Raag Yaman Kalyan is a combination of Raag Yaman and its parent scale Kalyan. Although shudh Ma is not used in both Raag Yaman and Kalyan thaat, this quintessential combination of Yaman and Kalyan deploys shudh Ma as the vivadi or optional note.
With this minor yet significant conjecture, there arises the risk of Yaman Kalyan’s tendency to tilt heavily towards either Yaman or Kalyan-ang even in the hands of seasoned musicians whereby the difference between Yaman, Yaman Kalyan, Shudh Kalyan and Kalyan-ang is completely lost in a mish-mash of faulty execution.
In this video, Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee plays a short alap in Yaman Kalyan, handling it with mastery and plumbing its true essence with his impeccable 'raagdaari' (loyalty to the grammars of the raga). This recital was shot and recorded live at the imposing and dramatically grand mansion called Bawali Rajbari - a 265-year-old palatial residence of a landlord from the British raj located 40 kilometres outside of Kolkata, India. It has been captured in an ambience to give the listeners the experience of a 'baithak', a private musical soiree that was a quintessential feature and a permanent fixture in such grand mansions of the yore. Baithaks featuring Indian classical music formed the soul of such sprawling mansions and were regularly hosted in intimate spaces.
Pandit Mukherjee masterfully brings out the distinctive characteristics of Raag Yaman Kalyan with his judicious use of shudh Ma. Establishing the Kalyan-ang beautifully, he deploys the phrases mining the devotional essence of the raga and wedges the shudh Ma scantily in between descending phrases. Pandit Mukherjee is a musicians’ musician, inspiring generations with his candid, honest and solid musicianship that is devoid of any showmanship. Listening to Pandit Mukherjee is like beholding an ocean, the vastness and depth of which is unfathomable, incomprehensible and full of unexpected, life-changing moments.
Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee (sitar)
Raag Yaman Kalyan, Thaat: Kalyan, Samay: early evening