Ronu Majumdar

Bansuri

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The bansuri which Ronu Majumdar plays is the Indian bamboo flute. It is a transverse flute which means it is played from the side like a Western flute and not from the back like a recorder. Its tone is neither as silvery as the Western flute nor as breathy as most Asian flutes, but Majumdar gives it a liquid sound that is not at all piercing or shrill. David Taylor accompanies him on the tanpura (a stringed instrument that makes a shimmering sound in the background of so much Indian classical music). Abhijit Banerjee provides limber percussive support on the tabla. Bansuri features two pieces: the "Raga Miyan Ki Malhar" and "Bhatiali," which is a light piece drawn from the folk tradition. The initial alap and jor of the first, slow movement are nothing to write home about, but the second and subsequent movements pick up the pace a bit. Listening to them is somewhat like listening to jazz: the flute is naturally "cool" but the music is "hot"; one is suspended in a groove. The folk piece is lively and almost sounds Japanese. Recommended.