Groove Tunes

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ghazal - The Rain

Ghazal is quite an unusual group. Not only because of the style of music that they play but also because of who the members are. Shujaat Khan is part of a musical dynasty.

His legendary family has produced a line of seven generations of musical geniuses. His father, Vilayat Khan, is one of the most highly regarded sitar players ever, a giant in Hindustani music.

As far as I know, Shujaat is the first member of this family to break away from the confines of ragas to explore other genres of music. This is not the first non-raga music that he has made but it could well be the most impressive.

His partner in this project is Kayhan Kalhor, a Kurdish Iranian musician who plays kamancheh. The kamancheh is a Persian violin-like instrument that is not played like a western violin but rather standing up, rested on the leg of the player.

Kayhan is a virtuoso in his own right and makes an excellent match for the skills of Shujaat Khan. They combine to make a formidable super-group.

The music is quite unusual as well. As I mentioned, this is not raga music such as Shujaat is most widely known for. The band is based on the idea of improvising around a blend of North Indian and Persian classical and folk melodies and traditions. This is the last album that they produced and is all recorded live.

The music is spellbinding from the opening chord of Shujaat's sitar. The two players weave around each other like they were born to play together, echoing one melody and then taking it in turns to expand and improvise around the theme. Shujaat also sings in places, always fairly softly but more than enough to be powerful and prominent at the same time.

Needless to say, the sitar playing is stunning, but as is that of the kamancheh. In fact, the range of sounds that Kayhan draws out of his instrument is amazing. He alternates between plucking and bowing, both techniques producing very different sonic effects.

The three songs on this live album are lengthy, with none of them being less than fifteen minutes long, but these two masters know how to keep the interest up and before you know it the track is over. It is simply mesmerising.


some really chill songs here, thanks. I like the layout of your posts as well, nice job.

i'm gonna listen this after getting high

to much chill songs for me

This post is both intriguing and fascinating, keep up the great work.


Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

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