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Ritu Raaga Music Of The Seasons

Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan


About this album

Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's wizardry over the violin is undisputed. What is debated furiously is whether he is a classicist who petulantly creates his own path, or a maverick who pursues the dazzling. Staidness is something no one associates with his music.

Vaidyanathan learnt music from his father Ramaswamy Sastry, and made his debut when he was barely 12. He then joined a film orchestra in Salem. Word about his mastery over the violin spread, and he soon began accompanying senior classical vocalists all over the south. His turned into a solo performer in 1960. He has occasionally been scoring music for films too. He turned his attention to fusion recently and recorded an album with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and a western violin ensemble.

This album brings Vaidyanathan back to something he loves: Composing orchestral pieces. He leads a varied 26 piece orchestra - that includes a violin ensemble, a saxophone, a veena, a sitar, a flute, a synthesizer, a variety of drums and a male and female chorus - and conjures up the colours of the Indian seasons.

This is a landmark album in the chequered career of Vaidyanathan, and work lovers of his music will treasure.

Sagar Music's Ritu Raaga series features well-known musicians creating thematic narratives about the seasons. The beauty of the Indian seasons is celebrated in classical Sanskrit literature (as in Kalidasa's Ritusamhara) and also in our rich regional literatures. The Ritu Raaga series inspires musicians to give free rein to their imagination and create dramatic musical essays.

A unique feature of the Hindustani music tradition is that it lays down a particular time of the day or night for each raga. A raga is believed to bloom to its highest beauty only when it is sung or played at the appropriate time.

Ancient musicology associates seasons with melodies. The most commonly known seasonal ragas are Megh and Malhar, with their rain associations, and Basant, with its spring associations.

In Carnataic music, the great composer Muthuswami Dikshitar is believed to have brought about a downpour with his rendering of Amritavarshini, a raga he was moved to create when he saw the parched earth and the suffering peasants.


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