Young sitarist Dhruv Bedi plays the early night-time raga Shudh Kalyan, a blend of Bhupali and Yaman. Dhruv studies under Imdadkhani maestro Budhaditya Mukherjee.
Bedi is one of India’s most promising young sitarists. The son of sitar and surbahar exponent Jagdeep Singh Bedi, he also receives training from Budhaditya Mukherjee in the traditional guru-shishya style. He is renowned for his natural ability at capturing gayaki ang [singing style], and also for a wide range of collaborations, working with jazz and Carnatic artists as well as those from Scotland, Russia, Korea, and beyond. He is among the leading sitarists to have been born in the 1990s, with a bright future ahead of him.
Shudh Kalyan is a popular raga of the early night hours. It ascends in identical pentatonic fashion to Bhupali [SRGPDS], and descends in identical heptatonic fashion to Yaman [SNDPMGRS], leading some to call it Bhoop Kalyan. Phrases must end on Sa, Re, Ga, or Pa, and the swaras which only appear in the descent (Ni and Ma) should be played very lightly.
Sitarist-scholar Deepak Raja recounts how sarod maestro Radhika Mohan Maitra explained these subtleties to students: “According to him, Ni and Ma are ‘astamita’ - like rays of the setting sun which has already sunken below the horizon. This description permits the subliminal as well as the explicit use of the Ni and Ma swaras in the descent, as long as they claim no more than a subtle presence in the totality of the aural experience.”
Recorded by Darbar in 2017, on location in Mulshi, India:
Dhruv Bedi (sitar)