Friday night I was invited to be the guest of the preeminent sarod player Mr. Anindya Banerjee or Bubul to his friends. He was giving a performance at the Dover Lane Music conference. A classical Indian music festival, that takes place over a four-day period. He invited me to his home, which is just a few blocks from my apartment where I met his wife, his 9-year-old daughter, a music archivist from Delhi and a documentary filmmaker from Berkeley CA. I had no idea what to expect but I rode with them to the concert hall, ushered with them to a back stage room where we waited until he went on. In the meantime he tuned his instrument and warmed up with his tabla player. The sarod is a string instrument smaller than a sitar that is played by plucking. Tablas (twin drums) are small wooden and metal drums that are played with the hand.
The performance began around 9:30 we had second row sets. The sarod starts first and sets the tone for the piece to be played and from what I understand there is a certain amount of improvisation in North Indian classical music. The tabla player senses the mood and enters quite a ways into the piece. It is very soulful music and different songs are played at different times of the day. Just when I thought I knew where the music was going it would take a turn elsewhere. During play the song slowly builds in its syncopation in its frenzy. Yet it is a gradual climax it is as if they about to take flight.
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