I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Monday, February 27, 2017

...Of Announcements, Astute Observations and the Aftaab-e-Sitar

I attribute the long hibernation of this blog to a number of factors. My legendary laziness is obviously at the top of the list, but it is compounded by a number of other contributing factors. There is the steady series of transcriptions and translations for the Dream Journey project , a project that has evolved into a continuously enriching part of my life. Then there's the fact that i'm a year and a half into a rather grueling four year post-graduate residency program in a medical specialty, and try as I might to procrastinate, I have to actually apply myself every so often in order to do justice to my chosen profession. A rather recent reason is the fact that I got married at the end of last year, something that - counter to Douglas Adams' views about the creation of the universe - has widely been regarded as a 'Good Move.'

I've frequently thought of resuming my sporadic blog posts but until now, havent really gotten around to it. This time however, I have come up with what Baldrick from Blackadder would call a cunning plan. Finding myself with a few days to spare before hunkering down to study for an important exam, I  have actually written down a series of posts and put them on ice to be published at pre-scheduled intervals over the coming weeks. It's a small step towards this blog returning to some semblance of life, but at least its a start. This post serves as the announcement for a resumption of festivities - or hostilities, depending on your point of view. 

As a welcome gift at the blog's Grand Re-Re-Re-Re-Opening, I'd like to offer an exquisite hour and a half of music. But first, a few words of introduction. Number one. The fact that I know next to nothing about Classical music didn't detract me one bit from my enjoyment of this piece, something that encourages me into thinking that same shall be the case with the readers, Two, one of the reasons I consider my recent betrothal a 'Good Move' is that the missus has proven herself to be surprisingly tolerant and appreciative of my eclectic (the understatement of the century) tastes in entertainment. Not only that, she is also an extremely astute viewing/listening companion. This was borne on me when I was first listening to the piece I'm sharing below. She listened to it for a while and remarked, "This gentleman is playing beautifully and knows it." That one sentences eclipses any further paragraphs I may have written in praise of this piece. So I'll eschew further descriptions altogether and share this beautiful, magical performance by a beautiful, magical musician.

Ustad Vilayat Khan - Raag Hameer - Live at the Royal Festival Hall, 1993