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.
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
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”
One of my huge music obsessions is “light” carnatic music. This includes songs in raagams such as Kapi, Desh, or Hamir Kalyani, and a wide variety of carnatic fusion music.
During the height of my ‘obsession’ last summer, I discovered “Anil Srinivasan” through the Sikkil Gurucharan Website. I listened to “Sarvam” on the Gurucharan home page and wanted more. I turned to deezer.com, where I found two full albums of Sikkil Gurucharan and Anil Srinivasan, which I have listened to on repeat many times. I also found Anil Srinivasan’s Gallery on his own website. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any of the CDs in the Canadian stores, or I would definitely purchase them.
When it comes to light and soothing carnatic music, this is possibly the best that I have ever heard.
I used my lenovo mike and audacity to record “Ksheerabdhi” onto my computer, and on a new track, I added my own voice in. I used the “noise removal” effect to clean up the sound a little bit. It was a one shot recording, so it’s not even near perfect, but I loved singing with the piano!
So here it is, a “collaboration” with Anil Srinivasan, featuring singers Subiksha Rangarajan, and me!
ksheerabdi kanyakaku sree maha lakshmikini