I am enjoying some fusion music. Began with Dagar Brothers (raag Malkauns)– which is definitely not fusion. But since people keep asking me for music recommendations, particularly Matt from Memphis, and Chris from Melbourne, here you go. Can’t find your emails so I hope you see this.
Rajesh Vaidhya plays the veena. This is a beautiful, ancient instrument. Raavan was a master at playing the veena. Nowadays, few Carnatic musicians play the veena and few Hindustani musicians play the rudra veena. I like Rajesh Vaidhya’s fusion of Tamil songs which is on Youtube here
I think Bala Bhaskar is really cute. Even though the acoustics aren’t very good, I like the way he mixes a Tamil song with the theme from Love Story with Tere Bina Zindagi. Wish there were a better version than this one here.
Kurai Ondrum Illai, beloved of Tamilians has a fusion version here that I like. I know M.S. made this hers but no disrespect to the great M.S. Amma, check this one out too here
I love this song– Mokshamu Galada– particularly the Ranjani Gayathri version when they sang the Anupallavi first at the Ram Seva Mandali concerts held at Fort Auditorium, Bangalore. You should have heard the sprawling hall turn silent when they began with with “Sakshat Karamu.” I got goose flesh, or “Roma Harsh” as Professor BN Goswamy prefers to call it. I used to love this fusion version by Aathirai Sivapalan (I think she is Sri Lanka based) here till Ranjani Gayathri spoiled anything else for me. My mother-in-law says that Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna (my guru when I was growing up in Chennai) sang a wonderful version in the film Swati Tirunaal. Have been trying to locate that version in Youtube but cannot.
How could I forget the divine Sudha Raghunathan’s version of Thaye Yashoda in the film “Morning Raga.” Shabana Azmi is fantastic as a Tamilian mother here. Her saris are to die for. My favorite clip is here. Again, the divine voice of Sudha Raghunathan singing a varnam that I don’t know. I like it only from 1:25 because the whole woman pressing the feet of the man is, I don’t know!! The saris and the lamps are stunning.
Saxophone maestro Kadri Gopalnath’s fusion of Ragam Nasikabhooshani. I have heard KJ Yesudas sing and subsequently learned a song called “Sri Rama Saraswati,” that I think is in this ragam. You can hear it here. The more popular Enna Thavam Seidanei here. My uncle used to sing this song all through my summer holidays with him in Kottayam. Both Kadri and Kanya (the violinist) have stayed in Lakshmi– my sister-in-law’s house in Fort Myers and she tells me that they are amazing musicians.
That’s it. Enough procrastinating.