MUSIC Violinist Kanyakumari’s new raga concept comprises seven ragas which are collectively named after the seven Tirumala hills. RANEE KUMAR
Ace violinist A. Kanyakumari is coming out with a ‘vibgyor raga’ concept wherein she has founded seven new ragas which collectively come under the name of ‘Saptagiri’ after the seven hills of Tirumala. Each raga is named after one hill of the Tirumala range and in a chronological order. The first is Seshadri, a janya raga (offshoot) of the parent raga Hemavathi (58th melakarta). The rest that follow in sequence are Neeladri (offshoot of Jhankaradwani-19th melakarta), Garudadri (Chakravakam-16th melakarta), Anjanadri (Rasikapriya, last melakarta-72),Vrishbhadri (Kanakangi-first melakarta), Narayanadri (Dheera Sankarabharanam-29) and Venkatadri (Jhankaradwani-19).
Says Kanyakumari, in an informal chat, “Research has been done and it is found that none of these ragas figure in the janya raga list that exists under the 72 mela raga classification. So my innovation can stand the test of scrutiny. I want to tune seven Annamacharya kirtanas to these seven ragas. I will be presenting my Saptagiri as 'Raga Nada Neerajanam' at Tirumala on August 15 coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the popular Nada Neerajanam of Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC),” she states.
An established woman violinist, she is also a guru who has churned out maximum number of students like Embar Kannan, Rajesh, Kamalakiran who have already carved a niche for themselves on the Carnatic music firmament. Her innovations include ‘Panchajanya’ (five elements, five legendary musicians set to five talas), Tristhayi Sangamam (ensemble of three instruments) to name a few among her multi-faceted creations. The recently conferred ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,’ by two well-known music sabhas (Shanmukhapriya and Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha) of Chennai, is just another feather to her cap.