India Archive Music
Amarnath Mishra – Sitar
J. Massey – Tabla
Mishra is not affiliated to a particular musical gharana though the insert claims that he could claim membership of the Etawah Gharana (Ustad Vilayat Khan). Mishra presents Raga Vachaspati in the Vilayat Khan classical format completely. Raga Vachaspati actually belongs to South Indian or Carnatic classical music and has only been introduced to Hindustani classical audiences by artists such as Pt Ravi Shankar and Shivkumar Sharma. The other two ragas, Mishra introduces with an alap (in the thumri style) and then plays a semi-classical dhun or melody in.
The Vilayat Khan protocol of raga presentation has a fixed format. The first phase has the musician playing solo without any percussion. Alap is a free flowing melodic introduction to the raga. Jod is a a stepped-up version of the alap played to a 2-beat rhythm. Reverse jhala is a stepped-up version of the jod played to a 4 or 8 beat cycle.
At the end of the first phase, begins the second phase which is accompanied by the tabla (a percussion instrument).
The percussion accompaniment begins first with a slow tempo (vilambit laya). Next comes a medium-paced (Madhya laya gat) or fast composition (drut laya gat) and finally comes the jhala. This jhala is the reverse of the reverse jhala played just before percussion accompaniment begins.
Track 01-02-03: Alap-Jod-reverse Jhala three constitute the first phase of development and can be heard in track 1. Track 2 begins the percussion accompaniment in a slow tempo (vilambit gat) and ends with taans being introduced. Track 3 has the fast tempo (drut gat) composition ending in the jhala. Taans are more fully developed in track 3. All 3 tracks played together constitute the full classical development of Raga Vachaspati.
Track 04-05: The alap is an informal introduction to the raga Mishra Khamaj without going into the classical development of it. The alap has no percussion accompanying it. This is followed by a semi-classical piece set to Dadra.
Track 06-07: Again the Raga Bhairavi alap (see track 04-05) is followed by a dhun set to the 8 beat Keharwa taal. Traditionally Bhairavi (an early morning raga )is played at the end of a Hindustani classical concert.