Friday, July 11, 2014

Medley in Mayamalavagowla

Here is a wonderful Medley based on the Raga Mayamalavagowla.

A bit of history and introduction to the raga - thanks to Wiki:

Mayamalavagowla (pronounced māyāmāḻavagauḻa), is a raga of Carnatic Music. Originally known as malavagowla, "maya" was prefixed to it after the advent of the scheme of the 72 melakarta ragas.  This is a morning raga.

This auspicious raga evokes śānta(peace) rasa and pathos. It creates a soothing effect. Suitable to sing at all times, particularly, the first yAMam (dawn). It is commonly used for beginners lessons such as Sarali Varisais or Sarali Svaras (Telugu), etc. Since it eschews vivadi swaras (relatively discordant notes), has a uniform distance between svara sthānas (relative position of notes) and has symmetry, they are easier to learn. It is an ancient rāgam and has been around for a long time. It is a Sampurna raga. This rāgam corresponds to Bhairav in Hindustani music. Mayamalavagowla has quite a few janya ragams associated with it, of which Bowli, Jaganmohini, Gowla, Gowlipantu, Lalita, Nadanamakriya, Revagupti, Saveri and Malahari are quite well known.

As many of us would know, the basics in Carnatic music are usually set in this raga and this happens to be the first raga a student receives from the Guru. This is typically a soothing raga which reflects the sunshine of a pleasant morning, and can produce positive vibes of Peace and Kindness.

This particular medley starts with one such Guru-Sishya learning session - delivered by none other than the greatest of greats - Dr Balamurali Krishna. He starts off with the brilliant notes of the Mayamalavagowla and a wonderful mini-aalapana - these are extracted from a song from the Malayalam film "Bharatham" which has music by the great Ravindran master.

As you hear this song, you will automatically be reminded of yet another similar song in Tamil - but that would follow a little later in the Medley.

The first piece of Dr BMK is all about Devi or Ambaal (Goddess Rajamaathangi), and the medley automatically evolves into the next piece from Maestro Ilayaraja - "Maasaru Ponnae Varuga" from the film "Devar Magan" - which is another song on the same Goddess. This is a short, but scintillating song with amazing accompaniments, bubbling with energy all through. The Maestro brings his efficient orchestration into full display in this wonderful piece.

This song describes Ambaal as the sister of Madhavan (Lord Vishnu), and that provides the link to the next piece in the Medley.

The earlier piece integrates into the brilliant musical interlude again of the Maestro, followed by the mystic, musical voice of Dr K J Yesudas - part of the track "Rama Namamoru Vedhamae" from the popular film Sri Raghavendrar. You would note that this song is all about Madhavan (Lord Vishnu) who got linked up in the previous piece of the Medley.

This divine link throughout this medley was an accidental discovery - much after I compiled the songs through, but appears to be a beautiful and logical connection. And this last piece by Dr Yesudas is the one that you would be reminded of when you heard the first portion by Dr BMK - these two tracks have an amazingly identical beginning, with a Guru-Sishya tradition at the start. You can listen to the individual tracks again to understand the beauty (see links at the end of this post).

There are tons of melodies to choose from Ilayaraja's treasures set in this raga, and I could not really make a satisfactory selection. In all likelihood, you can expect one more medley in the same raga anytime soon - else I would feel guilty of hiding away many other gems.

Hope you would enjoy this collection.. look forward to your views and comments..

Raga Mayamalavagowla Medley | Muziboo

Links to download the individual tracks:
1) Rajamaathangi
2) Maasaru Ponnae Varuga
3) Rama Naamamoru Vedhamae

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