Ken Zuckerman gives an immaculate rendition of Raag Bhimpalasi in this concert from Darbar festival 2007. He begins with a serene alap, introducing the raga in a profoundly devotional emotion and a mood of longing. He integrates the microtonal nuances of Bhimpalasi in the phrases, discovering intricate and evocative musical bends in the melody.
The expansive alap is followed by a jod wherein he plunges further into the raga’s exploration with beautiful bol-banav, khatkas and meends weaving complex patterns of the raga. The vilambit gat is set to Teental which is then developed to a slightly higher pace in madhyalay. The drut gat, also set to Teental, is replete with Zukerman’s leisurely exposition of the raga and technical virtuosity.
Partha Sarathi Mukherjee plays a supportive hand, doling out innovative bols and stringing them with Zukerman’s controlled recital.
An oft-heard compound raga churned out of Bhim and Palasi, this has overshadowed both its Janak (parent) ragas. It belongs to Kafi Thaat and is an audav-sampoorna raga, that is, it uses five notes in its ascent and all seven notes in its decsent. The dominant note or vadi swara is Ma (4th) and the sub-dominant or samvaadi swara is Sa (1st). This raga omits Re (2nd) and Dha (6th) in its ascent and sports komal Ga (flat 3rd) and komal Ni (flat 7th). The arohana and avarohana of the raga are as follows:
n. S g M P n S’ (Western Notes: A# C D# F G A# C)
S’ n D P M g, M g R S (Western Notes: C A# A G F D#, F D# D C)
Mythically Krishna, the cowherd boy, played this sweet melody on his flute to give a return call to all his grazing cows and cowherd friends. As such this raga, exuding peace and assurance, is associated with homecoming and offers a vast canvas for improvisations. Its universal appeal has made it very popular in every genres of Indian music; so much so that Bhim and Palasi are almost extinct now. Bhimpalasi is also adopted by Carnatic stream as Bhimpalas.
Ken Zuckerman (sarod)
Partha Sarathi Mukherjee (tabla)
Debipriya Das (tanpura)
Raag Bhimpalasi, Thaat: Kafi, Samay: 12 pm to 3 pm