Pandit Shiiv Kumar Sharma
Raga Janasammohini is patiently nurtured to life by santur master Shiiv Kumar Sharma, his youngest son, Rahul Sharma, along with Shafaat Ahmed Khan, and Manorama Sharma. The santur, familiar to Western ears because of its historical relationship to the hammered dulcimer, is the South Asian classical instrument most capable of uniting rhythm and melody in one undivided expression. Sampradaya is particularly accessible to the untrained ear, for in a way that only a true master can achieve, the clever unfolding of each cycle of the tala (time-cycle) propels, rather than hinders the organic development of the composition. Consistent with the integrity of this work, the tabla has not been cast into the background, but emerges powerfully, complementing, counterbalancing, and extending the creative exploration of the raga. Appropriately, "sampradaya" refers to the passing of life's arts from teacher to student. The emotional and intellectual depth of this cultural cornerstone of the Indian classical tradition is reflected in the father and son santur duets. - Joshua Levin
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