The India International Centre organises Double Bill Concerts of Music & Dance to promote young artistes, offering them a prestigious platform to showcase their art. The recent Double Bill Concert of Music featured Danish Ali Khan from Delhi in a violin recital and Debdeep Misra from Bengal in a Hindustani vocal recital at the main auditorium of the IIC. The evening commenced with the violin recital by Danish Ali Khan, who belongs to the tradition of Ud. Bundu Khan.
Born in a family of musicians, Danish was initiated into music at an early age first under the guidance of his grandfather Ud. Mohammad Ali Khan, who was known for his expertise in Sursagar and Sarangi. Danish was trained in violin under the tutelage of his uncle Ud. Aleem Khan. Presently being groomed under Ud. Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the Khalifa (head) of Delhi Gharana, Danish sounded equally at ease in both gayaki ang, the vocalised idiom as well as tantrakari, the instrumental technique.
Opening with the sombre evening raga Shree, Danish dealt it first in the gayaki ang with an introductory alaap and a Bada Khayal like composition set to vilambit (slow) Ek-tala; elaborating the raga with the gradual alaap barhat in detail. The drut bandish in Teentala lead it to the tantrakari ang culminating into the fast speed jhala. And Danish was remarkable in his immaculate bowing and fingering technique in both the styles. His tuneful elaboration of the raga underlining its pivotal ‘Swar-Sangatis’, followed by the layakari and then the gamak and aapaat taans vouched for his proper training in gayaki ang during the vilambit khayal, while the technical finesse and the clarity in jhala spoke of his comfort level in the instrumental technique.
The melodious alaap in Desh provided a comely contrast after a serene raga like Shree. The alaap, in fact, even suggested the choice for a thumri, dadra or dhun, The musical sensibility of Danish and his tender touches on violin almost took even the audience for a ride, but he surprisingly ended up playing a composition in drut Ektaal. The composition itself was remarkable but it deserved a different type of preface, not the romantic touches of the lighter vein. The young violinist needs to take care of these unsaid mandatory rules that make a subtle difference. Hafeez Ahmed provided him able accompaniment on tabla.
Hindustani vocal recital by Debdeep Misra comprised the latter half of the concert. Coming from a musical family of Benaras Gharana, Debdeep is the grandson of Pandit Bishnu Sebak Misra. Initiated into music by his mother Banani Misra who trained under Pt. A. Kanan and Vidushi Girija Devi and his father who is a disciple of Pt. Manilal Nag; Debdeep’s formal training began under Pt. Tushar Dutta and since 2006 he is learning under the tutelage of Pt. Aniruddha Bhattacharya.
Accompanied on harmonium by Zakir Dholpuri and on tabla by Amar Kumar Seth, Debdeep opened his vocal recital with raga Bihag. The traditional bada khayal in slow Ektala and the chhota khayal, “Ali ri albeli…” set to medium tempo Teentala were followed by Hamsadwani which did not provide any contrast for the second raga. Although “lagi lagan…” in Teentala was a popular composition of Ud. Aman Ali Khan, who composed with the Mudra ‘Amar’ as his pseudonym.
Debdeep seemed to focus more on tayyari and speed rather than delving deep and enjoying the ragas. As a result he was accurate but not particularly pleasing in his renderings that were thin in content and loaded with showmanship.
The Double Bill Concerts do encourage the young talents in their unsure efforts at building performance skill and creativity in their field of artistic endeavour. The opportunity will hopefully help them to recognise what standards are expected for public performances, because some show exceptional talents while a few are tentative and inhibited.