“Carnatic music is based on bhakti, which aspect I want to project, always,” Saashwathi Prabhu is emphatic. “Alapana, swaram, etc., are decorations, which sure beautify the music but take away the spiritual element,” she adds. Her aim is to reach Carnatic music and the rich repertoire to everyone through lyrics. “Technical elements should not prevent the laymen, especially youth, from enjoying and learning classical music,” she says.
Her album, ‘Hymns to the Goddess,’ is the outcome of this urge. All the seven compositions are classics, including the two slokas – Mookambika Ashtakam and Shyamala Dhandakam, which Saashwathi has set to tune. “I have taken care to retain their meditative quality,” she observes. She has rendered the songs with the support of instruments wielded by experts. Donan has played the guitar, Satish the flute, N. Sundar the tabla and Padma Sankar the violin. Padma has also provided the vocal background.
Saashwathi takes the credit for the arrangement of the suit and production. A disciple of Lalgudi Jayaraman, she thanks her guru for the strides she has taken. “I owe everything to him; any flaws are due to my shortcomings,” she says.
“This is the other side of my earlier effort, ‘Mystic Journey,’” supplies Saashwathi. That had raga alapana and swaram, all instrumental. Both vivacious and sober ragas had been chosen.
Marketed by Swathi Soft Solutions, ‘A Hymn to the Goddess’ will be released on August 21 at Dr. Nalli Gana Vihar. Aruna Sairam is the chief guest, N. Ramani guest of honour, Dr. Sriram Parasuram special guest. At 6.30 p.m., Saashwathi will present, ‘Bhakti Rasam,’ a vocal concert and again the accent will be on sahitya and bhakti bhava. “Ragam and swaram will be minimum, just enough to make it a complete concert,” says Saashwathi. This will be followed by a dance presentation by the disciples of Radhika Shurajit and the CD release at 8.15 p.m.