Thursday, January 11, 2007

what listening to kIravANI can trigger

Listening to my recording of rAga kIravANI this Sunday morning brought back memories of my last Christmas-New Year break in the US, and sent me excavating my iPhoto archives.

The year transition was 2003-2004, shortly before my return to India in Feb 2004. I had gone to spend that break with Lars in Portland, Oregon.

I had taken my veena along from Austin: the idea was to leave it with him for safekeeping and as a keepsake. I arrived on Christmas with the veena safely ensconsed in its much-travelled wooden case.
Despite being tinged with sadness at my imminent parting, it was one of my nicest breaks ever. Lars, ever the gracious host, plied me with homemade pizza, my favorite raisin cookies from Fred Meyer, and wines from the northwest, Chile and Australia.

I also got to drive up Interstate 5 to Seattle to meet up with my friends Mala and Vega.

Back in Portland, we took night-walks through the Christmas-lit neighbourhood where children played with snowballs, made snowmen, and skateboarded on the slush. The starkness of barren branches and backyards laden with snow...

... was offset by the warmth and vivid colours of Lars' studio, where I spent several hours recording for an audio CD Taanam on Veena, my way of bidding adieu to my veena and making it feel at home among Lars' guitars.

We recorded using basic condensor mics on Lars' iMac onto Cubase, and Lars also captured some video footage for a test DVD made using iMovie and iDVD.

We also designed a CD cover...

And, yes, veena did appear to be at home among its European-origin cousins...

I did get one more chance to see Lars and veena, when I visited them in mid-February 2004, en route India. But that's a post for another evening...

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