Ancient Sounds

On Monday, February 27th, ICCR organized a musical evening at the Kamani Auditorium. Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan played the Sarod with Rahim AlHaj, who was on the Oud. The concert called ‘Ancient Sounds’ was an Indo-Iraq fusion music concert. The atmosphere was laden with enthusiasm for some soulful music. The concert featured compositions from the album titled “Ancient Sounds”.

Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan are the sons and disciples of Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan being the elder one. They are the 7th generation in an unbroken chain of the Senia Bangash school of music. They have accompanied their father to various music festivals in India and abroad. Amaan has won the Provogue Societies Young Achievers Award. They have many musical albums to their credit and have carved a niche for themselves. They have co-authored the book ‘Abba - God’s greatest gift to us’. Rahim AlHaj, an Iraqi musician, played the Oud which is an instrument from the Middle East. Satyajit Talwalkar was on the tabla.

The concert was a fusion between two stringed instruments – Sarod and Oud. When asked how a fusion piece evolves, Amaan said “two open minds and open attitudes respecting the other art form are essential to creating a good piece of fusion. It is more important to interact with each other. It is essential to understand the sensibilities of the other form of music.”

The concert began with Amaan and Ayaan playing a classical piece based on ‘Raag Jhinjhoti’. The sound of dholak was a very pleasant surprise in the composition. Rahim AlHaj performed solo next. The Oud creates very sublime, slow music. When it picked up pace, the music became very foot-tapping. Rahim had earlier collaborated with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan for the album ‘Ancient Sounds’, which was nominated for a Grammy. Amaan said that it was an honour to have his father and guru in the audience. The piece of fusion music that they played was called ‘Journey’ which was a composition by Amjad Ali Khan; the music gave the feeling of travelling. The second piece was titled ‘Moving River’, which actually gave the effect of the sounds of moving water. The last one was ‘Three Soldiers’ which was a composition by Rahim. Amaan said that in fact, they were six soldiers on the stage. The 'jugalbandi' between the dholak and tabla was flawless, with some excellent beats by Satyajit. The performance ended with a crescendo of music. The music was a feast for the soul.