Raaga Rasika: Exploring the World of Carnatic Music

Posted in DefaultTag by raagarasika at 12:48 am

We turn our attention to yet another noteworthy temple town in South India which has tremendous significance to the world of Carnatic music: Kanchipuram. In this episode, we talk about this town and its amazing temples. We also discuss the influence this town has had on the art form as well as prominent composers who have composed on this location. Vidya shares several snippets of popular compositions that are based on the various temple deities in this town.

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Posted in DefaultTag by raagarasika at 7:22 pm

In this concluding episode on Sri. GNB, we analyze a Raagam-Thanam-Pallavi (RTP) rendered by him in the intricate and rich raaga: Bhairavi. We showcase Sri GNB's incredible talent as he brings out various details of this raaga in a step-by-step fashion with tremendous creative energy. Vidya takes up snippets from each of the three segments of the RTP and discusses them in some detail.

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We continue our conversation on Sri. GNB and discuss his talent, music and style. Vidya talks about the GNB Baani (or the GNB school) as well as the incredible improvisational and creative talent he brought to bear - including his contributions to techniques such as graha bedham and neraval. We conclude this episode with a snippet from a GNB composition "Samagama Lole", rendered by one of his prime students - Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari.

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In this episode, we feature the legendary musician, Sri. G. N. Balasubramaniam (1910-1965). We discuss how Carnatic music shaped and influenced his early childhood days and his debut performance in the city of Madras (now called Chennai). We finish with a snippet from a concert recording to give a glimpse of the experience enjoyed by audiences during his time.

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We continue our discussions on kalpanaswarams from the last episode. Using a few snippets of Sri. GN Balasubramaniam, we showcase the spontaneity and variety in this form of improvisation in Carnatic music. Finally, Vidya concludes the episode by listing some of the common techniques used by Carnatic musicians when they perform kalpanaswarams.

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In this episode, we introduce the listeners to some of the elements of kalpana swarams and compare kalpana swarams with another key form of improvisation, the alapana. Vidya gives illustrations of kalpana swaram rendition and explains certain conventions such as performance of kalpana swarams in multiple speeds and progressing from short to long cycles of kalpana swarams.

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Posted in DefaultTag by raagarasika at 12:16 pm

It is with great pleasure that we would like to inform you all that Vidya and family have recently relocated to Chennai, India and are settling down. This is really a fantastic development for Raaga Rasika, because we will now have the ability to establish stronger contacts with the Carnatic music world and bring you richer and much more insightful episodes in the future. Please join me in wishing Vidya and her family the best, as they settle down in their new environs. However, as they settle down, please expect a slightly spread out frequency with which we will be publishing new episodes. Vidya and I still remain committed to the cause of Raaga Rasika and we will work hard to get back to our normal programming. Thanks for your patience and your continued support.

Posted in DefaultTag by raagarasika at 1:03 am

Thanks to all those of you who participated in our quiz. In this episode, we discuss the answers to the three quiz questions that we asked in Episode 63. Listen to the episode to see if you got them right! Special congratulations to those of you who answered correctly!

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Posted in DefaultTag by raagarasika at 11:26 pm

In this episode, we conduct a quiz largely based on material and information we have covered in previous Raaga Rasika episodes. This segment includes three sets of questions for which the answers will be shared in the next episode. We look forward to your enthusiastic response and participation.

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In this episode, we conclude the analysis of the Atana raaga alapana by Sri. G. N. Balasubramanian. We discuss how Sri. GNB uses specific techniques such as "jaarus" or glides in his alapana, and highlight his mesmerizing, fast passages towards the conclusion of this highly spontaneous exercise.

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