Live Music - Courtesy of IMSOM

After a particularly busy and stressful stretch at work, the time had finally come for the IMSOM event that I had planned on attending.

IMSOM is the acronym for the Indian Music Society of Minnesota.

I have a fondness for Classical Eastern Indian instrumental music.  Particularly the sounds of the Sitar and Tabla.  I have for many years.  I remember in high school, combing through the racks of CD's in one of my local record shops (try and find them nowadays) looking through the "world music" category.  

For several years, my enjoyment of Classical Indian music was limited to my CD collection.  Mainly comprised of Ravi Shankar and a few other miscellaneous MP3 downloads that I have come across.

A couple of years ago I discovered the IMSOM website, and while browsing their website, I noticed an upcoming event.  Pandit Nayan Ghosh was to be featured playing both the Sitar and the Tabla, Sri Arup Chattopadhyay on the Tabla, and Vikas Falnikar on the Harmonium

Being a bit nervous / apprehensive about the cultural differences, I contacted one of my closest (and most culturally aware) friend - Lisa (from Many Things Do Not Fly).  We (Lisa, and her Husband, Myself and my wife, the Mother of Five) all went out for dinner before hand.  After dinner (since the Mother of Five had no interest in attending the concert), the three remaining went to the concert. 

The concert was better than I imagined.  The folks at IMSOM were so polite and helpful.  Any apprehension about any cultural differences were quickly extinguished, as the crowd was as culturally diverse as a visit to your local mall.  Then there was the obvious difference between experiencing the music LIVE, and the pre-recorded music that I am familiar with.  I could (and did) close my eyes, and truly FELT the music.  I have already posted this link once, but if you are interested in reading more about this concert, please visit the article from MNDaily HERE.

After the last concert, #3 of 5 told me he would be intrested in going to the next concert.  I also discovered that a high school friend of mine (Dr. Edward (Ted) Ulrich is the Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of St. Thomas) was also interested in attending the next concert.

It has been just about two years now, but I finally found another concert that I could attend!  This concert featured dual sitars, and dual tablas!  Purbayan Chatterjee and Partha Chatterjee on the sitars - and Anindo Chatterjee and his son Anubrata Chatterjee on the tablas.

Lisa was unable to attend, but Dr. Ulrich was!  So, #3 of 5, myself and Dr. Ulrich made the arrangements, and met at the concert. 

The concert was most memorable.  It started off with Partha Chatterjee and Anindo Chatterjee playing together, then Purbayan Chatterjee and Anubrata Chatterjee came out and played together.  Seeing and hearing the differences between Partha and Purbayan's playing style was very interesting, and was even more noticeable when (after a short intermission) all four musicians were on stage together, and performing.  It was breathtaking at times!

#3 of 5 was all smiles, and although he seemed to like the sitar, when the tablas got to playing... He would turn to look at me (and I turned to look at him) - with one of the biggest smiles I have seen!  It made me feel so good to share something so wonderful with my son!

I'm not sure weather #3 of 5 will become a Classical Indian music enthusiast or not... But I am quite sure he enjoyed himself, and I believe if I attend another IMSOM event, he will be intrested in joining me!

Speaking of #3 of 5... During the intermission, a woman approach me (no, not in THAT way)... anyway.. she approached me and asked me if #3 of 5 was my son, to which I affirmed.  She then introduced her son to us, and we started talking about how nice it was to see our boys at a classical / cultural event like the concert, and how rare it was that they actually wanted to be there instead of home playing video games, etc.  I was very proud of this, and let #3 of 5 know!

Other than #3 of 5, and this woman's son, there was indeed a noticable lack of "younger" folks at the concert (which is why she may have tracked me down, and asked me about #3 of 5.)  Although I did notice a few college aged kids in tie-died clothing and thick long dredlocks who were (no doubt) "expanding their minds" with the music and perhaps the aid of a "mind altering substance".

The concert continued until 10:15 pm, and since I has started work at 3am the day before, and had to be up at 5am the next morning - I was exhausted.  We headed straight home, and straight into bed.

I truly enjoyed the concert, and enjoyed it even more with my boy there with me! 


  1. That's great that you get to enjoy something out of the ordinary with your family.
    Many people reject experiences before they even try them.
    #3 has an experience that not many of his peers can claim.

  2. International music can be a very relaxing departure from the same old stuff in our American pop culture. I know nothing about it, but I really enjoy (for probably obvious reasons) some traditional (or at least what I assume is "traditional") Chinese music. I brought a few CD's home with me... mostly instrumental.


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