musings on music and life

April 7, 2014

Adi thalam thani

Filed under: Carnatic Music — Tags: , — sankirnam @ 3:48 pm

Just recorded this at home a few days ago:

There was a strict 12 minute time limit for the recording, which is why I rushed at the end to complete the mohara and korvai. It’s insane how I managed to end on exactly 12 minutes to the dot. I had planned a rough outline in my head of some of the things I wanted to include (such as the beginning sequence with chatusram/tisram and the first korvai in 3 speeds), but the rest is pretty much improvised. If I had timed things better, I would have played the final farens, mohara, and korvai in kandam (5 per beat).

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April 1, 2014

Now playing

Filed under: Carnatic Music — Tags: — sankirnam @ 10:51 pm

I was listening to an old concert of M. Balamuralikrishna, and this was the second song:

It’s very catchy! Bhogachayanattai is melakartha number 34 in the asampurna (Vikatamaki) paddathi, the equivalent of Vaagadeeshwari. Most people will be familiar with Thyagaraja’s masterpiece in Vaagadeeshwari, “Paramathmudu”. That is usually sung in the slow speed, or vilambita kaalam. However, this krithi is rendered by Balamuralikrishna in the madhyama kalam. That gives the ragam a much different feel, very similar to Chalanattai (as in the krithi Yedayya Gathi).

This recording is from the 1975 Madras Music Academy concert of Balamuralikrishna. The violinist is Annavarappu Ramaswamy, and V. Kamalakar Rao on mrudangam. If I am not mistaken, Kamalakar Rao is now the oldest living disciple of the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer. Lately, I have been enraptured by Kamalakar Rao’s playing because it is so…. clean (for lack of a better word). There is a rare precision in every stroke he plays. He also uses the kappi mrudangam that was favored by Palghat Mani Iyer and maintains the tonal clarity that Mani Iyer was renowned for. This recording demonstrates that in spades.

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