Soul of Benares


Here is a short sample of tracks from the CD. Please contact Carl via the contact form below to purchase the CD or 07- 3379 7859, 0404-89-89-47,
(the country code for Australia is 61 and area code code is 7)

Tracks or the whole album can be downloaded from Bandcamp at .

Brisbane based IJIMP plays a unique fusion of mystical Indian tabla and
Japanese spiritual shakuhachi. This is their first overseas venture, and sees
them collaborate with the cream of Varanasi’s Indian classical musicians.

Carl Rathus
Carl plays the shakuhachi, a Japanese end-blown flute with roots in the Zen
Buddhist tradition. His solo performances concentrate honkyoku, the Zen
Budddhist repertoire. He has had an interest in Indian classical music for many
years, and has played and recorded in Chennai with Carnatic and fusion
musicians, leading to a successful CD, “Revelation”. This interest in Indian music
led him to a collaboration with tabla player, Ravikesh Singh.

Ravikesh Singh
Fijian born Ravikesh Singh came to Australia when he was 3 years old and
started his career at the same age playing dholak (traditional/religious music) in
small house concerts. He is a versatile musician involved in numerous Indian
Classical as well as contemporary fusion projects in Australia and India. For the
last six years, Ravikesh has been going to Varanasi, India to study the Benares
Gharana style with the legendary tabla player, Pt. Ishwer Lal Mishra. It was
through this connection that IJIMP was able to collaborate with such fine Varanasi musicians.

Shantwana Mishra
Shantwana Mishra is the seventh generation of the Mishra family, central
to the Sangeet Gharana in Varanasi. Shantwana Mishra was professionally
trained from a very young age of six under the able guidance of her father,
Pt.Ishwar Lal Mishra, a highly accomplished tabla player, having toured
throughout India & Internationally with such greats as Pt.Ravi Shankar, late
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt.Hari Prasad Chaurasia, the late Pt.Lalmani Mishra & many more. A doyen of Banaras Gharana, the traditional thumri singer has received wide acclaim for her soulful and beautiful voice.

Anand Mishra
Anand Kumar Mishra is the elder brother of Shantwana, with the same
eminent lineage. He began as an eight years old, plucking at the strings of
the sitar under the guidance of his legendary Guru, Sitar Maestro Pt. Gopal
Shankar Mishra. He continued his Sitar training with his guru until his
death at the age of 42 in 1999. He continued his Sitar training under Pt.Lal
Mani Mishra and now Dr.Smt.Pushpa Basu. Anand has performed at many of the
greatest festivals in India, such as Sankat Mochan festival, Ganga Mahotsav, Sankalp, performing art B.H.U., Yua Sangeet Mahotsav (Agra), Sangeet Natak Academy Lucknow, Vyas Mahotsav, Sanskar Bharti Dehradoon, Kurukshetra NIT.

Shibendra Mishra
Shibendra Kumar Mishra is the 9th generation of the traditional musicial
family of Banaras Gharana. His ancestors were court musicians to the last
emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Jafar. His family includes the late Pt.
Bhawani Sewak Mishra, and his father, Pt.Surendra Mohan Mishra. He has
been trained in Sarangi by his uncle, late Pt.Baccha Lal Mishra.

Recorded in Kalashri Studio Varanasi. on 12, 13 and 14 February, 2014.
With thanks to master sound engineer Sanjay (Pumpy) Rawat and to
Guruji Pt Ishwer Lal Mishra for his guidance.

Tracks 1-3 present the melody of Japanese folk songs with
improvisations woven into North Indian folk and semi-classical songs.
They spring from the raag that underlies these melodies.
Tracks 4-6 are improvisations and North Indian folk and semi-classical
songs based on a Hindustani raag.
1: Devi bhajo based on Soran, a Hokkaido fishing song,
2: Colours of love based on Hokkai Bonuta, a Bon festival song.
3: Soul of sorrow based on the famous Sakura or Cherry Blossoms
4: Om Shiva Raag Bhupali
5: Tarana Raag Maulkauns
6: Kajri Raag Hamsadhwani
7: Daha (Pounding Waves)- traditional shakuhachi honkyoku solo

All tracks are in Teen Taal, a 16 beat cycle. Taal is the term used in Indian classical music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition, roughly corresponding to metre in Western music.
A raag uses a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is constructed. However, the way the notes are approached and rendered in musical phrases and the mood they convey are as important as the notes themselves.
Honkyoku are the pieces of shakuhachi music played by mendicant Japanese Zen monks called komuso. Komuso played honkyoku as a form of meditation, mostly during the Edo period.century. Honkyoku is the practice of suizen (“blowing Zen”).