Raag Bhairav – The latest release from Ankur Biplav

Raag Bhairav is a morning raag and the performance of this raag is solemnly serious. The raag comes across as a musical entity with mood of meditation, philosophical depth and emotional richness.

Sample of Raag Bhairav by Ankur Biplav

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Raag Bhairav by Ankur Biplav
Raag Bhairav by Ankur Biplav

Indian classical music is a genre of South Asian music.It has two major traditions: the North Indian classical music tradition is called Hindustani, while the South Indian expression is called Carnatic.

Raag Puriya Dhanashree-Ankur Biplav

Raag Puriya Dhanashree
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Indian classical music has two foundational elements, raga and tala. The raga forms the fabric of a melodic structure, while the tala measures the time cycle.

The raga gives the artist a palette to build the melody from sounds, while the tala provides them with a creative framework for rhythmic improvisation using time.

There is no concept of harmony in Indian classical music. 

Ankur Biplav has been singing and learning Hindustani classical music for the last 14 years. He is studying with Guru Ustad Waseem Ahmed Khan. Ankur comes from Agra Gharana and currently he is learning music under him. He came from a small town, Purnea which is situated in the state  of Bihar. He started learning music at the age of 4 from Shri Amarnath Jha. Shri Amarnath is the disciple of the late Rajkumar Shaymanand Singh who is also his maternal Grandfather.

Ankur performs regularly and writes about Indian Classical music and dance. You can read Ankur’s work here. He is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science-Mass Communication degree at Xavier University Bhubaneswar.

Ankur Biplav

बाबा (राजकुमार श्यामानन्द सिंह) की याद में …

अंकुर बीप्लव द्वारा

आज सुबह जब रियाज़ कर रहा था, उसी वक़्त  मुझे अपने बचपन की याद आ गई जब मैं अपने दादा जी से मिलने देवघर  (झारखण्ड ) गया था और वहां दादी माँ के कैसेटों के संकलन से सुबह -सुबह जौनपुरी की बंदिश ऐ रि फिरत एक दमदार आवाज़ में सुना.

उस वक़्त तक मैं राग से अनजान था, सुर का भी ज्ञान नहीं था लेकिन गीत सुनकर मैं डूब गया। गजब का आकर्षण था उस आवाज़ मे . बाद में दादी माँ ने बतलाया वो कोई और नहीं उनके पिता जी स्वर्गीय राजकुमार श्यामनन्द सिंह की आवाज़ है। मैं बहुत ख़ुश हुआ था।

बाद के  वर्षों में जब मेरी थोड़ी और रूचि बढ़ी तो मैंने राजकुमार श्यामानन्द सिंह की आवाज़ में “दुःख हरो द्वारिकानाथ ” को सुना और ऐसा लगा कि वो सच मे कितने दिल से द्वारिकानाथ को याद किया करते थे . जितनी बार इस भजन को सुनता उतना और सुनने का मन करता. यहीं से शास्त्रीय गायन से मेरा लगाव बढ़ा।

बाद में राजकुमार श्यामानन्द के बारे में ख़ूब सारी जानकारी इकट्ठा करने लगा। उनका जन्म 27 जुलाई 1916 को हुआ था.उन्होंने अपनी शुरुआती संगीत शिक्षा उस्ताद भीष्मदेव चटर्जी से ली थी.बाद के दिनों मे उस्ताद बच्चू खान साहब  और पंडित भोलानाथ भट्ट से भी उन्होंने संगीत की शिक्षा ली थी.

जैसा की मेरे घर में पापा बताते हैं की उनकी दुःख हरो द्वारिकानाथ भजन को सुनकर केसरबाई जैसी गायिका  ने उन्हें अपना गुरु बनाने की इच्छा जताई की थी.जब भी कोई इनके गाने को सुनता तो वो बस सुनता ही रह जाता था। सबसे खास बात इनके गाने की वो थी बंदिश की अदायगी .

वैसे मेरी दादी माँ यह भी बताती है की बाबा (राजकुमार श्यामनन्द सिंह) शिकार के भी बहुत शौक़ीन थे.वे स्पोर्ट्स मे भी उतनी ही रूचि रखते थे. मैं सोचता हूं कि बाबा एक जीवन में कितना कुछ कर गए। उनके बारे में सोचकर ही रोमांचित हो जाता हूं।

आज 9 अप्रैल 1994  के दिन ही उन्होंने गाते गाते ही अपने प्राण त्याग दिए थे. ये मेरा सौभाग्य  है कि वो मेरे पापा के नाना जी थे. लेकिन मुझे इस बात का दुःख है की मै उनसे कभी मिल न सका ना उन्हें गाते सुन पाया . तो भी यह सोचकर गर्व होता है कि मैं उनके परिवार का हिस्सा हूं। वो सच मे एक गायक नहीं साधक थे.

SPIC MACAY- An Indian Cultural Movement…

Just saw a post on Facebook which gave the details of the SPIC MACAY’s 6th International Convention at IIT Kharagpur. The organisation has came too far and has been successfully fulfilling its primary objectives.

Spic Macay
Prof. Kiran Seth
An organisation which was the vision of a young IIT Kharagpur Graduate, started in a small room, in order to spread Indian music, culture, and heritage to youth across the country, Spic MACAY was started by Kiran Seth.
Prof Kiran shares that many people opposed the idea initially. “When we started, most people were of the opinion that there were many more important problems that faced mankind.
Many of my colleagues, friends and relatives often asked me why I was wasting my time on ‘gaana bajaana’. I must admit that I was often confused and did not know whether I was on the right track, but some intuition kept me going.”
Keeping the goal of connecting the youth with something which is their own, which is something to be proud of, was what Prof. Kiran was after. SPIC MACAY not only introduces the students or the youth to the Indian classical music, dance, folk music, yoga and other fields of Indian culture but also tries to develop their interest in these fields.
An organisation which started just as an unique experiment has worked effectively for many students, helping them in understanding the fine art of living.
Spic Macay
Pt Jasraj at performing at SPIC MACAY’s concert
Over the past decades of Spic MACAY’s existence, its activities have comprised of performances and workshops on folk and classical arts held in different educational institutions across the country which has been made possible by a strong volunteer force.
The organisation has grown organically, falling, but rising each time, and learning all the way. The organisation believes that experiencing performances, and learning of unknown art forms not only instills a sense of appreciation among the youth, but also shows us how pluralistic our country is. It shows us how rich our culture is and how unknown we are to it.
The biggest challenge the movement faces is the lack of funds. As per the policy of the organisation, participants pay no fee, and the organisation solely depends on donations, and government, corporate, and individual grants and sponsorships.
With exposure to the fine arts over the 40 years, Spic MACAY’s work has helped the Indian youth to take pride in being Indian, appreciate the rich and pluralistic culture of the country, and to also become sensitive to others around them.

Read more about Ankur Biplav

What Music Defines Indian Youth Culture? By Ankur Biplav

What music defines Indian youth culture?

Ankur Biplav
By Ankur Biplav, Indian Musician

When we think of the music that defines our current youth culture, genres like hip hop, jazz and indie music come to  mind. We are living in an era of autotune and lip sync where anyone or everyone can become a singer. On the other hand, classical music is probably one of the genres which many youth would be least likely to identify.

But, the notion of youth towards classical music is changing. The young superstars of any genre of music are the icons for  society and so is the case with classical music. The young maestros are the icons for the youth. The young maestros, who not only are great performers, but are also imparting the rich culture and tradition of Indian Classical Music to the generation next.

Ustaad Waseem Ahmed Khan
Ustaad Waseem Ahmed Khan

Ustaad Waseem Ahmed Khan, who comes from the great lineage of traditional musicians of Agra Gharana, is one of the finest vocalist of Agra Gharana in the country currently. The musicians of the Agra Gharana play with laya, weaving in words, to make patterns around the beat. Khayal in the hands of the performers from the Agra School is a progression — from the abstract to the concrete and from the divine to the human.

All these can be seen in the singing of this maestro.He took his initial taalim from his grandfather Ustaad Ata Hussain Khan and also his father Ustaad Naseem Ahmed Khan. Later, he joined ITC Sangeet Research Academy where he took his taalim under Ustaad Shafi Ahmed Khan. Currently, he is imparting his knowledge of music to the future generation as a faculty at ITC Sangeet Research Academy.

Smt. Kaushiki Chakrabarty
Smt. Kaushiki Chakrabarty

The sweet, melodious and the divine voice Smt. Kaushiki Chakrabarty, one of the most promising classical vocalists of Patiala Gharana of this generation. The famous thumri of Patiala Gharana “Yaad Piya Ki Aaye”, Kaushiki in her unique style has not missed a chance to impress the audience with this thumri, whenever and wherever she sings.

She, born into a musical family learnt music under her father Pt. Ajay Chakrabarty who himself is a legendary vocalist. She, with her mellifluous and melodious voice and her mastery over various ragas has made the music lovers her fan across the globe. She is also regarded as the “torch bearer” of the Patiala Gharana.

A very rising Shisya of a very able guru, Pt Omkar Dadarkar shisya of Pt Ulhas Khasalkar are two such great musicians of the country who can sing the gayaki of Agra, Jaipur and Gwalior gharanas with equal ease.

Omkar Dadarkar
Omkar Dadarkar

Omkar Dadarkar was previously a scholar at ITC SRA and now he is also imparting his unique style of singing to the generation next. Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar has been awarded to him in 2010 for his services to the Indian Classical Music.

The Indian Classical Music is very unique. In order to truly appreciate/learn this style of music, one must have patience and a true love for musical prowess. For current youth, it’s a process to enjoy Hindustani classical music, and it takes some research to find the right songs and proper singers as well. The complexities of the art include the taal (beats), the thaat (notes specific to certain raags), and the coming together of melody, beats, and scales that take years – even decades – to master.

But, one must understand that there is no need to understand music as along as it gives you peace and happiness. There are many musicians like- Ankita Joshi, Arshad Ali Khan, Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, Brajeswar Mukherjee who are not only great performers but are also passing the rich ethos and tradition of Indian Classical Music to the next generation. The time will soon come when people, especially the youth will have Indian Classical Music in their playlists. Because Indian Classical Music is not only a music to ears but also a music for soul.

To Conclude, Ustaad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan talking about Indian Classical Music said-“If in every home one child was taught Hindustani classical music, this country would never have been partitioned.”

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