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The veena, turned up to 11.
May 16, 2008 1:24 AM   Subscribe

With a pickup mounted on the body of the instrument just below the strings, Revathy Krishna, KP Sarada and Sivanandam and Jayanthi Kumaresh get an unexpectedly fat sound out of their veena. Rocking! The instrument is more often amplified with a microphone, in which case it sounds more like this performance by D. Balakrishna, who, as you'll hear, ain't no slouch, neither. And here Pichumani gets his groove on, no doubt about it. So, hey, two more raags for the road, courtesy of Rajeswari Padmanabhan. The second tune on her clip, by the way, has got some deep blues in it, so I'm thinking maybe Rajeswari might've been down to the crossroads at midnight... [NOTE: see hoverovers for link descriptions]

One of the legendary veena masters is S. Balachander. Here's a short documentary on him, with some fabulous reverb on that narrator! Part 1 (4:35) and 2 (4:41). Here's a performance by S. Balachander.

By the way, those clay pots that you see being played as veena accompaniment in these clips are called ghatam. Pretty cool, huh? Here's a player surrounded by a set of tuned ghatam.
posted by flapjax at midnite (28 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
man, am i glad i decided to check the blue one more time before i headed to bed.

grooooooooovy stuff, flapjax. thank you, oh so much! i'll have some crazy awesome dreams tonight, lulled as i'll be by veena delight!
posted by CitizenD at 1:54 AM on May 16, 2008


The second tune on her clip, by the way, has got some deep blues in it,

Very cool, but that track was screaming for a glass slide, a humbucker pick-up, and a cheap Fender amp. Then she'd be rocking.
posted by three blind mice at 2:04 AM on May 16, 2008


Kick AXE! Great post, flapjax!
posted by psmealey at 3:19 AM on May 16, 2008


Aw great, now I'm going to have to have Indian for lunch tomorrow.
posted by kcds at 4:13 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


top drawer old chap
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:27 AM on May 16, 2008


err, I mean, played by a man is that sweet, can we imagin
how it would have been by lord krishna
!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:28 AM on May 16, 2008


*wonders what the market share for Sitar Hero could be*
posted by PenDevil at 4:35 AM on May 16, 2008


This is great. Thanks.
posted by googly at 5:08 AM on May 16, 2008


Again, I call for an official Flapjaxfilter!!!!

Nice post.
posted by timsteil at 5:15 AM on May 16, 2008


Dude, I'm peakin'.
Great post. It's right up there with the Turkish jammers.
posted by NoMich at 5:40 AM on May 16, 2008


Apparently you ca get one of these for around $1000. They look more complicated than that and I'm sure the true proffesional instruments go for more.

I wonder if there is an historical connection between the veena and the Turkish saz.
posted by preparat at 5:45 AM on May 16, 2008


Oh man, I dig anything with a drone. Such neat sounds. It wouldn't be the same, for me, without the percussion, though; I'm more a sucker for movement than for melody. Thanks for these.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:05 AM on May 16, 2008


I'm so shell-shocked by antiterrorism horror stories I thought while reading the lead-in . . . foreign names, oddly modified instrument = certain arrest and imprisonment.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2008


I love how in the second link, the 60-cycle hum quickly becomes a drone that seems to belong. Freakin' awesome.

I wonder what kinds of mixers they're using. (I don't see a guitar amp in any of the videos I've watched so far.) My guess is that the recording engineers are using some old boards that help give the instruments that superphat round sound.
posted by nosila at 7:38 AM on May 16, 2008



More towards the glass slide and humbucker pick-up side of things...
posted by sneebler at 8:02 AM on May 16, 2008


From the notes to the KP Sarada and Sivanandam video: "Their playing is well recognized for their bhava and soukyam." What does this mean?
posted by sneebler at 8:19 AM on May 16, 2008


Thanks, Flapjax, I'm really starting to develop a love for Indian classical music... mostly as a result of MeFi posts!
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:26 AM on May 16, 2008


The videos are truncated -- is that thanks to youtube's limits? (Nasty shock to have the music suddenly end when it was building towards the climax.)
posted by phliar at 9:18 AM on May 16, 2008


Oh, excellent! I came across a couple of these awhile back and was pretty enthralled. Thank you for posting this.
posted by medeine at 10:56 AM on May 16, 2008


Funny. Just this morning I was jammin' out to a little diddy from a pair of dudes hailing a few thousand miles to the west of the Veena crowd.

Great stuff! Thanks for the post.
posted by thrakintosh at 11:01 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


heh ... we just had a veena player on Campus yesterday afternoon ... sadly, nowhere as impressive as these folks. But it got me looking into bansuri again ...
posted by aldus_manutius at 1:40 PM on May 16, 2008


This post is so good it makes me crazy!
posted by vronsky at 8:30 PM on May 16, 2008


Hey, sneebler, that Harry Manx clip is totally killing. Gorgeous stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:50 PM on May 16, 2008


If you like Harry Manx, you'll like Debashish Bhattacharya.
posted by Wolof at 10:44 PM on May 16, 2008


Yup, you're right, Wolof. I am an instant Bhattacharya fan. Thanks for that!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:55 PM on May 16, 2008


This seems apposite — U. Shrinivas & U. Rajesh on electric mandolins.
posted by Wolof at 11:15 PM on May 16, 2008


Oh yeah, Shrinivas is kickass. Those wanting to see more of him, check my previous FPP.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:34 PM on May 16, 2008


More mohan veena from the excellent Prakash Sontakke with Pramod Gaikwad.
posted by Wolof at 12:05 AM on May 17, 2008


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