Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

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kanniks
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#1 Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by kanniks »

I would like to share a tillana in Raga Useni with Rasikas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy_5Cb8HDUQ&t=5s

I composed this tillana in Raga Useni in praise of the Kalahastiswara temple in Shri Kalahasti a few months ago and had it recorded recently by my niece Shradha Ganesh.

The lyrics in the charanam run as follows.

shrI kALahastIsha gaurIsha dakshina kailAshapuri nivAsa
AbAla gOpa vidita kirAta pUjita shaila sutApa harE ||
shani budha kujAdi graha dosha nAsha - viyatAdi pancha bhUta prakAsha
phaNipati bhUshita guNijana tOshita - guruguha tAta rAja mouLE ||

Thank you!
Kanniks

rajeshnat
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#2 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by rajeshnat »

@kanniks
Very well done . For me the raga was introduced by santhanam with his raguveera and some spectacular nagaswaram playing of rAmA ninnE by say Karaikurichi or TNR . I recollect that mahavidwan TNS has composed a thillana in husENi .

All said i liked this thillana of yours a lot . I did first hear your niece singing and then went to your explanation . I did know about guruguha deekshitar liking that you have and you incorporating the mudra guruguha was a surprise . My sincere appreciation to your niece Shradha Ganesh who kept up both the Joyful and restrained bhava of this superb husEni ragam .I went back to your explanation after hearing the rendition , possibly if you give word to word meaning here like how rshankar gives that will be of great help .

All said Well done this husEni thillana is surely going to be a sure hit and musicians have an awesome thillana that can register well with the audience.

Sundara Rajan
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#3 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by Sundara Rajan »

Excellent, in one word ! The raga swaroopas is delivered very well by the youngster and the composition also deserves accolades.

shankarank
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#4 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by shankarank »

I heard and liked the rendition very much. Sri Kannikesvaran is an old acquaintance, I used run into in Dayton, Ohio Sri Rama temple for concerts. I remember him mentioning that his mother learnt from one of the Gurus in the Kallidaikkurichi lineage of SrI dIkshitar.

As regards the tillana, had one question:

In the anupallavi - the jathi on the concluding line:

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, ta,tA, | takatA, ,nOm,, ,,ta, tA, taka ||

karvais on nOm,, are intentionally asymmetric? Sort of incremental 3 and 5. That makes the tillAna approachable on the first go.

However balancing them out as 4, 4 would make it a more edgy one. Don't know if this is left out for future improvisational development. Usually done with tillanas by musicians themselves.

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, ,ta,tA | ,takatA ,,nOm, ,,ta, tA,taka ||

Alternately (thought about this after posting the above!) if the kArvai(s) are viewed as a set for tA and nom, tA,, nom,,, the the first is 3, 3 , the second can be 4, 4 instead of 3 & 5. That would also make it edgy as well!

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, ta,tA, | takatA, ,,nOm, ,,ta, tA, taka ||

Another laya sangati if we might call it that!

<<Added>>
Sometimes easy to miss a damn simple one - this is caturasram itself employing the progressive reduction with a connect back tail-ender "taka".

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, tA,taka | tA,,nOm ,,taka tA,,nOm ,,taka ||
<<end>>

triSram version with kArvai adjustments is here:

|| ta,tA ,taka tA,nOm ta,tA | ,taka tA,nOm ta,tA ,taka ||

Another variation on that(see legend below for square bracket enclosed):

|| ta,tA ,taka [tA,nOm,](3) ta,tA | ,taka [tA,nOm,](3) ta,tA ,taka ||

An improvisation with kAla bhedam appended and naDai bhEdam interspersed and a progressive reduction thrown in.

|| ta,tA ,taka(6) {ta,tA ,taka}(3) [tA,nOm,](3) | tA,ta ka(4) {tA,taka}(2) [tA,nOm,] (3) taka(2) {taka}(1)||

Legend: free(unenclosed) syllables are in lower kAla triSram. {} Curly brace enclosed syllables are in higher kAla triSram. [] - square bracketed syllables are in caturASram with a feel of caturaSra triSram if your brain has switched to cognize in triSram overall.

The ending "taka" nicely joins back to beginning of pallavi as in "tAnOm" as originally composed.

Now, trISram is conveying the gummi ATTam of kirata women! Completing the sense of the usEni rAgam.

Layam can communicate as well ! ;) :D 8-)
Last edited by shankarank on 26 Jun 2020, 10:53, edited 3 times in total.

Ranganayaki
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#5 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by Ranganayaki »

Wonderful! What a lovely tillana! Have you composed anything before this?

shankarank
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#6 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by shankarank »


RSR
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#7 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by RSR »

This morning’s lec dem (16th December 2010) had Kanniks Kannikeswaran on the above subject. The speaker is a familiar face at the Music Academy, having given a lec-dem on the Nottuswara sahityas of Muttuswami Dikshitar a couple of years ago. This being the 175th death anniversary of the great composer, it was appropriate the first topic of the Season was this.

There has been a lot of speculation on how Hindustani music may have influenced the work of Muttuswami Dikshitar. The speaker dwelt briefly on Dikshitar travelling to Benares and the interpretation of scholars such as TL Venkatarama Iyer and Dr V Raghavan that while there, he heard Hindustani music and was influenced by it.
Read more at
https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2010/12/1 ... ar-kritis/
-----------------------------------
And do not fail to read all the comments!
one of them by kanniks himself. ( 2010)

RSR
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#8 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by RSR »

This morning’s lec dem (16th December 2010) had Kanniks Kannikeswaran on the above subject. The speaker is a familiar face at the Music Academy, having given a lec-dem on the Nottuswara sahityas of Muttuswami Dikshitar a couple of years ago. This being the 175th death anniversary of the great composer, it was appropriate the first topic of the Season was this.

There has been a lot of speculation on how Hindustani music may have influenced the work of Muttuswami Dikshitar. The speaker dwelt briefly on Dikshitar travelling to Benares and the interpretation of scholars such as TL Venkatarama Iyer and Dr V Raghavan that while there, he heard Hindustani music and was influenced by it.
Read more at
https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2010/12/1 ... ar-kritis/
-----------------------------------
And do not fail to read all the comments!
one of them by kanniks himself. ( 2010)
=========================================
Here is an article ( 'sruti) by him.

Tradition, Classicism and Innovation in Karnatic Music
https://kanniks.wordpress.com/2015/12/1 ... tic-music/
------------------------------------------------
The quoted portion was particularly of my liking.
The (live) audiences of today are all in concert halls, the sabhas in whom the very act of singing is condemned by none other than Saint Tyagaraja. It is an irony that the very words that he uses to condemn musicians singing ‘to mortals in sabhas’ are being sung to 21st century mortals in sabhas today for a fee!

The rasas explored in Karnatic music will broaden in scope to include a wider body of expression; themes will expand beyond Hindu religious ideas and cover a broad range of subjects much like how the freedom movement in the early 1900s spurred the creation of a patriotic repertoire which entered the Karnatic music kucheri and took idols such as MSS and DKP to dizzying heights of popularity. This broadening of subject areas will in turn play a larger role in enabling diverse audiences to enjoy and appreciate the art form.

shankarank
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#9 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by shankarank »

RSR wrote: 26 Jun 2020, 13:32
The (live) audiences of today are all in concert halls, the sabhas in whom the very act of singing is condemned by none other than Saint Tyagaraja. It is an irony that the very words that he uses to condemn musicians singing ‘to mortals in sabhas’ are being sung to 21st century mortals in sabhas today for a fee!
http://thyagaraja-vaibhavam.blogspot.co ... -raga.html

This is the kriti cited by Vidvan SrI G.S. Mani in one of his talks. Given the condition then in Tanjore where the king became an indigent pensioner of the colony, it is not surprising that SrI tyAgarAja svAmi would have written like that.

With common wealth of villages abandoned by people, looted away , and the subsequent urban migration, I don't think SrI tyAgarAja would be against sabhas as a concept, if he were to be a witness today. But erratic things happen in all the places and lets critique those, not the whole thing.

RSR wrote: 26 Jun 2020, 13:32
The rasas explored in Karnatic music will broaden in scope to include a wider body of expression; themes will expand beyond Hindu religious ideas and over a broad range of subjects much like how the freedom movement ... creation of a patriotic repertoire......
We have discussed this before. What is preventing anybody from doing this? Why this should be a call to the system that is established? Reminds me of a joke that TNS spoke about in his talk! When parents of wards use to ask Madurai Sankarasivam bhagavatar, as to how long before their son can perform - he used to retort it seems: "Today! - You get a mic. and make them sing saraLi varisai and you hear it - that is indeed performance".

There in the other video that I posted, TMK could be seen asking rhetorically how we would not consider that anything significant , but SrI dIkshitar made a kriti on the same starting with saraLi varisai on to alankArams his first one!

If there are inspired lives being led, and inspired beings that exist, compose away, sing and get one person to listen! Do we have any such? Even Cricket has become uninspiring!

We could write something in praise of the pre-revolutionary China! They conquered in all directions , but never attacked the land of Buddha! It was considered a "sin" to do so! See if that appeals!

shankarank
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#10 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by shankarank »

With all the patriotic fervour, one sabha was with Justice party and the other patriotic one even pushed away Chowdiah there!

https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2014/02/1 ... 38-part-2/

These are things to critique, not the fact that musicians charge a fee! What kind of clueless colonial subjects we were/are? We are misunderstanding SrI tyAgarAja even now!

RSR
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#11 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by RSR »

1) To the best of my knowledge, neither Shyama Sastry nor Thyagaraja Swami performed in any 'concert or even chamber music , and accepted any gifts.
2) Thyagaraja swami did not even accept any 'fees' from his disciples., though he had well over 30 disciples.
3) Music for them was a means of happy - experience. That itself was the reward.
=========================================
4) Thyagaraja swami, recommends ,that one should sing for himself. Not for any audience...even of one.
5) If we do not have a good voice, the better thing is to learn some musical instrument and get immersed in the tunes .
--------------
Of course, one can always listen to good music.

shankarank
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#12 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by shankarank »

When they sang, their disciples listened - and that is one other person! Unless you are super advaitic. To sit through a class listening as a parent, is a good experience of music!

If you are dvaidic, you are singing to "one other" anyways, even as a body you are alone!

Ranganayaki
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#13 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by Ranganayaki »


Purist
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#14 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by Purist »

Beautifully rendered by Kum Shradha Ganesh.

Ranganayaki
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#15 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by Ranganayaki »

shankarank wrote: 27 Jun 2020, 18:55 When they sang, their disciples listened - and that is one other person!
If T believed that one should sing for oneself and there was a disciple present, listening While he sang, it doesn’t mean that T wasn’t at that moment singing according to his belief. Even if a large group of disciples were present it is perfectly possible to be singing only for oneself. A teaching session would be different. If a neighbor was listening from his house, which surely happened often, it doesn’t mean he was singing for the neighbor.

RSR
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#16 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by RSR »

Even in our own days, many eminent vocalists, ( like Smt.MS)even in concert platform, sing for themselves, to the deity before them in their mind. They hardly look at the audience. They close their eyes and the only thing in their mind then is the music. One may then ask, why they sing in concert platform then. They want to share the bliss with others.

kanniks
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#17 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by kanniks »

Thank you all so much for your kind words and for such a spirited discussion.
I shall share a few more of my compositions as well.

kanniks
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#18 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by kanniks »

Ranganayaki wrote: 26 Jun 2020, 07:51 Wonderful! What a lovely tillana! Have you composed anything before this?
Thanks so much, for your kind words Yes, I have composed other taranas, kritis etc. similar to this.. here is a short kriti in Bilahari.

https://soundcloud.com/kanniks-kannikes ... vdJWweONzw

yOga nrusimha mUrtim bhajEham
mOha mAyA kAryam tyajEham ||

bhOga mOksha dAyakam bhayaharam
vAgIshAdi vanditAbja padam
rAga dvEsha rahita hridaya vidita
bhOgIndra shAyinam - sudhArNavam

khaga turaga naramriga sharIram
kara dhrita sudarshana chakrAyudham
guruguha hita shrI ramA vallabham - a-
hObila hari nArAyanam anisham ||
(performed by my young nephew Suryah - ).

Ranganayaki
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#19 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by Ranganayaki »

So very nice, beautiful kriti! Thanks for sharing this and congratulations on all the sweet sounding, talented children around you!! 🙂 very nicely sung.

rajeshnat
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#20 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by rajeshnat »

Kanniks
Very good krithi . i dont know even if there are very prominent yoga narasimhar temple other the one at Sholinghur. By any chance did you compose and write lyrics with sholinghur in mind. Why have you bolded vidita , understand the need of bolding bilahari.

kanniks
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#21 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by kanniks »

shankarank wrote: 26 Jun 2020, 01:19 I heard and liked the rendition very much. Sri Kannikesvaran is an old acquaintance, I used run into in Dayton, Ohio Sri Rama temple for concerts. I remember him mentioning that his mother learnt from one of the Gurus in the Kallidaikkurichi lineage of SrI dIkshitar.

As regards the tillana, had one question:

In the anupallavi - the jathi on the concluding line:

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, ta,tA, | takatA, ,nOm,, ,,ta, tA, taka ||

karvais on nOm,, are intentionally asymmetric? Sort of incremental 3 and 5. That makes the tillAna approachable on the first go.

However balancing them out as 4, 4 would make it a more edgy one. Don't know if this is left out for future improvisational development. Usually done with tillanas by musicians themselves.

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, ,ta,tA | ,takatA ,,nOm, ,,ta, tA,taka ||

Alternately (thought about this after posting the above!) if the kArvai(s) are viewed as a set for tA and nom, tA,, nom,,, the the first is 3, 3 , the second can be 4, 4 instead of 3 & 5. That would also make it edgy as well!

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, ta,tA, | takatA, ,,nOm, ,,ta, tA, taka ||

Another laya sangati if we might call it that!

<<Added>>
Sometimes easy to miss a damn simple one - this is caturasram itself employing the progressive reduction with a connect back tail-ender "taka".

|| ta,tA, takatA, ,nOm,, tA,taka | tA,,nOm ,,taka tA,,nOm ,,taka ||
<<end>>

triSram version with kArvai adjustments is here:

|| ta,tA ,taka tA,nOm ta,tA | ,taka tA,nOm ta,tA ,taka ||

Another variation on that(see legend below for square bracket enclosed):

|| ta,tA ,taka [tA,nOm,](3) ta,tA | ,taka [tA,nOm,](3) ta,tA ,taka ||

An improvisation with kAla bhedam appended and naDai bhEdam interspersed and a progressive reduction thrown in.

|| ta,tA ,taka(6) {ta,tA ,taka}(3) [tA,nOm,](3) | tA,ta ka(4) {tA,taka}(2) [tA,nOm,] (3) taka(2) {taka}(1)||

Legend: free(unenclosed) syllables are in lower kAla triSram. {} Curly brace enclosed syllables are in higher kAla triSram. [] - square bracketed syllables are in caturASram with a feel of caturaSra triSram if your brain has switched to cognize in triSram overall.

The ending "taka" nicely joins back to beginning of pallavi as in "tAnOm" as originally composed.

Now, trISram is conveying the gummi ATTam of kirata women! Completing the sense of the usEni rAgam.

Layam can communicate as well ! ;) :D 8-)
Thanks for the insightful comments! I had thought about rhythmic variations in the last line of the anupallavi. And then just left it at that. And the trishram for folk - I have another tillana. Will share shortly.. Thanks so much!

kanniks
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#22 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by kanniks »

rajeshnat wrote: 01 Jul 2020, 10:42 Kanniks
Very good krithi . i dont know even if there are very prominent yoga narasimhar temple other the one at Sholinghur. By any chance did you compose and write lyrics with sholinghur in mind. Why have you bolded vidita , understand the need of bolding bilahari.
I wrote this kriti while attending a dolotsavam at a friend's place - keeping ahobilam and the nava narasimhas in mind. hence 'ahobila hari nArAyaNa' - and the consequent raga mudra bilahari. Yoga Narasimha is worshipped at Melkote. Thanks so much!

rajeshnat
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#23 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by rajeshnat »

WHy you bolded vidita sorry i did not get that yet

kanniks
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#24 Re: Sharing a tillana in Raga Useni

Post by kanniks »

rajeshnat wrote: 01 Jul 2020, 18:03 WHy you bolded vidita sorry i did not get that yet
Thanks for the question. I try to use the mudra 'vidita' wherever possible.

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