Listen and be soothed by the sacred sounds of the sitar. The origin of the sitar goes back almost 500 years to its inventor, Amir Khusro. Containing 19 strings and fashioned from teak or tun wood attached to a dried gourd, the sound of this ancient instrument has the ability to transport its listener into an almost trance-like state. The compositions, called “ragas” have evolved for thousands of years and are each played with a very specific structure and only at the appropriate time of day. When learned from a master and followed with strict accuracy, the ragas have the ability to affect the central human nervous system and evoke many different moods or “Navarasa”. Sitar music has the proven ability to transport the listener into a meditation and a deep feeling of tranquility.
Prosad’s first sitar teacher was Shambhu Das Ji, a life long student of Pandit Ravi Shankar. It was a special experience to study with Shambhu Das as he had taught sitar to George Harrison while the Beatles were in India in the late 1960’s. Prosad later went on to study classical sitar with the great sitarist, Ustad Irshad Khan. Mr. Khan’s lineage is known as the “Imdad Khani Etawa Gharana,” and dates back 400 years. Ustad Ji’s ancestors played for the ancient kings of India and are credited with pioneering the modern style of sitar playing accepted widely today. Currently, Prosad is studying sitar from spiritual master teacher, Mr. Tulshi Sen. Learning music from Mr. Sen has helped to sublimate Prosad’s musical training and awaken him to the spiritual power of music, giving him insight into the ways that music can be used for healing and spiritual growth.
Prosad has performed widely in Canada as well as Byron Bay, Australia. He has shared the stage with internationally acclaimed musicians in the Toronto-Indo-Jazz Festival and performed at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. In 2007 Prosad was the guest soloist in the North American Debut of “Legend of Sangeet” for Brass Orchestra and Sitar. In 2008 Prosad performed for His Royal Highness Prince Edward, of the British Realms. In the same year his song, Byron Bay, was featured in the Hollywood movie, The Love Guru, starring the talented Mike Myers. In 2009 he was featured at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia with nearly 20,000 people in attendance. Prosad has performed extensively around Toronto, toured Western and Eastern Canada and has been featured numerous times as the headlining artist at the “Buddha Groove”. Prosad has independently released and promoted three CDs of original music.
Raag Khamaj – Prosad on Sitar, Ed Hanley on Tabla
Photo by Catherine Farquharson