Sunday, December 14, 2008

neat cover - coldplay

Joe satriani has sued coldplay for Viva la Vida. But if there is any reason this song was created, it was because this violinist wonder kid could play the cover of the song. Check out this video - No - there are no triplets as one funny comment would point out. I believe there are three takes in this video- one for each layer of the song. He seems to have created a backing track for each track and listens to it while playing over it. He seems to have it - perfect intonation, right speed, warm sound, all play and no fuss. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Enya- And Winter came...

Yes. Enya has a new album. The album has 13 tracks maintaining her style and ethereal voice in every track. Each song is pretty in its own way. "While is in the Winter night" is my fav track so far. It is very similar to "wild child" in her day without rain album. The music is the same - "in layers" with her intangible voice filling in the seconds of silence. Track (1) is a video of Enya speaking about the album. "One toy soldier" is a children's song about a little toy soldier who has a broken drum. Overall, the album is very similar to her old albums. I am little disappointed on the whole and was expecting more out of the album.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Dikshitar - Dhrupad ...the connection

Muthuswami Dikshitar was the youngest of the Trinity. (1776 - 1835). He was born in Thanjavur. He was one of three brothers and one sister and hailed from a family of musicians, often compared to the bach family of Germany. Dikshitar moved to Manali from thanjavur, a place near chennai. He came in contact with western music played by the bands of the East india Company. It could have been here that his brother Baluswami Dikshitar first learnt the violin and adapted it to carnatic music. Dikshitar was an avid traveller. During his lifetime, he was spiritually inspired by Chidambara Yogi. Dikshitar went to Varanasi with him. This phase of life which brought him in touch with Dhrupad, whos influence shows in his later compositions.The slow dhrupad style of North Indian music captivated him. This is why his songs are normally slow in tempo and majestic. They bring out the depth and beauty of the raga using ornamentation (gamakas). He also used what is known as Madhyamakala (medium tempo). The hindustani influence is amply reflected in his works like: Cheta Sri (dwijavanti), Balagopala (Bhairavi), Sri Rajagopala (Saveri), Minakshi Me Mudam (Poorvikalyani) and Sri Subramanyaya Namasthe (khambhoji).His kritis are normally in Sanskrit and a chowka kala pramanam. Here are the different speeds in carnatic music to give you an idea of the pace of his compositions - Vilamba laya = chowka laya (slow) Madhyama laya (medium) Druta laya (fast)The Chowka Kala Pramanam is comparable to the Dhrupad style in Hindustani Music. This style is striking in his compositions in ragas like Dwijavathi, Ramkali, Yamakalyani, Hamirkalyani and Brindavan sarang. Dikshitar introduced the Raga "Hamsadhwani" in Carnatic music, the most famous compostion being, "Vatapi". People say he created this ragam, but one can arguably state that he "introduced" it to the carnatic genre based on his knowledge of Hindustani music.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Musicophilia - Oliver Sacks

Our exquisite sensitivity to music can sometimes go wrong. Oliver Sacks describes this concept in his book "Musicophilia". Some of the chapters in this book that are really fascinating. In his years of experience as a neuroscientist, he narrates different case studies; some people who have had more than ordinary responses to music after an accident or just by birth. These include people who develop an obsession to music after a seizure; people who are inflicted with "amusica", a condition in which the person hears music as pots and pans crashing; people who are gifted with "perfect pitch" in which a son can tell if his father sneezes in "D". These are just some of the fascinating stories that are part of this book. Listening to music is not just auditory and emotional; it is motoric as well. Music therapy is also something sacks says that has tremondous potential. This is just because of our sensitivity to sound. People who are autistic, retarded, with subcortical syndromes suc has parkinsonism or other movement disorders respond to music therapy. I highly recommend reading this book, if you are in any way interested in music and the brain.

Monday, March 31, 2008

ShEnkar + electronica

Few days ago, I was sent a piece called "open the door". I was told that I am great fan of the artist and I had to guess his/her name. I took a couple of days but still couldn't identify him/her. There was a tinge of tamilian accent along with american. I could pin point on the genre, being "techno/electronica".
After much effort, I finally was told that it was the violin maestro L Shankar's new album. You can check out his "new" but no so new music here on my space -
I was truly amazed and got a kick out of listening to his "Misery" track.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cleveland - tyagaraja Festival ' 08

mar 26' 08

Cleveland Tyagaraja festival, is serious for carnatic musicians.  I got to see why this March of '08.Besides singing the pancharatna kritis, also known as the five gems of the composer tyagaraja, i gotto see and interact with great musicians such as sri. r.k srikantan, chitraveena ravikiran and sri. guruvayoor dorai. There were lecture demonstrations, kutcheri's and intense music more...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Raga Kalyani

The nature of the raga kalyani is something unique. It has a mood which brings in happiness when I sing. Also, the nature of the raga is such that it creates a mood
for singing other ragas. It is the 65th melakarta. It was called "santha kalyani" in the old scheme and "mechakalyani". in the new scheme. The alapanai typically starts in "pa" or "ga". Janta swaras and Daatu swaras are commonly used in the raga kalyani.
Kalyani is orginally a Middle Eastern scale and became popular in
Carnatic Music in the 18th and 19th centuries.