I recently bought myself an early Christmas Present – A Macbook Pro and some amazing recording devices including an Audio Interface and a Condenser Microphone. I thought I would start off with an ambitious project- A multilayer track inspired by the “Sacred Chants” CD in my car. It took a lot of time to put this together, mostly because I am painfully slow with technology, and I haven’t played the piano in over 10 years (Which is obvious), but I figured it out :)
After many years, I performed a Mini Carnatic Vocal Concert as a part of Saveca’s Diwali festival. For the past five years, most of my musical performing has been singing for dance – something that is slowly becoming second nature to me. Considering I only had a real week of practicing after my trip to Colombia, and I didn’t have time to get any feedback from my teachers or my musical seniors prior to the concert, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. Over the past 5 years I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. I’m looking forward to the journey.
Note: I wasn’t able to download all the pieces, including my main raagam, but I hope you enjoy this excerpt.
This beautiful Malayalam lullaby was composed by Sikkil Gurucharan & Anil Srinivasan. Stephen Murray recorded the piano for this over two years ago. After an embarrassingly long hiatus, I finally got the help of my good friend Jerin to fix up my Malayalam, and I recorded it last week. I can’t speak for my singing, but Steve’s work on the piano was beyond amazing.
This song describes a child- Is it a crescent’s moon, or the flower of a lotus? The honey in a flower, or the lustre of the full moon?
It’s a really really beautiful song, so I hope I was able to give it justice.
Omana Thinkal Lyrics
Nalla KomaLa ThAmara Poovo,
Poovil Niranja MadHuvo,
Pari poornendhu thanTe nilAvo,
A few years ago, my mami introduced me to a set of CD’s titled “Sacred Chants”. The CD’s are comprised of simple bhajans & shlokas, rendered by a group of woman singing in beautiful harmony, accompanied by modern instruments. The music really takes you to a different place. This song, titled Krishnashtakam is a shloka about Krishna. My rendition doesn’t have instruments, though I did use a second layer to add in some harmony. I had actually recorded this over two years ago, using my old lenovo laptop & mike, back when I was in University. It was a very nice discovery :)
Vasu deva sutham devam
Devaki paramaa nandham
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum
A lot of my favourite songs have a mellow hindustani feel feel to them, and this song is no different. This beautiful Keerthanam “Aaye Giridhar Dhware” , in raagam Puriya Danashri (South Indian raagam – Pantuvarali) was taught to me by my guru.
Tomorrow morning I leave on my 1.5 week vacation, and though I have 100 other things to do, I couldn’t resist taking a quick try at this amazing new USB mirophone. Though it was a quick, less than perfect rendition, you have to admit that the unedited recording quality is fantastic! Enjoy :)
This past summer I sang for a Bharathanatyam Arangetram, a ‘graduation’ solo performance of a classical Indian dancer who has been training for many years. What originally was a daunting task has now become a summer staple. I have been learning Carnatic music for nearly 15 years, and Bharathanatyam for over 10, so singing for dance was a natural next step.
The first clip is a Ganesh Song that I sang to kick off the performance. The song Sri Mahaganapathim Bhaje Hum is in raagam Ataana.
The second song is a Bengali Song Nrityero Tale Tale, which was chosen specifically for the Bengali Student. This is a beautiful Rabindra Sangeet, which was definitely my pride and joy of the concert. It was my first Rabindra Sangeet, my first song in Bengali, and my ‘source’ was a YouTube Video. I had to listen to each word very carefully, and enlist some Bengali family friends to help me with my diction.
The next is an excerpt of two other songs that I sang.
I have already signed up for an Arangetram next summer, so there will be more to come :)
A few months ago, I attended a Bombay Jayashri kacheri (concert) at a Kannada temple, and LOVED “Raagi Thandhira” in Revati Raagam. I promptly learnt the song using YouTube, and though I probably don’t do justice to it, I still enjoy singing it.
The composer Purandaradasa starts with the simple meaning of the word Raagi (grain), asking for grain. He then plays on the world raagi to delve into a deeper meaning, basically asking to attain “moksha”