Here is the third one in this series (click here for the second one). It is an alapana and kalpanaswaras, for a reasonably well known song, although one that is not that commonly rendered in concerts. It may not be also be that rare to render this with alapana etc. as I know of atleast one case where a contemporary artist has rendered this as a main item. However, I think in general it may not be done. The krithi and the raga are very special one in carnatic lore. I have elaborated on this in the answer section.

This rendition is special to me because of the bhAvam/expressiveness in the voice of the singer (who is very well known), which is a natural fit for songs like this, and the fact that he has embellished an already special song with alapana and kalpanaswaras.

I also suspect that many of you will be able to guess the raga, although to my ears there are couple of unusual/exotic spots in the alapana which may not be mirrored in the song (not sure, and dont want to presume either 🙂 ). In any case, first, just enjoy an alapana!

(Audio Courtesy: sangeethapriya)

(Download here)

Need more hint? Here is a snippet of the kalpana swaras but with the dead give way refrain line taken out:

(Download here)

(Answer below)

Select the text below to reveal the answer and some commentary:


Artist: K. V. Narayanaswamy
Raga: cintAmaNi for the famous krithi dEvi brOva samayamidE by Syama Sastry. The raga is a rare one, and is a creation of Syama Sastry. Although later composers have composed in it, this song is probably the only one in this raga that you would run across in a concert. The song itself has a lot of carnatic lore attached it. It is said that Syama Sastry composed and sang this song impromptu while praying to his Bangaru Kamakshi on the eve of a competition against an arrogant musician that he was compelled to compete against (probably the influence to the bANa baTTar episode in the tamil movie tiruviLayADal). Hence he asks “dEvi brOva samayamidE” as in ‘Devi! This is the time for you to protect me”. Devi who obviously was already enchanted by Syama Sastry, must have been impressed by the raga and the krithi as she did protect him, and he proceeded to kick butt the next day!

cintAmaNi is officially designated as a janya of Shanmukhapriya, although it uses both das (D1 and D2), it can thus also seem like an hEmavati janya. The D2 is used in ascent, but D1 in descent. If I am not mistaken, the use is actually exactly just like with bhairavi and close friends. So when ascending and going to sa, as in say pdns, it would be D2, but e.g. pdnd, where you ascend to ni but come back to da, it can use just D1.

In the alapana, I find KVN emphasize the D2 strongly resting there (say perhaps in comparison to the krithi), and for a second there in some instances (e.g. 0:21 in alapana), it can give a more exotic touch, almost as if D2 is perceived like N1 is (i.e. when perceived in tandem with D).

Assuming you have know the raga from above, listen to the whole kalpanaswara section:

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