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Layam Rhythmic Ecstasies


About this album

Layam denotes the concept of rhythm. It has multiple connotations - metaphysical, philosophical, and practical with macro and micro manifestations from cosmic to commonplace. It has universal and eternal validity yet there can be local perceptions and formulations. It is linked to the core principle of creation, existence and living process at the same time relevant to every single endeavor even at personal level. It prescribes continuity with order to ensure harmony.

It is an eloquent testimony to the ancient Indian genius that this concept was comprehended in essence and depth and incorporated as an integral aspect in the systemization of many disciplines and pursuits. This is particularly evident in the Indian system of music in which Layam is as fundamental an element as Melody; both are intertwined. While the original approach has spiritual dimension with reference to the goals and functions, the development of Indian music tradition has been on scientific lines.

For practical application, the concept of Layam has been translated in terms of time measures as units for devising artistic expressions so well expounded in percussion. This is the basis for the elaborated Tala system, the complex, intellectual exercise involving pure mathematics transforming as high art through intricate permutations and combinations, numbers metamorphosised as musical sounds embellished by nuances like accents and syllables, syncopations, durations, tempo variations etc. Generally it may be observed that the rhythmic element elicits wider and participatory appeal.

From the simple repetitive cycles followed globally, Universally the Indian tradition has explored very wide horizons discovering many varieties in Tala patterns; these have properly been classified providing a solid basis with vast scope for creative enrichment. This has been a continuing process facilitated by the contributions of great maestros.

Due to the exalted position accorded to the medium of music and the long evolution of musical traditions in the different regions, the variety of instruments in Indian music is astounding both in the melody and percussion types, the latter specially rich in south Indian system.


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