Purbayan Chatterjee & Jayanthi Kumaresh | Mandala

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Jayanthi Kumaresh Purbayan Chatterjee

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World: Indian Classical World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Purbayan Chatterjee & Jayanthi Kumaresh

A rare and beautiful combination of instruments that are deeply embedded in Indian culture and sensitive, thoughtful playing by master musicians. This debut CD by the Mandala is a masterpiece of North and South Indian traditional fusion.
Genre: World: Indian Classical
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Raga Hansadhwani - Alap
8:46 album only
2. Raga Hansadhwani - Vadhya Prabandha
6:57 album only
3. Raga Karaharapriya - Alap
8:19 album only
4. Raga Karaharapriya - Jorh - Jhalla
9:21 album only
5. Raga Karaharapriya - Vadhya Prabandha
20:46 album only
6. Raga Karaharapriya -Tabla-Mridangam
17:39 album only
7. Raga Karaharapriya -Payoji Maine Ram Ratan' - Bhajan
4:18 album only


Album Notes
'In every Jugalbandi the success lies in finding the right spot where the two systems can meet and converse, discuss, share and enhance each other.'
Such communion happens rarely and when it happens something meaningful and ethereal comes out'. - Jayanthi

'This album denotes the flowing of tradition from an ancient instrument with its majestic grandeur to a more contemporary instrument with its ornate lyricism. For me this project is really close to my heart because of the instant chemistry not only between the four musicians but because of the sheer seamlessness with which the Sitar and the Veena blend into each other'. - Purbayan

Jugalbandi (literally "tied together") is a traditional Indian art form where two musicians with different instruments or styles perform together. This unique collaboration brings together the South Indian Carnatic Veena and the North Indian Hindustani Sitar, two string instruments deeply embedded in Indian culture, played here by two of its finest and innovative exponents, Jayanthi Kumaresh and Purbayan Chatterjee respectively.

Jayanthi Kumaresh is one of the foremost Veena players of India, born into the legendary Lalgudi family, replete with renowned musicians. Endowed with prodigious talent, Jayanthi has been acclaimed by many critics as the most skilful and versatile Veena artiste in Carnatic music today, recognised for her virtuosity, musical insight, rich tonal quality and strict adherence to her tradition in performance.
Jayanthi started learning the Veena when she was barely four years old. Her main inspiration to learn was her aunt and Guru Smt. Padmavathi Ananthagopalan, a very renowned and accomplished Carnatic musician. Jayanthi was taken under her first guru's wing for ten years before turning to Virtuoso Padmabhushan Dr.S. Balachander for further guidance.
'Veenai Jayanthi', as she is affectionately called by her rasikas (devoted Carnatic audiences), has carved a special place for herself in the world of music with her dedication and perseverance, coupled with the blessings of her gurus. Her musical journey has also been further enhanced by her distinguished Uncle Shri. Lalgudi Jayaraman.
She is the youngest Veena artist in history to receive 'A' grade from All India Radio (AIR), the highest grade offered by the only grading institution of the country. Jayanthi embarked on her first global tour in 1990 and since then has thrilled audiences in many international festivals in the UK, Europe and USA. A frequent performer in the US, her coast-to-coast jaunt includes both regular concerts and lecture demonstrations along with music appreciation courses at various US universities. In addition to her accomplishments as a Veena performer, Veenai Jayanthi has authored musical productions such as 'Thyagaraja Vaibhavam', 'Ruthu Soundaryam', 'Om Sharavanabhava' and 'Bheema Anjaneya Samvadam'. These productions have been successfully staged and have won her appreciation with rave reviews from critics.
Jayanthi's passion for teaching music is no less than her passion to perform concerts. Jayanthi, a brilliant singer, has been teaching both Vocal music and the Veena to students from around the world, for the last twelve years. Jayanthi's vision is to create a world-class institution that will propagate, promote and preserve Carnatic Music and its rich legacy for posterity.

Remarkably, Purbayan Chatterjee gave his first Sitar performance at the age of five at the India Festival in Basel in 1982. He is now acknowledged as the most gifted torch-bearer of the Senia-Maihar Gharana created by Baba Alauddin Khan, legendary multi-instrumentalist and one of the greatest music teachers of the twentieth Century. At the age of just three years, he surprised his family and friends with his extraordinary capacity of annotating every single song that he heard. He was initiated to Sitar from the age of four by his father Shri Parthapratim Chatterjee, a disciple of Pt. Nikhil Bannerjee and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and a distinguished Sitar player in his own right, having established himself as a highly respected teacher and performer in Europe, USA as well as in India. More recently Purbayan has taken taleem (intensive and thorough training) from the legendary Sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Purbayan plays the most aesthetically satisfying style of Pt. Nikhil Bannerjee, whom he holds in the highest reverence. Although first and foremost a brilliant Sitarist, Purbayan is also an accomplished vocalist, acknowledged by the top-most maestros in India. His decision to take up Indian Classical Music as a profession became firm at the age of fourteen, when he received the most coveted President of India Award for being the best instrumentalist of the country.
Purbayan has performed at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world including Womad, North Sea Jazz Festival, World Music Festival Chicago. As a Classical Musician of the current generation, Purbayan likes to experiment with all other forms of music that he feels close to his heart. He has successfully experimented with Carnatic Classical, Western Jazz, Spanish Flamenco, African Jazz and Blues. His collaborations have won him world-wide acclaim.

Jayachandra Rao started learning mridangam at the age of five under Vidwan Trichur E.P.Narayan Pisharady and later received advanced training under the tutelage of Palakkad T.R.Rajamani- son of Palakkad T.S.Mani Iyer. He has also studied flute with his father Prof. K. Raghavendra. Jayachandra is known for his "Gayaki Style" of playing, his anticipation of the Manodharma (free style) of the main artist and tonal clarity in his hand.

Subhankar Banerjee is one of the most popular tabla players on the Indian music scene. He has featured on over one hundred commercial recordings so far in his career probably because his performances always exhibit technical mastery combined with innovation and creativity. He learnt tabla from the age of five years with Sri Swapan Siva, an eminent exponent of the Farukhabad tabla style.


Veena is one of the three celestial musical instruments, along with Flute and Mridangam. Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of Arts, is most famously identified with Veena, symbolising that music has primary importance among all forms of fine arts and education. One of India's greatest sages Yajnavalkya proclaimed that he who knows the truth of Veena playing treads an easy path to salvation.
According to legend the demon-king Ravana and the monkey-god Hanuman were great Veena players. There are several variations of the veena, which in its South Indian form is a member of the lute family.

Sitar has become an icon of Indian Classical Music all over the world. The sound of the Sitar is said to represent the eternal quest for the spiritual. In North India, it was the Sitar which replaced the Veena in popularity in the nineteenth century, as the ornamental khayal vocal style gradually came into vogue and took the place of the more austere sounding Dhrupad.

Raga Hansadhwani is a popular raga in the Carnatic repertoire, which has in recent times, been enthusiastically adopted by North Indian musicians into their repertoire. It is a pentatonic raga symbolising the song of the swan - the Sanskrit word for swan is hamsa or hansa, and it is the vehicle of many deities like the goddess Saraswati. It is joyful and uplifting in mood and pleasing on the ear. The first composition (track 2) is joined by both tabla and mridangam, both players sensitively and appropriately exchanging accompaniment roles so as not to dominate proceedings.
Karaharapriya is the Carnatic equivalent of Raga Kafi. Sacred hymns in the Hindu religious text, the Sama Veda are believed to be based on this ancient mode. It is performed in the Carnatic tala Tisra Jati Thriputa, or seven beat Rupak in the Hindustani taal system and, and concludes with a wonderful percussion dialogue between the North Indian Tabla and the Carnatic mridangam. Both compositions in Hansadhwani and Karahararpriya have been created by the artists specifically for this project with the unique combination of Veena and Sitar in mind. These Vadhya (instrumental music) Prabandhas (collection) skilfully and ingeniously draw inspiration from both Hindustani and Carnatic traditions.
The recording concludes with a famous Meera Bhajan 'Payoji Maine' in praise of Lord Rama. Bhajan is a song form using soulful and spiritual language expressing surrender to God. Born in the sixteenth century Meera was one of India's greatest female poets.

'Recording this Jugalbandi album with Purbayan was real fun. The atmosphere in which we recorded was so conducive to music and all our creative muses were awakened.' - Jayanthi

Notes: John Ball
John Ball is a musician and musicologist based at the University of Sheffield



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