Monthly archives: October, 2005

Sitar lessons have begun

Today I met with my new sitar teacher, Alif Laila, for the first time. We spent the evening getting aquainted and going over tuning (Ravi Shankar style) and replacing a string on my sitar. It turns out that she’s a tea freak as well so we talked about our favorite drinks and how music is a true uniter. For the last half of the evening, we went over the basic scale of Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha Ni Åša using da ra strokes. For now I’m using that to get the mechanics of string plucking and maneuvering my left hand over the frets down. It’s a trying effort but eventually the muscle memory will kick in and I’ll do it perfectly with my eyes closed.

Two planets in the sky

There are two prominent planets in the night sky this fall season, both of them very easy to spot with the naked eye.

As the sun sets in the south west, you’ll notice a very bright “star” hovering about 2 fist-widths above the horizon. This is Venus. Venus is so bright that on a very clear day and with a keen eye, you can even see it in the mid to late afternoon.

Wait a few more hours, closer to midnight, and look up in the east-north-east sky. You’ll notice another bright “star” which stands out from the rest and that it has a orange-like hue to it. This is Mars.