Amjad Ali Khan kicks off art fest in Scotland

June 16th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 16 (IANS) Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan will kick off the world famous St Magnus Festival in the archipelago of Orkney, Scotland, with a ‘jugalbandi’ between him and a Scottish orchestra. The festival begins June 20 with a fusion of the sarod with a wind trio and a string quartet, that comprises the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Laboratory Music Project, to dish out a Samagam (confluence) - a sequence of Indian ragas that maps the moods of the different seasons of the year.

The Scotsman reports on Khan’s ongoing rehearsals with the Chamber artists and how they are mesmerised by his command over the strings of the sarod. Famous conductor David Murphy is mediating between the two for the final score of the Samagam. Murphy has prepared detailed scores transcribed from a recording of Khan singing the whole piece Indian style.

“People like to talk about me being the king or prince of the sarod, but, actually, I am a slave of the sarod,” The Scotsman quoted Khan as saying.

The dynamics of the piece will come from the tension between the rhythmically complex improvisations of Khan, who said to never play the same piece exactly twice, and the highly trained Scottish musicians.

While the world premiere of Samagam will be held at Orkney on June 20, there will also be performances at the City of London Festival on June 25 June as well as in Glasgow on Nov 21 and in Edinburgh on Nov 22.

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