Demonstrating a striking balance between melody and rhythm, Pandit Prem Kumar Mallick and his son Prashant Mallick present ragas Shudh Sarang and Bhimpalasi from the dhrupad tradition of the Darbhanga gharana. The gharana is based on the Gauhar vani syllable, representing pure melody and spontaneous laykari.
Pandit Mallick and his son begin their recital with Raag Shudh Sarang, performing an expansive alap in the ‘been-ang’ (instrumental style), exposing the key phrases of the raga. In the lower octave, Ni is sufficiently projected as the ‘nyasa swara’ (resting note) from where, they dip further to Sa of the lower-most tetra-chord, demonstrating a magnificent grasp over vocal range. With smooth meends, they join the lower, middle and upper octaves, portraying a detailed and wide range of possibilities in the Shudh Sarang terrain.
Pandit Mallick and his son touch the extreme upper octave during the jod, creating dramatic and robust gamaks in Shudh Sarang. The most spectacular part is the jhalla that consists of intricate, super-fast syllables performed with sparkling clarity. Ravi Shankar Upadhyay plays an engaging 12-beat cycle, perfectly blending with the lyrics of the composition and producing commendable improvisations.
Proceeding to the next piece, Pandit Mallick and his son present an evocative composition in Raag Bhimpalasi set to a 14-beat cycle of Dhamar taal. Plunging deeper into this early evening melody, they deploy an array of breathtaking laykari using bol-banav, weaving the lyrics of the composition in an exciting variety of patterns.
Preserving the best for the last, the duo performs another composition in the same raga. This traditional, age-old song from the Darbhanga gharana is set to Sool taal, a 10-beat cycle. The Sanskrit lyrics paint a vivid picture of Lord Shiva’s appearance and his fierce powers that are capable of destroying the universe in order to pave the path for a new world which is devoid of sufferings.
In this performance, the Mallicks reveal the uplifting quality of their repertoire which is replete with dynamic use of swaras, stylised projection of syllables and stunning laykari.
Pandit Prem Kumar Mallick (dhrupad)
Prashant Mallick (dhrupad)
Ravi Shankar Upadhyay (pakhawaj)
Debipriya Das & Gunwant Kaur (Tanpuras)
Raag Shudh Sarang, Thaat: Kalyan, Samay: Afternoon; Alap Jod Jhalla and Dhamar
Raag Bhimpalasi, Thaat: Kafi, Samay: Afternoon; Bandish in Dhamar taal
Raag Bhimpalasi, Thaat: Kafi, Samay: Afternoon; Bandish in Sool taal