Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Mark And The Bazantar

It is different than anything else you have heard. It's as if you're hearing an entire string section of a symphony ... but when you look, you see just one man and his instrument, his own invention -- the Bazantar.

Mark Deutsch has been playing music his whole life, learning from masters all over the world. At age 12, he started performing publicly, playing jazz with the upright bass. Mark's journey has always been to combine and express the essence of spirituality through the medium of music. With the Bazantar, he found his answer.

At age 32, Mark had a series of dreams indicating to him a design for an instrument which would help bridge the gap between his spirituality and music, and the seeming gap between East and West. It took ten years of development since that initial dream, but finally the Bazantar was born. The Bazantar is an upright bass, embedded with sympathetic & drone strings, tuned to the pythagorean fibonacci sequence, one of the most naturally occurring rhythms in nature.

Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, Yusef Komunyakaa, puts it this way: "Mark Deutsch is a mesmerizing virtuoso on his Bazantar that sounds like many instruments woven into one surprise."

On December 18th, we will have the pleasure of hearing Mark's music and the inspiration behind his work. The event is hosted in our home and there is no cost to attend -- please RSVP for more details.

The Bazantar

Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect, says that Mark has "created explorations into the depths of sound where the roots of tonality beneath Eastern and Western systems are one."

The Bazantar is a five-string acoustic bass, fitted with an additional twenty-nine sympathetic strings and four drone strings. The instrument possesses a melodic range of over five octaves, while its sympathetic range spans four octaves. This results in an interplay between melodic, sympathetic, and drone strings which weaves an unexpected landscape of resonance that is remarkably rich in texture.

In the late 1980s, Mark Deutsch began exploring North Indian classical music. The subtlety of this style, combined with his pursuits on the sitar, inspired him to delve deeper into the study of music. He started exploring the mathematics of sound, particularly music's underlying frequency structure. This search revealed nonlinear mathematical patterns that exist in sound and are found universally in the natural world, including the over-tone series, fractals, the golden mean, seashells, and the Fibonacci series. In October 1997, the final version of the Bazantar was completed.

"What's obvious about Deutsch's invention, though, is that it has arrived at a logical time. As the world 'gets smaller' and cultural boundaries disappear or are co-opted, the Bazantar combines two traditions that have normally kept a safe distance from one another - Western and Eastern," Randall Robert, music editor for Riverfront Times, aptly states.

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