Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chaurasia on the Flute: Sublime!

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is a genius on the flute. His name is synonymous with the hindustani classical flute in India, and his music is divine, really!

If you haven't yet heard him, you really must. His music literally lifts you up and transports you to a serene, happy place. I tried to download a video of his from youtube and upload it here, but I got errors from blogger. So here's a link, to a beautiful piece by him, recorded in his youth.

(click on his picture for the link to the video).



He also is one of the many artistes in India who are happy to do fund raising concerts for charitable organizations, and as a result has been on tour in the US several times expressly for fund-raising concerts with specific groups.

While I was still a graduate student about 14 years ago, I got to listen to him live for the first time. It was so utterly magical! After that concert, I was one of the students who escorted him to his host's home. During the drive, he asked me simple questions like what I was studying and what I planned to do after graduation. I don't know what I replied - I was so tongue-tied!

He is older now than in the above video. He is 71, but the music still is as sweet as ever. We listened to him live over the weekend. A part of the proceeds were going to AID (Association for India's Development), my volunteer group.

When he came to the US on tour in 2000, I was a volunteer with Child Relief & You, and I had made these little flute-shaped bookmarks to give away at his concert. But since I did it at the last minute and we didn't have the time to print them, they never got used.



This time, I again remembered these bookmarks on Saturday, and quickly re-made them for AID, in powerpoint. A quick dash to Kinkos for copies, and we were able to hand these out to those who showed interest in our AID table.

I haven't ever taught myself to use better software ... so these aren't perfect, but they worked for the tight deadline, and served the purpose.



Hope you like Chaurasia's music as much as I do!

19 comments:

LadyFi said...

That music is so evocative, relaxing and yes, magical.

Like those cute bookmarks too.

Mridula said...

I have also listened to him live and when a guy from the audience asked him to play something by Lata Mangashker he went, 'Lata who' and was livid. Could never make out why he found that so offensive from an auditorium full of college students.

Chris said...

He plays so beautifully. I can see why you love his music.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh, sublime is the word, Bindu! I really love this - I feel transported into beauty.

~ ॐ ~ said...

I have heard him a number of times and have some music from him in my ipod too... love it! such peace!

this bookmark is so good! really like it!

Vamsee Modugula said...

never heard his music. Will listen at leisure, but your bookmarks are fantastic.

pink dogwood said...

love his music and love your bookmark

Shalini said...

His music is so heartfelt and emotional. I remember seeing him perform when he came to our school as part of the SPIC MACAY series, but we weren't interested in this kind of music at all then. Now I kick myself for being so stupid.

ArtSparker said...

Beautiful playful music.

Shails said...

AID Boise were planning to get him too but couldnt.Glad that you had him there.

Elise said...

Hello, oneof my favourite instruments is the flute (the harp comes first).

I completely love your wonderful blog - thank you so much for sharing !

GMG said...

Hi Bindu!
The video is wonderful; great the you drew our attention to it! And the bookmarks are lovely...

Blogtrotter is now showing that Reykjavik is not entirely grey... ;)). Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

Celeste Maia said...

I have been up in the mountains where there was no connection, it was pure bliss, like Chaurasia's music. Being there during Thursday's full moon was indeed magic.
And now I finally came down and was able to connect, it is good to come to your blog and then to hear this amazing musician. I am going to buy a CD, it is truly wonderful. I also liked your bookmarks.

Phoenix said...

Bindu, he is indeed magical. I have always felt that classical music is the most magical form of music.... be it Indian or Western.
I LOVE the bookmarks... you still volunteer with CRY?

Indrani said...

I have listened to himbefore, a great musician, we are lucky to have him in our times.

Great job with the bookmarks. Inspiring. :)

GMG said...

Hi Bindu!
Came back to hear it again and found some sites with his music. Excellent!! It seems however that there are no new recordings after 2003... :-(

Blogtrotter has some more Rural Iceland before the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy and have a fabulous week!

rocksea said...

it was when i, for the first time, listened to him live at Kottayam, ~9 years before, that the magic of music by flute captured my heart! sat awestruck and inspired throughout the concert!!

the bookmarks you made are simple and beautiful, bindu.

Anil P said...

Other than Bhimsen Joshi, Hariprasad Chaurasia was among the first Indian musicians I heard live, in Goa, many, many years ago. Was in school then. Listening to him was a remarkable experience.

bindu said...

Thanks, everyone - for your comments.

Phoenix - I now volunteer with AID. No longer with CRY, though I do still find their work to be very good.