Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain: Variations for Piano and Sitar

Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain: Variations for Piano and Sitar

Friday 3 November 2023
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre


Book here now: £15 full price • £10 or £7 if you prefer – please pay what you can*

Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain present compositions from their latest album:
Variations for piano and sitar. An alchemical meeting of Western Classical Music and Indian Classical Music.

The album Variations…, is the result of a natural and simple evolution that occurred when Andrew Goldberg on piano and Ricky Romain on sitar started improvising with themes and moods based on traditional Indian Classical Music. Ricky writes: “Variations… is a journey into a musical world or soundscape that hasn’t really been explored, mainly because of the nature of the two instruments which are not natural bedfellows”.

“Pianist Andrew Goldberg and sitar player Ricky Romain make extraordinarily robust but sensitive music in creating a fusion between the fluid intonation of Indian Classical Music with the more fixed and tempered sounds of the European piano. It is a path that some few others have trodden although, in all truth, it has to be approached with respect and taste. Having heard some of their recordings it is clear that they have these qualities in abundance “ Sam Richards, Musicologist

Here are some reviews of a recent performance:

“No doubt you will have received countless messages about last night’s concert, but wow…!  We wanted to let you know that we felt privileged to be present at that magical event. Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain are an amazing team and the blend of piano, sitar and tabla was unique and wonderful.” Laurence Anholt, Author and Artist

“To be able to transport an audience of that size, away from this troubled world into a realm of delight takes immense talent. I think the ten minute standing ovation shows that the entire audience felt the same way”

“Last night was breathtaking and soul-shaking. Thank you a thousand times. I can’t remember a rapturous reception like that in years”
Richard Harvey. Human Rights Barrister with Greenpeace

“Thank you for a fantastic evening of beautiful, extraordinary music. It was a delight!
Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain deserve critical acclaim for their work – wonderful” Jeremy Asher, Solicitor

“A superlative collaboration of two masters, musicians in their fields. A creation of an entirely unique sound which transported the audience to new realms. We were blown away”
Sam Knights KC

“This concert, played to a capacity audience was a unifying experience in many ways. At a time of intense division between nations and cultures the event brought east and western art together, a fusion of two distinctive musical traditions, as well as, most importantly, filling the church with a series of dazzling variations for piano, sitar and percussion. The variations, four in number, in the memorable lines of the poet Stevie Smith ‘set the world in a dance’.”
Graham Treacher, Composer

“The fusion of east and western music is well established since the pioneer events of the late 1950s with the ground breaking concerts of Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin. The distinctive  feature of this evening was the entwining of the grand piano, sitar and percussion. Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain, both local musicians, share the same joy of sonic  adventure  approaching from different directions through the nature of their respective instruments. The modal flexibility of the sitar sounds in direct contrast with the equal temperament of the piano. An Indian musician many decades ago asking perceptively why the western system of tuning was so full of holes! The third variation commencing with solo piano illustrated this difference. Andrew Goldberg’s improvisation paid homage to the rich legacy of the solo piano mixed with his own fantasy.”

“On paper, the piano and sitar are not natural companions: one instrument has fixed pitch and equal semitones, whereas the pitch of the other is flexible, using micro-tones and slides (known as meend). While the piano is capable of producing beautiful melodies, its strength comes from producing rich and varied harmonies. The sitar, on the other hand, is a melodic, solo instrument, and while it works well in ensemble, it normally takes the lead role, with other instruments in support. Here, the two instrumentalists shared the stage, and how well they worked together, showing tremendous creativity.”

“not fusion, alchemy ‘goldain’ – This was a night that everyone present knew was precious. The interlacing of two pivotal musical traditions, Western and Indian Classical, both teased out the music in terms of rhythm, harmony and variation way from the centre and enriched it by overlapping and interweaving, diverging and converging. And there was no confusion. The sounds of the sitar and the piano, different in every way, led the audience to listen to their exquisite and fragile balance, increasingly sensitive to the sympathetic echoes, responses and improvisations. Variations in deed.”
Jane Carling, Sitar student

* See Access, Tickets & Finding Us for more about why there are three ticket prices, plus other useful info about coming to events at Ashburton Arts Centre.