Cover art is hand silkscreened paper from Japan
"Exquisite" - Geeta Iyer (Indian yoga teacher)
1. Gamanapriya (2009) 54.55
meruvina: piano, tabla, dholak, dhol, claves, ganza, cabasa, Indian bells, rotating drum, tanpura
Gamanapriya is the fifty-third mela of Karnatic music. Its sound is most unusual to Western ears by virtue of having both komal gandhara and shuddha gandhara, in effect, together with tivra madhyama.
My intention here was to use the mela in its abstract form as a starting point, as opposed to studying the raga form of the mela, or its corresponding Hindustani raga.
Gamanapriya begins with alap for piano, Indian bells, rotating drum and tanpura. The atmosphere is rather mysterious given the other-worldly melodic material rendered without tempo, followed by Jhala and Jor.
Tabla, dholak and dhol form a composite drum that joins with piano and claves in the First Gat, a ganza is added in the Second Gat, and a cabasa appears in the Third Gat.
In contrast to the opening Alap, the following Jor, Jhala, and three gats impart a feeling of playfulness and fantasy. This is exactly the element of surprise I was hoping for when I decided to delve into the Melakartas, which from a distance appear rather cold and imposing.
Fence Sounds is a recent writing of mine that includes Gamanapriya.
- Michael Robinson, February 2010, Los Angeles
© 2010 Michael Robinson All rights reserved