This album was recorded live in performance at Herrick Chapel, Occidental College, Los Angeles on January 25th, 1997 for the Music Circle, one of the preeminent venues for the performance of North Indian classical music in the United States. David Trasoff and Abhiman Kaushal are two of the most prominent exponents of Indian music in the United States and represent the flowering of this great tradition in a new international setting.
Rag Hemant was created by Acharya Ustad Alauddin Khan, the father and teacher of my guru, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and one of the greatest figures in the history of North Indian classical music. The rag uses the notes of the major scale, but in a way that conveys a unique feeling of joy, tranquility and pathos. The brief closing piece is in a devotional rag, Gorakh Kalyan.
David Trasoff has studied sarode performance and North Indian classical music under maestro Ali Akbar Khan, India’s ‘Living National Treasure,’ since 1973. Acclaimed for his performance in both the United States and India, David has appeared in concert in arts centers, universities, conservatories and festivals in the United States, Europe, and Asia. David holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.F.A. in music from California Institute of the Arts. He served as Director of the Indian Music Ensemble at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has taught in the Global Arts Program at California State University, San Marcos, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Rotterdam Conservatory CODARTS program. David has composed and performed music for film, theater and dance projects, including an award-winning Los Angeles production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the acclaimed Indian art film Leela.
Abhiman Kaushal belongs to a family of musicians and artists. He was initiated into the art of playing the tabla by his father, R. B. Kaushal, himself a disciple of the legendary tabla maestro Amir Hussain Khan. Abhiman continued his studies with Shaik Dawood and B. Nand Kumar. Abhiman Kaushal has accompanied top musicians both in his own country and in tours of Europe, the Far East, Israel and the United States, including Ravi Shankar, Jasraj, Amjad Ali Khan, Rais Khan, Shujaat Khan and G.S. Sachdev.