Hi, and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma

by stephen clover on March 9, 2007

Hi. I’m new here. Usually I burble sporadically and semi-coherently on Drinks-After-Work; I’m looking forward to the challenge of stepping up to the plate and making sense most of the time.

Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is the pioneer of the Kashmiri santoor (Indian hammered dulcimer) and was (heh) instrumental in it’s acceptance into the hallowed pantheon of Indian classical music (read about it). At 69 he is the acknowledged master of santoor; indeed he is virtually synonymous with it. Using a 100-string santoor in chromatic arrangement Sharma creates complex webs of beautiful, ethereal, shimmering sound, mounting improvisation within improvisation within the raga form, climaxing in furious blowouts with fiery tabla virtuosos and frenzied, ecstatic glissando.

He’s real good. His album Sampradaya is one of my favourite Indian classical recordings of all time. And with his debut in 1997 (also on santoor), Sharma’s son and disciple Rahul became the third part of an exceptional pan-generational santoor triumvirate. Both Sharma’s are playing at St Mary of the Angels on Wednesday the 14th of March – presumably on their way to WOMAD – with Yogesh Samsi on the tabla. They will play in an exciting Jugalbhansdi style. Bookings from Ticketek.

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