Emily Hooper & Ryan Huttick, Contributing Writers
On Tuesday, November 8, the Goodrich Theater became entranced with the music of North India. Sitarist Roop Verma along with Naren Budhakar (tablas) and Tracy Verma (tamboura), distinctly portrayed their abilities with their respective instruments. In the program, a brief history on the importance of the music was introduced to guide the audience in their listening experience. However, as the music began, it became apparent that this was not merely a listening experience but also an experience that became emotional, spiritual and physical.
The trio, positioned in the center of the stage, instantly displayed their unity and understanding of the Raga. The Raga, as explained in the program, literally means melody. Its true nature is far more complex and was referred to in the program as the heart of Indian classical music. While the Raga is not fully understood without proper teaching, the feeling in the crowd during the second set was serene. Before the second set, Mr. Verma illustrated that the audience should not attempt to understand what was to be played, but instead the performance should be felt. As Roop Verma began the second set, one could see a sense of tranquility throughout the audience. The Goodrich Theater went into an entire state of meditation. Some individuals had their eyes closed while others watched attentively. The smooth nature of the music allowed for a liberation of feeling and soul.
The importance of Roop Verma’s performance to the Oneonta community was exhibited through the large number of non-students. The sounds of North India were welcomed and appreciated, as the audience was able to get a taste of something they had been yearning for. To both the Oneonta campus and community, Roop Verma’s performance was a break from the chaos of everyday life. It is hoped that the value of Roop Verma’s music and message of unity will not only appreciated but practiced and continued throughout the Oneonta community.