Last spring, during lockdown, I was invited by Indian classical singer, Subodh Pandey to participate in an international musical collaboration. He set up a video call between me and two of his friends, the vocalist Aakriti Bhatt and the tabla player, Maneesh Rawat. The three of us had not met before. Facilitated by Subodh, we developed a piece together. Aakriti proposed the two compositions in Raag Yaman, Maneesh created the tabla part, and I composed the guitar and synth accompaniment and added a drum machine. The working-title of the project is Indo-West Collaboratives (इंडो - West – सहयोगी) and we were supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation's Mobility First! grant. In the summer, Aakriti and Maneesh got together in Harmony Studio, New Delhi, to record the vocals, tabla, tampura and swarmandal. They sent this to me over the internet, and I chopped it up a bit and recorded guitars & synths. I was staying in London that week, so I ended up recording the parts in MJ & Hugo's home studio in Whitechapel (check out their band, Temporal Comet). I filmed the video in their back yard, too.
Lyrics & Interpretation
The raga/scale is Raag Yaman.
The first bandish (compostion), "Tori Jaaun re Jaaun re", is a song of love and gratitude for one's mentor, romantic partner, good friend, or family member, from the Dilli Gharana tradition:
Tori jaun re jaun re balihari...
Tori Pyari si suratpe balma re jaun re jaun re balihari...
Aakriti's interpretation: "oh my dear, you are my affectionate, your face is so beautiful and I feel so much positivity after seeing you that I just want to see you all the time. Your presence makes the ambience very nice, I feel so good when you are present in front of me"
Kush Rang ke mai bal bal jaun...
Charan me sheesh Jhukaun
"my dear mentor, I cannot explain how special you are to me. I just put my head on your feet"
Part 2 of the piece is a Tarana, composed by Vidushi Kaushiki Chakraborty. A tarana is a type of vocal composition in Hindustani classical music that uses nonsense syllables which are believed to be derived from Persian and Arabic.
Tana dir tanaum tana dir na...
Tana dir tanaum tana dim tana dir na...
Tana dim tana dere na
Na dir tada ni tadir tadani tadir tana na
Tana dir tanaum tana dim tana dir na......
Bandish (Composition) - "Tori Jaaun re Jaaun re" - written and composed by Dilli Gharana
"Tarana" - composed by Vidushi Kaushiki Chakraborty
Performed & arranged by:- Liam Rickard (Wales), Aakriti Bhatt (India), Maneesh Rawat (India)
Video & audio produced by Liam Rickard
Recorded in Harmony Studio, New Delhi, & Temporal Comet Studio, London
Croeso i'r blog a wefan Worldwide Welshman! Diolch am ymweld a ni.
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Liam Rickard is a musician & illustrator from Dyffryn Conwy, North Wales performing multilingual, global-alt-pop, party music and comedy under the name Worldwide Welshman. He is one half of the Welsh folk-rock duo, Lo-Fi Jones.