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File under: Ecstatic

Ustad Hafizullah Khan

Khalifa Kirana Gharana

Label: Just Dreams

Format: CD

Genre: Folk

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An archival performance from 2000 by North Indian classical master Ustad Hafizullah Khan is the latest release on La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela's Just Dreams label. Those who purchased the recent Pandit Pran Nath set will find much to enjoy here. Hafizullah Khan, who passed away in 2002, was a virtuoso of the sarangi. The sarangi is India's premier fiddle instrument; to most western ears it probably most resembles the violin. It is comprised of a solid wood body, three main playing strings, and 35-40 sympathetic strings. There are no frets of fingerboards, the strings hover over the body of the instrument and the performer changes the pitch by sliding his or her fingernails along the strings. It has an absolutely uncanny ability to imitate the sound of the human voice -- indeed most sarangi masters are also vocalists, as was Hafizullah Khan.

The sarangi is extremely difficult to play and has been in decline as a popular instrument for some time, so we are very blessed to be offered this historic recording. Hafizullah Khan was the hereditary head of the Kirana Gharana school of North Indian classical music. He began learning his craft at a young age from his renowned father and uncle, and was a staff artist for many years at the prestigious All India Radio. In a recent online interview between La Monte Young and Frank J. Oteri, Young characterizes members of the Kirana school as priding themselves on the knowledge of Raga and Feeling. He goes on to state that there is a certain extremity found in performances from the Kirana Gharana school that he finds appealing and that relates to aspects of his own compositions.
Details
File under: Ecstatic
Cat. number: JD 005CD
Year: 2007