Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A quick trip to Melbourne in Sep 2019

In early September 2019, I took a quick trip to Melbourne. I had been planning to attend a performance by great Kathak dancer Pt Birju Maharaj, and take lessons from his tabla accompanist, my senior guru-bhai Pt Govinda Chakraborty, but their trip was cancelled due to illness. I had non-refundable flight tickets so I thought, "why not go and see what happens?" It was nice to stay with my cousin and catch up with a few friends, while at the same time meeting and practising with various Indian classical music lovers and performers there. 

On arrival I visited my first tabla guru, Sri Debu Bhattacharya, then went for practice with my old friend, sitarist Saikat Bhattacharya who had recently moved to Melbourne. After that I headed to a little gathering of amateur music lovers who practise together weekly, before wrapping up the evening at my cousin Ed's.

Saturday was more relaxed, but on the Sunday I headed to the other side of town where I had been suddenly and unexpectedly invited to join a home concert, accompanying Saikat! The main artist was an sarangi maestro from Delhi, Pt Bharat Bhushan Goswami, accompanied on tabla by a really old friend, Abhinav Garg, who I actually share-housed with in Kyoto in 2001! I took the chance to visit Bhushan-ji early for my own little practice, which was really such a blessing.

Accompanying Saikat Bhattacharya at a home concert in Pt Cook.

L to R: Abhinav Garg, Pt Bharat Bhushan Goswami, Saikat Bhattacharya, Shen

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