Sunday, December 21, 2008

Listening Notes Preview: Ghazal, The Rain

I'll do a proper post about this recording later, but for now I just need to gush. I am listening to a CD by Ghazal. It is called the Rain. Ghazal is a duo of Kayhan Kalhor, the master of Persian classical music and Shujaat Huasain Khan, the master sitarist (and son of legendary Ustad Vilayat Hkan). the word "master" might be thrown around but in this case it is apt. These are truly gifted, dedicated individuals: think Yo-yo Ma, Glenn Gould, John Coltrane. This CD is the final one they made together, and it is a live performance. Three tracks, all improvised (unlike Western classical music, Indian and Persian music tends to have a great deal of improvisation).

I do not believe I have ever heard anything like this. It's almost unreal. The word ghazal is a kind of love poetry and this is a disc of poetry as well as music. It's about the union of earthly and divine love. This is music you play at night with candles burning, with someone you love. Or on a sunday morning while you wait for a snow storm to come. It's truly one of the most remarkable pieces of music I have ever heard. If you have ever loved music, if you have ever loved anything, you must hear this.

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