Asia Pacific Cultural Alliance presented two maestros of Indian classical music in a journey of rhythm and melody at John Painter Hall (AIM), 1-55 Foveaux St, Surry Hills, NSW on Saturday, 25 June 2016 at 6:30 pm. Pt. Kushal Das, Sitarist is considered as one of the foremost torch-bearers of Indian Classical instrumental music, having toured major music festivals in the world.
Pt. Kumar Bose, on Tabla, represents the intense rhythmic sense and presentation style of the Benaras Gharana of tabla. Pt. Kumar Bose has been collaborating for decades with Pt. Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhin, Zubin Mehta and George Harrison amongst many other greats. He has performed worldwide including Moscow, New York, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and, for Queen Elizabeth II, alongside Pt Ravi Shankar, at the Buckingham Palace.
Perhaps it is the inner city venue or may be it is the hard work of the organisors and AIM that this program was presented to a successful mixed audience that is hard ot find at other such Indian Classical Events held in Sydney. The hall was fully occupied. The first part of the performance was the Kathak performance after which was followed by the solo tabla performance of Pt Kumar Bose accompanied by Sangeet Mishra on the Sarangi.
Pt Kumar Bose explored teen taal through reylas and kayadhas. He interspersed his rhythmic compositions with off beat thihaees in an expert display. In a third segment we saw the joining of Chris Fields on the drum kit along with Pt Kumar Bose. The interactions between the two systems of rhythms was handled sensitively in a play of teen thaal.
What followed after the interval was a soulful rendition of Rageshree on the Sitar by Pt Kushal Das. Pt Kushal Das showed his mastery over the sitar with such grace and humility, he chose to start his alap and jor jhala alone. Pt Kumar Bose then joined him when he began his composition in a vilambith theen taal followed by a faster dhruth in teen taal. The evening was wonderful despite the cold weather outside, it was lovely to be enveloped in the warmth of the sounds of sitar until it finished when the audience had to brave their way out into the cold.