Zakir Hussain with Charles Lloyd

Mrs. AntiSniveler and I enjoyed Charles Lloyd touring with the great Zakir Hussain a year ago when they came to Boulder.

All I can say is, if you ever have the opportunity to see Zakir in person, you will have a religious experience.

And I’m not saying this lightly.

The only other musician to give me chills like that was Pharoah Sanders.

Go figure.

Here’s more about Zakir:

Zakir Hussain is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have not only established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, but gained him worldwide fame. The favorite accompanist for many of India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, from Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar to Birju Maharaj and Shivkumar Sharma, he has not let his genius rest there. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study.

Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, the Hong Kong Symphony and the New Orleans Symphony.

A child prodigy, Zakir was touring by the age of twelve, the gifted son of his great father, tabla legend Ustad Alla Rakha. Zakir came to the United States in 1970, embarking on an international career which includes no fewer than 150 concert dates a year. He has composed and recorded many albums and soundtracks, and has received widespread recognition as a composer for his many ensembles and historic collaborations. Most recently, he has composed soundtracks for the films In Custody, Ismail Merchant’s directorial debut, Little Buddha by Bernardo Bertolucci, for which Zakir composed, performed and acted as Indian music advisor and Vanaprastham, chosen to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, 1999.

He’s a once-in-a-lifetime human being.

Here’s another clip that is mostly Zakir Hussain playing tabla:

Advertisements

Ishak Pasa, Turkey

ishakpasa-palace.jpg

Here’s one of those places that humans decided to build, despite the remoteness, despite the difficult geopolitical circumstances, despite the fact that there would’ve been much easier avenues to follow.

Constructed through the end of eighteenth century, Ishak Pasa Palace stands on a plateau that descends to the northwest. It overlooks Sariova, where the modern city of Dogubayazit is located. The remains of old Dogubayazit lie to the northwest and to the south of the palace. A small mosque (mescit) and a cemetery lie to the southeast of the palace. The northern façade of the palace faces the Dogubayazit Castle, on a nearby hill. The palace was commissioned by local Ottoman governor Ishak Pasa and took ninety-nine years to complete in 1784. Ishak Pasa is also thought to be the architect of the palace.

Due to its proximity to the Russian and Persian borders of the empire, Ishak Pasa Palace suffered serious damage during several wars, beginning with the Russian seige in 1828. Stones were removed from the abandoned palace during the re-location of the city in 1934. The upper wooden structure also vanished during this period. In 1963, the Directorate of Monuments and Museums (Anitlar ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlügü) announced a campaign of preservation for the site and several restoration projects were undertaken since, including a general cleanup and excavation of the site and the maintenance of the east and south façades in 1966.

The complex is situated on an artificial platform aligned east-west. The site was made even with the construction of a partial basement that is fifteen meters at its tallest. Surrounded by steep slopes, the building is entered only from the east. The palace consists of three successive sections; an outer courtyard and inner courtyard, followed by the harem section with its gardens. It is similar to the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul in its layout.

And it’s got a “harem section” with gardens!

ishak-pasa.jpg

General view from southwest looking up the hill towards the palace….