Stringing stories around the sarod

Updated: Nov 11, 2016, 10:21 IST | Suprita Mitter |

Witness a sarod artiste fiddle with the strings of a century-old heirloom piece at a concert tonight

Arnab Chakrabarty. Pic courtesy/Daniel ZafirArnab Chakrabarty. Pic courtesy/Daniel Zafir

Get ready for Instrumentalists, a platform to celebrate Indian classical instruments. Initiated by First Edition Arts (FEA) in association with G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, the debut session will focus on the sarod, featuring UK-based sarod artiste Arnab Chakrabarty, accompanied by tabla maestro Pandit Abhijit Banerjee. The evening concert will begin with Chakrabarty playing an heirloom sarod, said to have been crafted in 1880 and handed down to him by his late guru Kalyan Mukherjea.

Abhijit Banerjee
Abhijit Banerjee

“The sarod was built in Darbhanga in Bihar for Ustad Murad Ali Khan, who moved there and became a court musician for its king. It was passed on to his son who also became an Ustad. I am the fifth generation of musicians to own it,” shares Chakrabarty, who will perform rare compositions on the historic instrument. These include Khamaj and Kafi ragas, which were the principal domain of sarod players at the turn of the 20th century.

The heirloom sarod built in 1880The heirloom sarod built in 1880

Later, he will present a full-fledged concert on the modern sarod. He will also share his experiences of training with Mukherjea. “He was visually-impaired and paralysed but would still send me PDFs of the notes. I have trained in the Shajahanpur Gharana style, which has evolved over 130 years,” shares Chakrabarty, who has also received vocal training in a mix of the Gwalior and Agra Gharanas.

“I will play recordings of past masters of the sarod including Chunna Khan, who was the first to make a sarod recording back in 1906 and a young Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, in the 1960s among others ” he says. At the concert, he will also discuss the changing trends in music and how technology helps update instruments in a way that they express one’s musical thoughts.

On: Tonight, 7 pm
At: G5A, Laxmi Mills Estate, Shakti Mills Lane, off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi
Call: 24909393
Cost: 1,200 (inclusive of dinner)

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