Event Review 1 – Heartbeats – Concert with Zakir Hussain, 6th Dec 08, Pune

Attended an amazing concert at the Law College Ground in Pune: Heartbeats – Zakir Hussain, his brother Taufique Qureshi, vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, mandolin maestro U C Srinivas and percussionist legend Selvaganesh.

Zakir Hussain is still playing as he was from a different planet altogether. Shankar Mahadevan is one of the finest vocalists India has. He started with a hymn to Lord Ganesh, then went into various improvisations, with Srinivas’ mandolin being an echo to the human voice. Taufique Qureshi is one of the best fusion musicians in the world. I highly recommend his album TAUFIQ – THE  OTHER RHYTHM. He did not only play various percussion instruments, but also used his breath to create amazing sound patterns. The climax of the concert was Zakir’s solo performance followed by a session in which Shankar rendered some alaps, which were “translated into mandolin” by Srinivas, picked up by Selvagnaesh, interpreted by Taufique and then altered by Zakir and so on. So every phrase was heard in 5 different ways with five different instruments in very short time. After this grand finale they ended with a beautiful version of  “Raghupati Raghava”.

Music in its most evolved form connects us to the Supreme. For me this concert did exactly that.

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