2015 was the first year the Dhrupad Music Society organised a Dhrupad Workshop ourselves. It was held at the Indian YMCA in the heart of London. A few people stayed overnight in the hostel like accommodation, while many London based participants commuted daily.
During the course of the week Udayji took us through a number of singing exercises to warm up our voices, and introduced us to a the ragas known as Jaunpuri, Bhatiyar and Hem Kalyan. He started very gently and built up our ability over the course of the week.
Udayj opened the Workshop with these comments ....
We started by singing Sa, the tonic or base note.
The main focus was on raga Jaunpuri, a beautiful morning raga. Here is a clip of us learning the alap, or introductory section where the notes of the raga are introduced:
Udayji also taught us a bandish, or 'song', set in the tala (rhythmic cycle) Dhammar. It began with the words "Erie men kaise" and told the story of a young woman caught up with Krishna during the celebration of Holi.
And of course we went to a wonderful Italian restaurant for a great meal and lots of laughs.
By the end of the workshop we'd become "experts" :-) .... well not quite, but we did seem to improve a fair bit. Here is a video clip of us singing some of the bandish in Jaunpuri, together with some "upaj' or variations:
All too soon, the workshop came to an end, and amidst lots of fond farewells, Julia read a translation of a poem from the Gitanjali to Udayji, in thanks for his sublime teaching:
And so ... a great workshop came all too quickly to an end. Hope to see you all, and some new members, at the 2016 Workshop!