An Evening of Indian Classical Music

 

Steve Gorn, bansuri flute
Allyn Miner, sitar
Ray Spiegel, tabla
Premlata, tanpura

Saturday, September 15, 2012, 6:30 pm

 

Maverick Concerts would like to
acknowledge the generosity of Sally Grossman
and the Albert B. Grossman Trust for their
sponsorship of this program.

The musicians will announce
the program from the stage

 

 

tomorrow

 

Sunday, September 16, 2 pm

Final Concert of the 2012 Season

Tokyo String Quartet
Music of Haydn, Schubert, and Webern

please take note of the early 2 pm time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


LOGO


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Steve Gorn, bansuri flute
Steve Gorn’s flute is featured on the 2011 Grammy-winning recording Miho – Journey to the Mountain with Dhruba Ghosh, and The Paul Winter Consort, and the Academy Award-winning documentary film Born into Brothels. Steve has performed Indian classical music and new American music on the bansuri bamboo flute in concerts and festivals throughout the world. His gurus are the late bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami of Kolkata, Deba Prasad Banerjee, and Pt. Raghunath Seth of Mumbai. He has also studied with the late Ustad Z. M. Dagar.

During the past decade Steve has often performed in India, appearing at major venues in Bhopal, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. His performance with Pandit Ravi Shankar’s disciple, Barun Kumar Pal, at Kolkata’s Rama Krishna Mission, was televised throughout India.

As a young jazz musician studying composition at Penn State, Steve Gorn noticed how John Coltrane and Charles Lloyd had begun to incorporate aspects of Indian music into their playing. Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan were then only beginning to become known to Western audiences. Drawn by these sounds, he followed the music east and found himself in India in 1969. He studied shenai (Indian oboe) in Benares and then traveled to Kolkata to meet the Bengali bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami.

“We went to Hedwa in North Kolkata, passing through narrow lanes lined with sweets shops, tea stands, and sari merchants. Bells were ringing from small neighborhood temples and the air was thick and pungent with everything from sandalwood incense to cow dung. We were directed to a doorway that led along a corridor into a small courtyard. A servant motioned to a room on the south end of the courtyard and we entered the stone compound.

“Seated on the floor, in a circle, were six men all dressed in white. In the center of the circle was a robust middle-aged man, his feet tucked under his dhoti, his lips red from the betel-nut he was chewing. A cup of tea was at his side and a harmonium and flute case lay on the floor before him. This was the teacher I had heard
so much about.

“I was introduced in Bengali (although I learned later that these men spoke fluent English) and they proceeded to talk about me at length in a language I couldn’t understand. Finally, they asked me to play a raga for them. I was very nervous but managed to play. When I finished, Gour Goswami said, “You have a good sense for this music, but you have not been taught properly.” He then took out his flute and played for me. The tone was deep, warm and velvety, utterly weightless. The raga unfolded and time stopped. It was breathtaking as the passages came faster and faster, ending in a flourish of cascading sound that reverberated through the stone room. And then it was over and everyone was once again drinking tea. I just sat there, stunned. I looked at him and stuttered, ‘May I come back?’ He smiled and said, ‘Yes.’”

Steve would eventually tour with Gour Goswami and go on to earn the praise of the most demanding of Indian audiences and reviewers. His numerous recordings include Luminous Ragas, Rasika, with tabla by Samir Chatterjee, and Illuminations, with the Nepali flutist, Manose.

Allyn Miner, sitar
After growing up playing Classical Western violin, Allyn Miner took her initial sitar lessons as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. She then lived in India for almost ten years studying under sitarist Thakur Raj Bhan Singh of Banaras. She began her performance career in India. After her return to the US she began advanced training under Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She became his formal disciple in 1990. She performs in concert venues all over the US and returns for performances in India as well. Her sitar style reflects her training and experience in India and under Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She has been teaching sitar and courses on Performing Arts in South Asia in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania since 1985.

Ray Spiegel, tabla
Ray Spiegel was born in New York City in 1953, began the study of music at age six, and started his tabla training at age thirteen. He attended the Ali Akbar College of Music at sixteen, taking lessons from Pandit Shankar Ghosh in 1970. Ray Spiegel’s main teacher and influence is the famous tabla master Ustad Alla Rakha with whom Ray maintained a very close relationship over twenty five years, learning in the traditional style of serving his guru. Ray has also studied extensively with Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Sri B.S. Ramanna of New Delhi. He has performed and recorded Indian classical music with many top instrumental artists such as Aashish Khan, Sultan Khan, Ravi Shankar, Irshad Khan, Tejendra Mazumder, Steve Gorn, and vocalists Vidyadhar Vyas, Subhra Guha, Madhup Mudgal, and Sanhita Nandi.

He is the founder of the Simla House record label and has produced many recordings, including Indo-jazz fusion releases, Sum and Kali and Raga Jazz by the Ray Spiegel Ensemble. Ray’s other fusion recordings include Diga [United Artists, Rounder 1977], with Zakir Hussain and Mickey Hart, and Zakir Hussain and the Rhythm Experience [Moment 1990]. Other recording credits include Patty Smythe, The Grateful Dead, Danilo Perez, Karl Berger, Tony Dagradi, and Shunzo Ohno,

 

 

 
 

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Raga means, “to color the mind,” and traditionally, each raga is associated with a time of day, a season or a quality of light. In this concert: Steve Gorn, Allyn Miner and Ray Spiegel will play Indian ragas for the evening hours on the bansuri bamboo flute, sitar, and tabla.

The sitar, North India’s famous long-necked lute, has four melody strings of steel and bronze and three chikari drone strings that lie across the main flat-topped bridge. In addition, thirteen sympathetic resonating strings run over the neck under the frets across a smaller bridge. The sitar’s long hollow neck and carved face are made of “tun” rosewood. The resonator is a natural gourd. Twenty bronze frets arch over the neck. It is played by a single wire plectrum worn on the index finger of the right hand. The most distinctive technique is the left-hand pulling of the main melody string across the width of each fret. This technique, “meend,” allows subtle ornamentation and a continual sound across five tones on each fret.

Selected quotes

“Your music re-aligned my cells…. You bring the healing breath of the sacred to our demanding contemporary lives”
—Jude Asphar, director of Resurgence.org

“An astonishing treatment of raga.... Gorn went beyond the notes to reach a place where his instrument was more effective than the human voice.”
—Anand Bazar, Kolkata

“Sitarist Allyn Miner was trained in Banaras by Thakur Rajbhan Singh and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Her treatment of raga Marubihag greatly impressed the audience. Her understanding of the raga, handling of the instrument, perfect tonal renditions left one spellbound.”
—The Pioneer, Mumbai, India

“An extraordinary flute recital by Steve Gorn from the USA”
—The Pioneer, Mumbai, India

“The strains of Gorn’s wooden flute chased one another like fireflies as Mr. Chatterjee used the lightest of touch. When the dynamics grew more intense the utter attentiveness of the musicians kept the audience rapt.”
—The New York Times

“Steve Gorn plays with liquid grace. He is a master of sound-magic; may the world discover his gift.”
—Paul Winter

For further information contact:
steve@stevegorn.com