Veena Chandra & Devesh Chandra Duo
Indian Classical Music on Sitar and Tabla. Sitar has melodious tonal quality sound characterized by bending wires. Tabla is versatile, creating percussive and melodic tones. Like jazz, music is highly improvised as instruments converse & complement each other. Ravi Shankar,Beatles Grateful Dead .
VEENA CHANDRA is an internationally renowned sitarist, composer, teacher and choreographer. She is the founder and director of the Dance and Music School of India in Latham,NY (celebrating 26 years) where she teaches Indian classical music. She has been a faculty member at Skidmore College since 1990, teaching sitar in the Music Department.
Born in Dehra Doon, Valley of the Himalaya Mountain Range, Veena was inspired to play music by her Father, her first Guru. He loved sitar so much that he named her Veena, after the precursor to the sitar, in hopes that she would learn music. He was 95 years old when he passed away in 2010 and his hopes have validated themselves many times over as evident by the international acclaim & respect given to Veena Chandra.
She continued learning sitar with Shri Satish Chandra, a disciple of Ravi Shankar. Being invited by Pt Ravi Shankar to his concerts she was inspired by his music. She earned master's degrees in music (stood third all over India in MMUS.) and sociology and a bachelor's degree in teaching. She has been in the international Who's Who since 1997. Mrs. Chandra has taught at Agra, Dayalbagh universities and colleges in India teaching sitar and sociology. She has been performing and teaching sitar for the last 55 years. She continued her advance training under the late Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb. Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb very much enjoyed listening to her Sitar and grew very close to Veena and her son Devesh.
She is a recent recipient of a New York State Folk Art Grant 2003, and Artists Decentralization Grant and several SOS & Meet the Composer grants. Currently she does lecture-demonstrations and performances at numerous performance halls, music festivals, colleges, universities, & schools in the U.S. and India. She has received artist award as a composer through the Albany League of Arts in 2002. She has received several years of Community Arts Grants (2000, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) through The Arts Center, Troy and NYSCA. She has several CDs to her credit, including two very popular recordings with renowned Pandit Bikram Ghosh on tabla. Veena Chandra’s 2009-2010 India tour was in part sponsored by NYSCA and The Arts Center of the Capital Region.
Veena Chandra has a rare ability to communicate the beauty and complexity of North Indian Classical music to the western listener. She is noted for her skill and sensitivity in the meend (bending of wire) and her ability to produce vocal sounds on the sitar. She characterizes the music of the sitar and tabla as relaxing and reflective of instincts and emotions. She explains that there is a triangular relationship between the artist, the art and the audience. She blends herself into the art and presents herself to the audience through the music. The power in her music is vitalizing and healing to the body, clarifying to the mind, and food for the soul. Listening to her magnificent, heavenly music on the sitar will not leave you untouched.
DEVESH CHANDRA has been learning the Tabla since the age of 3. He has learned Northern Indian Classical Music by accompanying his mother, Veena Chandra. Devesh, the youngest of six children, grew up immersed in Indian music. His first spoken words were the syllables of tabla -Dha Dha Tita. Immersed in music at a young age, Devesh is fortunate to have grownup surrounded by iconic figures of Indian Music. Devesh accompanied his mother on her visits with the late Ustad Vilayat Khan. Ustad Vilayat Khan grew to be a grandfather to Devesh. He has been greatly affected by this close relationship.
Devesh's innovative and imaginative approach makes his performances enthralling to both Western listeners and Indian classical purists. His approach to the tabla is the confluence of all the unique influences of his upbringing. Devesh believes the tabla has the rare ability, as a percussion instrument, to very accurately convey a wide range of emotions.
Rag Hansdhwani: Veena Chandra: Sitar Devesh Chandra: Tabla
Rag Bhairavi: Veena Chandra: Sitar Devesh Chandra: Tabla
Rag Kirwani: Veena Chandra: Sitar Devesh Chandra: Tabla
Rag Jog: Veena Chandra: Sitar Devesh Chandra: Tabla
Rag Yaman & Rag Saraswati: Veena Chandra: Sitar Devesh Chandra: Tabla
Rag Shivranjani: Veena Chandra: Sitar Devesh Chandra: Tabla
Rag Jansammohini: Veena Chandra: Sitar Bikram Ghosh: Tabla
Rag Kaunsi Kanda: Veena Chandra Sitar Bikram Ghosh: Tabla
Live Radio Performances: WAMC/NPR, WRPI,WSPN
Live Television Performances: WRGB 6 CBS, SACC 16 PBS, Time Warner cable TV channel-9, Different Voices of Community MNN PBS
Our set list differs from the traditional set list in that we do not play songs but rather work in the frame work of Rag. A Rag is a unique arrangement of notes and like individuals each are inherently different. Our music sequence is similar to what Pt. Ravi Shankar would play in a concert.
1. Alap: Improvisation done by Sitar & without tabla. It unveils the Rag, rhythmically unfolding melodious combinations of the unique arrangement.
2. Vilambit Gat (Slow Composition): This is the point where the Tabla will join the Sitar. A slow composition will be played in 7, 10, or 16 beat rhythm cycles. It consists of back and forth as well as simultaneous improvisation by the Sitar & Tabla.
3. Madhya Lay Gat (Medium Tempo Composition): This will be in a 12 beat rhythm cycle. The tempo has increased significantly. (See Video)
4. Rajakhani Gat (Fast Tempo Composition) & Jhala (Climax): This will be in a 16 beat rhythm cycle. Both the Sitar & Tabla expand on ideas individually and po