june 2009 programmes


Sitar-Guitar Mini Fest 5th & 6th June 

friday 5th june
6.30 pm “Hindustani Classical Slide Guitar recital’ by Rhitom Sarkar

Slide guitar or bottleneck guitar is a particular method or technique for playing the guitar. The sliding motion of, originally, the neck of a glass bottle against the strings produces a sound different from pressing the string against frets like in a sitar. This slide can then be moved along the string without lifting, creating continuous transitions in pitch. The technique lends itself to glissandi (swoops up or down to a note); in addition it has the ability to evoke sounds of the human voice, crying, sighing or weeping, or natural noises.

The technique of using a slide on a string has been traced to a one-string toy-instrument: the "diddley bow," which resembles one-stringed African instruments. There is also a Pacific connection, the Hawaiian "slack guitar style", possibly tracing its origins back to the Indian subcontinent, where the Vichitra Veena is played sliding a glass ball across the strings.The technique was made popular by African American blues and gospel artists and has also become commonplace in country and Hawaiian music

 Rhitom Sarkar comes from a family of musicians. His mother, Niyati Sarkar is a vocalist of the Vishnupur Gharana. From the age of 9 for ten he studied guitar with Pandit Debashish Bhattarcharya and then sitar with Kishore Chakraborty and guitar with Debotosh Dey, guitarist of All India Radio. His current sitar guru is Pandit Shyamal Chatterjee, disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar. He has also learnt Spanish guitar from composer and director Sri Madhu Mukherjee. He has won awards at various youth festivals and received scholarships from the government and Sangeet academies. He has performed in concerts all over India and is an empanelled artist of Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre. His album ‘Blessings and Divinity’ was released in 2005 and his new album ‘Enchanted Evenings’ in 2006.


saturday 6th june
6.30 pm sitar recital by Fateh Ali

The greats of Indian sitar Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Nikhal Bannerjee have not been replaced by artists of equivalent stature. Shahid Parvez, Budhaditya Mukherjee and Nishat Khan are good sitarists but who are the torch bearers of the younger generation. The total dedication required, the long hours of practice and the presence of a great Guru are hindrances to most traditional Indian dance and music. However one of the great advantages that still exist for the young is a family tradition of dance and music.  

Fateh Ali  belongs to the sixth generation of a family of Sarangi Players of the Moradabad Gharana.  He was first initiated into vocal music at the age of seven by his grand father "(Late) Ustad Siddique Ahmed Khan Sahab". He started learing  the Sitar (Late) Shri Satish Kumar Ji, of Dharwar and later under Ustad Shamshuddin Faridi Desai. He is currently under the guidance of his father Ustad Ghulam Sabir Khan.

Fateh Ali has performed in India and in many festivals in Germany, Austria, Russia, Italy, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Krikgistan, Syria, Jordan and many countries of Middle East. His  albums include ‘Tasir Sitar’ and ‘CONVERGENCE’  for the  world music series of Mystica Music.


friday 19th june
6.30 pm ‘THE SONATA FORM’  a lecture in two parts by Dr. Jayati Ghosh  (15 May & 19 June 2009) 

                                   The sonata form is the most important musical form that developed from the classical period and continued well into the music of the 20th century. It is usually best exemplified in the first movements of multi-movement works.

Originally the term meant a piece for playing, distinguished from cantata, a piece for singing. Prior to the Classical period it designated a variety of forms but by the early 19th century it had come to represent a principle of composing large scale works and as one of two fundamental methods of organizing, interpreting and analyzing concert music.

The Romantic era in music accepted the centrality of this practice, codified the form explicitly and made instrumental music in this form central to concert and chamber composition and practice, particularly for works which were meant to be regarded as "serious" works of music.

The sonata has continued to be influential through the subsequent history of classical music through to the modern period. The 20th century brought a wealth of scholarship that sought to found the theory of the sonata form on basic tonal laws. The 20th century would see a continued expansion of acceptable practice, leading to the formulation of ideas that there existed a "sonata principle" or "sonata idea" which unified works of the type, even if they did not explicitly mean the demands of the normative.

Jayati Ghosh  is Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU  New Delhi.  She was educated at Miranda House, Delhi University, JNU and obtained her Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She is the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAS), an international network of heterodox development economists (www.networkideas.org) and  a founder-trustee of the Economic Research Foundation in New Delhi, (www.macroscan.org). 

Her recent books are “Work and well being in the age of finance”, “The market that failed: Neoliberal economic reforms in India”, “Tracking the macroeconomy”, “Never done and poorly paid: Women’s work in globalising India. She was also the principal author of the West Bengal Human Development Report 2004 which received the 2005 UNDP Award for excellence in analysis. She is a columnist for Frontline, Businessline, Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle and Ganashakti. She is currently a member of the National Knowledge Commission reporting to the Prime Minister. She maintains an active interest in western classical music.