Dr. Lalmani Misra | Heritage Alive, Vol. 1

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World: Indian Classical Classical: Traditional Moods: Instrumental
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Heritage Alive, Vol. 1

by Dr. Lalmani Misra

Live recordings of Vichitra Veena recitals given in Philadelphia in 1970, illustrate Misrabani style — the art of creating complex compositions — presenting the traditional Raga-s in enriched manner.
Genre: World: Indian Classical
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Raga Malgunji
38:56 album only
2. Raga Bhupali
12:53 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album is the first of a series based on live recordings of Vichitra Veena recitals given in Philadelphia in 1970 and later. The two Raga-s, Malgunji and Bhupali are perfect examples of Misrabani style.

Playing an instrument in Jhumra is demanding; executing layakari-s in it is simply astounding. Picking up Tal-s rarely used by instrumentalists, Dr. Lalmani Misra employed special Mizrab Bol-s to maneuver complex Tan-s in his well-structured compositions.
Jhala (rhythmic pattern in fast tempo) usually played in 16 beat Teen Tal, has never before been played on Vichitra Veena in 14 beat Ada CharTal.

It needed no less than the talent nurtured by musical inheritance of Pt. Ishwarlal Mishra, to provide an adept accompaniment on Tabla. He had accompanied Dr. Misra on other albums like “Nectar of the Moon: Vichitra Vina Music of Northern India”, “La Musique De Pandit Lalmani Misra” and more.

Dr. Lalmani Misra, well known as a Vichitra Veena player, had an extraordinary ability for creating music. Spontaneity and perfection defined his music. The following remarkable quotes by prominent artists and members of the musico-academic community would give a brief notion of Dr. Misra's exemplary creative strength before we proceed to analyze his genius:

“Prof. Misra was the Music Director of Udaya Shankar's troupe and job amply speaks of his eminence as musician. He contributed some of lively tunes and melodious notes to music performances given in foreign countries which kept the audience spell bound. He gave his performance in almost 150 big towns of America and Europe and was hailed by one and all as a talented artist of the age. Prof. Misra can play on eight instruments with a master's hand.” [News Paper item (Telegraph May 6, 1952) excerpt]

Dr. Misra's contribution to the music world, apart from seminal work on musical instruments, creation of Shruti Veena and several new Raga-s like Sameshwari, Madhukali and more, is that he has written hundreds of compositions for Sitar in more than 150 common and uncommon Raga-s. Moved by a desire to perfect a system in instrumental music that would be as complete as the vocal tradition, he created a new Gat style, which gradually has come to be known as 'Misrabani'. It was also referred to as 'Koot ki Gat' owing to the complexity of the Gat. They were so labeled, recalling instances of using such complex rhythmic patterns by earlier musicians in flourishes hailed by the aficionados as Koot ki Tan.
The Misrabani compositions he created are serious compositions in stylistic sense. They clarify that selection of Raga-s influences the minds of musicians.

Under this style he created a new Gatkari in Vilambit Jhoomara Tal, Vilambit Jhap Tal and Madhya-laya Ada Char Tal. In this new style Dr. Misra introduced Mizrab Bol DA RDA -R DA. Especially, in vilambit pace Da Rda -R Da shows a very different dimension of Swar-Tal union.

The oblique movement and complexity of a Raga is considered one of the main reasons for its unpopularity. There are many Raga-s that are extremely melodious and fulfill all the desired norms of Indian classical music (proper consonances with lower and upper tetra-chords), but owing to their complex nature, they are rarely played by the instrumentalists. Most of such demanding Raga-s like Basant Bahar, Gandhari, Malhua Kedar, Anand Bhairav, Multani, Kaushik Kanhada, Malgunji, Bageshri Kanhada, Sindura, Neelambari etc. were played by Dr. Misra.

This series — Misrabani Vichitra Veena: heritage aLive — shall present unpublished recitals of Dr. Lalmani Misra presented over four decades back.

heritage aLive vol 1

Raga Malgunji 38:50
Alap, Jod
Vilambit Jhumra Tal (slow 14 beats)
Drut Ada CharTal (fast 14 beats)
Raga Bhupali 12:50
Kaharwa Tal (8 beats)

Original Sound Recording: Nancy Nalbandian



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