee hive and the highly potent instrument has traditionally been used for Raaga development.

f. Bhairavi Raag 

An exclusively Punjabi and Sindhi instrument the Algoza belongs to the woodwind family of flutes and trumpets. It is more popularly known as a Jori. It is a pair of wooden flutes and the player works the Algoza by alternating three fingers on the holes on each side. A vigorous and swinging rhythm is heard as the player breathes into it and the unique sound thus created is integral to the Rajasthani folk music experience. 

g. A Great Saint 'Pabuji' 

Rawanhatta is one of the oldest and most rare string instruments in India. It is a two string stick fiddle and is made of a long piece of bamboo that is set into a dried coconut shell. The coconut acts as a resonator and is covered in skin. The bow that plays the Rawanhatta has a number of small bells attached to it and this arrangement provides the rhythmic accompaniment to the instrument. Bhopa singers of the region use the Rawanhatta to sing the epic tales of Pabuji, a fourteenth century legend.

h. A shepherd's tune 

The Musilm Jogi community has a distinct style amongst the Mevati genre and as a shepherd plays the double flute- Algoza, the uniqueness is beautifully evident. Traversing the vastness of the landscape, the notes of Algoza grant a foothold like none other.

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