He plays two beautiful compositions, the first one is a dhun in Mishra Piloo set to a serene, madhyalay 7-beat cycle in Rupak taal and the second, a famous drut gat in Raag Piloo spread over a 16-beat cycle.
Khan forays amply into the interiors of this hybrid raga with expansive vistaar and taut laykari. He maintains a calm, pleasing temperament throughout in this part in madhyalay. In the second composition set to Raag Piloo in a faster tempo, he soars with more varieties of taans and rhythmic intricacies. This gat is an age-old gem from the Maihar gharana which was handed down by Baba Alauddin Khan to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. The trio had popularised this composition through decades of performances. Its ornamentations typify the nuances of a rebab – the Afghan predecessor of the sarod.
Alam Khan gives a refined presentation, projecting deftly, all the elements of ‘tantrakari’ (instrumental nuances) that lend beauty to this composition. A sublime sawal-jawab between the sarod and tabla concludes this performance.
Anubrata Chatterjee gives an energetic support, interpreting Khan’s phrases on his tabla, turning the happy finale into a grand celebration of rhythms and melody.
As the name suggests, Mishra Piloo is a cocktail of various ragas with Raag Piloo as the mainstay. It is a melodic form that has influenced lighter compositions played towards the end of a Hindustani classical recital. ‘Mishra’ means a mixture and Raag Piloo is derived from its parent scale Kafi. Having its origins in the folk music of India, Kafi is a versatile scale that lends it’s characteristics to all ragas coming under its aegis. Piloo is one of its antecedents that has been chosen time and again by composers for both classical and the lighter songs and tunes.
Alam Khan (sarod)
Anubrata Chatterjee (tabla)
Debipriya Das (tanpura)
Mishra Piloo (dhun), Thaat: Kafi, Samay: Afternoon