April 7, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO: David Corrigan
Residents on the Big Island were treated to a rare concert performance by The Indian Classical Music Circle of Hawaii at the Wood Valley Temple on Saturday.
The Divine Music of Ancient India featured two masters of Indian music, Danny Birch and Parashuram Bhandari.
This two part video series features a small sample of the sounds of The Indian Classical Music Circle of Hawaii. This first part will feature an overview of the Circle and the music of Danny Birch. The second video will be a meditative look at the Wood Valley Temple with Parashuram Bhandari’s sarangi.
According to concert organizer and accomplished tamboura player Babette Ackin, Danny Birch is a sarod player extraordinaire, and a disciple of the Royal Court Musicians of the Maharaja of Nepal.
In this video, Birch exhibits raga, an ancient and complex form of sacred music, mostly improvised, often with mesmerizing power.
Danny Birch says: “It is important to understand that raga musicians generally believe that a raga is a living being that has and will always exist. The duty of the performer is to allow the raga to express itself through the musician’s skill and knowledge. It is a kind of surrender. The raga musician is a sort of medium, and the performance is like a séance. The audience is involved, not merely being played to. They are witnesses to the manifestation of the spirit of the raga. Raga and nature are intertwined with human emotions and expressed by a devoted musician in a form that moves the spirit.”
The Indian Classical Music Circle of Hawaii, founded and directed by Babette, is a not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to the enjoyment, education, support, and promotion of sacred and devotional Indian music. Saturday’s concert was the one and only Big Island performance scheduled.