Friday, January 10, 2014

Flute Player, 1922


Kashmiri Pundit Playing the Flute
Every Note in Kashmiri Music is overlaid with Grave Notes, to give brilliance to the performance
Photograph by Pandit Vishinath Kampassi
"The melodies belonging to the lakes and rivers are of course unlike those of the mountains. Never shall I forget the charm of being paddled in our shikara, one beautiful moonlight night on the Dal Lake in Kashmir, with our crew singing softly a well-known boatman's song punctuated by the rhythemic stroke of the paddles. An equally idyllic memory springs to my mind of the fine forests on the mountainous sides of the Lolab valley, and, seated beneath the shade of a lofty pine, a slender stripling playing plaintively upon his simple wooden flageolet. This mournful melody was called "The Parrot" and its theme was a tale of a lady taken captive to Kashmir, who released her favourite parrot to carry a chenar leaf in its beak as a message to her lover. "
"Shikara" on the Dal Lake with Kashmiri Fluting
A Shikara Ride on the Dal Lake, on a Beautiful Moonlight Night, with the Crew Singling Softly a Boatman's
Song Punctuated by the Rhythmic Stroke of the Paddles, Leaves an Idyllic Memory
Photograph by Pandit Vishinath Kampassi

From 'Asia : journal of the American Asiatic Association (Volume v.22, November 1922)', 'Echoes of Himalayan Flutes' by Muriel Percy Brown (1874-1943), daughter of Sir Adelbert Talbot, Resident of Kashmir from 1896 to 1900, and wife of art historian Percy Brown. She is more famous for  here book, 'Chenar Leaves: Poems of Kashmir' (1921)
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