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The melody lingers on…

March 14, 2009

·         The sensuous charm in Ashok Roy’s portrayal .. cast a spell .. moving .. Roy’s style is easily captivating — The Daily Bombay March 1997

It was 3.00am in the morning Easter Saturday.  All was silent except for the tingling sensation of the music from the evening’s concert in my mind with the streaming moonlight casting its shadows. I was feeling exhilarated, inspired and moved.  I was in a sleepy town of

Bendigo near Melbourne in 1986 and I recall finding my home in his music. This was my first meeting with Pandit Ashok Roy.

pt-ashok-roy-larrikin-records.jpg

 

 Listen to the following excerpts from a CD launched in 1994. Pandit Ashok Roy accompanied by Parthasarthy Mukherjee on Tabla. Produced by Larrikin Records this CD is no longer available and has sadly been discontinued.

Morning Call of Raag Bilaskhani Todi

Playful Pilu in Ten Beats

© Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Virtuoso and Maestro

March 14, 2009

· the balance of rhythm and melody… showed the artist’s maturity … particularly impressive — The Calcutta Telegraph July 1984

Pandit Ashok Roy came to Australia with a treasure that originated from the vaults of a rich heritage. The rich heritage of music from the Courts of the King of Maihar called the Maihar Gharana. The Maihar Gharana was initiated by none other than Baba Allauddin Khan, court musician of the Raja of Maihar. Baba Allauddin Khan had many students two amongst them reached international acclaim, Sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the Sarodiya. Pandit Ashok Roy was fortunate to study under the latter. See a documentary on Allauddin Khan under Ashokji’s vodpod selections to the right of this screen.

 

Young Ashok was born into a family of classical musicians and received his early training in vocal music from his father, He also learnt to play the percussion, Tabla. Ashok\’s first taste of recognition came at the young age of 17 when he won the Best Musician\’s Award in the All India Music Competition. This was the beginning of his career and a journey of passion that stayed with him to his very last days.

 

At 22 Ashok Roy joined All India Radio and worked with such celebrities as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Emni Shankar Shastri and Pannalal Ghosh further honing in his artistic and aesthetic experimentation under their guidance and collaborations.  He performed in many major festivals in India and was awarded for his artistic contribution to Indian music in Uttar Pradesh.
Young Ashok was more than aware of the valuable gift that he was bestowed with, not only a talent surpassed and accompanied with a passion and dedication to his music but his extreme sensitivity to the fact that the musical nuances and traditions of his style, genre, musicality,  gharana were to  be followed strictly.
His foremost challenge in his journey as time would tell was the challenge of  protecting the purity and essence of his music whose true aesthetic value was his most constant companion. It was precisely this passion to purity that helped him quietly conquer the hearts of the people of a foreign culture. It also made him an uncompromising, exacting yet affectionate teacher.

 

 

 

New Horizons

March 14, 2009
·Ashok Roy is undoubtedly one of the great exponents of the Indian Sarod — Sydney Morning Herald October 1987
 

Pandit Ashok Roy became the Head of Music Department at the Doon School in Dehraddun. He also toureda-roy-and-friends.jpg in Europe extensively around 1967 performing in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris Vienna and Sicily until opportunities were created arose for him to travel to South East Asia. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations ICCR, ventured into establishing Indian Cultural Centres in South East Asia.  One of the Cultural centres in this region was the Suva Cultural Centre in Fiji which was to be managed and controlled by eminent artists who were master musicians one among them was the now married Pandit Ashok Roy.

Between 1972 to 1977 he regularly visited The Indian Cultural Centre in Suva as a Visiting Lecturer during which time he availed of further opportunities to come to perform in Australia. It was not until he was fortunate enough to meet a Suprano singer Nancy Eileen Grover that Pandit Ashok Roy considered visiting Australia.  I met with Nancy Grover, now residing in the Blue Mountains near Sydney when she fondly recalled the first time she heard Pandit Ashok Roy in Fiji accompanied by Bhagwan Pandey on the tabla. She says his music had such an effect on her that she returned to Sydney and set about meeting the elite members, musicians and artists in Sydney with whose assistance she was able to organise a concert for him. However this was a year later.

© Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In Australia and Nancy Grover

March 14, 2009
“I found a magic about India and its music that went straight to my heart and the sound of the Sarod was simply spell binding” says Nancy Eileen Grover

Australian Institute of Asian Music and Dance was an initiation of Nancy Grover, whose love for India and Indian music, quite fatefully brought her in touch with Pandit Ashok Roy. The meeting with Nancy Grover was to open many doors for Panditji in Australia. A healthy partnership of the two lead to a growing following for Pandit Ashok Roy’s musiimg-0002-thumb.jpgc in Australia.

Nancy recalls trip to Dehraddun to meet Ashokji and his young wife Shanta Roy in 1975 after listening to Panditji in Fiji.  After a short meeting with Ashokji, Nancy returned to Sydney to work hard towards putting a show for him which she was successful in organising. However this took a year to arrange.   Ashokji’s first concert was held at the rather new Sydney Opera House in 1976 when he performed accompanied by Bhagwan Pandya on Tabla to a mesmerised western audience. This concert was organised under the auspices of the Australian Institute of Asian Music and Dance. Read more…

His Versatility

March 14, 2009

·the performance of Ashok Roy on sarod … was studded with many breathtaking sequences

The Star Karachi Journal June

1986


Where Waters Meet

Slivanje – Where Waters Meet

Contributed by Linsey Pollack 

This National cross-cultural ensemble was formed by me, Linsey Pollack under the

 auspices of the Brisbane Ethnic Music and Arts Centre (BEMAC), represented a gathering of some of Australia’s most uniquely talented artists.

Slivanje (meaning “meeting of waters” in Macedonian) created new Australian music based on the traditions that each musician brought to the group, ranging from Macedonian, African and Latin American, to Indian and Japanese folk and classical. Slivanje was: Linsey Pollak – bagpipes, clarinet, saxophones, wind and percussion instruments; Hernan Flores – vocals, guitar, Latin string and wind instruments, hand percussion; Blair Greenberg – percussion; Dorinda Hafner – vocals, hand percussion, dance; Satsuki Odamura – Japanese koto; Ashok Roy – Indian sarod.
They were one of the earlier experimenters in Cross Cultural music in Australia and performed at the first WOMADELAIDE Festival and released the cd  “Where Waters meet”:
Title:  Where Waters Meet

© Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Australian Institute of Eastern Music

March 14, 2009


Exquisitely formed and played; at first a reflective statement from the Sarod alone… ending in a frenzy of syncopated phrases
— Christ Church New Zealand 1986

AIEM performance

 

The Australian Institute of Eastern Music was formed by its initial members in the 1980’s. Pandit Ashok Roy became the Artistic Director of AIEM in the 1990’s. Nancy Grover who had been managing Panditji’s engagements and concert planning spent a lot of time and effort in promoting him and AIEM extensively. For over ten years the AIEM celebrated music in ways that looked at making new sounds with old techniques; provided a platform for all musicians from different backgrounds to come together; and Pandit Ashok Roy did it with quite insight. Pandit Ashok Roy launched several CD’s with ABC Radio National, Larrikin Records, performed at major festivals in Australia and more through out the eighties and nineties.

David Walker the Secretary of the AIEM in its later years, talks about the first time he met Pandit Ashok Roy and the various ventures that he helped organise for AIEM.  The numerous concert series that Pandit Ashok performed in Sydney and in other parts of Australia with eminent tabla players from India and in Australia and finally how it all slowly stopped happening.

DAVID WALKER TALKS ABOUT AIEM AND ASHOKJI

© Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sumathi Krishnan and www.ptashokroy.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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