There is something about the Flute that puts people in a trance, making them forget what the rest of the world does, for a while at least.
The Hindu scriptures narrate the captive power that Lord Krishna had with His flute, stirring the romantic impulses of the innumerable ‘Gopikas’ in the legendry ‘Brindavan,’
About 800 New Zealanders, drawn from Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington had a similar experience at the Flute concert presented by Pandit Rakesh Chaurasia on March 8, 2014.
The three-hour concert, organised by the Sargam School of Indian Music under the title sponsorship of ‘Travel Point’ at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Grammar School was the second in a series of three concerts in aid of Ram Mandir, under construction in New Lynn, West Auckland.
The first concert, held in Whangarei on March 7 and the third and final event held in Hamilton on March 9 were also noted for their resounding success with the visiting artiste performing his magic on the wind instrument to capacity audiences.
The maestro was in his elements in Auckland, with a brand of humour, punctuated by simplicity and humility that are characteristic of a truly professional performer.
The superb support that Basant Madhur provided on Tabla was a treat, demonstrating the innate talent in our community.
The performance of Akhilesh Madhur on the Tabla at the invitation of Pandit Chaurasia was a fitting compliment to both.
Beginning the concert with Raag Yaman, Pandit Chaurasia presented ‘Alap,’ ‘Jod’ and ‘Jhala,’ compositions in Rupak Taal (seven beats), followed by Teen Taal (16 Beats).
The programme also featured three other local artistes.
Balamohan Shingade, an Auckland based classical singer executed ‘Raag Marwa’ with exemplary finesse, bringing forth a wide applause. He was accompanied by Akhil Madhur on Tabla, Deepak Madhur on Harmonium and Surbhi Sharma on Violin.
Pandit Chaurasia concentrated on several popular Bhajans and songs during the second half of the programme. They included ‘Vatapi Ganapathim’ (in Hamsadhwani), ‘Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram’, ‘Vaishnava Jana To’ and ‘Har Pal Yahan Jee Bhar Jiyo’ from the popular Hindi film, ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho.’
The visitor employed the ‘Bansuri,’ or the bamboo flute with a haunting beauty that captured the imagination of the audience.
Not once during the entire proceedings did Chaurasia fail to remind his fans that he is indeed the nephew of the great Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the foremost flutist that India has produced in the past nine decades.
His exceptional talent, combined with the ability to communicate immense emotion and feeling was sanctified by great technical skill.