This is a recording of a live concert that took place on the 19th of July, 2009, at the Manthan series of concerts, in Vashi, Mumbai.
Satyasheelji’s command over spontaneous improvisation is best demonstrated in his live concerts. His imagination and inventiveness along with his thorough understanding of traditional interpretations, his ability to create unexpected movements within the raag, his exceptional command over laya-taal are all apparent in this concert.
The power, the emotion and the imagination that Satyasheelji displayed in this concert moved many to tears. His powerful, resonant voice and his intense sur ka kaam in multani gripped the audience from the very beginning. The lilt of the bandishes in raga megh and the emotion of the thumri in raga pilu kept the audience riveted till the very end of the performance.
This is the recording of a live performance given by Satyasheelji at the 6th Annual Dhvani-BKF Pt.Mallikarjun Mansur Music Festival-2009, in Bangalore. Satyasheelji presented four rare bandishes in the morning raga Todi.
An artist’s ‘kahen’ is his particular way of bringing to life the lyrical and melodic content of a song and imbuing it with emotive significance. Every maestro that Hindustani Classical Music has seen has had his own unique kahen. Satyasheel Deshpande’s kahen is a soulful rendering of his innate expression, nurtured by his intense study of and exposure to these maestros through his father, the eminent musicologist Shri Vamanrao Deshpande, his guru, Pt. Kumar Gandharva and his phenomenal study of the art through his archives, The Samvaad Foundation.
Kahen takes a fresh new look at the latent creative potential of classical music. In his concise renditions of traditional compositions as well as those of his own, Satyasheel explores the song within the bandish, so to speak. He unravels and develops the bandishes’ infinite possibilities in ways that bring out and enhance their lyrical content instead of suppressing it for the sake of purely musical elaboration. His renditions bear testimony to his rigorous classicism, his command over sur, laya, taal and raaga and his flair for imaginative improvisation, with a delight in the song-like essence of classical composition.
Satyasheel’s kahen does not bear the stamp of any single gharana or guru. Instead he searches for a kahen that is appropriate to the specific feel of each bandish; and this emotive versatility gives rise to a spectrum of various moods.
What makes ‘Kahen’ a remarkable musical enterprise, is the fact that the emphasis on the song element does not imply any compromise as far as raaga and taal are concerned. Satyasheel stays true to his classical essence while ardently exploring possibilities that are often overlooked in contemporary classical music. Listening to this album is a must, both for the lover of lighter forms who wishes to enter the realm of the classical and also for the classical connoisseur who wishes to view raaga, taal and bandish from a fresh perspective.
This album was produced by Pt. Hridaynath Mangeshkar and was launched at the hands of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar in 2004. The Mangeshkars, who have always been very closely associated with Satyasheelji, were deeply involved in the project from the beginning. The CDs also contain a short introductory speech that Lataji made herself in praise of Satyasheelji and his music.
The Thumri is one of the most enchanting forms of North Indian music. ‘Thumri Katha- The story of Thumri’ is an attempt to showcase the various faces of the Thumri.
Thumri Katha encompasses the many emotions and situations that this ‘lighter’ form of classical music has traditionally portrayed. The thumri is essentially an expression of the sringar rasa, of the delicate, passionate, playful utterances of the young woman in love. Frequently though, emotions of indescribable divinity emerge from all of the thumri’s erstwhile almost naughty playfulness.
Incorporating these ideas into one album to do justice to the variety traditionally found in Thumri singing was, to quote Satyasheelji, quite a challenge. Never one to do things half-heartedly, Satyasheelji devoted almost six months to this project, listening to the approximately 250 thumris he has in his archive. He moulded the tonalities of his voice to suit thumri singing. To add to this, each thumri has been sung by Satyasheelji in the style of the land of its origin, in the manner of the culture of its originators.
The seven thumris on the album are another example, charactersitic of Satyasheelji, of how versatile in knowledge, performance and even in the use of the voice, one can be. Thumri Katha was launched released at the hands of the legendary Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in Pune in December 2006.
Released 02 November 2007
Tabla: Shri. Sai Banker, with guest appearances by Shri. Prashant Pandav and Pt. Arvind Kumar Azad