Archive for the ‘transcendental’ Category


October 30, 2007


I have always been drawn to Indian Devotional music, or Bhajans, because they somehow speak to my soul. I can’t really explain it, exactly. Perhaps it is the resonance of the Sitar vibrating my ribcage. Maybe it is the transcendental state of the musicians that overtakes me. Maybe it’s because the music is so ancient that I feel a little closer to God by listening to it. One thing for sure, it moves me toward a meditative state. I decided to include Ravi Shankar in this list not because he is my favorite sitar player, or even the best one for that matter, but because he is an old and tranquil soul. I’ve sat next to him while he’s played, I’ve seen him play Bhajans with his daughter, Anoushka, and I’ve had the privilege of talking with him for awhile. He is gentle, compassionate, and very wise.  Check out this clip of Ravi from the Dick Cavett show. Because of time restraints, they no doubt asked Ravi to “wow” the audience. Normally, these pieces last 20 to 30 minutes and don’t get moving until about half way in. Oh well, this just rocks.  


Next, I thought I’d pay homage to Ustad Zakir Hussain, probably the world’s greatest Tabla player. He is the master of manipulating tone and syncing up with the other musicians, and just phenomenal to watch. In this clip I don’t know where they are playing, but it’s very unusual for an audience to clap during a performance. Nonetheless, it’s enjoyable to watch.