My first memory of Bickram Ghosh goes back to the time; a friend told me that he had been fortunate enough to photograph him once; a photograph which was the cover of one of his albums. This was in 2014.
When I was completing my Masters abroad and yearned for some Indian music, Youtube suggested me to listen to Rhythmscape. Needless to say, since the last two years, I hear it every other day.
Finally in 2017, I became lucky enough to watch the Tabla Maestro perform live at the G.D Birla Sabhaghar. On February 6th the walls of the Auditorium echoed with the music of his enigmatic performances. Even after a one and a half hour performance the audience yearned to hear him for some time longer.
For as long as I have heard the Tabla, it has acted as an accompanying instrument. To break this stereotype and make Tabla the hero of the evening was truly magical to witness. Bickram Ghosh was accompanied by his Pandit, Pt S.Shekhar on the Mridangam, Gopal Burman on the Shrikhol and Abhishek Mallick on the Sitar. According to Ghosh, “Indian classical music can be played spontaneously . . . . can be performed completely within the moment. “ and that is exactly what he did.
Over the next one and a half hours, the audience sat mesmerized by the Jugalbandi of the Tabla-Mridangam, Tabla-Shrikhol, Shrikhol-Mridangam and Tabla- Sitar; ending the night with a joint performance by all four which rang in a huge round of applause from the spectators. The major highlight of the evening were playing the cheeks and the body by Bickram Ghosh, the recitation of the Indian Classical Bol and paying a tribute to Pt Ravi Shankar’s 1970 Bangladesh Concert. Pt Tarun Bhattacharya was the Chief Guest for the evening. He was all praise for Bickram Ghosh and his unique ability to create music from every little thing.
I leave you with snippets from the program.
The opening performance of the evening: 9 Beats
A jugalbandi of the Tabla and the Mridangam (performed by Bickram Ghosh and Pt S.Shekhar)
A jugalbandi of the Tabla and the Shrikhol (performed by Bickram Ghosh and Gopal Burman .)
A jugalbandi of the Tabla and Sitar where the Raag Saraswati was being played on the Sitar.. (performed by Bickram Ghosh and Abhishek Mallick)
The concluding performance: A tribute to Pt Ravi Shankar
It was an evening which will be etched in my memory for a long time and I wanted to share some of his outstanding performances with you all.