Jan 18, 2014

Picture time

A few pictures from yesterday's class. I've turned them to black and white because the colour in all of them looked so terrible. It rained hard all morning and the power for most of the block kept going on and off. At times we were practicing by candlelight. 

First picture is Mahendra taking a nap while Shu practices. In the middle, Shrikrant teaches Hyung Gyu a new rhythm. Third, the sitar players learn their first tune. At the bottom is the notation for playing rhythms on the tabla. Each dha or ta stands for a different way to hit the drums. 

Like any musicial instrument, the tabla is not something you can do with an hour of instruction. I'm going every day for hours to even begin to understand. But what else would we do? This is better than sightseeing. 

I can feel the connections in my head forming - read the words, make the fingers perform the action. Catch the mistakes and correct them. It goes slowly at first, then faster and faster. It feels like learning to dance again or learning a new language, the kind of exercise for the brain that I haven't had in who knows how long. 

I took a short video but it would take too long to upload. If you want to get an idea of the sound, here's a video of Pandit Kishor Mishra and Pandit Narendranath Mishra playing together on tabla and sitar. 

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