Raag Kaushik Dhwani was previously known as Bhinna Shadaj. ‘Bhinna’ means differentiated and ‘Shadaj’ means the first note or Sa. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma performs a lighter piece based on this raga. He bases the main melodic lines on Kaushik Dhwani and introduces an element of surprise in almost every tonal sentence of improvisation. He does so by deviating each time into a new raga, borrowing its flavours and stitching it seamlessly to Kaushik Dhwani.
This pentatonic raga uses all its notes as ‘nyasa swars’ or resting points. This makes all its notes important and gives immense liberty to the artist to take off or land on any note, expand the raga and freely incorporate flavours of other ragas into it. Naturally, Kaushik Dhwani is an apt and refined choice to execute a raagmala or dhun.
Pandit Sharma begins with a lilting composition in 8-beat Keherwa. Without a suture, he creates paths, deftly stitching phrases from Khamaj and Pahadi in this part. From the lilting Keherwa, he makes a shift to Teental and raises the tempo. Here, he weaves tonal phrases from Kedar, Basant, Hamsadhwani, Alhaiya Bilaval, Miyan ki Malhar and Gorakh Kalyan to be precise.
Ramkumar Mishra follows Pandit Sharma’s tonal and temperamental dynamics meticulously. He blends his tabla accompaniment appropriately with the melodic inputs of the santoor, enhancing the drama with his thekas and adding spice with his improvisations.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (santoor)
Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla)
Raag Mishra Kaushik Dhwani, Thaat: Bilawal, Samay: late night