Rehearsal in Flushing Town Hall

Yesterday morning I went to Flushing Town Hall and had a try out session with bass guitarist Clyde Bullard. This was the first time we were playing together, though I had played with bass guitarists earlier. For Clyde, this was his first time playing with a carnatic musician.

I first gave him the notes on the ascending & descending scale (Arohanam & Avarohanam) of the ragam Hamsadhwani. – s r2 g2 p n2 / ś n2 p g2 r2 .
(Shadjam, Chathusruthi Rishabham, Anthara Gandharam, Panchamam & Kakali Nishadham)

Since I have tuned my veena to D# (E flat) the corresponding notes were
e flat – f – g – b – d

I started playing Vathapi Ganapathim as this is my favorite opening piece on the veena and most often I start a concert with this Muthuswamy Dikshithar Kirthana.

I told Clyde that he can play within these 5 swarams (notes) only.  He listened to the Pallavi as I played and quickly understood the scale and then started accompanying me on his bass guitar with matching notes.

Half  hour later my husband ShivRaj,  who composes music on the midi joined us to listen and gave some tips to Clyde as to what notes would sound better at various parts of the kirthanai (a song).  Soon we were playing together, synching well.

Overall it was a good rehearsal. We would meet for another rehearsal next week.

Vathapi Ganapathim is a Kirthanai on Lord Ganesha in the language Sanskrit. Vathapi Ganapathim – KJ Yesudas.

I heard Yesudas ji rendering Vathapi in a concert in Chennai as a kid and fell with that style and Iam both inspited and influenced by his style in this kirthanai.