Vilambita Sutra: Slow Music on the Bamboo Flute Bansuri.
Relax. Soothe. Heal.
Raj’s soundscapes in the Hindustani tradition of the Classical Music of India:
Deliberate. Dignified. Delightful.
Solemn. Serene. Sublime.
Melodious. Meditative. Mystical.
Photo by Kshitij Vasudevan
© Rangaraj Mandayam Rangayyan 2023
Namaste! Hello! Welcome! My name is Rangaraj Mandayam Rangayyan; you may call me Raj. By the way, “Ranga,” while being one of the many names of Lord Sri Krishna – The Divine One with the bamboo flute, peacock feather, and cows – also means color, the arts, sentiment, and emotion. “Raj” means king. So, now you know me!
My Training: I learnt the Hindustani genre of the Classical Music of India on the bansuri bamboo flute from my Guru Sri K.P. Shenoy and on the sitar from my Guru Sri N.R. Rama Rao, in Bangalore. I have given many concerts and lecture-demonstrations in India, Canada, and Brazil. In Calgary, I have performed for the University of Calgary, the Raga Mala Music Society, the City of Calgary, the Glenbow Museum, Arts Commons, and many other organizations.
My Music: My arrangements and presentations have included innovative combinations of many varieties of instruments and genres of music. My aim is to present and promote the classical music of India in its pure, serene, soothing, and natural acoustic character to facilitate yoga, meditation, contemplation, reflection, mindfulness, and relaxation. The 50 compositions in my seven CDs, with Utpal Mazumdar on the tabla and pakhawaj, are available through iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and many other distributors; please visit rangayyan.ca for details.
Slow Music: In Sanskrit, vilambita means long or slow; sutra means a string, connection, formula, composition, or exposition. In the present context, the title means a long, slow, and deliberate exposition of a raga (a melodic concept), presented as a formulation or path to relax, soothe, and heal the mind. Slow Music is the perfect antidote to the present rushed, fast-paced, and speed-driven lifestyle.
The approximate ranges of laya (tempo) for a tala (rhythmic cycle) in Hindustani music are:
10 – 30 bpm: ati vilambit; very slow. 30 – 90 bpm: vilambit; slow.
90 – 150 bpm: madhya laya; medium pace. 150 – 240 bpm: dhrut; fast. 240 – ... bpm: ati dhrut; very fast.
(bpm = beats per minute.)
Slow Music on My Bansuri: The sounds of my bansuri, with the reference note at the bass C#3, are naturally soothing and pleasant. With more emphasis on delicate raga-based melody than pronounced tala-based rhythmic passages, I wish to create intricate and exquisite soundscapes that open up your mind to explore uncharted paths in your own imagination. I weave the natural and sonorous tones of the bamboo flute into acoustic patterns with depth and texture so as to facilitate a state of mindful being with emotional balance and inner peace.
Classical Music of India: The seven notes of the saptak (group of seven or the range of an octave) are sung as Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni; they are written here as S, R, G, M, P, D, and N. The notes are approximately equivalent to Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and Ti (Si), or C, D, E, F, G, A, and B in Western music. The komal (soft or flat) version of a note is indicated by the underline. The tivra (augmented or sharp) version of the fourth note is indicated as M’. In the tradition of Hindustani classical music, each raga is assigned a specific period of the day or a particular season as the most appropriate time to render, enjoy, appreciate, and benefit from the effects of the designated set of notes and passages derived using them, while respecting certain rules and norms. Each raga also is associated with a specific rasa or bhava that corresponds to a particular mood or sentiment.
My Offering: I would like to present, for your listening pleasure, my renditions in ati vilambit ek tala, a rhythm with 12 beats per cycle, at 12 and 18 bpm, of the following ragas. Click on the name of the raga to listen to the music and view the related image. The following tracks are also available on my YouTube channel!
Vibhas: A meditative raga for sunrise, using the notes S, R, G, P, D.
Bairagi: A mystical raga for early morning, using S, R, M, P, N.
Abhogi: A sublime raga for early morning, using S, R, G, M, D.
Bhupal Todi: A solemn raga for the morning, using S, R, G, P, D.
Shuddha Sarang: A melancholic raga for midday, using S, R, M, M’, P, D, N.
Madhuvanti: A serene raga for the late afternoon, using S, R, G, M’, P, D, N.
Shri: A dignified raga for sunset, using S, R, G, M’, P, D, N.
Gorakh: A delightful raga for the late evening, using S, R, M, D, N.
Bageshri: A melodious raga for the night, using S, R, G, M, P, D, N.
These are just a few samples of my Slow Music. If you would like recordings in other formats, please contact me. If you would like to listen to medium-paced and faster compositions, you may check the 50 tracks of my seven CDs available on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and several other digital music distributors.
For details about my CDs, concerts, lecture-demonstrations, lessons on the bansuri flute and the sitar, and the Classical Music of India, please visit rangayyan.ca or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Rangaraj Mandayam Rangayyan 2023