| Zakir Hussain performs a tabla solo at the Konark Dance and Music Festival. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Feb. 24: Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain yesterday captivated music lovers with his performance at Konark Dance and Music Festival.
The tabla bols worked as magical chants on this cultural evening, while the synchronised rounds of applause from the audience added to the confluence of the recital created by the tabla maestro and distinguished sarangi player Sabir Khan.
The tabla exponent started with his jovial remarks, instantly making the crowd feel at ease.
“I will start with fusion music, which is Chinese and called ‘tuning’. Most of you would not understand this classical piece,” said Zakir, while getting his percussions ready.
Sabir, son of late musician Ustad Sultan Khan, began with an alaap, soon after which Zakir started his recital in vilambit laya (tempo) with a series of peshkars using interesting counter-rhythms (layakari) and a fully developed process of theme and variation.
“We always begin with peshkars composed by our revered gurus to seek their blessings,” said Zakir.
The musician duo complemented each other’s performance for a while and unleashed their techniques on respective instruments rendering different layakaris.
The tabla exponent’s musical innovations, for which he is famous, added a charm to the recital.
“Lord Shiv is often associated with His damru. And we are thankful to Lord Ganesh for playing the damru beats on his pakhawaj. We also play the same beats on tabla,” said the tabla player.
Zakir created the sounds of damru and shankh together by controlling the vibrations of the instrument.
Moreover, Zakir played many of his late father Ustad Alla Rakha’s compositions in the form of tukda, a miniatured version of paran that is another form of solo tabla recital.
By playing the tukdas the tabla maestro evoked the mood of a conversation between a host and a guest.
Zakir also created the sound of a steam-engine train by playing a rela, a basic form of tabla solo performance. He then went on describing Holi and a downpour while playing the Lahori gats.
Moreover, he also played a few uthans, illustrating scenes from daily life.
“My wife Antonia, a Kathak dancer, daughter Anisa and son-in-law Taylor are here. I dedicate an uthan to them,” said Zakir while playing one such riveting piece.
Present at the event were legendary flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and his wife, apart from Odissi dancers Sujata and Ratikant Mohapatra and others.
“I had missed his show in Bhubaneswar few years ago. I do not have words to describe the excitement and thrill I experienced during his performance today,” said Madhab Sahoo, a young viewer.