I am honored to offer a recording of my music on the occasion of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan’s 100th birthday. I have been a disciple of Ustad Aashish Khan for 30 years, and during that time, also learned for many years at the Ali Akbar College of Music from Swara Samrat Ali Akbar Khan and his senior disciples, including Dr. George Ruckert. I am also a humble servant of the College as a board member, carrying on the family tradition of membership that started when my father Jahar started to take lessons in 1977.
My approach to music is traditional, and I try to stay close to the compositions I was taught—though in performance, we must and should improvise to a great extent. For this piece, in honor of my teachers, after a brief introductory alap , I have played the rhythmic portion (or “gat”) verbatim: the asthai, or lower tetrachord of the piece, was taught to me by Guru Aashish Khansahib, and the antara is from Ali Akbar Khansahib.
A word about Todi, the name of the Ragini I am playing here on the sarode. Todi is very soothing, and I play it often. The diminished third note is microtonally quite flat and is a gravitational center of sorts. The fifth note creates a unique melodic counterpoint. I hope you enjoy it!