Mita Nag | Raag Suha Kanada
Filmed on location at Singur, West Bengal, Mita Nag performs Suha Kanada. Nag is the sixth generation of sitarists in her family - a lineage including Manilal Nag (her father) and Gokul Nag (her grandfather). She hails from the Bishnupur gharana, a dhrupad-influenced tradition of Bengal, and is known for a virtuosic, vocal-infused approach. She has a Masters degree in English Literature, and in 2002 founded The Gokul Nag Memorial Foundation, a cultural organisation which seeks to preserve Kolkata’s musical heritage.
The Kanada (or Kannada/Kanhra) family of ragas span many different moods, but are generally tied together by the use of komal ga and komal dha [flat 3rd and 6th]. These notes are typically vakra [used in a zig-zag pattern] in descent, replacing movements such as gR and dP with gmR and dnP. Consequently, Kanada ragas often use Asavari thaat [SRgmPdnS - akin to the Western natural minor scale], bringing a serious, introspective sensibility to the music. The name is likely derived from Kannada, hinting at ancient South Indian origins. Ragas which commonly include the Kanada suffix include Abhogi, Asavari, Darbari, Kaunsi, Sughrai, and Suha, although the term can be used to indicate bespoke Kanada-type modifications to many others too.