Is the first composer to have composed the
72-mela ragamalika geetam, a unique formula-piece appropriate for both practice and performance.
Is the only composer to have composed a whole piece with only descending phrases in Carnatic music (Sada nin padame - Chakravakam).
Composes in five languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada.
Has covered a range of themes in musical forms such as varnam, krti, padam, javali, tillana and
folk melodies such as chindu
Has created the form, swarakrti - compositions featuring only sol-fa passages but with
defined structure similar to krti
Has also composed hundreds of short (ragam-tanam) pallavis live on stage and numerous
interesting korvais (rhythmic cadenzas).
His other unique/interesting creations include:
Pancha-raga-tala-jati-malika tillana ,
Dasha-Ranjani Tillana, Raga-bhasha-malika krtis, Natya-malika tillana ,(where the 3 sections of the piece were portrayed by bharatanatyam, kathak and kuchipudi legends) Navaraga malika ragaakshara pallavi, Tillana in Chatushra-tishra
gati and various pieces that employ swarakshara (where the word matches the solfa note) in interesting and at times in a thematic manner like Sada sadayudai (Hindolam), Sadaramutonu (Shankarabharanam), Samagana suma (Kalyani) and Samaja gamani (Reetogowla).
Ravikiran has composed major pieces in majestic, traditional ragas like Yadukulakambhodhi,
Shahana, Dhanyasi, Surati and Devagandhari and also in ragas such as Ranjani, Kadanakutoohalam, Bindumalini and
Sindhubhairavi. His varnams and tillanas blend the innovative with the intricate. Most of Ravikiran's compositions
adhere to rules of classical Indian rhyme, but a few intentionally deviate from the conventional path. They are marked by alliteration, word play, swarakshara-s and on occasions, raga-mudra (raga name incorporated in the lyrics).
Like numerous traditional Carnatic composers Ravikiran signs his pieces. His signature phrase is ravi-shashi. However, most of his operatic pieces will not bear this signature. There are rare instances of pieces with the word 'Ravikiran' incorporated in the lyrics.
Concert outlook: Ravikiran has maintained that his primary focus is on preserving and projecting the great works of composers like the Trinity or popularising and preserving the hidden treasures of master-composer, Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi. However, he has performed his own compositions (usually varnams and tillanas) based on his musical impulse or upon audience request. Several of his works have also been performed by his disciples and other artistes.
Published works: Several of Ravikiran's varnams have been published by Sangita Kalanidhi Shri T K Govinda Rao and noted musicologist Shri B M Sundaram. A compilation of 25 of his compositions were published by disciple Savita Narasimhan in her book Adityodayam. Swatisoft has published 40 of Ravikiran's diverse compositions in a 4-volume DVD (where he teaches and renders them) and a book with notations for the same titled "Sada Sharanam".
Here is a
partial list of Ravikiran's Carnatic compositions. This does not include his creations for operatic or other dance productions or his compositions and arrangements for symphonies, chamber/string orchestras or jazz/world music ensembles. The list may not include many of his recent works.