This is a music post. But, before proceeding, I must briefly mention two events that appeared in the last couple days. One is that 500 penguins were found dead in Brazil - with empty stomachs. Overfishing is believed to be the cause of their starvation. Jeez, ok, so much for the concept of 'sharing', eh?. Psychopaths can't conceive of it, and humanity has learned to dismiss it.
The other story, a big one, is The Mustang Conspiracy & BP (!). Great 22-min. video explains the curious rabbit hole one finds when looking into the "round-ups" of the West's wild mustangs. Yep, ever hear of 'pipelinestan'? [Disclaimer: I am not endorsing the website.] Astonishing and disturbing. (Coincidentally, Thom Hartmann spent a half-hour on this story today.)
...back to reality
When I reach the point of being "sick and tired of being sick and tired" of the continuous ooze of mega-disastrous madness spewing forth from the so-called civilized first world, I make a choice to instead turn my attention to accessing the creative side. Sometimes what works to clear the mind and jump-start the remembrance is listening to recordings of teachers and friends. And this post is mainly one of throwing down some key stuff that has been a great inspiration and focus for me personally in my learning process. Hey, sometimes a clean break, a time out, is necessary, whether on a daily basis or longer.
One aspect of those times for me, besides the natural world irie meditations, are for remembering the greatness of human culture and the works and lives of the great masters, especially those whom I have seen, heard, learned from; and also the preciousness of the lineages themselves which flow through the artists - ones who have walked the whole path and accessed the Source of Creativity and carry the craft, aesthetics, responsibility, and ethics of those who came before. In that state of remembrance I am immediately thrown once again in touch with the current and can joyfully dive in and, well, watch what happens. As initiated non-affiliated 'ethnomusicologists', we're well aware that this planet at one time maintained a deep universal knowledge of, well, what music is really for. The dual streams of 'folk' and what is badly termed "classical" traditions of dance and music have constantly mutually influenced each other to bring us to the present day where various remnants of the great sacred arts-sciences remain for us to experience, not as profane entertainment but as transmissions that inform us of our birthright and what it means to be human. I have referred to the 'great ones' before, but I have to realize there comes a time for the "end of words".
Here are some examples of what works for me. They are some of what is available on the web, and can lead to other discoveries. What I call 'mastery' (in any art form) is basically what leaves me speechless, chokes me up, brings tears to my eyes, raises the hair on my neck, and leaves me fully energized and in awe. That's my 'yardstick'. In future I may occasionally post fave performances, but for now I'm throwing down a bunch of stuff, because this blog is supposed to be about preserving by sharing and learning. Some are native artists and some are non-native whom I have known and/or have inspired me by carrying on. Creativity itself is being warred upon. It is what the enemies of life and humanity hate and lack, something obvious and unnecessary to point out at this late hour. Again, these are 'personal' inspirations but hopefully you may find them touching your heart and soul, as we start a little journey around the planet in (mostly, but not all) South Asia - ok, eclectic for sure, and maybe not everyone's cup of chai, but, if you have the bandwidth, here we go.
INDIA: Ganesh Mangalacharan, Odissi Dance by Smt. Sujata Mohapatra
Invocation to Mother Earth and Lord Ganesh, choreography by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
PAKISTAN: Sufi Ghazal "Bulleh Shah" by Begum Abida Parveen
Includes lyrics translation, the best!
AFGHANISTAN: Raga Bayag played on Robab by Ustad Mohamed Omar
Former master musician at the Royal Court in Kabul
I'm throwing this [bonus clip!] in the mix, though it's outside of my field, since it was brought to my attention by an associate for obvious reasons. Universality in world dance.
HAWAII: "Mele Aloha No Kaulana-i-ka-poki'i E Keaomelemele" danced, sung by Natasha Oda
INDIA: Raga Jog, Rudra Vina and vocal by Dagar Brothers
Authentic Nada Yoga lineage family of 20+ generations, 2 lovely gentlemen
INDIA: Raga Bhairavi by Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar
This piece was chosen as part of the 'Golden Record' of Carl Sagan for the Voyager probe in the 70s. Very old-school khayal gharana
SPAIN: Solea by Diego del Gastor
The teacher of a good American friend and flamenco pioneer of the 60s. Astonishing.
SCOTLAND: "Now Westlin Winds" by Dick Gaughan
A great brother singing his favorite song, which "says everything"....
IRELAND: Ancient pipe Air "Port Na Bpucai" by Tony McMahon
More Celtic-India connection by legendary accordion master who also traveled and learned in India
....to be continued