Genius of Aruna Sairam | Kalinga Nartana Tillana | Krishna's Serpent Dance | Music of India


#darbarfestival | An extraordinary vocal recreation of Lord Krishna’s mythical battle with Kaliya, the fearsome five-headed snake who boiled the waters of the Yamuna River around them.

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Learn more about the music:

Kalinga Nartana Tillana is Aruna Sairam’s vocal rendition of Lord Krishna’s mythical battle with Kaliya, the fearsome five-headed snake who boiled the waters of the Yamuna River around him as they fought. It is based on a 6th century composition by Oothukkadu Venkata Subba Iyer, complete with rhythmic vocalisations to describe Krishna’s battle dance, and the hissing sounds of the snake. The music is set to the pentatonic Raga Gambhirananda, in the 8-beat Adi Tala.

Aruna Sairam’s voice brings a husky authority to modern Carnatic music. She first learnt to sing by listening to her mother and is part of a long line of female musicians. The direct teaching lineage stretches back over 200 years, to the singers and dancers of the Tamil court. She is an exponent of ‘pure’ Carnatic singing but also looks outwards, with collaborations ranging from jazz and Sufi to Gregorian chant and film scores. She sings in 12 different languages, and vice-chairs the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s premier national music and dance institution.

She pulls no punches when it comes to the psychological obstacles faced by female musicians today: “You’re constantly told you’re not good enough…it can be more difficult to be in touch with your inner talents, as society expects women to nourish others first.” Listen to more of Aruna here:
-Raga Shanmukhapriya |
-Teertha Vitthala Kshetra Vitthala |
-Festival interview |

Recorded for Darbar on 17 Sep 2016, at London’s Royal Festival Hall
-Aruna Sairam (carnatic vocal)
-Jayanthi Kumaresh (saraswati veena)
-Jyotsna Srikanth (carnatic violin)
-Nevyelli Venkatesh (mridangam)
-Ghatam Karthick (ghatam)
-Kruthika Nadarajah (tanpura)
-Mithila Sharma (tanpura)

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Indian classical music, Hindustani, Raga, Carnatic, Darbar Festival, Tabla, Sitar, Sarod, Santoor, Music from India, Aruna Sairam, Jaynathi Kumaresh, Jyotsna Shrikanth, Nevyelli Venkatesh, Ghatam Karthick, Kruthika Nadarajah, Mithila Sarma