November 21, 2010

Happy Gurpurab!

Happy Gurpurab Everyone! Lets remember Guru ji's message today ...

Also sharing a nice article from "The Province" in Canada:

As the legend goes, Nanak Dev was only 12 when his father, a revenue official of Talwandi village west of Lahore in Pakistan, decided to test the business acumen of his son.

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November 16, 2010

Raag Devgandhari Compilation

My Favorites Devgandhari Shabads
Mai Gur Charni Chit Laiyeh - Dr. Gurnam Singh
Tera Jan Raam Rasaayan - Bhai Mohinder Pratap Singh
Sabh Kich Jeevat - Bhai Darbara Singh (Bad recording)

List of Devgandhari Shabads:
Mere Man mukh har har boliyeh - Prof Kartar Singh
Mai Gur Charni Chit Laiyeh - Bibi Varinder Kaur

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October 8, 2010

Ramkali - Dhan Dhan Ramdas Gur

Someone reminded me today that it was Gurpurab (Guru Ramdas), so I was reminded of the shabad I have heard so many times, Dhan Dhan Ramdas Gur.

I checked, like I do now for every shabad when I hear it, it was written by Guru Sahib in Raag Ramkali.

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September 8, 2010

Which Tanpura Should One Use?

One of the readers of the blog wrote to me recently about the usage of a real Tanpura versus electronic shruti boxes.

I must say having a well tuned tanpura resonating near your ear helps in recognizing and consolidating harmonies (its the same reason why avergae singers sing a lot more in tune in a 4-part choir). However, tuning, bridging and threading, apart from finger pressure and positioning, make tanpura playing an art; if you have not done it for a long time, it is not as easy to learn as it would seem. It might actually be quite cumbersome if you are in the middle of learning vocal technique.

Before buying a Tanpura try this

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July 23, 2010

How do I know I am singing Raag Dhanasri?

Following the posting of a new shabad in Raag Dhanasri earlier this week (Ab Main Kaun Upao Karoon), I received a couple of inquiries on how to sing Dhanasri. People often ask me about styles of singing, and especially definitions of several raags. And because I get these questions often, I think its appropriate to put the response on the blog.

The request reminded me of my last lengthy discussion on Dhanasari -- which was memorable one. A few years ago one beautiful afternoon, after the normal Gurudwara program, I had the fortune of sitting with the gifted Bhai Gurmeet Singh Shaant and his jatha in the Norwalk Gurudwara in Connecticut, and we were sharing Dhanasari bandishes with each other; In his opinion this would be categorized as a Thumri in Dhanasari, not a Khayal, the more popular Kirtan style prevalent nowadays. The best way to learn the musical aspects of Dhanasri is to listen to accomplished musicians sing it. Please see a Compilation of Dhanasri Shabads for more examples of singing Dhanasri.

If I stopped here, I would be wrong.

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July 20, 2010

Ab Main Kaun Upao Karoon - Raag Dhanasri

Following is a recording of Guru Tegh Bahadur's shabad "Ab Main Kaun Upao Karoon" that I recently finished mastering. This is the first of six shabads I collaborated with Pandit Rajendra Prasanna, an eminent classical musician from Delhi. The shabad is sung in Raag Dhanasri, and a downloadable version of this shabad, like others, is available on Reverbnation. Hopefully I will post some more shabads from that collaboration, and from others that I currently am in.

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May 12, 2010

Asa KI Vaar or Asa DI Vaar?

Over one of the recent weekends, I had the chance to listen to the wonderful Asa ki Vaar at a residence in California. Bhai Kultar Singh sang some shabads that we used to hear from his father, Bhai Avtar Singh. I had my iPhone with me so I recorded two of the shabads.

The first shabad is in Raag Bilawal, Prabh ji too mere praan adhaare:
Bilawal - Prabh ji too mere praan adhaare - Bhai Kultar Singh

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Compilation of Asa Ki Vaar (The Ballad of Hope)

Here is a list of some Asa ki Vaar recordings that I like. Also notice our blog post related to this topic: Asa KI Vaar or Asa DI Vaar?

The first recording one is done by Bhai Baljeet Singh and Bhai Gurmeet Singh with tanti saaz (although a better mastering job is definitely possible here):

Asa ki Vaar - Bhai Baljeet Singh, Bhai Gurmeet Singh

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February 24, 2010

Delhi Raag Darbar (Dec 2009)

Late last year there was a Raag Kirtan Darbar in Rajouri Garden, Delhi. I have been listening to these shabads over the past month. Following are my favorites from this program:

Todi - Heeyo Re Garab Kahelaro - Bhai Gurmeet Singh Shaant
Gauri Bairagan - Meraa Taanda Laadeya Jaye - Bhai Baljit/Gurmeet Singh (Namdhari)
Bihagra - Vad Sukh Rainariye - Bibi Parampreet Kaur
Here is a complete List of Shabads

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January 27, 2010

Malkauns for Haiti

Pictures from the recent earthquake in Haiti have been heartbreaking. I saw some different kinds of pictures from Haiti today. These were heart warming pictures. Those of of Sikhs embracing Haitians, Sikhs serving hot food to people in Haiti. I was ecstatically surprised, and filled with pleasure and pride seeing the following: United Sikhs Haiti News. And the scale is fantastic -- the United Sikhs is serving langar to 5000 needy people in Haiti. Kudos!

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