Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel”, which is a symbol of the ‘cycle of energy’ and in a broader sense, the ‘cycle of life’. The raag system of the North Indian classical music is based on the cycle of energy from dawn to night. The raag-scale, the characteristic phrases, the accents, the delay in a particular note, the slide & tempo of a phrase, emits the energy in relation to the time of the day. I have chosen six raags to portray the energy cycle in relation to a 24hr day-cycle. In a deeper sense these are melodic representations of the ‘chakras’ within us and in the ongoing cycle of life.
The spontaneous expression of emotions from within the deeper 'self' is expressed with melodic and rhythmic conversation between the sitar and the tabla in Indian classical ragas depicting love and devotion, in this case, as a tribute to a mother.
I Am a River
An exotic blend of Indian Classical sitar & tabla with Jazz saxophone. The masterful artists play with refined artistry, depicting the six stages of the 'river of life'. The raga compositions in sitar are a source of inspiration for the Jazz improvisations
Romance of Raags & Songs
A vibrant collection of melodies with raga-based songs from Bengal, where Alif grew up. The songs played in the sitar are enriched with improvisational Indian Cassical music. It is filled with romance.
Celebrating Bulbul is a tribute to Laila's aunt, Bulbul, who was gifted with the voice of a nightingale 1)Raag Jaijawanti is a much adored traditional raag. It is played in three parts: 1) Alap, Jor 2) Composition in Rupak Taal. 3) Fast composition in Teentaal and Jhala. 2)Khamaj Dhun: a light classical piece based folk tunes of Bengal. Dadra (rhythmic cycle of six beats). 3)Bhairavi : The varied emotions expressed in this raag are enchanting and intense. This piece is based on a Bhajan (devotionl song) in Teental.
Sangam means 'coming together'. In this album Laila has chosen three ragas that she is drawn to, with strong emotions. The superb accompaniment of Ustad Tari Khan makes this album a very special one. The music that builds up is unrestraint, spontaneous and full of love, in mood and in flavor.1) Raag Basant (Spring) : Alap, Medium tempo Teentaal and Jhala 2) Raag Desh : alap and medium tempo Teentaal composition 2) Raag Shivaranjani : Short Alap and composition in Deepchandi Taal.
Meditation with Sitar
A meditative musical experience with a gradual build-up of intensity in the soothing,resonating solo sitar.
...Sound and rhythm have been vital elements of human expression. Meditative pursuits in all cultures and religions have been practiced by reciting continuous melodic phrases. The state of transcendance is attained when the mind is totally focused to the sound of these phrases. The submission to sound and rhythm elates and transports our energy to a plane where the body and mind fuses.
The Inner Voice
With all its sensitivity and subtley, The Inner Voice is Alif Laila's 'music'. Through this medium she aspires to paint a picture of emotions and expressions that surpasses words and images. Alif weaves a delicate and melodious tapestry of Indian classical music with the intricate patterns and techniques of the art of sitar playing. The mood of her music was enhanced by Maestro Anindo Chatterjee's superb tabla accompaniment.
All three ragas: Charukeshi, Piloo and Manj Khamaj, played in this album, have romantic, soothing moods. the fluidity of each one of them have been portrayed by Alif's playing sensitive style and compositions.
Devotion is the essence of all art. Without it, there can be no music at all. This album is Laila's very first CD , recorded in 2000. She considers this as one of her most memorable recordings, in which, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, the living legend of Indian classical tabla, accompanied her. She plays two raags 1)Purya Dhaneshree, in Alap,slow Teentaal, fast Teentaal, Jhala 2) Kirwani in Sitarkhani Taal.