Swar Shikhar

Girija Devi

Tambura Player
Rupan Sarkar
Harmonium Player
Dharam Nath Mishra
Tabla Player
Kameshwar Nath Mishra
Sarangi Player
Santhoshkumar Mishra

About this album

The Purab-ang gayaki as explained by Girija Devi herself, "lays great emphasis on the 'swara'. A dhrupad-oriented 'alaap' precedes the traditional 'khayal', and 'taankari' and 'sargams' fine more prominence in the 'drut khayal'. In the 'Thumri', prominence is given to the 'lyrics' in a manner that the appropriate expression gets conveyed and any irrelevant 'taankari' is strictly avoided."

A living legend, Girija Devi will go down in history as one of the doyens of the 'Purab-Ang' style of the Thumri.

She was born in Benaras in 1929, and thanks to her father Ramdas Rai, was introduced to the world of music under Sarju Prasad Mishra. This training continued for a decade, and by the time she was in her early teens, Girijaji had acquired a sound knowledge base and an immaculate control over the fundamentals of "Raagdari'.

After the death of Shri Sarju Prasad, Girija Devi continued her training under her second mentor, Shrichandra Mishra. It was under him that she picked up the nuances of the 'Purab-Ang Gayaki', which went on to become her forte in the years to come.

Her vast repertoire spans across several ranging from Khayal and Tappa to the Thumri, Gul and Naksh, Chaiti, Kajri, Jhoola etc. Her supremely creative application of her training as a 'Classical' musician to the Thumri has elevated this very precious 'light-classical' art form to being a very important component of Hindustani music concerts. Ironically, as a sign of reverence to her Gurus in classical music, Girija Devi invariably opens her light-classical concerts with a raga-based presentation. Her later years as an artist has been spent performing extensively both in India and abroad. She was also a senior member at Calcutta's Sangeet Research Academy.

A tolerant and loving teacher, she often imparts training to her disciples at the banks of the Ganges.

Girija Devi's concerts are well known for the informal banter that she indulges in with her audiences. Thanks to her supreme innocence and simplicity, she is able to strike a conversational-rapport with her audiences that are very rare in this day and age.


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