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The Lian and Chirgilchin Ensembles Collaborate – On April 9th, a Friday night at California Institute of the Arts, there took place an intimate and profound collaboration from a far away part of the world. The Herb Alpert School of music hosted The Lian Ensemble and Chirgilchin in their The Wild Beast music pavilion (aptly named after composer Morton Feldman's metaphor for the untamable in music) and a new sound emerged. The Lian Ensemble, a Los Angeles based group whose roots lie in the Persian classical and mystical Sufi traditions are no strangers to the idea of fusion. Each of their nine albums  incorporates such diverse different musical styles as jazz, Flamenco, and Hindustani. The addition of Chirgilchin, the Tuvan throat singers, … [Read more...]

Back to Back at REDCAT – Saturday, Night 2

Swapan Chaudhuri, Aashish Khan and the CalArts Tabla Ensemble, REDCAT April 3, 2010 – My first exposure to classical Indian music was an unforgettable Ravi Shankar concert. The meditative focus of the musicians to which the presence of the audience contributed required throughout the mostly improvisational intricacies of raga struck me as spiritually uplifting and physically revitalizing. I found myself soon thereafter in India hunting for a set of tablas. It is said that each note on the Indian scale corresponds to the human subtle anatomy (chakras and nadis that govern the flow of prana or energy in the body). With roots in ancient vedic religion, Indian classical raga music is viewed by many as a spiritual discipline that can lead … [Read more...]