An evening with Ustad Zakir Hussain & Celtic Connection
In this blog post, Nithin writes his experience about the concert that happened in Milwaukee Pabst Theater on March 13, 2015.
The artist lineup for the concert was:
Zakir Hussain (Tabla), Rakesh Chaurasia (Bamboo Flute), Fraser Fifield (Flute/Pipes), Jean-Michel Veillon (Flute), Ganesh Rajagopalan (Violin), Charlie McKerron (Fiddle), Patsy Reid (Fiddle), Tony Byrne (Guitar), and John Joe Kelly (Bodhran).
"Being a metal head at heart, Indian classical music concerts was never a great experience for me. Coming from the generation that believes in democratizing music, I always was turned off by the Indian classical music scene where they took the extra effort to ensure the music was beyond the grasp of the common man.
Needless to say, when my vocalist and wife suggested the Zakir Hussain concert, I was less enthused. However, I have a different view now, since for the first time in a long time, I witnessed technically profound music played with the intent of putting it in the common man's reach. Here is the story of Ustad Zakir Hussain and the Celtic Connection.
Ever since the Dewarists paired up Papon, Karsh Kale and Scottish music, we always knew that was a good combination. The Zakir-Celtic connection was no different. Starting with a crescendo of the flute ( played by Rakesh Chaurasia) and then Scottish bagpipes, the concert weaved in and out of contemporary Indian classical ragas and the Scottish flair to provide one of the best experiences and inspiration for an upcoming band like us.
The songs played showcased instrument by instrument with solo pieces on the violin, flute, bagpipes, acoustic guitars and the Scottish percussions. Right in the middle was an amazing solo by Ustad Hussain himself. While it was hard to remember each song, I did remember being drawn into the series of time signature changes that truly showcased the complexity in simple music.
From a personal standpoint, the only irritation came from people who kept screaming 'Wah!'. I'm not sure when Indian audiences will understand that some performances are to be enjoyed in the silent attention to music the treating it like an Indian marriage band.
The shining light though is light for musicians like The Cocoknot Theori who try to blend Indian classical music with western genres without murdering either. Ustad Zakir Hussain and the Celtic connection have provided us inspiration by showing us that they believe in the same ideology that we do.
Now... Back to the studio to put up some plans for this winter's recordings."
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