June 13, 2004

June 13, 2004 02:39 AM

I see places in my mind’s eye. I see myself there. These places and scenes are in the distance. I realize that most of this life has come to an end and I am in the painful process of being born. I am distracted and sad of late and must treat myself gently. In preparation for performances in the near future, I hungered for inspiration and mental “soothing”. So, tonight I drove to the Hindu Temple of Atlanta to experience a Hindustani Classical recital by vocalist Pt Ajay Pohankar and keyboardist Abhijit Pohankar and tabla player Aditya Kalyanpur. The first half of the concert utilized a Yamaha keyboard ‘s factory stock piano and string sounds instead of traditional instrumentation. The use of the modulation wheel was highly practiced yet having worked with this Yamaha for years as a slave for the Akai sampler we utilized in Swans, I was unable to get past the recognizable and to my ears, difficult stock sounds of the Yamaha. I imagined the performance taken to the next level wherein the keyboardist created and played his own samples instead of the ready-made ones from Yamaha corporation… This style of this evening’s event is being touted as “the face of the new Indian music.” The event to me was half “new age” and half traditional. The traditional segment was sans Yamaha. The faces of devotees entering the Temple were beautiful. Men with vibrant red and yellow stripes on ther foreheads. Women with blue black skin with large red smudges of color between their brows.