Gigs, dance, art

May 9th, 2009: Pushparaj Koshti


A first of a sort for me, I think it was the first time I attended a concert of Indian music. As in without dance of opening for another act. That made me realize that my instinctive lack of interest came from a prejudice born of my wrongly classifying it as “hippie crap”. That’s totally wrong, but it can be hard to see through these things. Anyway, I also thought that Indian dance shows gave me enough of a taste of it, wrong again. This music is much much more interesting than I thought, and my missing out on it so far is punishment enough for my own stupidity.

Pushparaj Koshti plays the surbahar, a bass sitar which probably was a good choice to introduce me to this music — I’m partial to all things bass. For most of the very long first part of his set, the pakhawaj player sat silent and the only accompaniment was the drone of the tambura. So most of it was a solo piece, and that didn’t bother me at all, and it didn’t really feel all that much as a solo. The instrument is interesting enough for that, and the richness of the music was fascinating as it were. The length is an asset here, as it gives time for both a bigger structure to emerge, and for some varied play as well. A lot sounded faintly familiar, only richer, but the very beginning was unlike anything I associated with Indian music. If anything, it reminded me more — yet faintly — of some early blues. When the drum joined in, it added something but not as a break but more in line with the overall progression of the piece.

I was quite impressed, and the only aggravating thing was my knowledge that I was missing most of the point due to my total lack of familiarity with this music. Something I might want to fix, but probably won’t get to doing. Still, I’ll probably check out more Indian music from now on.


May 13, 2009 - Posted by | Music | ,

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