A heroic rendition of power and confidence. Twilight is that fleeting part of the day which is juxtaposed between light and darkness at dawn or dusk. Dusk, also known as the “cow-dust hour” in India, is a term coined to portray a glimpse of the agricultural lifestyle in India. The tired farmer returns home after the entire day’s toil with his herd of cows treading along an arid path, giving rise to clouds of dust against a setting sun. Raag Multani’s somberness signifies that hour of the day when, having completed the day’s chores on a relentlessly hot day, one pauses to contemplate or take stock of the entire day with wisdom, prudence and courage.
With his rich voice, Pandit Venkatesh Kumar gives Raag Multani, the much-needed somberness, heroism and devotion that characterize this twilight Raga. Raag Multani derives from Thaat (scale) Todi. It has a pentatonic ascent (SgMPN) and uses seven notes (SNdPMgr) in its descent. Although Dha and Re are used sparingly in this Raga, it is the approach to Re from various notes through the development of the Raga that portrays the core calmness of this melody against a heroic personality.
Pandit Venkatesh Kumar sings a motley of styles with Gwalior gharana as his forte. His gayaki is also influenced by the Kirana gharana and he is a self-confessed follower of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Nazakat and Salamat Ali Khan. Traces of Carnatic music are evident from the patterns of his taans.
This is his first international debut performance at the Darbar Festival, 2010, at the King’s Place in London. Pandit Venkatesh Kumar performed Raag Multani, Raag Patdeep, Raag Durga and a Thumri in Raag Khamaj in sequence.
Recorded at Darbar Festival 2010, at London’s King’s Place:
Venkatesh Kumar (khayal)
Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla)
Murad Ali (sarangi)
Tofail Ahmed (harmonium)
Roopa Panesar (tanpura)
Gunwant Dhadhyalla (tanpura)
Raag Multani, Patdeep, Durga and a Thumri in Khamaj