Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What a beautiful way of our introduction to you.

Secretary of Gramophone club Milan Joshi, introduced all the players to his club members.
We thought of posting this particular video on the blog, so that guests of our blog can also know the players by name.
Milan shah promised Manohar Vaidya a seperate programme on Harmonica.
I take liberty to inform the guests that in the second week of January the HCG will release an AUDIO CD containing nostalgic hindi songs played on Harmonica. This CD will contain the group songs, solo performances and duets too...

Jiyo JEE Bharke.....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Group Performance in Gramophone club

All the members of HCG performed in Tagore Hall, Ahmedabad, on 14th November.
All the members had practiced very hard to make this surprise item successful and memorable to everyone.
This curtain raiser song was kept as secret by the committee members of the Gramophone club.
Composer, music director and singer Shri. Dilip Dholakia himself was present there with a Gujarati Film personality Mr.Upendra Trivedi. As the song progressed the audiance started clapping and at the end Dilip Dholakia himself stood up and cheered up all the players and their performance.
This time the kids had taken the responsibility to play preludes and interludes with Manohar Vaidya, Paresh Bhatia and Tapan Bhatt.
Tari Aankh no Afini, Tara bol no bandhani......
They promised us a complete programme on Harmonica....
Mission continues....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Passion for Harmonica

On 13 November, 2009, as many as 6,131 harmonica players players performed together in Hong Kong, finding a place in the Guinness Book of World record. This tiny musical instrument is so popular in South East Asia and the US. Long way to go for us Indian harmonica lovers.

Khandelwal : A repository of knowledge

If you have any confusion or doubt about which harmonica to buy and from where, ask Raman Khandelwal who has been gathering a whole lot of information about this tiny musical instrument. I met Raman recently on my visit to Jaipur.

A strapping young man, Ram is full of enthusiasm. "I am reading up as much material on mouth organ as possible by searching the Internet. It is like sharpening the axe before beginning to cut a tree. I want to gain theoretical knowledge about harmonica first and then start putting it into practice," he says.

Raman is very active on the Harmonica India Yahoo group.

He can be contacted on his mobile at 09413341725.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saaz Aur Awaaz: Pop Gujarati Song

Ahmedabad's Gramophone Club invited the Harmonica Club of Gujarat to play just one song at their first-ever 'Only Gujarati Songs' programme at the Tagore Hall. This was a challenge for all the members of the Harmonica Club because so far they had been only practicing and playing popular Hindi film songs. The song that the Gramophone Club asked the HCG was 'Taari Aankh No Afini', a 1948 number originally sung by Dilip Dholakia. This was particularly challenging for the youngest members who had never heard the song. However, a CD of the original song was procured and played before the members several times over till they remembered the tune by heart. Members started practicing the song twice a week.

Three days before the function, the office-bearers of the Gramophone Club wanted to listen to the HCG to satisfy themselves that the song had been played to the perfection. After all, it was to be performed before an audience that comprise of well-known Gujarati musicians, including the legendary Dilip Dholakia. The test performance was held on the sprawling lawn of Bansi Gajjar's bungalow on November 11.

We present here the original song sung by Dilip Dholakia followed by the rendition of the song by the HCG members.

Awaaz by Dilip Dholakia

Saaz: Mouth Organ by members of Harmonica Club of Gujarat

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A date with Mouth Organ Maestro Madan Kumar

Madan Kumar is humility personified. Maestros are like that. The greater heights they achieve in their profession, more humble they become, just like a fruit-bearing tree which bows down as they are laden with fruits.

When I called him up to say, "Sir, I am coming to Pune", he said, "Hop over to my place on Sunday." Madan Kumar lives in the central business district of Pune in a studio apartment on the MG Road.

Both his children, a son and daughter, are married. Son lives in San Fransisco and daughter in Mumbai. In their Pune apartment, only Madan Kumar and his wife live. Having spent 60 years playing mouth organ, Madan Kumar, now 67, cannot live without music. So, he has converted his living room into a small make-shift recording studio.

He squats on the ground on a matress, offering me the sofa to sit on. Like a child, he shows me his collection of harmonicas - all from M Hohner, Germany, except one from Hering. Some of the harmonicas have become collector's pieces as Hohner has stopped making them. There is a harmonica with solid silver body, weighing 300 grams. There is a double bass harmonica and a complete set of CX-12 in G, C, Bb, E and F scales.

Madan Kumar has mastered the various techniques of playing mouth organ - vamping, chording, tounging, vibrato, bending notes to be able to become a one-man orchestra. "I have become a sound engineer by experience," says Madan Kumar, who had to give up his studies after matriculation to take up a job in the construction industry as a labour supervisor.

To complete a song, Madan Kumar, while playing the lead, also records on different tracks chords, octave playing, special effects in the form of vibrator and vamping, which he then mixes on a digital editing device.

Past few years, Madan Kumar has been teaching youngsters. "Only if the new generation takes up playing harmonica that this little instrument has any chance of surving the onslaught of electronic synthesizers," he says.

On one of his visits to his son in San Fransisco, Madan Kumar had presented his five-year-old grandson Pranav, a harmonica. The little one, after blowing into the instrument for some time, had kept it aside till he saw his grandpa's video on the Harmonica Club of Gujarat blog recently. "Look, that's grandpa playing mouth organ," he exclaimed excitedly to his dad.

Pranav fished out the mouth organ his grandpa had given him and began playing. "Why are you moving your fingers like that?" the dad asked. "That's the way grandpa plays," the boy explained non-challantly.