Musical meditation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 28, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 28, 2011

Musical meditation

Solo sitar recital by Alif Laila

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Alif Laila during a meditative alaap.
Photo: Mumit M.

A solo sitar recital by noted artiste Alif Laila was held at Omni Music, Genetic Plaza in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on November 26. The artiste started off with an alaap in Raga Hambir. An instrumental rendition of the Nazrul song, “Aajo Kandey Kanone Koyelia”, followed.
Next was a recital on Raga Bageshree. Alif Laila's meditative alaap at the beginning indicated that something special was in the offing. The alaap performance was like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon.
Her jor performance was exquisite too. The artiste fashioned a fantastic ambiance while performing gaut on rupak taal (seven beats). She also played with laya. A fast composition on teen taal sounded euphoric. The artiste caressed the soft notations of the raga in a way that could not have been more perfect. She also touched upon all three octaves of the sitar in slow, medium and high-pitched melodies. Jhala and a bit of sawal-jawab with the tabla artiste Sudhir Gohair followed. The music connoisseurs savoured the true melody of Bageshree at the event.
Later, the artiste presented alaap in Raga Jog. A presentation of the Nazrul song, “Chhilo Chand Megher Porey” on madhyalaya, teen taal followed. And last but not the least, the artiste performed a famous composition of her gharana (Senia Maita) on Raga Khamaj. A rendition of the Tagore song, “Tora Je Ja Bolish Bhai Amar Sonar Horin Chai” was next.
The USA based sitar artiste, Alif Laila, has performed and recorded all over the world. She has also directed and produced musical films, including “Hrydayaragam” and “Strings of Resonance”. Her initial training started in the Senia Maita Gharana, in Dhaka, Bangladesh by Ustad Mir Quasem Khan, nephew of Ustad Allaudin Khan (the founder of the gharana). Later she took tutelage from Krishna Bhatt and Partha Chatterjee. At present, she trains under Kustal Das.

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