“Karnataka” is the final track from the All India Permit EP and is based entirely on the Carnatic Raga Sree. There is a Hindustani version of this raga, but the two only have the name in common. The Carnatic Sree contains 5 notes ascending, 7 notes descending and coneys a strong minor sound. The scale degrees on the way up are: 1-2-4-5-b7-8; and 8-b7-5-6-b7-5-4-2-b3-2-1 on the way down. The minor 3rd and major 6th are omitted on the ascent and must be approached from below. They must also be minimally shown, appearing almost as ghost notes.
The form of the piece is A-B-A-B-A, with the A section being a drum solo over a looped phrase and B being the melodic solo for the guitar. This is inspired by typical Hindustani tabla-soloist forms, where after a melodic introduction, the tabla players performs a small solo as an intro, then the focus shifts to the soloist, who makes his or her own statement. At the conclusion of the soloist’s improvisation, the soloist plays a statement for the tabla player to solo over. When this solos finishes, the attention again returns to the soloist and this passing of the baton continues until there is a mutual decision to end the piece.
“Karnataka” could be performed for hours, but in this case we’re clocking in at 6:34. This marks the last post of 2014. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more material in 2015.
My piece “To Jodhpur” is inspired by the Carnatic rhythmic phrase:
Takadimi Tham, Takita Tham, Taka Tham, Ta Tham
This rhythmic structure and its variations are very common in the konnakol language. The rest of piece features expanding and dminishing rhythmic statements, appearing in the melody and in harmonic progressions. Audio and a notated lead sheet are below. Feel free to download a copy of the chart at the bottom of the page.
Here’s a composition inspired by Carnatic raga Gamanashrama from my upcoming All India Permit EP out 11/4 on Pursuance Records. Raga Gamanashrama is a lydian scale with a flat 9, with scale degrees 1 – b2 – 3 – #4 – 5 – 6 – 7. The piece features my approach to harmonizing the notes of this raga, while developing rhythmic tension which eventually resolves towards the end of the composition. Audio and notated lead sheet for the piece are below. Feel free to download a copy of the chart at the bottom of the page.
This lesson introduces the very important concept of gaps or spaces in the konnakol language. Tham, Thongu, Din and Din Thongu can be added to the end of phrases to augment ideas and increase rhythmic tension. Familiarity with these phrases will also make learning advanced phrases found in Korvais simpler. Ultimately a handle on these gaps allows long chains of rhythmic ideas to flow, breath and achieve a higher sense of musicality. Audio and video elements will supplement this content and be uploaded shortly. A downloadable pdf of this lessons is available at the bottom of the page. Continue reading
Here’s the second Kanda Chapu subdivision exercise video. Check out the first exercise video as feeling comfortable with the exercise in its simplest form will make this subsequent exercise easier to execute.
This is supporting notation to the Kanda Chapu – Subdivision Exercise 1. Check out the video first and try to learn this by ear before consulting the notation. Continue reading
Here’s a great subdivision exercise in Kanda Chapu, which can be interpreted as 5/4 time. The thalum or tala is shown by waving or clapping on beat one; clapping on beat 3; and clapping on beat 4. Master this exercise as the next lesson will build upon the basics covered here.
This is the first post addressing the application of western harmony to a Carnatic raga. This lesson outlines a typical approach that I take in developing pentatonics and harmonies for a particular raga. The below example uses Raga Mayamalavagowla, or Raag Bhairav in Hindustani music, as the parent raga. Continue reading
Tha Din Gi Na Thom Phrases (related lesson)