Ragas of North India
On a beautiful full moon night on December 16, 2005, Steve Oda and Mike Lewis performed for the benefit of the victims from the terrible earthquake that rocked the Himalayas on October 8, 2005. This CD is a direct recording of that wonderful performance held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Berkeley, California.
Composed by Maestro Ali Akbar Khansahib in the early 1950’s, Chandranandan combines four ragas: Malkauns, Chandrakauns, Nandakauns and Kaushi Kanara. Khansahib has translated the title as “Krishna and the gopis playing with the moon”. The moods of this raga are compassion (Karuna), joy (Shringar) and heroic (Vir). The performance on this recording includes an invocation or meditation, called “alap”, in which the sarode solos, followed by rhythmic compositions or “gats” in slow, medium and fast time cycles of 16 beats, or tintal.
Raga Misra Khammaj with Ragmala
A traditional light classical raga with moods of joy and compassion is performed in rhythmic cycles of 7 (rupak tal), 10 (jhaptal) and 16 (tintal) beats. With Khammaj as a theme a ragmala, or “garland of ragas”,is presented to show how other ragas may be woven into the musical fabric of this light classical melody.
About the artists…
Steve Oda has been a disciple of the legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan for the last 35 years. Steve has dedicated himself fully to learning this complex art form and to carry on the teachings of his illustrious Guru. In 1996, he received a Canada Council Artists Grant to pursue intensive studies at an advanced level with his teacher. Steve moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1998 and served as executive director of the Ali Akbar Khan Colloege of Music for two years. Steve has performed at his teachers college in California as well as numerous Canadian cities from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia.The demand for his playing, continues to increase in places like Chicago, New York, Spain, Paris, Amsterdam, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and now in Japan. Steve has also recorded on select recordings including Tala Records 2006 release, "Invocation". Steve now resides in San Rafael California actively teaching and performing the beautiful music of North India.
Michael Lewis is one of the finest American tabla players today. A disciple of the late Ustad Allah Rakha and long time student of Zakir Hussain, he has accompanied many Indian classical artists, including Zakir Hussain (The Rhythm Experience),Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Krishna Bhatt and Partho Chatterjee. Michael is appreciated by many artists for his lyrical style and sensitive accompaniment. In addition to his pursuit of music, he is a full-time family physician.
The artists wish to thank our wives, families and, of course, our teachers for their support, guidance, encouragement and love.
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