Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt performed on his
innovative musical instrument, Mohan Veena, on May 10th,
Saturday evening, at the LeCraw Auditorium of Georgia Tech's
School of Management, in front of an appreciative audience that
heard him with rapt attention.
Mohan Veena is an adaptation of Hawaiian guitar with additional
strings – a musical instrument Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt had
designed with his own inventive genius. To harmoniously blend
the subtlety of Sitar's fine notes with Sarod's deep, bass notes
is one of the rare features of this instrument [visit:
www.mohanveena.com for more information].
After expatiating at length the several unique capabilities of
the instrument, the maestro began the concert with the beautiful
composition set in raag Madhuvanti consisting of alap, jhala, a
madhya laya followed by drut composition (more information about
all the ragas mentioned here can be found at www.swarganga.org).
This is an afternoon raag, which belongs to Todi that and one
finds it serious and yet sublime. The singer deftly brought out
the Shringar–rasa (romantic mood) of this raga as he alone could
with his experience, expertise and unique skills.
After a short intermission, Pt. Vishwa Mohan performed, to the
rapturous delight of the assembled music lovers, a series of
small bandishes and compositions. He began with an exquisite
raag, Des, which is reminiscent of the rainy season and brings
with it a feeling of fulfillment. The musical giant dedicated
his own composition - Maa – to all mothers on the occasion of
Mother's day, based on raag Zinzoti.
“Music is highest philosophy” said Plato and vocal music can be
a divine means of communicating with the Supreme. He sang the
composition in madhya laya on the Mohan Veena asking the
audience to join him. He prefaced this rendering with the
succinct remark, "I have not seen God but I have seen Mother"
which had a profound impact on the audience. He acknowledged the
support of his mother in his insistence on developing an
adaptation of the guitar rather than playing the Sitar.
Realizing he was getting too sentimental and attempting to alter
the somber mood, the award-winning singer changed to a slightly
lighter and more ecstatic composition "Phagwa Brij Dekhan Ko
Chalo Ri" in raag Basant. The highlight was the rendition of
beautiful meends based on Teevra Madhyam.
Acceding to the audience's request, Pt. Vishwa Mohan concluded
the day’s program with a Rajasthani folk song based on raag
Mishra Mand. The composition was Kesariya Balama whose
improvised version had appeared in the movie Lekin (music
composed by Pandit Hridayanath Mangeshkar).
Pandit Subhen Chatterjee provided masterly support on the Tabla.
His efforts at tempo-building and the creative genius of his
layakari came to the fore in the last song based on the folk
The concert was sponsored by Indian Classical Music Society (ICMS)
of Greater Atlanta (www.icmsatlanta.org). ICMS has been
promoting Hindustani classical music and has been organizing
four to five concerts a year since 1992 in Greater Atlanta.
Their mission is to offer music lovers a unique opportunity to
enjoy first-hand Indian Classical Music and to create awareness
and appreciation amongst the youth so that this rich heritage is
preserved in all its pristine glory and passed on to successive
Sham Navathe, ICMS founder, introduced the artist and also
proposed the customary vote of thanks. The concert was organized
in co-operation with Aarohi, a student organization at Georgia
Tech devoted to classical music and arts.
The forthcoming concerts of ICMS in 2008 are vocal recitals–
Devaki Pandit on June 1 at Georgia Tech and the great duo Rajan
and Sajan Misra on August 24th at Sourthern Poly State
University auditorium. Please regularly visit
for updated information.