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Bhai Baldeep Singh

Discussion in 'Sikh Personalities' started by Aman Singh, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    Music of the Spheres by CHARU SINGH

    Bhai Baldeep Singh is a rare artiste and a mystic studying the deeper mysteries of Naad or Svaar - the divinity of sound, of syllable, of voice raised and suspended, of silence within and beyond the voice and of the deep sacredness of Naad.

    Baldeep Singh is an exponent of the kirtan maryada tradition that stems from the compositions of the Gurus in the Guru Granth Sahib. He is the 13th generation exponent of this tradition that he has inherited from his grand-uncles and their forefathers, specifically from Bhai Gurcharan Singh and Bhai Avtar Singh.

    He is also a dhrupad and jori exponent as well as a versatile scholar-teacher who attempts to transmit this rare heritage of sacred Sikh music to students in India and abroad.

    In a unique journey of discovery, Baldeep Singh's interest in Naad led to deep research and reproduction of instruments played in the Guru's courts - instruments which are virtually extinct today. The idea was to bring alive the sound of the intense spiritual music as it was played in the sixteenth century.

    This search led him through difficult years, when he tried to find craftsmen who could replicate these instruments. He learned the craft of instrument-making from Gyani Harbhajan Singh.

    Today he not only makes these instruments, but has students to whom he is transmitting this rare knowledge. He is credited with reviving the pakhawaj-mridang and jori of Punjab and has also carved by hand the nomadic rabab, saranda, taus and dilruba.

    Baldeep Singh says: "The entire purpose of my existence in the field of arts is as a conservator, especially with regard to the intangible, with the living assets of our heritage. My concept of conservation is to learn and live them".

    He adds: "I really pioneered the instrument revival from 1987 onwards. It was back then that I began a hunt for people who could make instruments dating to the Bhakti and Gurbani tradition. My search led me to Gyani Harbhajan Singh Mistry and, since the early 90s, I have handcrafted back to life the taus, the dhrupadi rebab, the saranda and the jori-pakhawaj of the Guru's court".

    In an attempt to get more organized in the spreading of his unique talents and wisdom, Baldeep Singh has set up the "Anad Foundation", currently headquartered in New Delhi, but with ambitious plans of launching a conservatory at the fortress of Sultanpur Lodhi, near Kapurthala, Punjab.
    "My vision for the Anad conservatory, an institute of Sikh aesthetics and culture, is really to set up an open university dedicated to cultural studies. We already have a panel of top conservation architects from across the world to initiate the work at the fortress of Sultanpur Lodhi, negotiations for which are currently at an advanced stage".

    In Delhi, Baldeep Singh plans to set up a rare Sikh arts gallery with a unique instruments display. He also started a concert series in 2005, called "Laya Darshan", to celebrate the richness of rhythm.

    Another concert series, "Jashan", began in 2006. He also did a concert for peace and understanding in Arizona, U.S.A.. The Anad lecture series was initiated in 2007 and lastly, there is the Anad Kav Mala, which includes a series of events celebrating poetry, beginning in March this year.

    February 27, 2008

    [Courtesy: The Tribune]
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