Moods Afternoon Melodies

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia


About this album

Hariprasad Chaurasia is known internationally as the greatest living master of the North Indian bamboo flute. It is quite and impossible task to think of the 'bansuri' without thinking of this great personality, who has today immortalized its presence across the world.

Blending the musical traditions of India with imagination and innovation, Hariji has reached beyond classical music to create a sound of his own. He has been honoured with several prestigious awards like the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Sangeet Natak Academy to name a few. In addition to recording as a soloist, Hariji has collaborated with such jazz musicians as John McLaughlin and Jan Garbarek. His compositions have been heard in several Indian films including 'Silsila', 'Lamhe' and 'Darr', which he co-composed with Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. He is one of the busiest North Indian classical musicians, regularly traveling and performing throughout the world.

Rag Bhimpalasi
Indian classical music is based on the melodic system of Rag and rhythmic system of Tal, with the support of a constant drone. Each Rag, from the hundreds in existence, is a unique melodic personality, determined by the notes used, their relative importance and the shape of their patterns. The performer is trained for years in the subtle details that create a Raga and which distinguish it from all others, and the performance is both a recreation of the knowledge thus acquired and the spontaneous creation of new possibilities within the constraints of the Rag. What we hear on this album is, therefore, unmistakably Rag Bhimpalasi, but not exactly the same as Hariprasad Chaurasia's previous renditions, nor of any future ones. The Rag is unique, and so is every performance of it, its possibilities can never be exhausted.

In this raga, the notes are in their basic order of ascent and descent are:
Ni-flat Sa Gat-flat Ma Pa Ni-flat Sa (ascending)
Sa Ni-flat Dha Pa Ma Ga-flat Re Sa (descending)

Hariprasad Chaurasia sets the mood immediately, with a long, steady Sa, and phrases exploring the Ni-flat and Pa below. The first sound to be heard, however, is the drone, which continues throughout the performance and even for a few seconds after. It is provided by two Tamburas. The larger (which begins slightly before the other) is tuned to Pa Sa Sa and Sa an octave below, and the other (an octave higher) is tuned to Ga-flat Pa Sa Sa and Sa an octave below.


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