This is the first Canadian CD produced on Indian classical music featuring artistes of international fame. It is recorded, pressed t and manufactured totally in Canada.
News, Views and Music of India (NVMI) is deeply appreciative of the assistance and guidance from the Raaga-Mala Society of Toronto, which is a registered, non-profit cultural organization founded in 1981. Raag-Mala has been organizing annually, high quality programs with the participation of internationally acclaimed artistes mainly from India.
NVMI is planning further to produce similar CDs of talented Canadian artistes and also in association with the leading artistes from abroad. This basic idea emanates from Canada's multicultural policy of exchange and sharing. The main objective is to share Indian heritage of classical music with fellow Canadians and develop mutual appreciation and understanding among diverse cultures.
Indian classical music has flourished with the centuries grasping the influences and nurturing the old. The evolution of Indian classical music begins with the Vedas, the earliest scriptures of Indian civilization, dating back to nearly four thousand years. Long continuity of development is the paramount quality of Indian music. It abides strictly by the ancient melody structures, laws of theory and practice. It has maintained the admirable tradition like guru-shishya parampara (teacher - student relationship) with dignity and humility.
Brief introduction and an explanation of certain points may assist the appreciation of inquiring 'Western listeners.
The Raag (Melodic Form)
The most distinguishing feature of Indian music is its wealth of melodic forms created out of endless variations of svaras (notes). Known as raags, these melodic forms are the heart of Indian Music.
All Indian classical music, either vocal or instrumental, has to conform to one or other of these raags. Each raag has its characteristic visage. It has its own principal mood such as devotion, tranquility, loneliness, eroticism, pathos, etc. Each raag is associated, according to its mood, with a particular time of the day, night or a season. About a hundred raags are commonly performed. Improvisation is an essential feature of Indian classical music. Little of the composition is preconceived or written-down. A great artiste displays great flexibility and, in doing so, can communicate and instill in the listener the mood of the raag.
Taal (Rhythmic Pattern):
The main limit for time measurement is called matra. A metrical cycle is called a taal, originated from the word tali or a clap. These are the rhythmic cycles ranging from 3 to 108 beats. The division in a taal and the stress on a first beat, called Sam, are the most important factors of these cycles.
Ustad Shahid Parvez hails from a celebrated family of musical giants of the famous lineage of the Etawa Gharana. His father and guru, Ustad Aziz Khan was the grandson of Ustad Wahid Khan, the sitar and surbahar virtuoso. Ustad Wahid Khan was the younger brother of Ustad Inayat Khan, the illustrious father of the world renowned sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan.
At an early age, Ustad Shahid Parvez was first introduced into vocal music and table and then received vigorous training into the art of playing sitar. He was a highly gifted child and gave his first public performance at the age of eight. Since melody and rhythm flow through his veins, Ustad Shahid Parvez has become one of India’s top-most sitar virtuosos of the present day.