Monday, February 22, 2010

Uthan, Palta Theka

Ok, so the whole 'Kaida a Week' thing may not be entirely accurate....BUT, I will record 52 of these, eventually. Sign up for email notifications (down, right). The blog will email you when I put a new recording up.

To get back into the swing of things, 2 of my very favourite introduction compositions: an Uthan and Palta Theka.

<a href="">Uthan, Palta Theka by Tala-Wallah</a>

An Uthan is an introductory composition, either improvised, or pre composed, that features heavy-duty tabla bols, and usually multiple nadais (aka subdivisions: 4, 6, 8 in this case). This particular composition has an absolutely massive tihai, with 9 repetitions of Dha tun na ke tete Dha- ne Dha - ne Dha - in each palla, so 27 in total. There are 81 Dha s if anyone is counting. The math is interesting as well...16-16, 16.5-16.5 and sum to sum. Composed by Swapan Chaudhuri.

The next composition was taught to me as a Peshkar, but it's much more like a Palta Theka. Basically, variations on the strokes in the theka, tintal in this case.

Swapan Chaudhuri composed this for a tabla ensemble at the Ali Akbar College of Music a long time ago, and it is really very lovely (the composition...not necessarily my rendition;). The development of the bols is orderly, yet incredibly interesting and creative. Note that the usual kaida rules apply here...bhari-khali and maintaining the original bols, but there is a bit more leeway...dheneghene (on sur) isn't in the theme, for example, but since sur strokes are such a big part of the theka, they fit. Interesting. Oh, and the tihai has kept me up late on many is a serious handful, and a perfect example of the beautiful complexity of Indian classical music.

I used the same Darbari Kanada lehara (from iLehra app) as last's quickly become a go-to lehara.

Update! my friend Chris Hale played the lehara on sitar. Hopefully, we'll be able to do this on a regular basis.