Concert by The Just Alap Raga Ensemble in
the MELA Dream House
Saturday, February 5, 2005, 9 pm
Tribute to Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib
La Monte Young, voice
Marian Zazeela, voice
Jung Hee Choi, voice
Da'ud Constant, voice
Rose Okada, sarangi
Charles Curtis, cello
Naren Budhkar, tabla
The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from the Just Dreams CD
Foundation Dream House
275 Church Street, 3rd Floor, Between Franklin & White Streets in
Saturday, February 5, 2005, 9 pm
Admission $24. MELA Members, Seniors, Student ID, $18.
Limited seating. Advance reservations recommended.
A Concert of
Evening Ragas in the contemporary Kirana Style of North Indian Classical
Music will be performed by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela with The
Just Alap Raga Ensemble in a memorial tribute honoring Pandit Pran
Nath’s Guru, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib, the greatest master of the
Kirana gharana during his lifetime on Saturday, February 5th,
at 9 pm in the MELA Foundation Dream House light environment, 275
Church Street, 3rd Floor. PLEASE NOTE: The Dream
House will be closed on Thursday, February 3rd and Saturday, February
5th because of the scheduled concert.
Pandit Pran Nath
has said, "Alap is the essence of Raga. When the drut
[faster tempo] begins, the Raga is finished." With the Just
Alap ensemble, La Monte Young applies his own compositional approach
to traditional raga performance, form and technique: a pranam
(bow) of gratitude in reciprocation for the influence on his music, since
the mid-fifties, of the unique, slow, unmetered timeless alap, and for one
of the most ancient and evolved vocal traditions extant today.
Featuring extended alap sections and sustained vocal drones in
just intonation over tamburas, Young and Zazeela premiered this ensemble
on August 22, 2002 in a memorial tribute to the late sarangi master, Ustad
Hafizullah Khan, Khalifa of the Kirana Gharana and son of Ustad Abdul
Wahid Khan Sahib.
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela will be accompanied by Jung Hee Choi and
Da'ud Constant, voices, Rose Okada, sarangi, Charles Curtis, cello,
Naren Budhkar, tabla, and The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from
the Just Dreams CD. The Just Alap ensemble will present the
continuing avant-premiere of “Raga Sundara” by La Monte
Young, a vilampit khayal set in Raga Yaman Kalyan,
composed under a commission grant from the NYSCA Individual Artists
Abdul Wahid Khan’s revival of the khayal at the turn of the
century stands, in itself, as a virtually unparalleled contribution in
the recent history of Indian classical music.
Although a youthful prodigy of the Kolhapur court, remaining
unchallenged after his public debut there at the age of 18, he had not
the inclination to spend time singing in the courts.
Instead, he lived a devout, reclusive life, singing in the
presence of holy men and at the tombs of Sufi saints, and only
occasionally sang in public. His
command of the art was of such stature that no other musician ever
performed in his presence. Requiring
rigorous discipline and fierce devotion, he took very few disciples;
among them Pran Nath became the most important through his ceaseless
practice, natural talent, and extraordinary ability to serve his
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela helped bring
renowned master vocalist Pandit Pran Nath to the U.S. and became his
first Western disciples, studying with him for twenty-six years in the
traditional gurukula manner of living with the guru.
Young and Zazeela have taught the Kirana style and performed with Pandit
Pran since 1970 in hundreds of concerts in India, Iran, Europe and the
United States. In June 2002, Young was conferred the title of Khan
Sahib by Khalifa Hafizullah Khan Sahib.
Pandit Pran Nath, who passed away on June 13, 1996, virtually introduced
the vocal tradition of North Indian classical music to the West in 1970.
His 1971 morning performance at Town Hall, New York City, was the first
concert of morning ragas to be presented in the U.S. Subsequently,
he introduced and elaborated to Western audiences the concept of
performing ragas at the proper time of day by scheduling entire series
of concerts at special hours. Many students and professional
musicians came to him in America to learn about the vast system of raga
and to improve their musicianship. He performed frequently in New
York City and in 1972, established his own school under the direction of
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, the Kirana Center for Indian
Classical Music, now a project of MELA Foundation. In Fall 1993,
Pran Nath inaugurated the MELA Foundation Dream House with
three Raga Cycle concerts and continued to perform here
annually during his lifetime.
Pran Nath's majestic expositions of the slow alap sections of
ragas combined with his emphasis on perfect intonation and the
clear evocation of mood had a profound impact on Western contemporary
composers and performers. In addition to Young and Zazeela,
minimalist music composer Terry Riley became one of his first American
disciples. Fourth-world trumpeter Jon Hassell, jazz
all‑stars Don Cherry and Lee Konitz, composers Jon Gibson,
Yoshimasa Wada, Rhys Chatham, Michael Harrison and Allaudin Mathieu,
Sufi Pir Shabda Kahn, mathematician and composer Christer Hennix,
concept artist and violinist Henry Flynt, dancer Simone Forti, and many
others took advantage of the opportunity to study with the master.
Admission is $24 / $18 MELA members; seniors; students with ID.
Limited seating. Advance reservations recommended. For
further information email email@example.com
or visit www.melafoundation.org
MELA's programs are made possible with public funds
from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency and
generous contributions from individuals and MELA Members.