A unique feature of Indian classical music is that specific ragas are composed to reflect the moods during specific times of the day (prahars). At the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), this will be the governing factor of a concert called Chaturprahar. Over five-and-a-half hours, the vocalists will perform ragas over two sessions, going from sunset to sunrise.
The performers include Hindustani vocalists Jayateerth Mevundi and Ashwini Bhide Deshpande in the first session, which will present ragas associated with the first and second quarter of the night (after sunset). Vocalists Ramakant and Umakant Gundecha will take the stage for the second session, singing ragas in keeping with the third and fourth quarter of the night.
Explaining the concept of Chaturprahar, Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, says, “Chaturprahar means 12 hours. The 12 hours that we will cover with our performance will be from sunset to early morning. There are very beautiful ragas associated with midnight and dawn. Our aim is to take the listeners through those 12 hours in a musical journey.”
“The idea of doing it from dusk to dawn is to show how these ragas are based on the bodily and mental changes that we undergo at various times of the day,” says Jayateerth Mevundi, who will start his performance with morning ragas like Marwa and Puriya Dhanashree. He also adds that the morning ragas are more energetic while the evening ones are soft and more sombre.
“Indian music must be enjoyed in its pristine form — just the way it was written and meant to be performed. This year’s focus at Chaturprahar is on sunset to sunrise ragas. Listening to these ragas at their designated time cycle will heighten their pleasure,” says Suvarnalata Rao, head, programming (Indian Music), NCPA.
Chaturprahar will be held on September 8 from 5.30 pm to 11 pm at the Experimental Theatre, NCPA. Tickets: Rs 200 onward.
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