Category Archives: Carnatic

Nagendra Haraya Video

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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 :)

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Carnatic Mini Concert

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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.

Omana Thinkal

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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

Omanathingal KidAvo,
Nalla KomaLa ThAmara Poovo,

Poovil Niranja MadHuvo,
Pari poornendhu thanTe nilAvo,

Puthan Pavizha koDiyo,
cheru thathakal konjum mozhiyo,

ChAnjAdiyAdum Mayilo,
mridhu panjamam pADum kuyilo,

Thullum-iLamAn kidavo,
sobha-kollunnnOrannakoDiyo

Eswaran Thana Nidhiyo,
Parameshwariyenthum kiLiyo

PArijathathin Thaliro,
enDe bhAgya drumathin phalamo

Krishnashtakam

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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.┬áThis 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 :)


Krishnashtakam Lyrics

Vasu deva sutham devam
Kamsaanura mardhanam
Devaki paramaa nandham
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Adhasi pushpa sangaasam
Haara noopura shobitham
Rathna kangana keyuram
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Kudilaalaka samyuktham
Poorna chandra nibhananam
Vilasath kundala tharam-devam
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Hare krishna hare krishna
Krishna krishna hare hare(2)

Mandhara kandham samyuktham
Chaaru haasam chaturbujam
Parhi pinjaava sudangam
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Uthpulla padma bathraksham
Neela jimutha sannibham
Yaadha vaanam shirorathnam
Krishnam vandhe jadathgurum

Rukmani keli samyuktham
Vinaabha dhushobitham
Avaaptha thulasi thannam
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Hare krishna hare krishna
Krishna krishna hare hare(2)

Gopikaanaam kusath vandha
kunkumangitha vakshasam
Sriniketham mahesvasam
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Srivathsangam mahoraskam
Vanamaala virajitham
Sangu chakra tharam devam
Krishnam vandhe jagathgurum

Hare krishna hare krishna
Krishna krishna hare hare(2)

Aaye Giridhar Dhware

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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 :)

Bharathanatyam Arangetram Singing

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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 :)

Raagi Thandhira

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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.


Lyrics

P: RAgi tandirA bhikShakE rAgi tandIrA
bhogyarAgi yogyarAgi bhAgyavantarAgi nIvu

A: annadAnava mADuvarAgi anna chatra vaniTTavarAgi
anya vArteya biTTavarAgi anudina bhajaneya mADuvarAgi (Ragi)

C: Guru gala sevEye mADuvarAgi gurutige bAhOranthavarAgi
Kare kare samsArava nItavarAgi purandara viTTalana sEviparAgi

Meaning

From here

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”

Ksheerabdhi

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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!


Lyrics

ksheerabdi kanyakaku sree maha lakshmikini
neerajaalayakunu neeraajanam

Charanam 1 :
Jalajaakshi momunaku jakkuvakuchambulaku
nelakonna kappurapu neeraajanam
aliveni turumunaku, hastha kamalambulaku
niluvu manikyamula neerajanam…neeraajanam

Charanam 2 :
Pagatu sree venkateshu pattapu raniyai
negadu sati kaLalakunu neerajanam
jagathi alamelu manga Chakkadanamula kella
nigudu nija sobhanapu neerajanam…neeraajanam

Charanam 3 :
Charana kisalayamulaku sakhiyarambhorulaku
niratamagu mutthyala neerajanam
aridhi jaghanambunaku nathiva nathanaabhikini
nirathi nanavarna neerajanam…neeraajanam

Meaning Summary

Summarized from here

Neerajanam means “benediction” or an invocation of divine blessing.

This song goes through all of the qualities of the goddess Lakshmi, and seeks blessings from the one with lotus like eyes, dark flowing hair, soft hands, and a pleasant voice.