Compositions of

Chitravina N Ravikiran
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35 Tala Compositions

Ravikiran was the first vaggeyakara to create the 35-tala compositions. He composed the 35 songs in 30 days in Aug-Sept 1997.  The compositions are in 3 languages – Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit and include two varnams and one tillana, the rest being krtis. They cover a range of ragas including weighty ones like Todi, Kalyani & Kharaharapriya, evocative ones such as Sahana, Ahiri & Anandabhairavi and those like Phalamanjari, Rudrapriya and Bahudari, Hindustani imports such as Behag as well as one of Ravikiran’s discoveries, Garudapriya. Some of these feature interesting chittaswaras and madhyamakalas.  In Ravikiran’s own words, the inspiration behind this were the masterpieces in some of these talas by iconic composers like Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi, Shyama Shastri, Dikshitar and Mysore Sadashiva Rao. His objectives were to:

  • explore both melodic and lyrical possibilities while handling sophisticated tala-structures,
  • attempt different approaches to rhyme (prasa) along the lines of the tala in certain segments in talas like Sankeerna Mathya (9+2+9), Mishra Mathya (7+2+7) where the second letter rhyme will be on each of the two laghus, 
  • prove that aesthetic appeal never needs to be compromised because of complex tala structures and 
  • highlight and intersperse the three basic ways of partitioning the cycles – (a) dividing the tala in equal parts (for instance the 14-beat Chaturashra Dhruva and Khanda Ata were often bisected into a 7+7 structure by Dikshitar especially in his madhyamakala sections), (b) randomising the structure along the lines of melody (a method seen in most compositions) and (c) the rare but very skillful method of structuring the cycle along the anga (parts) of the tala – as exemplified by OVK in krtis like Neela lohita ramani (Balahamsa – Khanda Triputa) and Prasanna gopalakrishnam (Dwijayavanti – Mishra Ata). 
Index of Compositions

Total no of posts: 35