samaagam 10 march 2010
WELCOME! Welcome to Samaagam - the first event in our 2010 Home and Away programme. To celebrate Perth’s 800th year, Horsecross Arts is spending 2010 bringing together international artists with people from across Perth and Kinross to inspire and create. We are very excited about the process and the results: three community festivals which will see the people of Perth sharing the stage with international legends of live music and art. Samaagam is the first such event: an inspirational partnership project between Horsecross Arts, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Dance Ihayami and school and community groups from across Perthshire. Participants have been learning about and taking part in Indian music and dance, developing and rehearsing tonight’s performance in just seven weeks! Following them onto the Horsecross stage is Amjad Ali Khan and we are honoured to welcome this master of the sarod to Perth Concert Hall. Watch out for more Home and Away events throughout 2010 when we will be working with artists from Scotland as well as international artists from Brazil, Nigeria and China. There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved in Home and Away at September’s Carnival and November’s Lightnight events taking place on the streets of Perth and here at the Concert Hall. We hope you enjoy tonight’s performance as much as we all enjoyed making it!
Jennifer Minchin Project Manager - Home and Away
Tonightâ€™s performance Documentary of community and schools project Brahma performance Vishnu performance Shiva performance Community and schools finale Dance Ihayami performance INTERVAL (20 mins) Amjad Ali Khan sarod solo SHORT PAUSE (10 mins) Samaagam (performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Amjad Ali Khan conductor: David Murphy)
Amjad Ali Khan In a career spanning 50 years, Amjad Ali Khan has single-handedly elevated the sarod to one of the most popular instruments in the Northern Indian tradition. In June 2008, Amjad Ali Khan’s concerto for sarod and orchestra, Samaagam, was premiered with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the St Magnus and City of London Festivals. This was followed by two highly successful performances of the work in the SCO’s subscription series in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as a six-city tour of India. Amjad Ali Khan has also performed an especially adapted version of the work with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra in Taiwan.
Amjad Ali Khan is a guest at many world-class festivals including Edinburgh, BBC Proms, Paris St Denis, Prague Spring, Moscow’s Festival of India, Rome’s International Poets Festival, Seattle Summer Arts Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Adelaide Music Festival, New Zealand Arts Festival, Brisbane World Beat, WOMAD, and the Dalai Lama’s World Festival of Sacred Music. He is also a regular guest of HRH the Prince Wales for private recitals at St James Palace and Highgrove.
Amjad Ali Khan gave his first public sarod recital at the age of six. He was taught by his father, the legendary Haafiz Ali Khan, to become the sixth in an uninterrupted lineage of music masters known as the Senia Bangash School.
Amjad Ali Khan has been the initiator of many landmark festivals in India and has collaborated with most of the great Indian masters. His many collaborations with non-Indian musicians include cellist Matthew Barley, guitarist Charley Byrd, violinist Igor Frolov, and a composition for sarod and orchestra for the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Amjad Ali Khan’s career then gained momentum at an extraordinary pace. He received the title of Ustad at the exceptionally early age of 13. At the age of 18, he made his international debut on tour in the United States. Since then he has toured extensively throughout the world and has established a reputation as one of the living legends of Indian classical instrumental music and its most prominent exponent on the international concert circuit. He has appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious halls, including Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Hall and Royal Albert Hall, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Town Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Kuala Lumpur’s Dewan Filharmonik Hall, the Esplanade in Singapore and the Sydney Opera House.
Amjad Ali Khan represented India at the First World Arts Summit in Venice, and has received many awards for his achievements, including the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes (2004), the UNESCO Award, Padma Vibhushan (highest Indian civilian honours), UNICEF’s National Ambassadorship, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award and the UNESCO’s Gandhi Medal for his composition Bapukauns. He has been granted Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of York and Delhi and granted Honorary Citizenship by the States of Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee and the City of Atlanta.
“Widely considered to be the greatest sarodist active today.” Washington Post, 2008
Samaagam, by David Murphy Samaagam comes from a Sanskrit word meaning confluence or flowing together. In realising this work from Amjad Ali Khan’s singing and playing, and in rehearsing it with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, I have aimed to preserve the essence of both Indian and Western traditions so that they can flow into each other without artistic compromise. I have used the orchestration of Indian ensemble music in the pre-Bollywood era as inspiration and have also looked back to the ancient (i.e. pre equal temperament) Western tradition incorporating elements which, because of their antiquity, do not violate the rules of Indian music. The aim is through this process to joyfully explore the common musical “DNA” of both traditions.
His sons Amaan and Ayaan have written:
This kind of endeavour needs time and commitment as people need to learn new skills. We have been very fortunate to have the commitment of the wonderful musicians of the SCO LAB music project (which form the concertino group in the work) and the presence of Amjad Ali Khan himself, during a series of workshops which began back in 2006.
Ganesh Kalyan made its first appearance at the Ganesh Festival in Pune in 1992. In Indian mythology, Ganesh, the elephant god, is the remover of obstacles and bringer of good luck. Also first presented in 1992, Subhalakshmi is a tribute to Mrs Subhalakshmi Khan, Amjad Ali Khan’s wife. Swar Samir, played here with a seven beat time cycle, made its first appearance in 1964. It is inspired by two traditional ragas: Raga Rageshri and Raga Joge.
Amjad Ali Khan has remarked: “every raga has a soul and every musical note is the sound of God”. In tonight’s performance of Samaagam 12 different ragas will be presented. Some will make only a fleeting appearance; others will be explored for longer. (Not as long as in India however, where it is not uncommon for a musician to perform one raga for 8 to 10 hours - the duration of an all night concert - in order to bring out its full character!)
Samaagam is structured in three sections: I. Ganesh Kalyan - Subhalakshmi - Swar Samir II. Medley of Ragas (featuring LAB music players): Maarva – Durga – Malkauns – Kaushik Dhwani Kalavati – Basant - Megh III. Khamaj – Bhupali – Bhairavi The ragas in the first section were all conceived and developed by Amjad Ali Khan, who feels that these ragas have been invoked rather than created.
“New faces (ragas) come to his mind and ask him their names; as they have no names Abba names them and they become new ragas. Listening to most of Abba’s ragas, one feels that they are traditional ragas which were born thousands of years ago, but for some reason, not discovered.”
The Medley of Ragas features 7 traditional ragas in quick succession, and features the LAB musicians in solo and group improvisation. Indian ragas are designed to be played at different times of the day, and different seasons of the year. The majority of the ragas in Samaagam are evening or night-time ragas, however Maarva, which opens the Medley, was originally conceived to be played at sunset, and Megh, which closes the Medley during the rainy season. If performed expertly enough, it is said to induce rain! The closing section initially explores the popular and sensual Raga Khamaj, which is said to “turn the flower red with passion”. This is followed by a glimpse of Raga Bhupali described as a woman “in expectation of her lover, nervously putting on her bracelets and moving hither and thither like a swing”. Samaagam finishes with an exploration of Raga Bhairavi. Bhairavi is traditionally a morning raga, played at the conclusion of an all night concert. Due to its popularity it is accepted that Bhairavi can be performed at any time of the day or night. © David Murphy
David Murphy, conductor Born in Pembrokeshire on the west coast of Wales, David began his musical studies as a violinist, as a result of free instrumental lessons at his local school. Within a few months of study he had won a local music competition and was subsequently awarded a full scholarship to the renowned specialist school, the Purcell School. David went on to win a host of competitions and prizes whilst at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied violin, viola and chamber music with members of the Amadeus Quartet and in masterclasses with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, sparking his interest in yoga and Indian music. During this time, David performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Britain and Europe and also studied baroque and classical violin with Catherine Mackintosh. His conducting debut occurred at a moment’s notice: a conductor was suddenly indisposed and David was the only member of the orchestra with a baton in his case. The experience was a revelation and prompted the decision to undertake serious conducting study. A Welsh Arts Council Scholarship for Advanced Studies in Music followed, which enabled him to study conducting with Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood. He completed his studies with Leon Barzin in Paris. David had the great privilege to be Barzin’s last student, living and studying intensively with him during the summers the maestro spent in Europe from 1993 until his death in 1999. Through this relationship he is fortunate enough to have a direct link to the great conductors of the early Twentieth Century, notably both Toscanini and Furtwängler: a unique training for a conductor of his generation. Two other legendary mentors were subsequently central to his development as a musician: the conductor Sir Charles Mackerras and the sitar maestro and composer Pandit Ravi Shankar. David’s music-making contains a unique blend of these very potent influences: from Barzin the musical philosophy and techniques of the “golden age” of conducting, from Sir Charles Mackerras cutting-edge interpretation and scholarship, and from Pandit Ravi Shankar the advanced pitch and rhythmic techniques, spontaneous creativity and spiritual perspective of Indian music.
David’s studies and performances with Ravi Shankar, plus work with other leading Indian musicians have resulted in several world premieres. Having been supported by Arts Council England, he is currently at the forefront of the development of a new “Indo-Classic” musical genre which aims to tap into the common roots of both Indian and Western music. His collaborations with the legendary Sarod Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan have been wonderful creative adventures which are particularly dear to him. A popular guest-conductor, David has performed on four continents. His debut in South Africa was televised on SABC, and this has led to a series of engagements with the South African Orchestras, from Beethoven Symphonies with the Johannesburg and Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestras to outreach work with children and choirs from the Townships. He recently conducted a highly successful run of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at the Longborough Festival, and made his Far-Eastern debut, performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, in a performance that was broadcast on both Korean and Japanese television. He recently toured Russia and Poland conducting the London Chamber Players in sell out concerts in St Petersburg Conservatoire, Tchaikovsky Hall, and the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire and, at the climax of a recent Spanish tour at the Auditorio Nacionale in Madrid. His critically acclaimed Royal Festival Hall debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra included Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Sibelius’s 2nd Symphony. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) is one of Scotland’s five National Performing Arts Companies, internationally recognised for its innovative approach to music-making and programme planning. Formed in 1974 with a commitment to serve the Scottish community, it is also one of the country’s foremost cultural ambassadors. The Orchestra performs throughout Scotland, including annual tours of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and South of Scotland, and appears regularly at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International, St Magnus and Aldeburgh Festivals. Its busy international touring schedule has recently included many European countries as well as India and the USA. The Orchestra’s international touring receives support from the Scottish Government. The SCO’s close relationship with its Conductor Laureate, Sir Charles Mackerras, has included many recordings, including a Grammy Award-nominated set of Brahms’s symphonies, six Mozart operas, Fidelio, Schubert symphonies and Brahms serenades. Their recording of Mozart’s last four symphonies won the Symphonic Works category of the 2009 MIDEM Awards; BBC Music Magazine Disc of the Year and a Classical BRIT Award, and a second volume – featuring five symphonies – is released in March 2010. The young British conductor Robin Ticciati took up the post of Principal Conductor with the Orchestra from the 2009/10 Season. Other conductors who appear regularly with the SCO include Principal Guest Conductor Olari Elts, Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen, John Storgårds, Thierry Fischer, Louis Langrée, Richard Egarr and Oliver Knussen. The Orchestra enjoys close links with leading composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, MarkAnthony Turnage and James MacMillan. It is also known for its pioneering education work. The SCO broadcasts regularly and has a discography exceeding 140 recordings.
SCO LAB Players Violin Lise Aferiat
Violin Robert McFall
Viola Cello Brian Schiele Su-a Lee Flute Elisabeth Dooner
Clarinet Peter Furniss
Bassoon Alison Green
SCO Players 1st Violin Ruth Crouch Lorna McLaren Sijie Chen Claire Docherty
Aisling O’Dea Fiona Alexander Carole Howat
2nd Violin Claire Sterling Niamh Lyons Ruth Slater
Sarah Bevan-Baker Amira Bedrush-McDonald
Viola Jane Atkins Steve King
Cello Donald Gillan Clea Friend
Bass Judith Evans
The Samaagam music and dance project has been run in partnership by Horsecross Arts, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Dance Ihayami. Over the course of 7 weeks, pupils from St John’s Academy and Our Lady’s Primary, alongside adults from various communities of Perth and Kinross, have taken part in Indian music and dance workshops to re-create some of the music from the piece Samaagam written by David Murphy, Amjad Ali Khan and the SCO LAB players.
Brahma Brahma is the Hindu God of Creation. The dance you will watch tonight tells the story of Brahma creating the world, beginning with fish, then tortoise, wild pig, snake, deer, tiger, elephant, monkey, ape and finally humans. The dance ends with the humans worshipping Brahma.
To keep true to Indian traditions, participants mainly learned the music by ear rather than written notation to learn the music. The rhythms of the music are not what the Western ear is used to, sometimes with drum patterns running in 15 beat phrases as opposed to our more regular 8 beat phrases. This has proved challenging for our many musicians but I’m sure you’ll agree that the music they have produced is inspiring and exciting listening material. Dance participants had to learn brand new techniques before they could begin to work on the actual choreography you will see tonight. The style of dance is very different to any other form of western dance – strong, crisp, forceful movements with flat, stamping feet and unnatural hand positions. But with a lot of hard work, they have managed to create some exhilarating dances for you tonight.
Vishnu Vishnu is the Hindu God of Preservation. He has a cheeky personality which is reflected in the music you will hear. The dance depicts the story of how Vishnu saved all the animals from a horrible death by the snake. As each animal came to drink at the water, the snake attacked them. Vishnu, who was asleep, heard this and came to destroy the snake and revive all the animals so they could once again live in harmony. Shiva Shiva is the Hindu God of Destruction. In this dance, Shiva and the world around him are unhappy. Soon, the God of Happiness, who is invisible to the other creatures, tries to change the atmosphere by shooting arrows made of flower garlands to bring love to the world. Shiva, sensing what has happened, is enraged and sends flames of fire upon the God of Happiness (Kamadeva and Reath).
Musicians – S1 pupils from St John’s Academy Violin Eilidh Smith Jenna Martin Michele Foley
Percussion Caitlin Rice Ruaridh Neil
Calum Parsons Shane McNeill
Dancers Brahma Karen Cowley
Lotus Flower Linda Allan
Shirley McGregor Dancers – P7 pupils from Our Lady’s Primary Vishnu Alberto Mella
Wind/Water Ailie Davidson Ranjana Salins
Bird Chelsea Gillan Naomi Smart
Deer Aidan Smart Sian Evans
Ross Walker Susannah Young
Cow Lewis McHugh
Snake Daniel Podkrzywa Mark Laurie
Vishnu’s Snake Daniel Taylor Sam Angus
Water Cally McKinlay Emma McDyer Laura Wardlaw Louise Adamson Ray McDougall Lee Findlay
Chloe Wallace Jordan McKay Lewis McIntosh Natasha Morrison Shaun Mann Daniel Taylor
Musicians – P7 pupils from St John’s Academy Cello Calum McKenzie Liam Marlborough
Jayachandra Kumar - choreographer Founder of the Bharatahkshetra school of Dance and Music in India, Shri Jayan is an accomplished dancer and an excellent teacher of dance and music. He has been especially praised for his work and research in the field of Folk Art forms. Along with his full-time involvement with his school he works with special commissions for television serials, drama, dance drama and for local and national television. He teaches master classes in Kathakali, Odissi, Kuchupudi, and other folk art forms as well as music and martial arts.
Chimes Steven Netherington Liam Gall
Leo Connaghan Niall Martin
Bells Jordan Telfer Morag Munro Shannon Powell Jodie Fleming Robert Bialecki Jakub Sobieraj Drums Ruaraidh Dempster Callum Brown Bradley Lamond Jemma Anderson Gemma Leask Sarah Jane Todd
Conall Ross Liam Kidd Rosa Alexander Zoe Hampton Katherine Simmons
Dancers – P7 pupils from St John’s Academy Shiva Drew Temperley Shiva’s Snake Guards Andrew Blain David Morgan Kenneth Pattenden Goddess Parvathi
Goddess assistants Jamie-Lee Stephen Megan Hutchison Mountains Dylan Addley Kieran Sloan
Joseph Taylor Liam Mclean
Trees Bartosz Gierwatowski Alex Condie Saul Marnoch Harris Blain Edvinas Gierwatowski Michal Korytko Deryn Martin God of Happiness: Kamadeva Connor McGregor Happiness Arrow: Reath Sofia Olearnova Wind Ania Suchanek Emily Donaldson Justyna Mlynacrzyk
Dance Ihayami Dance Ihayami is a Scottish based Indian Dance Company with its aesthetic roots in South Indian dance, in its classical and modern forms. The company explores the structure, vocabulary and meanings that arise from this medium of dance. Dance Ihayami’s mission is to enrich the Scottish national repertoire of dance and to create opportunities for artists from culturally diverse communities. In support of this endeavour the company commits to providing high quality instruction and performance for people of all ages. One of their key goals for the coming years is to expand the range and reach of their work through their outreach programme to ensure that classical Indian dance, and more generally Indian arts, is an accessible and successful source of arts education and quality entertainment across Scotland. SCO LAB The LAB is an experimental research project involving seven virtuoso musicians from the SCO. It was launched in 2002 to create improvised and devised music away from the traditional concert platform. Each LAB event involves an external musical collaborator, for example a school, a composer or an improvising musician, and culminates in a public performance or recording.
A special thank you... All staff at Our Ladyâ€™s Primary and St Johnâ€™s Academy especially Mrs Finola Burke, Mr David Baid, Mrs Jane Taylor, Ms Jenny Hossick, Mrs Elizabeth Allan, Mrs Gill Doogan, Mrs Bernadette Scott, Mr Pat Callaghan and Ms Audrey May. All parents and carers of the pupils involved in the project Scottish Chamber Orchestra Lucy Perry and Kirsten Hunter Dance Ihayami Karen Watts and Priya Shrikumar Samaagam music and dance workshop leaders Lis, Lise, Su-a, Brian, Robert and Jayan Registered name Horsecross Arts Ltd Charity no SC022400
1210 - 2010
Published on Feb 16, 2011
The first of three community based festivals contributing towards Perth 800 - the celebration of 800 years of Perth being a Royal Burgh. Sam...