A small collection of music from my recent trip to India:
- Musicians at the entrance to Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, singing and playing the Ravanahatha – a Rajasthani folk instrument with a bamboo body, two strings made of metal and horse hair, and a coconut shell covered in a goat’s hide for resonance. The player had extremely long finger nails which he rested on top of the string rather than pressing down fully – similar to playing a harmonic on a violin. Having attempted to play the beginning of Frère Jacques, it turned out to be surprisingly hard to pitch intervals correctly and produce a good timbre which seemed to require a lot of pressure in the bowing arm.
- Another group at Mehrangarh Fort:
- Two brass bands (of distinctly varying quality) at the Jodhpur Royal Salute Polo final where we were joined by the King of Jodhpur. Whilst one band was more traditionally Indian and the other Scottish, they frequently played simultaneously, producing similar cerebral confusion to having different music playing through each earphone…
- New Year’s celebrations in Manvar, Jaisalmer, where the musicians sang, played and danced for six hours straight, punctuated by some gentle camel ruminating.