Singh Bandhu

Gavo Sachi Bani

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Devotional music from the Sikhs, Gavo Sachi Bani contains a number of shabad kirtan singing -- praise to the Formless One. The style of song is very closely related to North Indian dhrupad, working from a classical raga and exploring the range allowed while singing the praises. The ornamentations taken by the Singh brothers also follow closely the basic styles of dhrupad, and the parallel vocal lines added to the mix give a sound very similar to the elder Dagar Brothers. The album opens with a work by the third guru of Sikhism in raga "Ramkali," then moves back in time to a piece by the first guru in raga "Prabhati." More recent pieces by the tenth and ninth in ragas "Pahadi" and "Mishra Khamaj" respectively continue the line. Finishing the album are a pair from the fifth guru in ragas "Bageshwari" and "Asa." The music of Sikhism is relatively underrepresented in the recordings available, as one of the world religions without such a huge musical availability (or accessibility to Western ears, most likely). Given the relatively rarity on top of this, Gavo Sachi Bani makes for a nice piece of music for those that are interested in dhrupad musically or Sikhism generally. It might make for a decent introduction to the more stately vocal traditions of the Indian subcontinent for newcomers as well.

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