Viswanadha Sreenivas

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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sreeni
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#1 Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Namaskaram rasikas!

I want to introduce myself to the forum and show some of my original carnatic-style lyrical works to knowledgeable folks here.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a musician. I'm just a semi-literate listener of carnatic music.

Background: I have been sitting in my son's music classes in the San Francisco bay area, with Sri Ashok Subramaniam for 15+ years. By god's grace, my son (Kesav Viswanadha) picked up great interest in this art form. Couple of years ago he asked me to write a pallavi for him. So I started working on one and suddenly found myself writing song lyrics! Now I'm up to about 150 songs so I wanted to share a few here and get feedback.

I did study some Sanskrit in high school and also used to attend/participate in many religious events in temples back in my village Kaikalur (and our agraharam Someswaram). So I picked up quite a few hymns and slokams and religious context of those. After I started listening to carnatic those things from 30+ years ago started coming back.

My Journey

Originally I wanted to start writing some songs that depict mythological stories. Remembering my childhood puranam stories of Sri Parimi Ramakrishna Sastri garu, I set out write a song on Hanuman, the main hero of sundara kanadam. So this was my very first song written back in late 2018. Also this effort gave motivation to my son to set those words to carnatic tunes! At that time I was not aware of the 2nd syllable prAsa rule :( so it's not there but I still like it as this was my first work. Please listen here:

Audio:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DXks_6 ... p=drivesdk

Lyrics
https://docs.google.com/document/d/16u0 ... p=drivesdk

Then suddenly things stated coming to me especially when I go for my bike rides. So I began doing more works on other deities in both Telugu and Sanskrit. I got to know about the prAsa rule in a lecture at the Academy in late 2019. So I tried to fix some of my songs and also started following the rule better. You can see some of my works on my Facebook page.

https://m.facebook.com/sreeni

The process

I found a few different ways to get motivation - take a theme and expand on it, while listening to popular carnatic songs, get ideas for similar tunes as well as themes and word sequences.

For example, I found this rare gem in yamuna kalyani by Thyagaraja (vidhi sakradulaku)

https://youtu.be/H5rhSFrpMgA

And that gave me ideas for three songs! One for the procession in the village after rama navaratri (still to be tuned)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Bch ... p=drivesdk

Then the tune sounded very pleasing so I wrote a song with similar syllable structure:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E3R ... p=drivesdk


And also the word

udupati mukhulella (don't know what it means even though I'm Telugu)

Got me excited to think of a similar sounding word

munupati janmambu

And I wrote a song around that phrase in a charanam. Still need to be cleaned up and tuned but here is a rough version

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KUh ... p=drivesdk

So this has been and continues to be a great joy for me that I wanted to share here.

I would love to hear your opinion and also any guidance on how to go about this process to make it better. I strove hard to make my works to be as original as possible though a lot of it is inspired by Thyagaraja and Dikshitar to a great extent.

Hope to continue the discussion here.

Thank you for reading my rather long post :)

Sreeni.
Last edited by sreeni on 19 Apr 2021, 09:21, edited 1 time in total.

Ananthakrishna
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#2 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by Ananthakrishna »

Had a chance to look through the lyrics you have shared. They really appealed to me. The Telugu was very simple and easy to understand, and there were no unwieldy grammatical workarounds or other such contrived phrases in the sahityam and tuning.

A job very well done! I look forward to hearing and learning your compositions. You are clearly quite prolific in your composing, having composed nearly 150 krithis already! Please share them all if possible, and also new ones as and when they strike.

sreeni
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#3 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Thank you for checking them out and encouraging words @Ananthakrishna! Yes - we are collecting all these. Since you asked for more :) here is a short playlist with some of our (team Viswanadha) songs:

https://youtu.be/9hvWLV8_gA0

Ananthakrishna
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#4 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by Ananthakrishna »

Thanks a lot for sharing this!
Are all these compositions tuned by your son Master Kesav Vishwanadha? Or a few are your own tunes?

Have heard the two varnams in Dwijavanthi and Vachaspati. Quite an interesting take on the ragams. The Dwijavanthi varnam was particularly interesting, had a few flavors that I have not observed anywhere else. May I ask if notations for these pieces are available?

Again I must compliment you and your son for your fine penmanship and tuning!

sreeni
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#5 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Thank you again! The music is *all* Kesav. I don't know anything about tuning. Here are the words for the varnams with notation.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dHa ... p=drivesdk

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UbD ... sp=sharing

ramakriya
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#6 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by ramakriya »

@sreeni Good to know about your compositions! I have seen Keshav sing ( in fact my daughter is part of Laya too :-)

sreeni
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#7 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Wow! It's a really small world @ramakriya!

sreeni
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#8 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Happy Sri Rama Navami all! Here is a song on Rama that I wrote that my son Kesav tuned in Kuntala varali/desadi.

Audio:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bextNut43OE

Lyrics/notation:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yzo ... sp=sharing

Somehow I find it easiest to write on Rama! :) I think about 50% of my songs are on Rama. I will share some more graudally.

sreeni
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#9 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Here is a song on Krishna in Sanskrit that I wrote two years ago. Though it didn't have prasa :( it has an interesting musical element that Kesav really wanted - chittaswara sahithyam.

My motivation for the song was charanam line 3 - akrUra kuCElAdi - I really wanted to use that phrase in a song so I built it around that. Kesav tuned it in Kannada ragam back in 2019.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BHlJyr ... sp=sharing

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