Vijay Ghate | The Tabla Series - Vijay Ghate

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The Tabla Series - Vijay Ghate

by Vijay Ghate

Vijay Ghate demonstrates elements of his unique repertoire and his innovations as a great tabla player of generation. He is accompanied by harmonium and the rare addition of vocals in the lehara
Genre: World: Drumming
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1. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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13:30 album only
2. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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1:57 album only
3. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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3:41 album only
4. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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1:57 album only
5. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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4:46 album only
6. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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12:35 album only
7. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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1:11 album only
8. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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0:58 album only
9. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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0:27 album only
10. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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2:16 album only
11. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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0:26 album only
12. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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3:17 album only
13. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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0:48 album only
14. Tabla solo in Teentaal
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This tabla solo recording is a reflection of the commitment by Sense world music towards
helping the flourishing of great musical traditions. Sense producer Derek Roberts and executive producer Alpesh Patel had a goal to bring the great tabla maestros of the day to the record company studios and to record them with a fidelity and consideration to their art not previously given. The results speak for themselves!

The Artist
Vijay Ghate is considered to be one of the most outstanding tabla players in the modern era of North Indian music. Born in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Vijay showed an early inclination for rhythm which was fostered by his family. He moved to Mumbai to study with Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, an icon amongst tabla players of India, and one the most progressive and profound thinkers on tabla playing. Vijay has been performing since the age of sixteen and has toured worldwide with most of India's prominent musicians. As an accompanist he is a favourite with many of India's leading players including Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma, Kala Ramnath and Shahid Parvez. He is equally comfortable as a soloist as well as an accompanist to instrumentalists, vocalists and Kathak dancers, having a huge stock of repertoire, and a capacity to improvise and to play spontaneously according to the situation. As a soloist, he brings to the stage a distinctive vibrant energy which enhances both his creativity and technical acumen. For his solo repertoire Vijay draws on compositions and inspiration from all of the traditional six gharanas (playing styles) in his performance.

Tabla Solo
The solo is performed in teentaal, a popular sixteen beat rhythmic cycle. Throughout, the tempo is skilfully regulated by Vocalist Gayatri Shankar and Milind Kulkarni on Harmonium, singing and playing a repeated lilting melody line known as lehara (or nagma). The use of a vocalist to keep the lehara is a rare phenomenon first introduced by Suresh Talwalkar, serving to heighten the musicality of the tabla solo experience. The vocalist is given the opportunity to improvise freely around the melody giving the tabla solo breathing space, at the same time helping to enhance the mood of the soloist. The word "lehara" is a derivative of the word 'lahar', meaning current of a river or a stream. The lehara also helps in highlighting the most emphatic beat in the cycle known as 'sam' (literally "equal" or "together"), which occupies the first beat of a taal.

The Tabla is the most popular and widely used drum of North India. Its colourful range
of tonal qualities combined with its capacity to express remarkable rhythmic
permutations make it a unique percussion instrument which in recent times has
inspired and fascinated audiences worldwide.

The pair of drums consist of a high-pitched, precisely tuned dahina (also called dayan
or tabla), and a low-pitched, less precisely tuned drum, the bayan. The dahina is
responsible for many of the resonant ringing sounds (or bols). The bayan provides the
bass and is recognizable for its swooping bass sound, which provides colourful
embellishment. The bayan is often said to be where the soul of the instrument lies.

Tabla
The Tabla is the most popular and widely used drum of North India. Its colourful range
of tonal qualities combined with its capacity to express remarkable rhythmic
permutations make it a unique percussion instrument which in recent times has
inspired and fascinated audiences worldwide.

The pair of drums consist of a high-pitched, precisely tuned dahina (also called dayan
or tabla), and a low-pitched, less precisely tuned drum, the bayan. The dahina is
responsible for many of the resonant ringing sounds (or bols). The bayan provides the
bass and is recognizable for its swooping bass sound, which provides colourful
embellishment. The bayan is often said to be where the soul of the instrument lies.

Tabla
The Tabla is the most popular and widely used drum of North India. Its colourful range
of tonal qualities combined with its capacity to express remarkable rhythmic permutations make it a unique percussion instrument which in recent times has inspired and fascinated audiences worldwide.

The pair of drums consist of a high-pitched, precisely tuned dahina (also called dayan or tabla), and a low-pitched, less precisely tuned drum, the bayan. The dahina is responsible for many of the resonant ringing sounds (or bols). The bayan provides the bass and is recognizable for its swooping bass sound, which provides colourful embellishment. The bayan is often said to be where the soul of the instrument lies.

Most frequently the tabla is used to accompany classical instrumental, vocal and dance performances, but as all tabla players will remind you there also exists a strong tradition of tabla solo playing. The history of tabla is shrouded in mystery and mythology; however it is most commonly thought to have developed in the area of Delhi in the mid eighteenth century. Initially, much of the inspiration for its repertoire was borrowed and adapted from other Indian drums including pakhawaj and dholak. However, over the period since then, tabla players have built up a huge repertoire of material specific to the dynamics of the tabla. This vast range of compositions has been made richer by the evolution of a number of distinct regional performance styles, known as gharanas, of which there are six recognised by the tabla community, namely, Delhi, Ajrara, Farukhabad, Lucknow, Benares and Punjab. These styles have played a
major role in the development of tabla playing with regard to technique and repertoire.

The tabla player uses a vocabulary of semi-onomatopoeic syllables to represent the strokes on the instrument known as 'bols' (from the Hindi verb bolna, 'to speak'), a system which has been used to orally communicate compositions through the ages. Bols, making up popular phrases such as 'dhage tina gina' and 'ketetake terekete', are recited by the player before playing in a practice known as Pardhant; a kind of Indian version of rap. While in training a student is typically taught to speak the bols of the composition before actually playing it on the drums. Bols structured in a specific manner and arranged in sub-divisions are called thekas. The specific arrangement of these bols makes up the composition of the taal. In theory, a taal can consist of any amounts of beats from two upwards, but the most common taals consists of between 4 and 16 beats. Teentaal, made up of sixteen beats is the most popular taal, with three accents on the 1st, 5th and 13th beats respectively.

The solo tabla repertoire consists of a variety of compositional forms, many of which are featured on this recording. The forms can be divided into two broad categories. Firstly, compositions of the' theme and variation' type e.g. Peshkar, Kayida and Rela where a rhythmic theme is expanded and permutated using a variety of improvisatory techniques. Usually featured in the first half of the solo, these themes are pre-composed, but designed in a way to allow maximum potential for improvisation, testing the performer's creativity to the limit. Peshkar, the traditional starting point for a tabla solo recital, is an introductory improvisatory form beginning in a slow tempo, concentrating initially on a few select tabla syllables such as na/ta, ge, dha, dhin and tin. Peshkar gradually expands and unfolds introducing the listener to a wider range of phrases and sounds, playing a similar role in tabla solo to that of 'alap' in Indian vocal music, where the soloist progressively acclimatises to the music and the environment in which he or she is performing. Kayida is the main feature of most tabla solo recitals because of its potential for elaboration. It is a composed theme followed by a sequence of improvised variations known as palta played according to set rules. Rela is a fast exciting composition type consisting of a drum roll like effect produced by continuous repetition of just one or two sound syllables. The word Rela is said to have derived from 'rail gadi', which means train. The latter part of the recital most commonly consists of fixed compositions such as Tukra, Gat and Chakradaar, many of which have been inherited from great masters over generations and are therefore highly prized by tabla players.

Notes: John Ball
John Ball is a musician and musicologist specialising in
Indian Music based at the University of Sheffield.


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