Monday, April 27, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Jod raga is a beautiful concept in Indian classical music. Singing Jod raga is always a challenge and needs a certain temperament. Jod raga may not be sung elaborately unlike other ragas, such as, Yaman, Todi and Bhimpalas. But Jod raga has been extensively explored by music stalwarts. Jod raga means singing a blend of two ragas, with a single identity. Bhairav-Bahar, Hindol-Bahar, Lalit-Bhatiyar, and many such combinations are popular these days. Singing Jod Raga does not mean that you sing each raga 50-50 or a few phrases in one raga and a few in another. It should sound like you are rendering a single raga. When great singers present Jod raga, they will balance both the ragas so well that you can see only one picture. Transition from one to another is crucial in such a presentation. It requires identification of a few track changing spots and making the shift from one to the other without glitch or doubt.
LearnQuest Academy of Music, a well know music organization in USA organized its 10th Annual Music Conference from 3rd to 5th April in Boston. Academy always showcases both genres of Indian classical music, Carnatic and Hindustani. Conference not only organizes concerts but also provides an opportunity for listeners and music lovers to attend Lecture Demonstrations as well and interact with world class musicians. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to perform in that extraordinary music conference. In a span of 10 days, I attended about 25 events including concerts, lec-dem, cross culture fusion events, homage to artiste (A/V presentation). Great musicians of both styles participated in this festival of Indian classical music
I observed that performances of very famous Dhrupad duo Gundecha brothers, Carnatic singers duo Malladi brothers, were like Jod raga! You can see two scales and one raga, two brothers and one voice. Their coordination, appreciation for each other and balance in the presentation were all extraordinary. Carnatic and Hindustani styles of presentation is like Jod raga, throughout conference we observed the beautiful balance, each performance better than other and the entire conference felt like it was in Jod raga. During the trip to America and Sweden this time, there were instances were I could apply this Jod Raga analogy. LearnQuest Music Conference. (Carnatic and Hindustani style) Performances by brothers together. (Gundechaji Brothers and Malladi Brothers) My students who performed (Sohini-Poorvi Torvi sisters and Medha-Sadhika Hiremath sisters) I presented Jod raga in one of my concerts (Hindol-Bahar) I visited a place where two seas meet (in the photo you can see the two different entities merging as one. The difference in colour is noticeable)
Prakriti and Purush are the two elements of entire world. We can say, Jod raga embodies prakriti and purush and its balance is key. When blend is suitable and appropriate then the effect of Jod raga is beautiful. It is not the precise measure that matters, say, one unit of oxygen and two units of hydrogen makes water. We cannot infer that a certain units units of Hindol and a certain units of bahar makes super blend. The quality of the presentation depends on how the singer balances both the ragas and presents it as one. Our senior artistes composed very high quality compositions in Jod ragas. A single composition which depicts both the ragas and does justice in giving a good idea of both the ragas.
Balance is essential in life. It may be work and family or music and work etc. The outcome depends on how you can balance and are able to give time to each. I saw few students balancing study and music so well. They never complain that studies comes in the way for music practice. I saw how my Guruji used to practice for hours at length when he was also working in bank. You can see many similarities in music and daily life. This concept of managing multiple things with the right balance applies in music also. Jod Raga requires a bit more of that balance.