1. Remembering Madam Noor Jehan (today and every day!)… She left us on Deember 23, 2000, but, of course, her voice and image remain immortal.
2. Mohammed Rafi. His birthday is December 24.
3. I just found this one out recently… The supreme artist who composed the two songs above was born on December 25. Naushad was the best! For my third Naushad selection today, I thought I’d post an instrumental, one of a kind that we don’t normally associate with Naushad – a snake dance. And it is one of my favorite snake dances, especially for the music.
(BTW, this video was prepared by Tom Daniel – one of close to three dozen of his on my channel that have not disappeared due to some suspension…yet.)
A very interesting description of Begum Akhtar’s ghazal singing that I found in Agha Shahid Ali’s introduction to The Rebel’s Silhouette, a book of his translations of poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
What Begum Akhtar did was to place the ghazal gently on the raga until the raga opened itself to that whispered love, gave itself willingly, guiding the syllables to the prescribed resting places, until note by syllable, syllable by note, the two merged compellingly into yet another aesthetic ethos for the Urdu lovers of the South Asian subcontinent. She, in effect, allowed the ghazal to be caressed into music… For unlike so many other ghazal singers, who clothe their words until they can’t be seen, she stripped them to resplendent nudity.
Just in case people haven’t noticed yet, there are now a whole lot of videos on this blog that I’ll need to replace…if I can replace them… And even if I can replace them to some extent, it might be more difficult to really replace most of them.
I think it might be for good this time, but that’s what I thought the last couple of times over the years, so who knows?
Very sorry to see this, Tom.
Dev Anand died this morning in London from cardiac arrest. This one threw me – I am at the moment at a loss for words. Some of us might have made a few remarks about his quirks, especially from the times a bit past his prime, but he was an invaluable talent for the Golden Age, starring in many of the greatest films, an undeniably compelling screen presence, and a fascinating person as well.
Farewell, Dev Anand.