This video, produced by me and completed in 2006, contains an interview with world famous violinist Kala Ramnath, filmed in Amsterdam, September 2005. Also comments are included from interviews I did in Autumn 2005 with Kala’s guru Pandit Jasraj and with producer/recording engineer Derek Roberts, Head of Production of the Sense World Music label. Earlier on I already published a few excerpts of this video. This is the complete version.
Kala and me, after the interview
In April 2006 I also filmed a fabulous concert by Kala at RASA in Utrecht. In 2013 I published the entire concert on YouTube.
And in May 2006 I filmed a workshop by Kala at the Rotterdam Conservatory. I intend to publish some of that material as well. When ready I will add a link later on in this blogpost.
Kala’s workshop at the Rotterdam Conservatory, May 2006
On 23 April 2006 I filmed Kala Ramnath’s concert at RASA in Utrecht/The Netherlands. Since then I published a lot of this concert in separate parts. Finally I’ve now uploaded the complete concert on my YouTubechannel.
Kala Ramnath/violin; Satyajit Talwalkar/tabla; Celine Wadier/tanpura
00:00 – 57:48 Raag Madhuvanti
58:13 – 1:27:40 Raag Dinki Puriya
1:27:54 – 1:39:45 Composition in Raag Des
It’s great to be able now to play this fabulous concert in one go! (Yes, fans/admirers of Kala, you should really thank me for this upload 🙂 ) And for the first time you can now enjoy Kala’s complete Madhuvanti in this concert, which is a great bonus!
Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is known for her musical multitalent. She’s an internationally renowned classical pianist and equally famous as a brilliant improviser on the keyboard. Add to that her talent as a composer. Proof of this is A Piece for Ruth, her first composition for piano and violin. The title of the composition refers to Ruth Palmer, one of Britain’s finest young violinists, who was hit six years ago in London’s Fleet Street by a motorbike driven by… the younger brother of Gabriela’s boyfriend. This accident – you can read more about it here – inspired the writing of the music for Ruth, who’s now a good friend of Gabriela. On Friday December 7th 2012 A Piece for Ruth premiered in the Caspary Auditorium of New York’s Rockefeller University – see the video below – with Gabriela Montero on piano and Ruth Palmer on violin. Wonderful music and performance. Lovin’ it! 🙂
Summer 2012 saw Kala Ramnath‘s latest release Aavartan: A Musical Odyssey, Dawn to Dusk – 1&2. I have many of Kala’s albums and I’m very familiar with her style of playing. Still, I’m pleasantly surprised once more by what Kala has to offer on Aavartan (Cycle). Yes, as expected, her violin sings and sounds magnificent, but what strikes me is the overall depth and maturity of her refined playing, a special treat one can enjoy here for almost two hours! The recordings were done in Mumbai for Kala’s own label Kalashree. The quality of the recordings is excellent, adding up nicely to the listening experience. Kala is supported on tabla by two famous players: Abhijit Banerjee on Dusk to Dawn-1 and Subhankar Banerjee on Dusk to Dawn-2. Both albums contain six ragas, each having a particular connection with a certain time of the day or night, reflecting an ideational system based on a daily cycle of changes that occur in our own body and mind, arousing and stimulating different emotions and moods. In other words: Kala presents 12 ragas for the twenty-four hours of the day according to the time theory in Indian classical music. On Dusk to Dawn-1 Kala plays the raags Bhairav (6-8AM), Jaunpuri (8-10AM), Deshkar (10-12PM), Miya Ki Sarang (12-2PM), Patdeepki (2-4PM) and Din Ki Puriya (4-6PM). On Dusk to Dawn-2 Kala plays Hameer (6-8PM), Jaijaivanti (8-10PM), Shankara (10-12AM), Malkauns (12-2AM), Darbari (2-4AM) and Bhatiyar (4-6AM). For a great listening experience I highly recommend these recordings by the Singing Violin of India!
As part of the Holland-India Festivals The Hague world famous ragaviolinist Kala Ramnath from Mumbai visits The Netherlands to play her own violin concerto, titled The seasons of India, accompanied by The Residence Orchestra/The Hague Philharmonic. The concert will be held at the Conservatory of The Hague on Saturday 10 November 2012. I wonder how Kala’s bending of notes and colourful ragaplaying style combine with the sounds of a symphony orchestra.
I found a clip on YouTube that might give a clue. It shows Kala playing with the London Symphony Strings.
Kala playing with the London Symphony Strings
I portrayed Kala for Radio Netherlands and for the Concertzender. To listen to my radio-portrayal of Kala in 2008, click here.
Excerpt of my video-recording of Kala’s concert at RASA in Utrecht, April 2006
A meeting up of world famous violin players from different classical traditions is not an evryday phenomenon. Recently it happened to Hindustani classical (raga) performer Kala Ramnath and Western classical player Hilary Hahn. Kala wrote a piece for Hilary and in this video she explains a few basics of raga music and about the piece she’s done for Hilary.
Groomed so far mainly by famous violinist T.N. Krishnan, this is Charumathi Raghuram, a young carnatic violinist with an excellent technique and in her playing a delightful, refined expression. With great imagination she plays a wonderful rendition of Akhilandeswari and – according to my taste – she achieves the kind of carnatic violin sound that I personally like best and that I always seek for in this music. Also the overall sound, the recording and amplification are ok here I think. I mention this, because many recordings in this area of music sound pretty bad, if not – if I may say so – horrible, that is, in my ears. For instance, I don’t like the use of big reverb and excessive microphone amplification in raga music, as – regrettably – soo often happens on stage or in studios. An interesting topic for debate and for further musicological investigation.
Excerpts from my short film ‘All in one bow – de streken van Kala Ramnath’ (17min.), about Mewati-gharana violinist Kala Ramnath, filmed in september 2005 at my place in Amsterdam. I hope to rework this material (playing and interview) and combine it with other material of Kala’s playing that I shot in 2006, a full concert in Utrecht and a workshop in Rotterdam.
As far as I know she has played in Europe only in Germany so far. This really should change. She’s an incredible talent and I’m sure audiences in Holland (and other European countries) would love to hear her. Anyway, I, for one, will keep on namedropping her for sure 🙂
Here’s in three video’s -click on the following links- some of her fabulous playing, from a concert recorded on 4 December 2009: Part One – Part Two – Part Three.