A Battle of Equals: Jugalbandi

Battle of Kurukhestra

In Indian classical music there is sub-genre known as jugalbandi. This is a setting in which two equally accomplished musicians, either on the same or different instruments, play together in a competitive, call and response mode.  Each performer is given the opportunity show off his skills as a leader, a creative mind and as a follower. But throughout the performance neither musician is the accompanist. Both are equals and yet neither is the lead. The jugalbandi is to be appreciated for the sangam (confluence) of two sounds and two skill-sets working together to make a unified piece of music.  It is a true duet.

Pramod Gaikwad comes from a family of musicians that specialize in the shenai (Indian clarinet). He began study at the age of 7 and within 3 years was performing publicly. He is ranked as Grade A by All India Radio and performs across India and the world.

Shenai

Milind Tulankar plays the wonderfully melodious jaltarang. Music is made by filling a series of cermaic bowls to various depths and striking the edges with a light wood mallet.   Similar in sound to the gamelan  of Bali and Java, the instrument has a heavenly smooth and soothing effect.

Tulankar who was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Award in 1999 is considered one of India’s best propents of the jaltarang. In addition to the jaltarang he has studied under the tutelage of sitar maestro, Ustad Shahid Parvez.

Jaltarang

 

In addition to the two key performers the tabla accompaniment is superior as well on this record that I’ve been listening to non-stop of late.  I’m not certain when Raga Madhukauns is to be played but this is music for any time (purists, be damned!) Especially a chilly winter afternoon that is darkening and wet.

 

Track Listing:

01. Madhuvanti – Bandish – Teentaal

02. Madhukauns – Bandish – Teentaal

03. Dhun Dahra

04. Durga – Madhyalaya – Jhaptaal

05. Dhun Bhairavi

here