- Artist: Pritam Bhattacharjee
- Format: CD
- Release Date:3/17/2009
Pritam Bhattacharjee has emerged as one of India's finest up and coming vocalists. Born in Assam, Pritam demonstrated an inclination towards music from childhood, learning with his mother Smt. Monjushree Bhattacharjee from the age of three. This was followed up with training under Shri Amarendra Chakraborty until the age of fourteen. In 1995, a lifelong ambition was realized when Mewati Maestro Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasrajji accepted him as his disciple.Blessed with a highly cultivated voice, Pritam has succeeded in absorbing all the aspects of Pandit Jasraj's singing style through vigorous riyaz (practice) under the ever-watchful eyes of his Guru. Pritam has performed solos in many prestigious festivals in India and abroad. Prominent performances include those at the Motiram Sangeet Samaroha in Hyderabad and the Harballah Music Festival in Jalandhar. He has also shared the stage with his Guruji all over India and abroad performing with him at Dover Lane, Calcutta, Gunidas Sangeet Samaroha in Delhi, Sawai Gandharva Music Festival in Pune, Saptak Music Festival in Ahmedabad, Swar-Utsav in Delhi, in India as well as concerts in South Africa Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Mauritius and the United States. Pritam has become a highly regarded composer with a talent for compositions in rare ragas and taals. His mellifluous voice, his mastery over taal (system of Indian rhythm), his speedy taans, and his in-depth knowledge of each raga makes Pritam's concerts a wholesome experience. Evidence suggests that he is all set to ably carry forward the rich Mewati tradition and legacy in forthcoming years. Pritam currently teaches at Pandit Jasraj's school of music in Atlanta, USA. Spandan (Vibrations) is Pritam's first album. This album is very special as all the Raga-Bandishes in this album are composed by Pritam himself. Spandan is a Indian Classical Vocal Album (Hindustani) with three tracks - Raga Ahir Bhairav, Raga Patdeep and Ragamala (Garland of Ragas). Ahir Bhairav is an early morning raga particularly suited for bhakti ras (devotion). 'Rasiya Mhara' is a traditional khayal composition set to Vilambit Ektaal, a slow tempo twelve beat rhythmic cycle. Khayal, literally meaning imagination, has been the most popular vocal style in North Indian Classical Music over the last 150 years. It is a richly evolved improvisational music genre giving performers the opportunity to display the depth and breadth of their musical knowledge and skills. In the lyric of the khayal a lover expresses her profound devotion for a man whom she honors and reveres with her all heart. The composition is preceded by a Sanskrit prayer, or Aarti, sung in the shape of the raga. Mangalam Bhagavaan Vishnu Mangalam Garuda Dhwaja Mangalam Pundari Kaaksha Mangalaaya Tano Hari Auspicious is Lord Vishnu; Auspicious is He whose flag bears the emblem of Garuda; Auspicious is He who is lotus-eyed; Hari is the abode of auspiciousness Pritam captures the character of the raga meticulously, improvising with apparent ease around the melody and lyric of the composition, blending technique and aesthetic beauty. As the composition progresses he employs more technical aspects like sargam and taan to great effect. Sargam is the singing of the notes, or swaras, employing the designated syllables that make up the vocabulary of Indian music (Sa, Re, Ga, etc.). Taan is the virtuosic singing of a series of rapidly articulated notes creating an exhilarating effect. The second bandish, 'Mori Araj Suno Ab Kanhai', is Pritam's own original composition. It is set to teentaal, a popular sixteen beat rhythm cycle. The lyric expresses how the devotee seeks refuge with Lord Krishna, offering her boundless love and devotion. Having renounced the world and all it's trappings she has come to Him, the one who protects and take care of all those in need. The bandish is adorned with graceful taans and layakari throughout. Patdeep is a late afternoon raga - associated with Shringar, the King (or Queen) of Rasas. Shringar expresses the deepest desires of mankind, encapsulating love, art and beauty. Rasa, in Sanskrit literature, is the concept of aesthetic flavor, or an essential element of any work of art that can only be suggested, not described. Each raga is associated with one of nine rasas. The bandish, 'Sundar Sughar Shyam', created by Pritam, gives expression to Radha's delight as she receives Lord Shri Krishna at her home. Having seen her beloved after a long wait, her heart is filled with joy and she is elated by His benevolent and reassuring presence. Pritam's mellifluous voice and exceptional versatility are evident in this rendition. The sentiment of the raga is first invoked through a short Alap, an un-metered, improvised and unaccompanied elaboration of the main phrases of the raga outlining it's character. The composition is initially set to a lilting medium tempo teentaal. As the tempo increases to drut laya we are treated to a series of exquisite taans. Raagmala literally means a garland of Ragas, a composition skillfully threading together several ragas. Here Pritam Bhattacharjee has seamlessly weaved together eighteen ragas in one composition set to ektaal, a twelve beat rhythm cycle. Remarkably, all eighteen ragas are at sometime mentioned in the poetry. The Raagmala starts with the joyful raga Yaman and ends with pacifying notes of Bhairavi. Featured ragas are Desh, Shree, Jogiya, Bairagi, Vridavani Sarang, Puriya, Shuddh Sarang, Kanhara, Darbari, Madhuvanti, Bahar, Basant, Jog, Sohini, and Shankara. It features both day and night ragas together The dominant expression (bhav) of the lyrics is bhakti (devotion). Various attributes and aspects of the Supreme Being are highlighted as are the different ways and paths to reach Him. While one passage expresses the depth of love and devotion for the Lord, another speaks of the saints and seers meditating upon Him. The lyric features a prayer for His grace and blessings and for freedom from fear and ignorance. Accompanists Nilesh Jadhav is a young promising tabla player, who trained with the late, great Ustad Allarakha Khan, maestro of the Punjab Gharana of tabla playing. In recent years he has taken talim (training) from Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Fazal Qureshi. Nilesh has become a regular accompanist for many renowned singers and instrumentalists including Pt. Prabhakar Karekar (vocal) and Shri. Milind Raikar (violin). Nilesh is all set to ably carry forward the rich Punjab Gharana tradition and legacy in forthcoming years. Anant Joshi is a highly regarded harmonium player. He has accompanied several internationally regarded artists from India, including Smt. Shobha Gurtu, Smt. Padma Talwalkar and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar. He has performed as a soloist in India and abroad, as well as in jugalbandi (duet) with Flute, Sitar and Violin. Notes: John Ball John Ball is based at the University of Sheffield, UK. Copyright (C) 2009 RagaRanga(R) - All Rights Reserved.
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