Carnatic Chills

Music is not just an expression of a musician's thoughts or ideas, but is also a reflection of his or her own contemporary social life. These thoughts and ideas are presented through Ragams and Talams which are the greatest contribution of Indian music to world music. It is based on these aspects that the core idea of every concert is built on. Thus is born, 'CARNATIC CHILLS', another thematic production.

The link between tradition and modernity comes when the sampradayam of music reflects itself through the modern vision of each musician. In our society, we generally see conflicting elements getting together almost like a confluence. It's like wearing a jibba with jeans or having idli-vadai-sambhar and pizza-noodles on the same day or may be talking Tanglish or having the wedding reception even before the marriage is solemnized. It's also like using the electronic tampura with the traditional tampura on the same stage.

It is interesting to note how yester-year musicians composed many melodies using traditional ragas combining adeptly the inspiration they got from listening to music from the west. This convergence is also visible in our ability to adapt and play western instruments like the violin, mandolin, saxophone, guitar and so on in a traditional carnatic music concert. And it is this capacity to blend disparate elements that prompted the duo Ganesh & Kumaresh to have the traditional Flute, Mridangam and the Ghatam on stage along with the Drums, the Keyboard and the Bass Guitar and of course, the VIOLINS.


Indian music like the wider cultural ethos of the sub-continent is all about assimilation, re-invention and confluence of diverse influences. Such has been the tradition for cross-culturalism here that indeed it would be difficult to realise our 'self' without delving into the 'other'. In music, too, this proclivity manifests itslef all-round. Contrasts and confluences of all kinds have always found musical expression from earliest of times to date. No wonder then, in the age of Fusion and World Music Indian musicians have found a natural niche.

Ganesh-Kumaresh presents a scintillating recital of carnatic music pieces augmented with western strings, keyboards and percussion skillfully woven around the theme of the nava rasas or the nine basic emotions. All human experiences are realised through emotions called the rasas in Sanskrit. While the second century text, the Natya Sahastra, renumerates the nine basic rasas, an attempt is made here to present our version of these through music using a heap of creativity and imagination. Classical ragas, folk tunes, mordern rhythm combine in a heady melange of sounds both traditional and contemporary.

Colors of India

In this album they present a unique thematic offering - Colors of India - with patriotic and deeply sensitive ideas and musical contours.

Gambhira: 'Gambhira' set to raga Gambhira Nattai, is a tribute to that majesty of our land, which enables us to declare - 'Sare jahan se Achcha, Hindustan Hamara.' A dedication from various artistes to all those great martyrs who have laid down their lives for our Motherland.

Utsav: The Indian virtually lives from festival to festival and celebrates life as a divine gift. 'Utsav' in raga Shuddha Dhanyasi is dedicated to the utsavs - the festivals of India.

Chanchal: 'Chanchal' in raga Ranjani explores the beat\utiful sparkle within the contrasting forces and energies that make up India.

Ahimsa: A prayer for peace, harmony and happiness. Dedicated by the artistes to the land of Ahimsa.

Taj Mahal: India has gifted the ultimate monument of love - the Taj Mahal - to the world. The composition 'Taj Mahal,' is set to the beauteous raga Nalinakanti. It is a tribute to the immortal love of all time.

Colors of India: India is a glittering tapestry of diversity and within this diversity there is something that is uniquely Indian. 'Colors of India,' the central theme of this presentation, explores the brilliant diversity of India through the prism of its folk music traditions.


Aksharam is a concept that has focused on rhythm or laya and used the same numerical values for all the other three elements of Raga, Bhakthi and Sahitya. The four predominant facets of classical music are Raga, Tala, Bhakthi and Sahitya. Aksharam will portray all four elements with a stress on numbers. India has been home to mathematics since yore, and classical music is based on mathematical formulae.

* In classical Indian Music aksharam is all pervasive.
* The aksharam in Raga or melody are the Swaras or musical notes.
* The aksharam in Laya or rhythm is the Tala cycle.
* The aksharam of Sahitya or lyrics are the words.
* The aksharam for bhakthi is the beeja mantra. A Mantra is a mystical energy encased in a sound structure that creates powerful vibration.


Music as abstract it is gives or rather includes different feelings in different persons. To put in a nutshell, Music is a journey from without to within, from just an Anubhavam to Atmaanubhavam, from just entertainment to enlightenment.

Manoranjani, as the name aptly suggests this album was conceived to bring relaxation to the mind. Manoranjani is a garland of Ranjani Ragas, Manoranjani, Sriranjani, Janaranjani, Ranjani, Paamararanjani and Karnaranjani weave into beautiful and melodious album. It is soothing and transports the listeners to a world full of freshness and joy and a new found feeling.

The violin duos Ganesh-Kumaresh present remarkable artistry and skill. Excellent understanding between the brothers, deep knowledge of raga and swaras, compiled with tempo and grip are the special features of the charming duo. Subtle grace and artifices come out in quick and easy waves with irresistible energy.


Expression is very important in every sphere of our day to day life. To express, we communicate. In this modern world, expressing correctly is a sure gateway to success. No wonder thinkerss and philosophers and grand old men of India say “right expressions is the ultimate talent anybody could have” Hence, expression is the language for communication.

In our music, expression is otherwise called “Bhavam”, wihout which any song rendered vocally or played on an instrument becomes lifeless – a body without life.

Bhavam is two fold. One is musical expression, which can generally be said as the techniques employed musically to bring out the said expression. The other one, emotional expressions, which is more from the heart, is spontaneous and depend on several factors like the artists’ mood, atmospheric settings and much more. There are some artists who forget themselves in whatever surroundings they are in and surrender themselves to the divine. Such artists are uncommon.

Around the world, basic human expressions have remained the same. But, we cannot say the same about musical expressions. These expressions help artists to convey musically what they feel. And for expressing feelings through music in the best manner, they hone their skills using techniques. These techniques vary from region to region.

Differences in tradition, culture, language, philosophies, religion etc play a part to give a unique sound to the musical expressions. The musical expression or “Bhavam” in our music is essentially from the technique called “gamakas”.

These gamakas have over the years evolved and come to be understood and interpreted in various ways by musicians and musicologists. We have used expressions, the gamakas, as the basic and core idea for this production.


Shadja is the beginning, the mother of Indian Music. Literally too Shadja means the one which gives birth to the other six notes. Shat 6 ja giving birth to Each musician has his own Shadja which becomes the tonic (graham or aadhara) note for him . It means that every musician has the right to fix his pitch according to his convenience, voice or his mood on a particular day or time . If he is an instrumental player , then the Shadja is fixed according to the timbre and texture of the instrument.

In our music, expression is otherwise called “Bhavam”, wihout which any song rendered vocally or played on an instrument becomes lifeless – a body without life.

In a dynamic instrument like the violin it can also be fixed according to the musician’s taste.For example, in our concerts we sometime fix the aadhaara Sa little lower so that I would be able to sing comfortably. Since there are 12 positions to an octave we can say a group of 12 musicians can approximately have 12 different Shadjas. In this album, we are presenting a unique concept called the Graha Bedam.

Graha means home Bedam means to change or to alter . Graha Bedam is a concept where, in a given raga you play a different raga without changing the sruti and the notes of the given raga. How do we do it? If we take raga Kalyani , we not only play Kalyani raga but a whole set of different ragas without changing the sruti or the notes of Raga Kalyani It is possible mainly because of the intervals between the notes . When the intervals between the notes change a raga also changes. We now take the scale of Raga Kalyani S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S Now we raise the tonic note shadja to the level of R2 of Raga Kal;yani . For raga Kalyani , the notes will be R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S R2 But when you replace R2 with S G3 with R M2 with G P with M D2 with P N3 with D S with N and again R2 with the next octave Shadja, we will now get a whole new dimension of the swaras of Raga Kalyani .

Now we are traversing the octave of Raga Hari Kambodhi. This was possible, not just because the adhara shadja has been replaced but also because the intervals don’t remain the same anymore and have changed between gandhara and madhyama , dhaivata and nishada. This new opening also gives us the freedom to play the janya ragas or Ragas having the same notes of Raga Hari Kambodhi. Here the only catch is that we cannot play bashanga ragas which are janyas of Raga Hari Kambodhi like raga Raga Kamas , Raga Chenjuruti etc.

We have taken up the most soothing and melodic Raga Sahana which is a janya of Raga Hari Kambodhi. Technically we need to make some adjustments to play a different kind of Raga in a given Raga , like when we are playing a phrase in Raga Sahana , we actually have to play a different set of notes of Raga Kalyani. Raga Sahana Ri Ga Ma Pa Ma Ga Ma Ri Raga Kalyani Ga Ma Pa Da Pa Ma Pa Ga Raga Sahana Da Ni Sa Da Raga Kalyani Ni Sa Ri Ni We also need to take into account all the graces, ornamentation, slides, oscillations that we have to apply to get the feel of Raga Sahana with notes of Raga Kalyani which is best heard than written. After Raga Sahana we jump to The next note Ga. Of Raga Kalyani We replace G3 with S , M1 with R, P with G , D2 with M, N3 with P , S with D, R2 with N G3 with the next octave S Here the intervals between rishaba and gandhara, gandhara and Madhyama, panchama and Dhaivata dhaivata and nishada changes. Now we get Raga Nata Bhairavi. And also all its Janyas. We have taken raga Saramati where in we have played the evergreen Mokshamugalada of St Thyagaraja . Since Saramati is a sampoorna – audava Raga i.e .it has all the seven notes in arohana and only 5 notes in avarohana,(s R g M P D N S ND M G ) We will use only G R N D P G of Raga Kalyani in the avarohana But when Shadja is shifted to the Madhyama of Raga Kalyani there is no possibility to get a sampoorna scale . So using the notes M D N R G M of Raga Kalyani we get Raga Hindolam ,where we have played Manasuloni of St Thyagaraja . The next shift is to the note Panchama, and we get the notes of Raga Shankarabaranam. Technically this is much easier to play than the other notes , since we get an open string for Shadja. We have taken Raga Arabhi, which is a janya of the 29th Mela Shankarabharanam. for elaboration. Subsequently,when we shift Shadja to D2 of Raga Kalyani we will get raga Karaharapriya, we have taken Raga Madhyamavathi which has all the notes of Raga Karaharapriya. Lastly , Taking the note N3 of Kalyani as Shadja we get the notes of Raga Thodi, Here we have played Namo Namo Raghavaya in Desiya Todi of St Thyagaraja. This composition is believed to be the first composition of the saint. SIDELIGHTS 1. One thambura was not sufficient for the entire album We needed 7 different tamburas for the seven different ragas that we have played to give the right sruti for each raga and also to bring out the essence of the raga that is being played. So instead Of using the normal tambura we have used an electronoic tambura to make it easy , simple and for convenience. 2. Mannargudi Sri A Easwaran has used 6 different mridangams for the recording. Why not 7? He used the same Mridangum for Sa and Pa. 3. We used Kanjira because the player doesn’t need to tune his instrument for each change.K V Gopalakrishnan was patiently watching Easwaran sir tuning his instrument for each Raga change. 4. You can listen to the change in the tambura sruti whenever we come back to Raga Kalyani and to the subsequent Raga when we shift the tonic (GRaha) shadja. 5. The sruti was not changed at all for the violins.