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Sunday, August 21, 2016

What happens to Gamakas and proper speed

What happens to Gamakas and proper speed

Bombay Jayashree’s album of Syama satri’s kritis released in the last week of Ausust 2015 [ I would suggest you to listen to this after listening to all the rest or preferably not to listen to listen to this-] and it popped up in someone’s old memories stuff of FB and that took me into a nostalgic journey of very old memories nostalgia and nuances of rendering certain ragas.

The beauty and unique aspect of Carnatic music is the subtle nuances that Gamakas [1]  can produce which can literally touch certain nerve center in a very aesthetic and hyper sensitive way the nectar of  its sweetness make us swarm around like the irresistible bees.

Besides, every raga and composition has its own unique stamp through the pace at which it must be rendered.

Though Caranatic music is predominantly manodharma based but at the same time this basic fabric of Gamakas and proper pace will ooze the essence of musical quality which can get contaminated with unwanted frills, excessive stress or pause and different speeds.

In this it is purely a matter of sensitive that the listening mind not ears not culture but the mind develops over the years and which cumulatively goes on to develop into taste or prejudice and sometimes both as two sides of the same coin.

Most of Shyama Sastri’s compositions are meant to be rendered and savored in vilambit kal or chowka kalam or for the exclusive Anglophones ‘ slow speed’ more so a raga like Punnagavarali and the composition kanaka saila. One day some 25 years back I listened to the same song rendered by  Maharapuram Santhnam at least 20 times on the same day till it permeated into every cell of my body.

Listen here item number 8 in the link with his natural blend of power of his guttural passage and the mellifluous melody from the tip of his mouth and sound waves just touching the bottom of nasal passage too every now and then this is a great voice culture technique otherwise nasal sounds will dominate [more on this technique later on] 

Devi brova samayamide by Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna

For example for Bhairavi wonderful swarajathi kamakshi a master piece in bhairavi with swarkshra that is every stanza starts with a swara in that order with swarasthanam and that jells with the lyrics in sound like by MD.Ramanathan

or Prince Rama Varma

[1] For want a much better way to explain Gamakas I came up with this

On Gamakas and voice culture

If a vocalist pays more attention to various appropriate kamakas the more embellished the rendering becomes. To some it comes naturally for some they have to work at it hard consciously.

Special addition on Gamakas a very comprehensive and crystal clear demonstration of gamakas 

One of the most precise and perfect demonstration of minutest nuances of voice culture which go onto embellish a vocal rendering.

Voice Culture - Lecture demonstration - Dr. M Balamuralikrishna

Another good demo of voice culture impregnated with certain unique features of Indian classical music

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