Rare Treats


After a long break, here is the 12th in the series (click here for the 11th one). It is an alapana in another rare, old and attractive raga. Can you also guess the artist?

Audio courtesy: Sangeethapriya

A hint: Your instincts may not be right 😉

Click here for the answer.

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Here is the 11th one in the series (click here for the 10th one). This one is a reasonably popular (and very attractive) raga, although running into elaborations i.e. alapana, neraval and kalpanaswaras is rare . You may run into an occasional alapana and even kalpanaswaras, but a neraval? Now, that I believe is quite rare! So here is it is, a neraval in this beautiful raga. The krithi I believe is an unknown one, and so I have left the neraval line as-is as I do not think it would give the raga away to most of you.

Can you guess the raga?

For the answer (and some analysis): click here

After a brief hiatus (job change, new schedule etc. ete.), here is the tenth one in the series (click here for the ninth one).

This is actually a well known, charming and beautiful raga – but this still is rare and special (at least to me!) It should be fairly easy to identify I think. If you are on the right track, there is only one answer. If you are in the right neighborhood, there are only two possible answers! If did get it right,  and before you read the ensuing analysis below, give some thought into why you were able to identify it and not be misdirected. I would be interesting in knowing your reasoning and intuition.

So here it goes.

Note: I have “masked out” the refrain line of the kalpanaswaras out with a tampura sound  to not give things away (although I think the krithi is rare). I  know it is odd – hopefully it does not affect your listening pleasure and interfere with your thought process too much!

(Audio Courtesy: Sangeethapriya)

So, can you guess the  raga and the artist?

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Here is the ninth one in the series (click here for the eighth one).

This is a rare, charming and beautiful raga. It is very rare to run into any elaboration although it supposedly had a more exalted status in the past. There are couple of reasonably popular short krithis but one composer has a large composition in it, and another one had a big varnam in it. It also has a fairly characteristic stamp and so may be easily identifiable in spite of its rarity.

I had to dig around, and ask a few well placed friends to get this one 🙂 ! Although the audio quality is poor, I think it is still a very rare and special treat.

The artist should be easily identifiable and she is probably one of the few who can pull it off. I have also heard her do an alapana in this raga in a concert that I attended a few years ago.

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Here is the eight one in the series (click here for the seventh one). Again, not exactly a rare raga, but a very delectable one. It is not very often rendered, but it is not too rare.

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Here is the seventh one in the series (click here for the sixth one). It is a bit different from the earlier ones since it is not a very rare occurrence to hear elaborations say compared to the earlier one. But you are not going to run into elaboration in this raga every time it is presented. However, the raga is a haunting, complex one, and thus to me it is always a special occurrence when elaboration is done in it.

Here is an alapana which seems rarer to me than kalpanaswaras in this raga – and this one is a detailed one. You should be easily be able to guess the raga and the artist, but that is not the point.  This alapana is simply exquisite – bringing in all the myriad hues (hackneyed carnatic review term alert!) of the raga!

(Note: All Audio Courtesy – Sangeethapriya)

Here is kalpanaswaras that is part of the same rendition. Since the raga is fairly well known, I am not taking out the refrain:

The mood and tempo there is sort of trance like – isn’t it? Now, here is how the King of Swaras does kalpanaswaras for the same song:

Now doesn’t that make you tap your feet in excitement? I also love the part where he “eggs” the violinist (who actually is more than equal to the task in this) with his trademark “Tatta ta ta ta” 🙂

Oh, btw if you found this particular entry in Rare Treats as “a let down” compared to others, because the raga is all too well known and thus “not much of a challenge to guess”, you have simply corroborated my earlier post What’s the Raga 😉

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Here is the sixth one in the series (click here for the fifth one). It is kalpanaswaras for a relatively rare raga, and thus one for which elaboration is indeed rare to come by. But the raga is not a “new” one – so to speak. I am unable to find any alapana for this raga and this is the only one I could find that has kalpanaswaras.

First I present the excerpt of the kalpanaswaras that has just the violin part:

Can you guess the raga? If you were like me, it is possible that you arrived at an answer, and are perhaps wondering While not uncommon, elaboration for this isn’t really that rare a raga Arun!

But wait! Listen to the vocalist and the violinist doing that iteration (with refrain of the krithi taken out):

Now, if your answer still holds, congratulations! However, some of you may now be scratching your head, as the answer your arrived for your first clip could be one that has no pa, and here of course the vocalist starts bang on with pa ! Now, the violinist probably used pa too, but it is of course dead obvious when the vocalist actually says it 🙂 ! I do not know if this is due to the obscurity of elaborations in our raga vs. this other raga, but to my ears, the violinists’ response give’s very strong whiffs of that other raga.

Anyway, did you guess the raga? Can you guess the vocalist (a contemporary artist)?

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