The superb artistry of Shiv-Hari’s 1967 album, Call of the Valley, set the benchmark for contemporary Indian classical music. Inner Circle Entertainment now highlights the skill of this distinguished duo at two concerts, titled Ragas of the Valley – A Duet of Santoor and Flute, Celebrating the Legacy of Shiv-Hari from Call of the Valley to Silsila.
Ragas of the Valley can be heard at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town on Saturday, 10 November 2018, and at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg on Sunday, 11 November 2018. The ensemble recreating this phenomenal synergy will be renowned flautist Santosh Sant, dynamic fusion performer Sandip Chatterjee on santoor, reputed soloist Subhankar Banerjee on tabla, and pakhawaj maestro Bhawani Shankar.
Call of the Valley is considered a classic and a milestone in world music. This light classical album by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Brij Bhushan Kabra and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was recorded on the EMI label, and went on to become one of the most successful Indian classical albums ever recorded. The innovative use of guitar, and fresh, edgy approach to the muse bridged the divide between East and West.
The release was conceived as a suite, and the then 30-year-old musicians used their instruments to tell the story of a day in the life of a shepherd in Kashmir – using ragas associated with various times of the day to advance the dramatic narrative. This seminal recording is regarded as a mesmerising musical statement that is accessible to Western ears. Call of the Valley is even listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die – an informative reference series compiled by critics dispatched to select the most important works in popular music between the 1950s and the 2010s.
‘Ragas of the Valley’
Inner Circle Entertainment’s Duet of Santoor and Flute will feature four extraordinary performers who will highlight the profound collaborative exchange that facilitates great musical conversation.
Santosh Sant represents the juncture between tradition and modernity. He comes from a family of musicians from Gwalior in central India, where he received training in Hindustani classical music from his father Vasantrao Sant, a Gwalior Gharana vocalist. He was later trained by sitar player Shriram Umdekar, and after moving to Mumbai, studied with flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
While he has attempted to master the complexities of Raagdari music, Santosh is equally enthusiastic about cross-cultural partnerships. He is regarded as an ‘A’ grade performer of the Indian Radio and Television Network and has been honoured with the titles, ‘Abhinav Kala Samman’, ‘Surmani’ and ‘Venu-Shree’. As a flautist he has embraced the niceties of Gayaki and Tantrakari.
The virtuosity of santoor player Sandip Chatterjee has placed him in Calcutta Express with jazz guitarist Guy Strazz, and in the Indo-Mediterranean Shanti ensemble with saxman Claudio Giglio and Afro-Cuban percussionist Fulvio Farkas. While these projects have been highly acclaimed in the jazz world genre, Sandip’s expertise has also been utilised in the world of Indian film and cinema by the likes of A.R.Rahman, Jatin-Lalit, Gulshan Kumar and Ravindra Jain.
Sandip is a student of both santoor player Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya and vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. Today his discography stands at 21, and he has been heralded as being the torchbearer of two gharanas – Maihar and Patiala.
Classical tabla virtuoso Subhankar Banerjee is known for his versatile technique. His improvisational dexterity makes him a favoured accompanist for many of India’s outstanding musicians and dancers. His formidable command of the instrument was developed from the age of four, when this wunderkind started his musical journey. Influential creators such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Birju Maharaj have rated him as one of the most brilliant tabla players in India today. His collaborations with John Mc Laughlin, Chiko Freeman and Gill Goldstein, plus his participation in Hollywood movies like Night of the War and Dark Street have enhanced his profile in acts such as Sacred Drums of India.
Bhawani Shankar was also born into a musical sinefamily and began his study of pakhawaj and tabla at the age of eight. His father Babulalji was a renowned Kathak performer. Bhawani has played with many artists – including Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and tabla players Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. In the last few years he has made his mark as a composer for film and experimental fusion projects.
Shiv-Hari’s presence has been amply felt in both the evolution of Indian classical music and the Indian film industry, and these esteemed musicians steering Ragas of the Valley look forward to Celebrating the Legacy of Shiv-Hari from Call of the Valley to Silsila.
Cape Town: Saturday, 10 November 2018 – Baxter Concert Hall
Johannesburg: Sunday, 11 November 2018 – Gold Reef City
Cape Town tickets are available at www.webtickets.co.za and Pick n Pay outlets.