Newsletter July / August / September 2019


1. India Instruments‘ 25th Anniversary Celebration – A Day Full of Joy
2. India Instruments‘ 25th Anniversary Celebration – Concert Videos
3. Bina Harmoniums – Kirtan Premium, Mini & Binaswar
4. Brief News – Live Concerts Online, Mantra Movie digital, Axel Elbin Deceased
5. How to Make (Indian) Music? (20) – Technical Control Impedes Feeling
6. Workshops – October to December
7. Concerts – October & November


1. India Instruments' 25th Anniversary Celebration – A Day Full of Joy
- Scene Info -

Concerts from raga through kirtan to world music, workshops with rhythm, vocals and instruments, delicious vegetarian finger food, encounters and exchanges with like-minded people, space to make music and chill out in the large garden by the lake in mild, sunny summer weather - all this and much more made the 25th anniversary celebration of India Instruments a wonderful day for many people. Some feedbacks from our guests:

"It was a wonderful celebration...the atmosphere, the people, the music and then the very good food... and all this embedded in a great garden with a great view. It's nice to experience that "giving" has to do with love..."

"Great music and workshops, very tasty food, nice location and a very relaxed atmosphere! And all this for free... Very generous of you! I was there almost the whole day and found it wonderful to experience the variety of sounds of Indian music and Indian inspired music".

"It was such a wonderful, great and generous MusicFESTival – all through, of the finest! Everything was just right, the feudal location, dreamlike sophisticated concerts, the wonderful garden park and last but not least - the absolutely delicious, delicate veg. catering! When I sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine* and the food, with happy, pleasant people strolling everywhere and the loveliest music drifting from inside, I suddenly had such a flashback of India that it almost knocked me down...".

"Thanks to your great organising and the invited musicians and guests, the celebration brought a wonderful energy to this house. We were also thrilled by the tasty food and drinks and especially the musical variety you brought to the stage. And the location gave the whole thing the right ambience; with the old building, the outside area and the spaciousness."

"The musicians and their concerts were great, as were the workshops, the location, the audience and the food. It was an all-round successful event."

"So much talent, so well organized! It was really worth coming from England".

"A whole day filled with joy

We would like to thank everyone who made this celebration as unique as it was:
- the musicians, all of whom shared their knowledge and skills on stage and in the workshops without any fees
- everyone who helped us with words and deeds out of friendship and enthusiasm for the cause
- our employees, who have committed themselves to the festival with passion and beyond regular working hours
- the kitchen team and catering service, who have given everything to make as many people as possible as full and satisfied as possible
- our sound and camera experts who have provided good sound and extensive documentation
- our guests, whose joyful presence has shaped the atmosphere of the festival
- our customers and supporters who have carried India Instruments for 25 years

Check out the whole programme and photo impressions of our festival here.

2. India Instruments‘ 25th Anniversary Celebration – Concert Videos
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The heart of our anniversary celebration were 13 concerts with which we wanted to show a wide range of what can be done with Indian instruments and elements of Indian music - and what kind of people carry our store. From 11 a.m. to midnight, students as well as regional and international professionals, employees, customers and friends performed on our stage. The musical spectrum ranged from Indian classical music, kirtan and mantras to jazz and world music. We filmed the concerts in order to give everyone who couldn't be there an opportunity to participate on another level. We will gradually publish the resulting concert videos on our own YouTube channel. Here are the first ones:

25 years India Instruments: The Trailer for all those who are in a hurry or just want to get an overview... 13 concerts in 5 minutes - everything included!

Nicolai KopkaHandong RyuNext Generation Sitar: Handong Ryu & Nicolai Kopka show in raga Charukeshi how impressively far you can get on a demanding instrument like the sitar in just two years with talent, diligence and good instruction. Sebastian Dreyer, their teacher, accompanies them on the tabla. Sebastian's first teacher Gisela Tarwitt was also attending the concert - three generations of sitar in Berlin.


Jan RaseJazz to Contemporary: Multi-instrumentalist and music producer Jan Rase plays a Nepalese folk song on the bansuri, the classic Lotus Feet by John McLaughlin and Stolen Moments by Oliver Nelson. Congenial accompanist on the keyboard is Otto Schönthaler.



Reina BergerSing Your Soul Kirtan: With vocal, harmonium, violin and tabla, Berlin singer and song poet Reina Berger invites you to sing along with her band. Beside mantras from the Hindu tradition and from the kundalini yoga there is also a peace prayer in German.


Nora ThieleMagic of Rhythm: Nora Thiele presents Egyptian mizhar, Arabian riq, Italian tamburello and Persian tombak one after the other in her interactive solo program. She also explains how helpful the Indian rhythm system Solkattu is for understanding any kind of rhythm.

Carsten WickeMeditative Night Ragas: Carsten Wicke presents the old royal raga Darbari Kanada on his self-developed rudra veena. The slow, systematic unfolding with alap, jor and jhala invites you to dive deeply into this majestic midnight raga.

More videos are currently being processed. We will probably present them in the next newsletter.

3. Bina Harmoniums – Kirtan Premium, Mini & Binaswar
- New in our Assortment -

Bina Kirtan PremiumThe Harmonium Bina Kirtan Premium is an improved version of the popular folding model Kirtan Classic. The simple construction makes it inexpensive and sturdy, and high-quality double reeds and octave coupler provide a full, brilliant sound. The Kirtan Premium's outer bellows are firmly attached and do not have to be unfolded and secured with hooks as is the case with the Kirtan Classic. This makes the entire folding mechanism considerably less sensitive and easier to operate. When folded, the entire instrument is protected in an integrated sturdy wooden box and can be easily transported. A good choice for beginners as well as for ambitious Kirtan singers. Now available @ 659 € (incl. bag).

Photos & more info on the Bina Kirtan Premium.

Bina Kirtan Premium MiniThe Bina Kirtan Premium Mini is a smaller and lighter version of the Kirtan Premium model which is particularly suitable for travelling. In spite of the relatively small format it has a surprisingly good sustain. And the workmanship and sound quality are spot on anyway. Great for everyone who wants to be on the road with a harmonium and at the same time wants to make very little compromises in sound and playability. Now available @ 549 € (incl. bag).

Photos & more info on the Bina Kirtan Premium Mini.

BinaswarThe Binaswar standing model is ideal for anyone looking for a simple and therefore very sturdy instrument with particularly fine workmanship and material quality. It offers a full, balanced and warm sound, good sustain and an appealing appearance. The construction of the Binaswar corresponds to our standard harmoniums. Thanks to the use of higher quality reeds and woods and a more careful workmanship, the Binaswar has a more balanced, rounder sound, plays softer and also looks better. The high octave coupler adds fullness and brilliance. With a weight of around 9 kg, it can be carried relatively easily with one hand in the supplied bag. A good instrument for people with slightly higher demands. Now available @ 629 € (incl. bag).

Photos & more info on the Binaswar.

BINA was founded in 1935 by Gian Singh in Delhi and is nowadays one of the most famous harmonium builders in the world. The company is managed by the founder's son Avtar Singh and his two sons J.P.Singh and Daljit Singh. Bina has a large workshop in Old Delhi and runs several shops under her own name. Bina builds high-quality instruments as well as larger quantities in simple standard. India Instruments has been working selectively with Bina since 2010 and has been regularly importing Bina harmoniums since 2017. Thanks to our own on-site inspections in Delhi, we are able to guarantee a consistently high quality.

4. Brief News – Live Concerts Online, Mantra Movie digital, Axel Elbin Deceased
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Raga-Maqaum-Dastgah Axel Elbin Deceased - Passionate Music Collector

From the mid 90s onwards one often saw a man with a huge CD sales festivals and big concerts of Indian music in Central Europe. Axel Elbin presented hundreds of records on such occasions, common titles of the then flourishing European labels as well as his own imports from India and the USA. Enthusiastic concertgoers with a desire for a souvenir gathered around his table as did passionate raga lovers in search of the latest novelties or the remotest rarities. He was also present on the internet with his website, where he offered the world's largest assortment of traditional music from South Asia and the Persian and Arabian cultures. When the CD boom came to an end about 10 years ago, with many labels giving up and less and less rewarding events taking place place, Axel Elbin collected an overwhelming amount of digitised historical recordings in a blog from 2011 and published them with extensive, knowledgeable and subtle comments. His last post dates from March. In mid-April, he wrote to a friend that he was not well. After that he died relatively soon and surprisingly. Unfortunately, we do not have any further details. Efforts are currently being made to secure his blog including the music collection and to make it publicly accessible.
Axel Elbins Blog Oriental-Traditional-Music.


Playtoome – Online Platform for Indian Live Concerts

PaytoomeWhilst the sale of physical audio carriers continues to decrease, streaming services with high growth rates are increasingly establishing themselves as all-round music providers. With Playtoome, an Indian online platform, the live music market could now also be hit by a wave of digitisation. Since the autumn of 2018, the company has launched with a budget of almost half a million euros, simulating the intimacy of live events with live streams and interactive features, wanting to conquer this new market initially in its Indian home country. Playtoome now offers a wide range of Indian entertainers and musicians across all genres and generations. Artists may benefit from cooperation with Playtoome by extending their reach and generating additional income. Well-known raga musicians have already joined Playtoome, e.g. Carnatic singers Aruna Sairam and Sudha Ragunathan, Khyal singer Shririn Sengupta, sitarist Mita Nag, slide guitarist Barun Pal and tabla players Bickram Ghosh and Tanmoy Bose. With fees of 100 rupees per concert, just over one euro, you can experience artistically sophisticated Indian music live on your own screen.
Playtoome website.


Mantra Movie - Digitally Available

Mantra-FilmMantra - Sounds Into Silence is an emotional documentary about the booming scene of mantra and kirtan singing all over the world, which was shown in many cinemas in 2018. Mantra is now available on DVD with some extras in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada and the USA. And most recently, the movie can also be digitally rented or downloaded in many countries on platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon or Youtube Rentals. A detailed movie review was given in our Newsletter Juli / August 2018.
Mantra Movie website.

5. How to Make (Indian) Music? (20) – Technical Control Impedes Feeling
- Quote by Wilhelm Furtwängler -

The series "How to Make (Indian) Music?" presents thought-provoking, inspiring or controversial quotes from artists and intellectuals.

Wilhelm FurtwänglerThe excessive technical control, i.e. the uniform technical perfection of all details, which as such offers a quite different aspect than what was meant by their creators, who thought them from the whole, prevents their connection to the whole. The performer thus no longer lives directly in the music, but acts in an increasing degree controlling, observing, arranging... He thus loses nothing less than a sure feeling for the necessity and truthfulness of the artistic process. A technique acquired as an end in itself is difficult to influence, but influences by itself. Standardised technique creates standardised art, which - to general astonishment - seems to become increasingly superfluous to the same extent as it becomes more skillful.

Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886 - 1954) is regarded as one of the most important conductors of the first half of the 20th century. Quote from Volker Biesenbender: Von der unerträglichen Leichtigkeit des Instrumentalspiels, Musikedition Nepomuk, Aarau 1992, p. 22

6. Workshops – October to December
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Details of all workshops are available in our website's network section.

18.10.-20.10. ALLGÄU: Harmonium Beginner’s seminar with Jürgen Wade
19.10.-20.10. BERLIN: Dhrupad Workshop with the Gundecha Brothers
01.11.-03.11. NORDSEE: Harmonium Beginner’s seminar with Jürgen Wade
09.11. POTSDAM: Nada Yoga with Sundaram
22.11.-24.11. BAD MEINBERG: Harmonium Beginner‘s seminar with Tobias Weber
29.11.-01.12. BAD MEINBERG: OM - a source of sounds with Anne-Careen Engel

7. Concerts – October & November
- Scene Info -

For details, locations, times and further dates check our concert calendar.

14.10. A-WIEN: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
15.10. STUTTGART: Jayalakshmi Sekhar - Veena
16.10. NL-ALMERE: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
17.10. NL-ALMERE: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
18.10. BERLIN: Gundecha Brothers - Dhrupad
18.10. AACHEN: Himangshu Nanda - Bansuri
19.10. B-ANTWERP: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
19.10. KLOSTER VESSRA: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
20.10. STUTTGART: Manoj Baruah - Violine
21.10. HAMBURG: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
23.10. LEVERKUSEN: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
25.10. OFFENBACH: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
25.10. HEIDELBERG: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
25.10. GB-LONDON: Malyaban Chatterjee - Vocal
26.10. DACHAU: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
26.10. FRANKFURT: Krishna - A Kathak-Dance Drama
26.10. KÖLN: Julia Ohrmann - Bansuri
26.10. MEIßEN: Atmadhvani – Music & Dance
27.10. PT-LISSABON: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
27.10. INGOLSTADT: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
27.10. STUTTGART: Subrata De - Sitar
29.10. BAD MEINBERG: The Love Keys - Kirtan
29.10. E-MADRID: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
30.10. A-WIEN: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
31.10. NÜRNBERG: Deva Premal & Miten - Kirtan
31.10. CH-BERN: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
01.11. ALTDORF/NÜRNBERG: Pulsar Trio - Sitar, Piano, Drums
01.11. HAMBURG: Sebastian Dreyer – Sitar
01.11. DETMOLD: Yogendra - Sitar
01.11. CH-BASEL: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
02.11. BAD AIBLING: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
02.11. GB-LONDON: Kalaimamani Suryaprakash - Carnatic Vocal
02.11. POTSDAM: Sebastian Dreyer – Sitar
02.11. BIELEFELD: Yogendra – Sitar
02.11. DRESDEN: Atmadhvani – Music & Kathak
03.11. B-BRUSSEL: Ashim Chowdhury – Sitar
06.11. HANNOVER: Yogendra - Sitar
07.11. CZ-PRAGUE: Ranajit Sengupta – Sarod
07.11. CH-LUGANO: Anoushka Shankar – Sitar
07.11. WOLFSBURG: Yogendra – Sitar
08.11. OSTERODE: Yogendra – Sitar
08.11. FRANKFURT: Balaji Tambe - Mantra
08.11. CH-LIESTHAL: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
08.11. LEIPZIG: Atmadhvani - Music & Dance
09.11. CH-ZÜRICH: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
09.11. AACHEN: Ashim Chowdhury - Sitar
09.11. STUTTGART: Moshin Khan – Sitar
09.11. BRAUNSCHWEIG: Yogendra – Sitar
09.11. WEILBURG: Balaji Tambe - Mantra
09.11. F-NICE: Festival Indien - Dance & Music
10.11. STUTTGART: Moshin Khan – Sitar
10.11. MAGDEBURG: Yogendra – Sitar
10.11. KRONBERG: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
14.11. CH-KREUZLINGEN: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
15.11. MÜNCHEN: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
15.11. CH-ST. GALLEN: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
16.11. STUTTGART: Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury - Sitar
16.11. CH-GENEVE: Manjusha Patit – Khyal
16.11. FL-TRIESEN: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
17.11. B-LIEGE: Subhankar Chatterjee - Vocal
17.11. STUTTGART: Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury – Sitar
17.11. KARLSRUHE: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
18.11. F-LILLE: Subhankar Chatterjee - Vocal
21.11. B-BRUSSELS: Subhankar Chatterjee - Vocal
22.11. BERLIN: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
22.11. CH-LUZERN: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
23.11. NÜRNBERG: Satyaa & Pari - Kirtan
23.11. CH-WINTERTHUR: Dave Stringer - Kirtan
23:11. AHRENBURG: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
23.11. CH-LOCARNO: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
24.11. BREMEN: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
26.11. BAD MEINBERG: The Love Keys - Kirtan
27.11. CH-LAUSANNE: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
28.11. AUGSBURG: The Love Keys - Kirtan
28.11. BERLIN: Dave Stringer - Kirtan
28.11. HEILBRONN: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
29.11. WALLERFANGEN: Sundaram - Kirtan
29.11. BAD KOHLGRUB: The Love Keys - Kirtan
29.11. A-WIEN: Rina Chandra – Bansuri
29.11. STUTTGART: Balaji Tambe – Mantra
29.11. CH-WINTERTHUR: Shikha Sharma – Kathak
30.11. KONSTANZ: Balaji Tambe – Mantra

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