Virasat Foundation held a Memorable Lecture Demonstration on Indian Classical Music
Virasat Foundation presented a memorable Lecture Demonstration on Indian Classical Music and Rare Classical Compositions of Punjab by Dr. Ajit Singh Paintal on 12th February 2006 at 2:30pm at Ravi Banquet Hall in Surrey. To an appreciative audience of over 300 people, Dr. Ajit Singh Paintal spoke about and demonstrated the richness and depth of Indian Classical Music together with the vast contribution made by Punjab over many centuries. Dr. Ajit Singh Paintal is one of the top scholars on Indian Classical Music in India having taught music in Delhi University for over 35 years. Apart from being a scholar he is also a top class classical vocalist having learnt from maestros Dr. S. N. Ratanjankar and Ustad Amir Khan Sahib. He has given countless lectures and demonstrations on Indian Classical Music throughout the sub-continent and also in many countries abroad. He was invited to Canada by Virasat Foundation to help promote our rich culture amongst our people. This was indeed an honour to be at such an event to be able to hear one of India’s top scholars.
Ranee Singh welcomed the audience and called upon Virasat Foundation’s president Bhupinder Malhi to say a few words. Mr. Malhi thanked the audience for their support and Dr. Paintal for accepting their invitation to come to Canada. Mr Malhi also stressed the importance of music in our lives along with other fine arts and languages to maintain our identity. He spoke about the past and continued efforts of Virasat Foundation in promoting our culture and fine traditions.
Dr. Paintal started off his presentation with a brief vocal recital of Raga Bhimpalasi. This is a beautiful afternoon raga that was suited to the time of day. He sang the well-known composition “Ja Ja Re Apne Mandirwa” which was set to the 16 beat rhythm cycle teental. He was accompanied on harmonium by Davinder Singh Hundle who has taught Indian Classical Music in Vancouver for many years and on tabla by Jaspal Singh Randhawa who is a co-founder of Virasat Foundation. Jaspal Singh Randhawa learnt tabla from Professor Tirlok Singh in England who in turn is a disciple of Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen of the Punjab Gharana. Dr. Paintal began his lecture by stating that our music is over 5000 years old and is the most highly developed music in the world. This is something for us all to be proud of. He then spoke about how the music was developed over the years and how it reached it’s present form. He went on to talk about and demonstrate the structure and form of Indian Classical Music in particular the melody known as Raga and the rhythm known as Tala. He sang various raga’s in various talas at various speeds. He also showed how a raga is presented and developed when singing in front of an audience. This was a great treat for the audience who gained a good insight into this ancient art form of India. He also applauded and recognized Virasat Foundation’s effort in promoting Indian Classical Music in Canada and urged the audience to further support their humble efforts so that our rich traditions and culture can be preserved and further enhanced.
In the second half Dr. Paintal spoke about the vast contribution of Punjab to our classical music. He mentioned some of the great musicians from Punjab and the fact that there were many classical khayal compositions written in Punjabi that were sang by all great musicians of the time. These compositions, which were once very popular, have become quite rare in recent times. He sang several of these compositions starting with the morning raga Jaunpuri and then continuing with other compositions in Ragas Kukubh Bilawal, Ramkali, Gaud Sarang, Jogia, Malkauns, etc. The audience applauded Dr. Paintal for sharing his vast knowledge and also Virasat Foundation for arranging such a memorable event which was a first of it’s kind. At the end the well-known local musician Balbir Singh Bhangoo presented Dr. Paintal with a plaque on behalf of Virasat Foundation and Bhupinder Malhi thanked everyone again for their support. This event was enjoyed by all that attended and Virasat Foundation are to be commended for their efforts in keeping our heritage alive for the present and future generation.
For Further Information:
Ranjit S. Kalsi 604 562 4122 or Jaspal S. Randhawa 604 897 4512