In May 2018, our annual Shibir will be a 7-day immersive residential retreat with the esteemed Gundecha Brothers, under the auspices of Dhrupad Days, the annual festival of Dhrupad Music Institute of America (DMIA).
The intention of a Shibir – meaning summit – is to work in a focused and immersive way on chosen aspects of the venerable art form of Dhrupad. The residential nature of the experience follows in the Gurukul tradition, in which students are in co-residence with the Gurus, and observe not only the musical practice together, but also all other life aspects of Self alignment that make for a holistic sadhana.
DATES AND LOCATION
The 7-day Shibir is planned for May 21-27, 2018 (with arrival on evening of the 20th and close on morning of the 28th). It will be located in the lap of the Pacific Northwest, in the little town of Chimacum on the Olympic Peninsula, a 2-hour driving distance from Seattle, and approximately 3.5 hours from Portland and 4 hours from Vancouver, B.C. The chateau is on 20 acres of secluded land with trees, a beautiful valley view, its own 0.7 mile trail, and a ravine to explore! The address is 516 Blue Mountain Road, Chimacum, WA, 98325. (See residence details further below.)
The program includes 7 full-days of Dhrupad (vocal) music instruction beginning before sunrise with Kharaj practice (a way of preparing and culturing the voice), and ending around 8pm just before dinner. Each day’s schedule includes 3 group sessions distributed through the day (Kharaj session with Umakant ji, Voice Technique/Composition session with Ramakant ji, and Taal session with Akhilesh ji on the pakhawaj), as well as one-on-one lessons with both Umakant ji and Ramakant ji. All one-on-one lessons are open to be observed by all students, making for wonderful listening sessions when one isn’t in direct instruction, a significant avenue of learning. The one-on-one sessions are student-directed, which means the student gets to ask for guidance in a particular Raag, as well as any aspect of Dhrupad singing, whether alaap, jod or jhaala, composition elaboration, voice technique, and so on. The schedule includes breaks for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.
The Shibir mandates residence on premises as part of the full-immersion. The ideal environment includes going offline from the internet, emails, phone calls etc., so that all can observe an inward gaze in stillness and Self alignment. And the togetherness of all participants with the gurus is in the spirit of satsang (communion) rather than socializing. The lovely chateau on 20 acres of secluded property has many flexible spaces and a large hall for music instruction. Sleeping arrangements will include dorm-type settings for female-only, male-only, or mixed occupancy, as well as shared rooms with large double beds. (We will do our best to honor everyone’s comfort – arrangements may be humble but comfortable!)