All posts filed under: Interviews

The Khanjira’s on a roll

It was Carnatic vocalist DK Pattammal who asked Khanjira maestro G Harishankar’s mother, “From your womb, did you deliver a baby or the Khanjira itself?” This is the late Harishankar’s 60th birth anniversary year, (Birth: June 10, 1958) and top Khanjira soloist Bangalore N Amrit pays tribute to his guru, who paved the way for artistes like Amrit to maintain the glory of this special upa-pakkavadyam. Amrit’s gutsy journey as a Khanjira soloist has been both a challenge and a responsibility. Guru Harishankar Among the percussion instruments being played in Carnatic concerts today, the Khanjira comes after the Mridangam and Ghatam in hierarchy.  While such a ranking is problematic in itself, it has also led to a struggle by Khanjira players to specialise in the instrument as soloists. Played with one hand on one surface, the small single frame drum with a pair of jingles sounds simultaneously bright and resonant. Deceptively small, it can produce a range of sounds that can keep up with the other instruments it plays with. There were great Khanjira players …