A Journey to India


title                                                                                                                                                                                                                               W                                                                                                       “est meets East” was named album where the violinist Yehudi Menuhin met sitar player Ravi Shankar. It won a chamber music Grammy in 1967, the same year the Beatles places India-inspired “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was awarded in the category of Best Album. It was then discovered HINDUSTANI western music on a broad front.

Now 50 years later, has much happened. Yet it is an important moment when Stockholm offers a meeting of the same kind, namely between tabla player Sukhvinder Singh, Cellist Matthew Barley and Hugo Ticciati with its O / modern orchestra. A properly stocked Musical salon says that more people thought the same thing.

First half of the concert did not fit under the heading “A Journey to India” for the devoted John Taveners “The Protecting Veils” for cello and strings orchestra – a typical example of “holy minimalism” (like Arvo Pärt).  Meanwhile, the soloist Barley maintains that it required an approach to music that is similar to that of the face of Indian raga: a meditative. It is just over 40 minutes of music, a time that is stretched out, and that requires changing the rhythm and time perception. Barley sang on his cello, in silence, only interrupted by the break-in when the string orchestra cut into tonal masses.

After the break was significantly spräckligare: Indian dance, a raga, a bit Beatles and as a composition that musicians put together in four days reptid. In the first, the colorful dance number came together students from Saraswathy Kalakendra School of Fine Art in Värby with the Stockholm School of the Arts. Then it became a “trio” with Singh, Barley and dance leader Usha Balasundaram, built on ragaprinciper. It became extremely sensible tablaspel from Singh. Barley showed how much longer the musical understanding come since Menuhin squareness. Balasundaram gave poetry to the movement.

The Beatles clear Indian-influenced “Within You Without You” appeared was expected, however, it became a problematic joint over to “Across the Universe”. It is simply hard to find a good balance between the West and the East: the rhythmic complexity Hindustan music makes Western music always seem to go in the soul-killing march pace.

Still managed to Singh, Barley, Ticciati & Co. just fine in the nameless final composition: a melodic motion wandered from instrument to instrument, modules followed one another; and not least were treated to a phenomenal musical conversation between tabla and bass. The audience stood up with an enthusiastic roar – and sure enough, it was one of the most rejuvenating concerts I’ve been to recently.


Author: Erik Wallrup



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