Bikram Ghosh

The Language of Rhythm: Drumming from North and South India

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In 1998, Music of the World reissued two Indian titles, Bikram Ghosh's Talking Tabla and Trichy Sankaran's Laya Vinyas, on this two-CD set. Presenting those recordings alongside one another, The Language of Rhythm gives listeners a taste of two schools of traditional Indian drumming: North and South. A tabla player, Ghosh represents the Hindustani approach of North India, while Sankaran plays the mrdangam (a double-headed drum) and represents the Carnatic style of South India. Playing the albums together, listeners will hear the similarities and parallels between the two schools of drumming, but they'll also see that the tabla and the mrdangam each have their own recognizable sound. The accompaniment also varies a lot -- while Ghosh's tabla is accompanied by the santur (a hammered dulcimer) and the sarangi, Sankaran's accompaniment includes the vina (South India's top string instrument for traditional music). Both albums employ the very distinctive tambura, which is known for its drone sound. In addition to the booklets that accompanied the original release of these CDs, MOTW has added a 28-page booklet explaining in great detail what the differences between the tabla and the mrdangam are. The Language of Rhythm is not only an example of soulful music, it's also an example of smart and thoughtful packaging.

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