Kashmir - a Rainbow of Melodies on Santoor
Music composed by: Bhajan Sopori
Prakriti (Nature) and Bhajan (Prayer)
are a trinity that signifies one concept-Kashmir. The Santoor or Shatatantri
Veena, is a musical instrument of Kashmir. It expresses the various
moods of this land, which, in turn, are reflected in the musical compositions of
this paradise on earth.
symphony is a product of my memories of Kashmir, re-created in the tranquility
of my composerís mind that have inspired me from time to time. My contribution
has been in bringing these diverse elements together in order to create an
extravaganza of rhythm and melody.The symphony is divided into seven movements,
corresponding to the seven colors of the rainbow I saw over the silver mountain
range as a child.The attempt on my part has been to present a fusion of the
traditional,the classical, the Sufiana, the folk music of my motherland, with
contemporary sensibility,which represent the cherished values of my people.
theme is Pari Mahal. Built on the foot-holds of the Hill of
Zaberwan facing the Shankaracharya (Shiva Temple) on the one side and the Mosque
of Hazratbal Shrine on the other side The Pari Mahal, or abode of the nymphs (or
the dancing girls of then ruling court), was also an astrological observatory of Dara Shikoh, the Sufi Mughal Prince.
I have tried to visualize a spiritually gifted soul, for whom"Namah Shivay"
and "Allah" carry the same message. It is left to the
imagination of the listener how he would like to interpret the rendering of
these two words simultaneously.
into the Dal Lake through its famous gate is my childhood memory
of a Shikara ride, with its accompanying resonance of the singing birds, the
sound of the boatman's oars and the lapping of the waves against the sides of
the boat.The flowing breeze, while negotiating the lotus fields and the narrow
tunnel under the "Camel Bridge" on approach to the Nishat Gardens, are
all vibrant in my imagination in this musical composition.
is a glamorous tree that provides cool shade and shelter for
Like a mother, it nourishes all that comes under its benign shadow, and build
nests on its lofty branches and the Shehajar (cool shadow) that it provides
throughout the summer months.
call to the Sufi saints, is based on the Sufiana Muqams set to Chapandaz Tal a
rhythmic cycle of six beats in Sufiana Mausiqui and expresses devotional moods
through a variety of melodies.
The Village song
recalls the Wullar, on shores of which is situated Sopore, my ancestral home.
Here I present the variegated moods of my life and the folk song that nurtured
me from infancy to youth.
As for the Vitasta,
the ancient name of the River Jhelam, it has contributed everlastingly to the
nourishment of life in Kashmir. On its banks in Srinagar, we have the Temple of
Mahakali and the Shrine of Shah Hamdan, the ancient Ganesha Temple and the Zoona
Dab of Bud Shah. It is the synthesis of religions and cultures and
also a medium of transportation by way of the Shikaras that ride it currents.The
Vitasta symbolizes both the agony and ecstasy of Kashmir. My
attempt, in these two compositions, has been to recall and integrate all these
various ideas and recollections that would rejuvenate the ideal that Kashmir has
stood for through the centuries, and what it could mean to the future
generations. It gives me the greatest pleasure to present this humble
homage to my motherland and to the lovers of music all overthe world. The
Vitasta in Ecstasy is a wish !
- BHAJAN SOPORI