Yesterday I attended the second day of the week-long Alva’s Virasat 2011 cultural extravaganza organized in Shobhavana, Mijar by Alva’s Foundation. I witnessed splendid Sarod Trio by musical maestros Padma Bhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan, Ayaan Ali Khan and was ably assisted on Tabla by Pandith Vijay Ghate.
The concert began by brothers Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan playing duo on Sarod. Padma Bhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan gave a mesmerizing solo performance and thrilled the audience. The concert concluded by all three maestros giving their best in atrio performance. It was a unforgettable experience.
Taught by his father and guru, the great Haafiz Ali Khan of Gwalior, Amjad Ali Khan was born to the illustrious Bangash lineage rooted in the Senia Bangash School of music. Today he shoulders the sixth generation inheritance of this legendary lineage. He has ably trained his both sons to follow him on his footsteps. It was a rare opportunity to see all three on stage together.
Elder son Amaan Ali Khan and younger son Ayaan Ali Khan studied under the tutelage of their father Amjad Ali Khan. Initiated into the fine art of Sarod playing at a very tender age their tunefulness and bold and resonant strokes are all pointers to importance of tradition and continuity in Indian Classical Music.
You can learn more about these 3 great Sarod Maestros at their website aptly named http://www.sarod.com.
I used both Canon EOS 7D and Canon EOS 5D mark II to make these photographs. The lenses were Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM & Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM.
It was a challenge to photograph in a live function without disturbing the 11,000 odd audience who gathered to appreciate the music by great maestros. Huge letters in the background cluttered the aesthetically grand stage. As the background was dark I had to sometimes provide up to 2 stop exposure value correction to get proper exposure.
The light was rapidly changing as they were constantly altering the light. There was also mixture of different hues and tones of the light due to color gel which was applied to the lights. The lighting was also not even throughout as they were using several spotlights. For example when the trio was playing they had higher illumination on Ustad Amjad Ali Khan but a lower brightness to other artists on the stage. This resulted in a uneven exposure.
Despite all these hurdles I hope in these you will be able to appreciate at least a fraction of the musical treat I tasted on that night.
2nd program that day was Odessi performance the photos of which I will publish in my next blog issue.