Tag Archives: #hindustaniclassicalmusic

How Ghazals Made Classical Music Popular With the Masses

Back in the early 1990s, Ghazals suddenly saw a resurgence among the masses with the likes of Pankaj Udhas, Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, and Asha Bhosle. Who can forget such beautiful compositions as Aur Ahista, or Who Kagaz Ki Kashti? Suddenly there was a paradigm shift in the kind of music one liked to hear – not quite Bollywood, not quite classical – a new form of music craftily meandering its way, somewhere in between.

However, Ghazal has always been that – a connection between pure classical, usually reserved for puritans and the masses, for whom endless hours of droning ragas held little appeal.

According to singer, composer, and lyricist Sadasivan KM Nambisan, one way Ghazal popularised classical music is in its initiation as a way of singing poetry/shayari with classical instruments like tabla, harmonium, and sarangi. “It was sung by prominent classical singers of that time, thus the compositions had a classical edge,” he says, adding that the term light classical is associated with Ghazals because the composition of Ghazals were done in classical style by default. Moreover, the music instruments used were of the classical genre. But with time, the arrangements of Ghazals also changed its course, he reveals.

Singer, voice-training artist, writer, and filmmaker Rituraj Sen, on the other hand, opines that Ghazal is termed light classical because the subjects of its evolution play a major role in calling its public recitation or ‘Peshkash’ at performance a light classical performance.

Ghazal singer – Begum Akhtar

Naming Mehdi Hassan, Talat Mehmood, Noor Jehan, Begum Akhtar, Shamshad Begum, Ghulam Ali, and Jagjit Singh as some of his favorite Ghazal exponents, Sadasivan adds that fabulous lyrics, shayari, catchy compositions, and tailor-made arrangements are elements that give Ghazals an edge over pure classical music.

Rituraj, for whom Gauhar Jaan and Akhtari Bai Faizabadi (Begum Akhtar) are the best representatives of the genre, explains that through the 18th and 19th centuries, Ghazals used to be penned by not only renowned or celebrated shayars (poets), but also by many local popular courtesans and writers. They all practiced the poetic conventions of ‘matla’ (the opening couplet), radeef, and qafya. The subjects found perfect foils in vocal ornamentations, which, coupled with embellishments of musical expressions enhanced the poet’s original verse. Thus, a music form arose that was devoid of the perpetual attention that pure classical music warrants, and one which became an easy experience for many. 

Ghazal singer – Jagjit Singh

Ghazals have been a staple of Hindi cinemas in the 1950s thanks to the likes of Talat Mehmood, Noor Jehan and others. However, it was slowly edged out by the advent of western instrumentation, and unfortunately, could not find a secure place in high music culture, which considers the khayal the pinnacle of vocal accomplishment. It was Jagjit Singh along with his wife Chitra, who finally were able to carve out a niche in the music industry with their rendition of Ghazals in albums titled ‘Ecstasies’, ‘Beyond Time’, ‘Hope’, etc.

As for whether Ghazal is continuing to evolve with changing musical aesthetics, Rituraj opines that in different countries it has developed in its own way. In India, a great number of people have presented Ghazals in jazz and blues and in different languages like Bengali and Gujrati.

Sadasivan concludes, “Any music genre will continue to grow if it can keep up with times and trends and styles of that particular era. In fact, adaptation and implementation of new arrangements is a genuine need to keep ghazals alive.”


Umang Sharma is a media professional, avid reader, and film buff. His interests lie in making the world a better place through the power of the written word.


 

Left to Right: Artists in 'Rivers of India' video, Amrit Ramnath and Bombay Jayashri. (Image provided by Kanniks Kannikeswaran)

A Musical Tribute to the Rivers of India Features a Bay Area Chorus

Covid has hit India hard. What started in one part of the world last year, ended up in another part of the world this year. It is a challenging period in human history. Collective global health is on top of all our minds. This period in time has unleashed an invisible, yet, mighty virus that has brought our community to its knees. 

Let us do every bit that we can to help mitigate this suffering. Let us support organizations that are doing the work on the ground. And as we get back to ‘normal’ let us resolve to be mindful – and unite as a kinder, gentler planet.

Rivers of India is a song that evokes exactly this response – it carries a message about ‘water consciousness’ and the consequences of unfettered exploitation of natural resources.

The video tells the story of Indias regard and reverence towards rivers, the growing dependence of an increasing population on rivers, human exploitation of water resources, and its consequences. The video ends with a message of hope and a call to humanity to unite and to work towards protecting our precious water resources.  

Internationally renowned composer, Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran released the music video titled Rivers of India on Earthday 2021. Featured in the video are musical celebrities Padmashri Bombay Jayashri, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Amrit Ramnath, Rishith Desikan, and Sai Shravanam (Production) along with a supporting virtual chorus of committed singers from around the world. The video is released by the International Center for Clean Water, IIT Madras with the objective of creating awareness about our precious water bodies. 

The music was composed just prior to the pandemic and the production commenced in September 2020. It was a collaborative process, with the composer sharing ‘Logic Pro’ sessions on Dropbox, and the Chennai music production team compiling the artists’ recordings in the midst of the pandemic.

Kaushiki Chakraborty and her son recorded in Kolkata, while the 50 singers from all over the world including many from the Bay Area, CA, recorded in their respective cities. The tracks were assembled and the soundscape was created and mixed down by Sai Shravanam at Resound India Studios. Video captures from Chennai, Kolkata, and the United States were integrated into the final music video.  

Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran in a still from 'Rivers of India' video. (Image provided by Kanniks Kannikeswaran)
Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran in a still from ‘Rivers of India’ video. (Image provided by Kanniks Kannikeswaran)

Rivers of India is a tribute to the timeless spirit of India that literally accords a revered status to the life-sustaining water bodies. The music strings together the names of rivers across India and it also includes an iconic line from the Tamil classic, Silappathikaram.  

This music video is the brainchild of Dr. Kannikeswaran. He is a visionary music composer, educator based in the United States and is known for his pioneering work in raga-based choral, orchestral music. All of his productions are consistent with his vision of building bridges across communities, celebrating the message of the interconnectedness of all of life. Kannikeswaran has been described as a renaissance personality who effortlessly traverses diverse disciplines such as music, spirituality, and innovation.

“It is important to call out the rivers by name,” says the composer, “We are inheritors of a legacy that held water resources in the highest regard.”

“The Center for Clean Water hopes that the video will create the much-needed awareness and prompt global audiences to visit our website and figure out how they can be a part of the solution,” says E. Nandakumar, the CEO of the ICCW. The ICCW is an initiative of IIT Madras with a team of water professionals connecting industry with academia. 

 


Srishti Prabha is the Managing Editor at India Currents and has worked in low-income/affordable housing as an advocate for children, women, and people of color. She is passionate about diversifying spaces, preserving culture, and removing barriers to equity.


 

Swara in Hindustani Classical Music

The usage of the two words swara and raag in music are the symbols of delight. For the simplest of definitions, swara is the interaction of breath with musical notes and tone.

The correct swara is an infallible weapon that pares a path for emancipation. The concepts of swara are applied to the Indian khayal system. Deep like an ocean and omnipresent like a sky, swara plunges into the depth of imagination of the singer. 

According to Patanjali, “swayam rajante iti swarah” which means “swaras are those which embellish themselves.”

Sharngadeva while defining the swara states “swatah ranjayati shrotractittam sa swara uchyate” which translates to “that which spontaneously muses the minds of the listeners is called swara.”

When the soul wishes to express its thoughts, it prompts the mind. Subsequently, the mind ignites the fire of the body and this fire propels the air. This air situated in Brahamagranthi in ascends to the heart, throat, and head ultimately reaching into the mouth from where this air merges in the form of sound. This sound is none other than Swara.

Swara is very subtle. It contains a secret meaning hence its manifestation of sentiments can not be grasped by just anyone. Just as the sound of the mystical Om is heard only by a person having divine or superb knowledge so he only can relish the gravity of the swara.

Defining swara is beyond the expression of words.

The swara, as integrated with the feelings of high order sentiments, elevates the pleasure of the singer and the listener. Similarly, if these swaras are composed with inferior and graded words, they degenerate the singer and the listener, alike. The wise go beyond the expression of words, delve into the depth of swara and rejoice like a saint who in deep meditation (Samadhi).

 The swaras of a raag adopt a number of forms. In a bandish, there is gravitation, anti-gravitation, and contraction of one swara with the other.

For the creation of art, most important for a musician is the concentration of mind; s/he is visualizing the secrets of swaras and establishing a sequence and coordination.

In the art of music, raag is an embodiment. To compose a raag, the musician practices the swaras. S/he establishes a sequence among the swaras. With these salient features, the composition of a raag is the aesthetic beauty of music.


Dr. Abhay Dubey is an Assistant Professor of Indian Classical Vocal Music for 10 years at The M.S. University of Baroda in Gujarat, and previously as a Lecturer at Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidhyalaya. He has performed for many years and published 4 books on the topic of Indian Classical Music. Contact him here: 91 -9510244455 .


 

Author, Lakshmi Rao with her tanpura(Image by Jigna Desai)

The Enduring Poetry of the Gwalior Gayaki

Poetry As Sanctuary – A column where we explore poetry as a means of expression for voices of the South Asian Diaspora.

“Geetam Vaadyam Tatha Nrityam, Trayam Sangeeta Mucchyate.”

This quote from the ancient Sangeet Ratnakar by Pandit Sharangdev, defines ‘sangeeta’, or ‘collective music’, as singing, instrumental music, and dance. De rigeur for many Indian children, I have fond memories of training in Bharatanatyam and Carnatic vocal music myself. While my exposure to playing instruments was limited, I spent time listening to soulful Hindi film songs and singing in the school choir.

 I also ventured outside ‘sangeeta’. Over the summer holidays, I lost myself in brooding Dutch skies and the idyllic English countryside, while painstakingly recreating the paintings of the Old Masters on my own. My unexpected partner in artistic ventures was my mother. I still remember her reciting “For whom the bell tolls”, during our weekly Sunday oil-bath ritual. The oil was smelly and the bathroom floor was cold, but John Donne lit up my seven-year-old imagination. 

“No man is an island,

Entire of itself.

Each is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thine own

Or of thine friend’s were.

Each man’s death diminishes me,

For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know

For whom the bell tolls,

It tolls for thee.”

Captivated by words, endless hours were spent in bookstores and libraries, train compartments, and dull classes secretly devouring Dickens and Austen and later, Sheldon and Nabokov. Fascinated by these cerebral and rather mysterious personalities, I wondered: was writing art? If a picture paints a thousand words, are words then less, or more? And do they not have a place in “sangeeta”?

Time passed and I “grew up”; focusing my energies on studying and working, traveling extensively while juggling the demands of career and family. In 2009, I decided to take a much-needed break when we moved to Mumbai and rekindled my interest in the arts, this time through Hindustani classical music. I found a compelling and motivated teacher in Vidushi Neela Bhagwat, the doyenne of the ancient Gwalior parampara. Neelaji, as she is affectionately known, traces her lineage through her guru, Sharathchandra Arolkar, to Krishnarao Shankar Pandit and in turn to Haddu and Hassu Khan. Of course, the millennia-old river that Indian music is, there have been many others that gently fed the rivulets and streams. I feel incredibly lucky to be connected to this lineage of artists, spanning space and time.

Gwalior Fort (Image by Pavel Suprun and under Creative Commons License)
Gwalior Fort (Image by Pavel Suprun and under Creative Commons License)

Famous for its “ashtanga gayaki” (or eight-fold ways of voice projection), the distinctive Gwalior aesthetic relies on the composition as the portal into the raaga. The gayaki employs  a number of musical forms to render emotion: “khatka”, “meend”, “gamak”,”aalaap”, “behlava”, “taan”, “kampan” and “murki”. The richly detailed, complex compositions typically contain many of these forms, both conveying the essence of the raaga and the unmistakable singing style. Gwalior singers typically favor the “siddha” raagas (principal raagas). Yet, what drew me most was the focus on the “bol” or words of the bandish, and the interplay of these words with the “layakari”, or play of rhythm. While many gharanas emphasize similar musical forms, the Gwalior gayaki melds them with the “bol” – and “bol aalaap” is a hallmark of this tradition. 

In my quest to convey the beauty of these verses, I stumbled upon an entire world of poetry and lyricism. One of my favorite bandishes, set to raaga Vrindavani Sarang:

“Bore jina Allah ko yoon na jaaniye. Karna tha so kar chuka, aur ji chaaha so kara.

Adarang sanchi kahat, as kaaman ko, rahim reejha reejha layi, kahu ki as kaaman kara, so hi det rab”. 

Translated:

“Oh simpleton, do your duty and once done with it, do what you desire.

Adarang says truly Allah will satisfy your sincere wishes.” 

Written by Adarang who was a poet in the Delhi court of Mughal Emperor Mohammed Shah Rangile (1702-1748), the soaring notes pay tribute to the Creator. Singing the composition day after day, I noticed how my mood gradually grew more positive – and I realized the power of poetry. Poets weave magic, and “geetham” would be closer to “vaadyam” without their precious words.

Another evocative piece set to raaga Bageshri, about the plight of a lovelorn woman pining for an indifferent partner and confiding in her friend strikes a different chord. The second stanza, especially, conjures vivid imagery:

“Kaun gat bhaili, mori sajani, yeri mayi, piya na pooche ek baat;

Ek ban dhoondhoon, sakala ban ban, gayi daar daar, karahi paat paat”

Translated:

“Where has he gone, dear friend, my love did not take leave of me;

I am searching for him in the forest, through all the woods, branches, leaves.”

I joined the “Poetry of Diaspora in Silicon Valley” circle in 2019, hoping to better understand poetic sentiments and bring more feeling into my singing. Surrounded by verse in languages ranging from Pali to Portuguese, and meeting online as a getaway from Covid-imposed isolation, I eventually summoned the courage to write, too. Here’s a bandish on my travels, to meet my teacher:

“Badhi kathinayi saha guru dwaar aayi,

Ghar baal chhod kar, gyan pane mayi.

Guru haske kahe, jaanat nahin baawri,

Main antar mein rahoon, tu kahaan jayi”

Translated:

“Braving great troubles, I came to my guru’s door,

Leaving my family, in order to gain knowledge,

The guru laughed, asked if I didn’t know,

That the guru resides inside, where are you headed?”

Listening to poetry has unexpectedly grown into a much-anticipated weekly ritual. I’m delighted in my discovery of an art form within an art form, expanding my horizons and making friends along the way. Many of the members in our circle share common interests and creative collaborations bubble up quite often. I look forward to the ventures and adventures that beckon in 2021!


Lakshmi Rao is a senior disciple of Vidushi Neela Bhagwat, training in the vocal style of the Gwalior parampara. She calls the Bay Area home, and remains ever curious about the world that was, that is and that will be! 


 

The Cowboy and the Yogi: Ever-changing Traditions

“India, like America, feeds and nourishes creative individuality. Just as Americans have been inspired by the archetype of the Cowboy, who wanders the open spaces in search of a dream, so Indians are inspired by the Yogi, who wanders inner spaces in search of realization,” claims The Cowboy and The Yogi, by Teed Rockwell. For those of you who don’t know, Rockwell wrote the India Current music column for decades and I carried on for a few years after him. Thus, it was an absolute honor and delight when we had a delightful conversation about his journey into India and Indianness.  

The Cowboy and The Yogi is a glimpse into the Indian music scene over a span of roughly two decades, largely in the US, as documented by Rockwell. It is an intelligently curated collection of his own research, study, writings for his India Currents music columns, and blogs. Thus, it is a passionate, loving, intimate, insider view into Indian music combined with a sense of adventure. Sprinkled with anecdotal tidbits such as “first article commissioned by India Currents,” the book traces a path between classical music and its many representations, note-worthy performances, as well as its practitioners. Thus, the book, as Rockwell himself describes, talks about Indians and non-Indians performing Indian music, along with Indians performing non-Indian music. Chapter 9, “Indians Doing Cool Stuff” is about Roc Zonte, Gautam Tejas Ganeshan, Nitin Sawhney, Vijay Iyer, and Tony Kanal, who was one of the first people of Indian ancestry to become a Western rock star and to let the world know it.” 

Rockwell is a musician himself (enjoy his fascinating introduction to his jugalbandi-friendly “Touchstyle Veena” here) and therefore it is all the more believable when he claims that “In the area of rhythm, Indian music is totally without peer.” The Cowboy and The Yogi acts as a guide to how to listen and appreciate Indian music, deliberately, through chapters such as “Listening to Indian music,” and also through his own discoveries. Such as “In Memoriam” where he rues the fact that he got to know much about the Masters and their genius when he was asked to write their obituaries. “Yogis all, but with more than a little cowboy in each of them,” he states, of Vilayat Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, and Bismillah Khan. 

The book is also a portrait of the gurukul that existed within the campus of the AACM (Ali Akbar College of Music). Rockwell writes, “Classes included people from Germany, Argentina, …as well as Bengalis, Punjabis,…I remember a blond two-year-old who regularly came to class with her mother, and whose baby talk combined so many different languages…There was an atmosphere very like an Ashram…spiritually devoted to profound and enigmatic music.” 

Rockwell, a Buddhist now, then does a CowBoy-Yogi-combined on you, as he dons his scholar lens and delves into Islam. This is poignant since many of the Masters of Indian music are of the Muslim faith. “I read the entire Koran in different translations, studied histories of both Muhammad’s life and the Islamic political empires, and read commentaries on the Koran and Hadith [the sayings attributed to Mohammed]. As a result of these studies, I have concluded that although many horrible things have been done in the name of Islam, a careful reading of Islamic sacred texts reveals that these behaviors are contrary to the teachings of Muhammad and to the most intelligent people who follow his spiritual path.” 

The book is a must-read for those who seek soul-food, an intellectual-nudge, a musical historical journey, and an emotion-drenched read.  

Here is an excerpt from our interview, the video can be found below:

IC: Tell us about how you got started with India and Indian music. 

TR: In the West, there is a lot of interest in Orientalism. I grew up as a hippie in the sixties interested in an alternative to Christianity, western culture in general. But what I began to find out is that any generalization that includes both Punjabis and Koreans isn’t going to be worth much…There are tremendous differences between South Asians and East Asians, for example, and I spent a lot more time with South Asians…The thing that really got me interested in Indian Music, rather than feeling that it was some sort of meditation tool, was the band, Shakti – (John McLaughlin (guitar), L. Shankar (violin), percussionists Zakir Hussain (tabla) and T. H. “Vikku” Vinayakram (Ghatam) – live at Kennedy Center Washington D.C. I went out and bought my first set of tablas. Then I got the feeling, I got to study this! 

IC: America is “free”, but you’ve said that Indians are also free to follow their own intuition… 

TR: When I wrote my articles, people always said, oh you know the traditions never change, and people would say that’s the problem with India, that they need to be able to change their traditions. But every time I actually studied somebody who supposedly was preserving the tradition, they were always changing it! There was nobody who was just doing it the same way. You do go through this kind of training but then you always have to go through a period of throwing it off. I interviewed and did research on dozens maybe hundreds of artists when I was with India Currents; there was never anybody who wasn’t changing the tradition. They would preserve it but they would change it at the same time! Trying to operate without rules, I think it’s a real problem but having rules, recognizing that sometimes rules can be broken is a really important characteristic. Letting your intuition be more important than rules – I see that in Indians time and time again.  


Priya Das is a writer, dancer, and co-founder of Mosaic Silicon Valley. She is fascinated by the intersections between history, culture, convention, traditions, and time.

Khayal in Hindustani Music

Based on the Dhrupad Gayan, the contemporary style of Khayal Gayan emerged and the music lovers welcomed it! Let me walk you through what Khayal Gayan has to offer. 

Khayal word is a Persian word which means imagination, thought, logic. In modern times Khayal Gayan is very popular. As everyone knows, change is a universal law and customs, costumes, language, and lifestyle change with time too. In line with this change, Khayal was originated after Dhrupad. Khayal Gayan has shorter compositions with two parts only, Sthayi and Antara versus the Dhrupad style which has four parts, Sthayi, Antara, Sanchari, Abhoga.

The tendency of an artist is to explore something new. Our culture has been influenced by external cultures and so has our music. During this transition period, from Prabandh originated Dhrupad and from Dhrupad came into existence the Khayal. Thus we can say that Khayal is the modified version of its previous two counterparts.

In today’s prevailing singing genre of Hindustani music, Khayal Gayan is most popular. It has been so much identified with modern classical music that without it a Raagdari Sangeet can never be thought of. Its popularity is such that even on playing instruments Raagas are being played with Khayal in mind.

Khayal is Mainly of Two types: Bada Khayal and Chota Khayal.

Bada Khayal is sung in Vilambit Laya (slow tempo) and the second is Chota Khayal which is composed in Madhya and Drut Laya (medium and fast tempo). In Khayal, the importance is on swaras (notes) rather than words. Normally composition of Khayal is made up of fewer words, which means poetry is limited.

The rhythm tempo of Bada Khayal is Slow (Vilambit Laya) so its one cycle takes more time to complete than the Chota (small) Khayal, therefore it is called Bada (big) Khayal.

Vilambit Laya is composed in Ek Taal, Tilwada, Jhumara, and Ada Chautal.

Madya and Drut Laya is composed in Ek Taal, Teen Taal, Jhaptaal, and Rupak. Chota Khayals are mainly in Teen Taal, a favorite of most artists.

Two Methods of Initial Alaap in Khayal Gayan

The first happens before singing the composition (bandish) of a Khayal. The form of a Raag is to be established by taking Alaap in Aakar.

The second method is the form of a Raag established by Nom – Tom Alaap as in Dhrupad. 

In Gwalior, Kirana, Jaipur Gharana (School of Music) the first method of Khayal is prevalent while in Agra Gharana second method is prevalent. Initial Alaap is often sung in short in which Raag is fully explicit. Before beginning Raag Gayan one should take care to expand the Raag according to the Khayal.

In Khayal, Khatka, Murki, Kan, Meend are profusely used. As compared to Dhrupad, Khayal is of fickle nature and devoid of seriousness. Though Vilambit Laya of Bada Khayal enhances solemnity to a certain extent. 

The gradual growth of Khayal from Dhrupad can be easily understood by Bada Khayal. It is also bound with certain codes but provides a space to express feelings through improvisation. 


Dr. Abhay Dubey is an Assistant Professor of Indian Classical Vocal Music for 10 years at The M.S. University of Baroda in Gujarat, and previously as a Lecturer at Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidhyalaya. He has performed for many years and published 4 books on the topic of Indian Classical Music.

IndianRaga Explores a Raga Without a Midpoint

Vinod Krishnan is a singer, composer, music producer, and educator. He is the Creative Director of music at IndianRaga and has performed with India’s top musicians like Shankar Mahadevan and Vijay Prakash. Trained in Indian classical music and piano, his work explores taking Indian classical music to newer audiences and bringing world music together. 

He talks to India Currents about the beauty of the raga Abhogi and all things that make the scale a bright myriad of emotion. 

“Abhogi is symmetric and is also one of the few ragas that does not have the note Pa, which is sort of the midpoint of the musical scale,” says Vinod, who recently released a piece exploring the spectrum of this bright raga.

According to you, what stands out about Abhogi? 

The more compositions you learn in a raga, the more you uncover these hidden gems and mysteries in it. Abhogi is an eclectic ragam, some might also call it symmetric or striking. But, finding a way to blend the same raga in both Hindustani and Carnatic, and finding that sweet spot between genres is the challenge when you begin to explore meeting points of two genres.

How did Abhogi capture your recent attention? 

Do you know those contemporary designers who create unique looking furniture? If you ask a designer, they will have so many ways to build it. I’ve felt the process is the same for musicians. When we explore a raga, you can build it in so many different ways. There is no one right way to do it (as long as you conform to the basic structure of the raga). Some ways evoke deeper responses within you and from those listening to it, while some let you hover amidst the subtle etches of the rendition the notes remind you of. But the first step is it should overwhelm you. Only then does the listener stand a chance.

What are your favorite Abhogi film and Classical compositions? 

The first time I heard Abhogi in the film is the song “Indraikkku yen indha anandamide” by Ilayaraja sir. Not much after that. This is why I enjoy this ragam – we know that Abhogi isn’t that common of a raga picked up by contemporary musicians or by film composers, but that also makes it novel and gives a lot of scope for exploration. 

Can you talk about your recent Abhogi collaboration with IndianRaga? 

The recent Abhogi 2.0 music video I released with IndianRaga was in collaboration with Hindustani singer and senior IndianRaga fellow, Apoorva Deshpande. This production was a sequel to the “Swara Sadhana” series that we previously released with IndianRaga, a creative arts start-up that nurtures Indian art forms in the new age. Swara Sadhana is the concept of ardently exploring the “swaras” or notes rooted in different Indian classical ragas, but with contemporary arrangements. The entire production was an idea that developed over dinner when we brainstormed in Abhogi itself, and I then spent the entire night producing and arranging this composition. It came out well, much to our satisfaction. Hope you enjoy it! 


Sruthi Dhulipala is a San Francisco-based communications professional and writer.  She has been priorly published in an International Anthology “Lakdikapul II,” through an Indian Poet’s Association. She is passionate about music and her goal in life to promote music to the benefit of the people, through music therapy.