Wednesday, October 31, 2007



i coulda sworn i was posting about easy-going, not-much-happenin' days. over and done with, apparently. i've been taking an insane number of classes - music, jewelry-making. got to meet ram narayan's son, who gave an amazing sarod concert. (oh and oh. it turns out my original sarangi teacher in pune was good friends with his dad. and he put a blessing on little bea's singing head, and said he'd be at her first concert. cloud 9 stuff for me.) have been asked to participate in a music performance in december, and to prepare a demonstration on sarangi for several classes in nathan's school. also been asked to be the 'professional guest jew' for hannukah in nathan's classroom. got a new responsibility at work, which i'm really enjoying - collection stuff, which i haven't really had under my belt before (i get to buy stuff! woohoo! you know they like you at work when they let you play with their money.) oh, and my kids. are awesome. boo is all about the halloween. and somehow i turned 'hey let's trick or treat together' with some of his friends into 'hey let's have dinner at my place, then go trick or treating.' trying to exercise regularly, since two people during one weekend asked me when i'm due. (!!!!) trying to be busy making more knitted jewelry for friday, but i'm typing this instead. meeting up with a couple of perfume people thursday. my hands hurt.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

welcome to the boys' sangeet club

i spent three evenings over the weekend in a raga singing workshop with pandit pran nath's disciple, terry riley. (wikipedia article here:

riley is also an experimental musician in his own right, having played with tape loops since the 50s. but this workshop was purely indian music. he'd give us a little bit of the raga, a bit more, and a bit more, until about an hour later we'd have the whole composition.

there were certainly things to be gleaned from this: that there is a certain pattern of ascent and descent, and that the same 'note' may be quite different depending on how you're approaching it. it felt like the note could be considered to have a range, started just above the note below and ending just at the tail of the note above. pran nath apparently believed that a note would be different from raga to raga.

the group in the workshop comprised of about 20. it was mostly guys. at least half of the women who were there practice singing or chanting as a devotional, and were looking to expand their range. many of the people there were also instrumentalists - several tabla players, and one guy who had just returned from tuva with a lovely folk stringed instrument and a penchant for throat singing. (amazing post-workshop jam between that and tabla!)

i've already found that i'm using what i learned in my sarangi playing, even though i haven't had a lesson since the workshop. my sarangi instructor is also a student of pran nath, so she's looking forward to working on the ragas with me.

one thing i realized, though, is that although i've been wanting to play music with someone, i'm hesitant to just call someone from the workshop and work with 'em. because it's likely to be a guy. and there was definitely a feeling of being in a guys' club during the workshop. toward the end, someone asked terry for an anecdote about pran nath, and he wasn't able to just spit one out - so he said that two of the men at the workshop were also pran nath's students and could also be asked. my instructor had to pipe up that she was pran nath's student too - and we were all in her house at the time.

so.... still just me, the sarangi, and the buddha machine for right now.