Shashank Subramanyam | Bindumalini
Filmed on location • 11m
Shashank Subramanyam started learning early in life - some say he could recognise all 72 Melakarta scales by the age of two-and-a-half. His first musical immersions came with singing and violin, but he fell in love with the venu bamboo flute as soon as he picked it up, focusing on it from that point onwards.
He has incorporated overblowing textures and novel hand positions, and immersed himself into the grammar of Hindustani music too, frequently collaborating with artists from the North, including a jugalbandi with sitarist Pandit Kushal Das for Darbar. Over the past decade he has worked with artists including Paco de Lucia, Terry Riley, and Remember Shakti, and is today recognised as among the finest bamboo flute exponents to have ever lived.
Bindumalini is a melodious Carnatic raga, derived from Chakravakam (the 16th Melakarta parent scale). Beloved by the Lalgudi school and the late Mandolin Srinivas, it ascends with SG3R1G3M1PN2S, and descends with SN2SD2PG3R1S - i.e. Dha is omitted on the way up, and Ma on the way down.
Interpretations vary greatly, but many listeners describe touches of playfulness as well as auspicious, devotional moods. The great saint-musician Tyagaraja composed in the raga, including the kritis Yenta Muddo. It somewhat resembles the Hindustani Raag Ahir Bhairav with a komal Ni, but twists and turns differently. In Western terms it approximates to the Mixoydian b2 scale (1-b2-3-4-5-6-b7).
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