Viswanadha Sreenivas

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
Post Reply
sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#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
Posts: 130
Joined: 01 Nov 2019, 17:38
x 11
x 23

#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
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#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
Posts: 130
Joined: 01 Nov 2019, 17:38
x 11
x 23

#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
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#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
Posts: 1869
Joined: 04 Feb 2010, 02:05
x 16
x 10

#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
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#7 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

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

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#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
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#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

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#10 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

On the auspicious occasion of Varalakshmi vratam day today, here is one of my early works on Lakshmi that Kesav tuned in janaranjani and performed:

https://youtu.be/mwPwEO5BecM

From lyrical point of view, I did not maintain the normal second syllable prAsa but I have "horizontal prAsa" :) 1st and 3rd words of every line mostly rhyme.

Feedback welcome!

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#11 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Happy Vinayaka chaviti/Ganesha chaturthi to all!

Here is a composition of mine on Vinayaka in Sanskrit that my son Kesav tuned in Todi in rettukalai (slow) adi talam. It has madhyama kalam in both anu pallavi and charanam.

He presented it as part of ASFA (Adi Sankara Fine Arts) inauguration last year.

https://youtu.be/A6sFCYQpWFg

rajeshnat
Posts: 9446
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 121
x 39

#12 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by rajeshnat »

sreeni wrote: 09 Sep 2021, 10:59 Happy Vinayaka chaviti/Ganesha chaturthi to all!

Here is a composition of mine on Vinayaka in Sanskrit that my son Kesav tuned in Todi in rettukalai (slow) adi talam. It has madhyama kalam in both anu pallavi and charanam.

He presented it as part of ASFA (Adi Sankara Fine Arts) inauguration last year.

https://youtu.be/A6sFCYQpWFg
First time I am hearing your Todi krithi - Herambam vande , well done father -son . This Todi song of yours is just like Karthikeya Kangeya krithi of papanasm Sivan In its adaptation (atleast to my ears).Keep posting and also bit more into how you processed will be interesting . I did not know about your inspiration and what made you compose , some thoughts on your childhood early teens may be from your village and then if any inspiration with your present place in usa and what made you compose will be good .

I just googled to find your village root is in Krishna district in AP. Many years back I met one vageyyakara who composed lot of krithis based on New york Rush Temple of Lord Vinayaga after he moved from South India to USA. They were well done.

@arasi are you there in this thread

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#13 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, @rajeshnat!

Please see my intro post that has some more on my background/inspiration. And yes, I'm originally from Kaikalur in Krishna district in Andhra. We lived across from Sri Syamalamba temple and back in the day with no other entertainment (not even radio!), temple puja and programs were our main form of entertainment. Spending so much time there when young helped me pickup a lot of hymns and slokas by listening to the programs there. I also studied Sanskrit as my second language until high school. So I try to bring some of that into my songs.

For this specific song, the inspiration is Dikhsitar's Sri mAtR bhUtam - how the first syllable of every line in madhyama kalam starts on the previos line like su-vAsita, vi-kAsa priya etc. Kesav liked it a lot and said we should do something like that. So I scour vinayaka slokas and ashtakam and came up with it. I also felt that there were not many songs praising Ganesha as hEramba (until later when I found hErambAya in aTHaNa). Finally Kesav wanted to do a slow paced one like kamalAmbam bhajarE so that's the final product!

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

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#14 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

For contrast, here is a fast song in Nattai on Ganesha that Kesav performed at the Hamsadhwani NRI Sabha in Chennai December 2019.

https://youtu.be/9hvWLV8_gA0

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#15 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Here is a song on Lord Venkateswara in Telugu that I wrote and my son Kesav tuned it in Deva Gandhari and sung today. The idea of this song is to bring the story of Adi Seshu's seven heads forming the seven hills in kaliyuga.

https://youtu.be/bKl91iXzkqE

sreeni
Posts: 13
Joined: 16 Jul 2020, 03:30
x 4
x 2

#16 Re: Viswanadha Sreenivas

Post by sreeni »

Happy Navaratri to all!

Here is a song on Saraswati that I wrote mainly because I like the slokam last line sAmAmpAtu Saraswati. So much just built a song around that phrase using simple descriptions/traits of her. Kesav saw that and immediately said it has to be in Sama! So here it is.

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

Post Reply