VIDEO : Bismillah Khan the great Shennai player dies


I got a phone call yesterday from Greece to tell me that the great Shennai player from India, Ustad Bismillah Khan, had died of a heart attack. His health had been bad for a while and his playing had naturally reached it’s peak a few years ago.

The gentle genius of Bismillah Khan is perhaps single handedly responsible for making Shehnai a famous classical instrument. Traditionally used to play music during marriages, Shehnai is the counterpart of south indian nadaswaram. It is also used to play music in temples.

Born in a small Bihar village in 1917, Ustad Bismillah learned shehnai from his uncle who used to play in the famous Vishwanath temple of Varanasi. He brought Shehnai to the center stage of indian music with his concert in the calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. There was no looking back.

Ustad Bismillah Khan is the third classical musician after Pt Ravi Shankar and Smt M S Subbulakshmi to be awarded Bharath Rathna, the highest civilian honour in India. However even though he was well respected and used by the government as part of the Indian culture promo list he wasn’t really kept in the manner he should have been and he even threatened to hand the award back if he didn’t get a cheque….he got one eventually. Bismillah had the onus of feeding a hundred persons, ten sons included. He travelled across the world but didn’t like flying. In India he would mostly travel by train.

Bismillah had a retinue of 8-10 accompanists – quite a large number. He would travel to the railway station by cycle rickshaw, heading a caravan of 4 or 5, waving to familiar passersby, no less happy than a prince in a Rolls Royce! He was very well loved by the people and his healthy perspective and example on the overlap of being both Muslim and Hindu was well noted by the people.

I myself was touched by his playing and his rendition of Multani at the banks of the Ganges was what inspired the ElectroRaga Version of Multani recently in Manchester. You can hear me triggering and chopping his Shennai playing.

And here is the original performance that I took it from as hosted on Patrick Moutal’s excellent website on Indian music.

This news of his death didn’t make it to the UK newspapers or websites as far as I could see. Let us not forget this link with the old world of magic as handed to us in the form of Bismillah Khan. His kind are less every year.

Rest ye well.

Links
http://www.chembur.com/anecdotes/bismillah.htm
http://www.musicalnirvana.com/hindustani/bismillah_khan.html
http://blogpur.blogspot.com/2006/04/bismillah-khan-and-his-shehnai.html

Drongomala
www.flyingmountainrecords.com

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VIDEO : Bismillah Khan the great Shennai player dies


I got a phone call yesterday from Greece to tell me that the great Shennai player from India, Ustad Bismillah Khan, had died of a heart attack. His health had been bad for a while and his playing had naturally reached it’s peak a few years ago.

The gentle genius of Bismillah Khan is perhaps single handedly responsible for making Shehnai a famous classical instrument. Traditionally used to play music during marriages, Shehnai is the counterpart of south indian nadaswaram. It is also used to play music in temples.

Born in a small Bihar village in 1917, Ustad Bismillah learned shehnai from his uncle who used to play in the famous Vishwanath temple of Varanasi. He brought Shehnai to the center stage of indian music with his concert in the calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. There was no looking back.

Ustad Bismillah Khan is the third classical musician after Pt Ravi Shankar and Smt M S Subbulakshmi to be awarded Bharath Rathna, the highest civilian honour in India. However even though he was well respected and used by the government as part of the Indian culture promo list he wasn’t really kept in the manner he should have been and he even threatened to hand the award back if he didn’t get a cheque….he got one eventually. Bismillah had the onus of feeding a hundred persons, ten sons included. He travelled across the world but didn’t like flying. In India he would mostly travel by train.

Bismillah had a retinue of 8-10 accompanists – quite a large number. He would travel to the railway station by cycle rickshaw, heading a caravan of 4 or 5, waving to familiar passersby, no less happy than a prince in a Rolls Royce! He was very well loved by the people and his healthy perspective and example on the overlap of being both Muslim and Hindu was well noted by the people.

I myself was touched by his playing and his rendition of Multani at the banks of the Ganges was what inspired the ElectroRaga Version of Multani recently in Manchester. You can hear me triggering and chopping his Shennai playing.

And here is the original performance that I took it from as hosted on Patrick Moutal’s excellent website on Indian music.

This news of his death didn’t make it to the UK newspapers or websites as far as I could see. Let us not forget this link with the old world of magic as handed to us in the form of Bismillah Khan. His kind are less every year.

Rest ye well.

Links
http://www.chembur.com/anecdotes/bismillah.htm
http://www.musicalnirvana.com/hindustani/bismillah_khan.html
http://blogpur.blogspot.com/2006/04/bismillah-khan-and-his-shehnai.html

Drongomala
www.flyingmountainrecords.com

VIDEO : HLI+Drongomala Sat12thAug – Birmingham

Footage links below to the recent gig by HLI and Drongomala at the Rainbow, Digbeth in Birmingham. Footage has a blend of daytime messing around aswell. This was a fundraiser for earthquake victims. Camcorder quality sound…..H(B)ollywood please call.

Filmed by MiMi and edited by AntKnee

Part 1 – hanging out and rehearsing

Part 2 – ElectroRaga

Part 3 – Hi Diving

Part 4 – Homeward

Part 5 – Everything Is Gonna Be OK

Part 6 – Outro with Guest Juice Aleem, Sensei C doing street poetry and WuTheF*@! doing a ditty.

Drongomala
www.flyingmountainrecords.com

VIDEO : HLI+Drongomala Sat12thAug – Birmingham

Footage links below to the recent gig by HLI and Drongomala at the Rainbow, Digbeth in Birmingham. Footage has a blend of daytime messing around aswell. This was a fundraiser for earthquake victims. Camcorder quality sound…..H(B)ollywood please call.

Filmed by MiMi and edited by AntKnee

Part 1 – hanging out and rehearsing

Part 2 – ElectroRaga

Part 3 – Hi Diving

Part 4 – Homeward

Part 5 – Everything Is Gonna Be OK

Part 6 – Outro with Guest Juice Aleem, Sensei C doing street poetry and WuTheF*@! doing a ditty.

Drongomala
www.flyingmountainrecords.com

Newspaper Article: When Hoodies Attack (ElectroRaga)

One of the local newspapers caught on to our little drama at the ElectroRaga dawn gig in Chorlton, Manchester.

Feel free to leave comments on their site….already the rights and wrongs of what we did is being debated….

The article is replete with misquotes and made up bits – I’m not complaining though as the hit count for the clip has went from 200 to 2000…I love the press – has Indian classical music ever been so rock and roll?!

FRESH NEWS : watch out for a video report of the hiphop gig with HLI in Birmingham this weekend – coming soon – yes it rocked hard.

Drongomala
www.flyingmountainrecords.com

Newspaper Article: When Hoodies Attack (ElectroRaga)


southmancreporter-electroraga attack
Originally uploaded by drongomala.

One of the local newspapers caught on to our little drama at the ElectroRaga dawn gig in Chorlton, Manchester.

Feel free to leave comments on their site….already the rights and wrongs of what we did is being debated….

The article is replete with misquotes and made up bits – I’m not complaining though as the hit count for the clip has went from 200 to 2000…I love the press – has Indian classical music ever been so rock and roll?!

FRESH NEWS : watch out for a video report of the hiphop gig with HLI in Birmingham this weekend – coming soon – yes it rocked hard.

Drongomala
www.flyingmountainrecords.com

ElectroRaga VIDEO : Malkauns (midnight) 23/7/06 Red Light Area, Manchester

Malkauns is a dark brooding raga. PLayed late night. (see my article ‘Robert Johnson, The Cross Roads and Malkauns)

This gig like the rest wasn’t agreed…..thing is it wasn’t the authorities we were worried about it was the lawless…..this one was in the red light district of Manchester. Watch out for a cameo by Mick Jagger.