The background of this hybrid is an improbable story: A Hawaiian guitarist ventures to India and ignites a craze for lap steel. Indian filmmakers and composers embrace Hawaiian guitar and incorporate its keening sound into their Bollywood productions.
A few enterprising young musicians take note of the lap steel’s melodic expressiveness and begin modifying archtop acoustics with sympathetic and plucked drone strings, making them suitable for playing ragas— the melodic patterns and modes in traditional Indian compositions. Soon these hot-rod guitars are accepted as legitimate instruments for performing Indian classical music, and a new breed of virtuosos emerge to write yet another chapter of the guitar’s unpredictable evolution.
This weekend, Thirroul plays host to Pandit Debasis Chakroborty, one of India’s foremost Indian Classical Guitar players. Debasis Chakroborty (Agra, India) is a virtuoso of the 20 string Hindustani classical slide guitar. He is offering to share his knowledge of the oldest tradition of playing Sarode, Sitar and Veena with his modified Hawaiian slide guitar. This will be a unique opportunity to experience the Indian tradition of ragas, with the Indian slide guitar weaving various intricate musical and rhythmic patterns into improvisation.
Debasis will be accompanied by the Kriti Ensemble and special guests:
- Prof. (Dr) Lovely Sharma – Sitar (India)
- Sam Evan – Tabla (Melbourne)
- 16th March Saturday Wollongong – Conservatorium of Music (Workshop – Guitar/Sitar/Tabla)
- 17th March Sunday Thirroul – District Community Centre Excelsior Hall (Workshop – Guitar/Sitar/Tabla)
- 17th March Sunday Thirroul – District Community Centre Excelsior Hall (Live Performance)