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CDs & DVDs > Indian Classical Music > The Elements Water (Audio CD)
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The Elements Water (Audio CD)

The Elements Water (Audio CD)

The Elements Water (Audio CD)

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Shiv Kumar Sharma
Music Today (2004)

Item Code:
ICI031
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About the CD

I believe that a composer should not set any limits to his own imagination. My approach as a classical musician is different to that as a composer, where my thinking and concepts are quite apart. In this album, I have created a variety of forms of music to depict the many forms of water: two traditional raga-based compositions, describing stories drawn from the contemporary, reflecting modern life and musical sounds.

I have chosen to open with the theme of Ganga, because when you think of water, or jal, in our country, you think of Ganga Jal. It is part of our lives, and the connection is deep and emotive. Ganga represents the best qualities of water, cleansing, purifying, never decaying. I have depicted the torrential descent of Ganga, the sweeping force of her gushing waters and how lord Shiva holds them in his locks, through the majestic notes of Raga Malkauns and the dramatic beat of the pakhawaj. As the river's life-giving waters flow across the countryside, the pakhawaj ends, the rhythm chances, and there is a different composition in Malkauns. At the Sangam, three rivers come together. To depict this, I have used the moorchhana bhed, the shifting of the tonic sa, to change the raga from Malkauns to Durga; then the sa shifts again so that Durga moves into Bhoopali, but we get only glimpses of Bhoopali to show the hidden nature of river Saraswati. In the end they all mingle, just as I have seen the different coloured waters of the different rivers mingling during Kumbh at Sangam. At the end we return to Malkauns.

In "Stillness of the Lake", I have visualized waters of infinite depth and mystery, still and quiet. Here I have deliberately avoided the santoor, whose sound is like more like flowing water; but still waters have an altogether different feel.

When you think of water, you think of its many forms, each so different, from the vastness of the ocean to a tiny dewdrop. The Dewdrop composition is entirely based on santoor, very soft, luminous and tender. I have not used rhythm, so that the music sparkles with the great delicacy of a dewdrop ornamenting a flower, or a leaf in the first light of dawn.

In "Walking in the Rain", I could have composed in the monsoon ragas, Malhar or Megh. Indtead I have chosen an unconventional approach, very romantic in mood, contemporary and universal; it could be anywhere in the world, it could be western. The rhythm and notes are completely apart from traditional raga.

I return again to mythology in Samudra Manthan, the churning of nectar from the sea. The pakhawaj creates mood through rhythm, and through different chhands, or rhythmic patterns, I have shown the wild churning of the waters. There is a sense of turbulence here, expressed by the santoor, which sounds quite unusual with deep staccato notes. When the nectar is discovered there is peace, there is joy, and the santoor sounds like the traditional santoor again. It ends in a very serene and happy mood. The whole piece is raga-based and traditional.

Many of my listeners tell me- including those who are unversed in classical music- that they feel that the music of the santoor evokes the sound of water, and it gives them an experience of joy. Through these compositions in a variety of musical idioms, I have created the sounds of water, fascinating in its many forms, and I hope that my listeners will share these sounds and feeling with me.

1.Ganga / Sangam 21:47
2. Stillness Of The Lake7:19
3. Dewdrops8:27
4. Walking In The Rain5:49
5. Samudra Manthan16:55
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