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The synthesis of two great cultures, India and Persia, took place thousands of years ago. Their common roots—the Indo-Persian language, the oldest Persian religion,Mithraism, and their related myths, plus many features of their social and spiritual lives —have inextricably bound these two cultures together. a project of the philharmonic society

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 8pm Irvine Barclay Theatre

A NOWRUZ CELEBRATION featuring Kayhan Kalhor & Shujaat Husain Khan Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh Shujaat Husain Khan, sitar Sandeep Das, tabla

CONTACT: Isabel Soffer info@livesounds.org

Eclectic Orange Series Sponsors Judith and Howard Jelinek Additional support from Bette and Wylie Aitken

Exclusive Print Sponsor Photographing or recording this performance without permission is prohibited. Kindly disable pagers, cellular phones, and other audible devices. Although rare, all dates, times, artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

At the turn of the 13th century, a number of Sufi scholars, among them the Persian poet, historian and musician Amir Khusrau, had a large impact on classical music in North India. From Amir Khusrau’s time until well into the Mughal period, foreign music, particularly from Iran, was commonly heard at the Indian courts. It is not surprising, therefore, that Indian classical music was subjected to new influences. Amir Khusrau, in spite of his dedication to traditional Indian music, was a great innovator and is popularly credited with the introduction of a number of Persian elements into Indian music, including vocal forms (qawwali and tarana), ragas and talas, and musical instruments such as the sitar and tabla. The most important advances in Indian music were made between the 14th and 18th centuries. During this period, Hindustani music came into contact with Persian music and assimilated it through the Pathan and Mongol invasions. At the same time, Persian music experienced a great transformation from the Maqam to the Dastgah system. Although there exists common features of the Hindustani Raga and Persian Dastgah, the two can be clearly delineated from one another. In this respect, the Dastgah and the Raga must be considered as two different systems which have been formed by the social and cultural aspects of their people. These two independent musical fields represent the Indic world with its Raga system, and the Near and Middle Eastern world with their Maqam and Dastgah systems. A Dastgah is a collection of melodic forms (Gushehs) which create the repertory of Iranian classical music or Radif. The Radif is organized into 12 modes, 7 primary and 5 secondary, which are named after the principal or primary melodic phrase called Daramad. The intervalic structure within a

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a noWrUZ ceLeBration


about the program

PHoto: Ira Landgarten

Dastgah, and sometimes even within a Gusheh, is varied. The Dastgah and its constituent Gushehs provide a framework for creative improvisation and composition. The Radif includes more than four hundred Gushehs. The number of Gushehs in a Dastgah vary between fifteen and forty or more. Traditionally a performer may choose some six to ten gushehs in one performance. In comparison to Hindustani music, where modulation does not occur, changing modes is feasible within the boundary of a Dastgah. The Raga forms the backbone of Indian classical music. A Raga is a melodic structure with a basic scale of seven notes with 5 basic accidentals and up to 22 microtonal forms. Every Raga must have at least five notes and can have up to twelve. Ragas using the same basic scale may be differentiated by different vadi (dominant note) and samavadi (subdominant note) which are emphasized in the develpment of the Raga. Melodic ornamentation is complex and essential, and also employs microtonal fluctuations on selected pitches. Hundreds of Ragas exist today, sometimes in different forms and different traditions (gharanas).

Both Indian and Persian classical music are characterized by microtonal and monophonic structure and dependence on improvisation. In each of these traditions, a master musician is capable of using a primary melodic form as a base for improvising. There are many factors involved in a musician's understanding of and approach to his music. Each musician's schooling (the Indian gharana and Iranian maktab), personal style, technical ability and vision has great impact on his approach to developing his musical ideas. This makes every performance, even of the same Raga or Dastgah, exciting, fresh and unpredictable each time it is performed. aBoUt tHe artists Ghazal Ensemble Ghazal, formed in 1997 by Kayhan Kalhor and Shujaat Husain Khan, has been touring the world ever since. Their first recording, “Lost Songs of the Silk Road,� won critical acclaim as a unique recording, bringing together two Eastern classical traditions that had not performed together before. The artists’ first


SHujaat HuSSaIn kHan

meeting took place in a small studio in Los Angeles after being introduced to each other through a mutual friend. They played together for twenty minutes, which was all they needed to decide that their musical ideas were similar. Their meeting sparked the idea to make a recording, and a date and time was set in New York. Shanachie Records produced their first three CDs, “Lost Songs of the Silk Road,” “As the Night Falls on the Silk Road,” and “Moon Rise on the Silk Road.” Their fourth album was released by ECM records. They have performed in major concert halls and festivals throughout the world. This marks their first tour in North America in ten years. Shujaat Hussain Khan, sitar Shujaat Hussain Khan, son and disciple of the late master sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan, is one of the leading artists of his generation in North Indian classical music. Shujaat started playing sitar at the age of three and by the time he was six he began making public performances. He performs regularly at all major musical festivals in India and throughout the United States, the Far East and Europe. He belongs to the Imdad Khan gharana (school) of the sitar and is the seventh in an unbroken family line that has produced many musical masters. In 2001, he was awarded the Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Sammaan, India's highest honor for a classical musician under the age of 45. He taught Indian classical music at UCLA for many years. He has made dozens of recordings and tours extensively around the world.

Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh Three-time Grammy nominee Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle), who, through his many musical collaborations, has been instrumental in popularizing Persian music in the West and is a creative force in today’s music scene. His performances of traditional Persian music and multiple collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe. He has studied the music of Iran’s many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan, and has toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan and Masters of Persian Music. Kayhan Kalhor has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has also performed and recorded with Iran’s greatest instrumentalists. He has composed music for television and film and was featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth Without Youth in a score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov. John Adams invited him to give a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his Perspectives Series and he has appeared on a double bill at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, sharing the program with the Festival Orchestra performing the Mozart Requiem. Kayhan is an original member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, for which he continues to compose and tour. His compositions appear on all of the ensemble’s albums.

kayHan kaLHor


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Sandeep Das, tabla Sandeep Das is one of today’s leading tabla players. A favorite disciple of the legendary tabla maestro Pandit Kishan Maharaj ji, Das has built a diverse international career, collaborating with a variety of genre-crossing artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D'Rivera and Kayhan Kalhor. He has appeared as a soloist with some of the world’s leading classical orchestras and string quartets. He made his stage debut with Pandit Ravi Shankar at the age of sixteen and since then he has performed regularly with many leading Indian maestros. Das is also founder of HUM (Harmony and Universality through Music), an ensemble promoting global understanding through performance and education. He has composed for and performed internationally with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble for the last 15 years. aBoUt tHe instrUMents Kamancheh The kamancheh (spiked fiddle), the ancient bowed string instrument of Iran, is ancestor to most bowed instruments throughout Asia and Europe. It has a small, hollowed belly made of walnut or mulberry wood with a thin, stretched skin covering and a conical shaped neck. The contemporary kamancheh has four strings, generally tuned in fourths or fifths, and it is played vertically.

Tabla The tabla consists of two hand drums. The right drum, called tabla or dayan, is carved out of a single block of hardwood and is tuned to the tonic of the Raga. The left hand drum, called bayan, is usually made of brass or copper. Both drums are covered with skin and have a circular patch of paste made with iron filings, flour and other ingredients affixed to them.

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Sitar The sitar is a long, hollow-necked, fretted lute with one or two gourd resonators. It has two main playing strings, two variable drone strings, two fixed, high pitched drone strings and up to thirteen sympathetic strings which are tuned to a particular Raga. The frets are movable and are set according to the scale of the Raga. An important part of the playing technique includes pulling the strings to produce slides and ornaments.


Nowruz Celebration Program