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“I Love the Way Indian Music Fits into Vedic Philosophy, It Makes Sense of the Way Music Works”


Karina Bontes-Forward of Australia and Loes Van Hapert of Netherlands came to Mysore for different reasons. But both ended up learning a special vachana from Surabhi Pusthakam Narasimhan, faculty at the Department of Carnatic Classical Vocal Music at the Karnataka State Dr.Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts, University, Mysore.

The University organizes Inter Cultural Exchange programmes where non-Indians come to showcase their art styles. Loes’ song was a small harmonic piece which enticed Surabhi to try out her idea of harmony in Carnatic Classical Music.

Vachana Sahitya is a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada that evolved in the 11th century CE and flourished in the 12th century, as a part of the Sharana movement. The word ‘vachana’ literally means "that which is said". Surabhi thought the meaningful prose would be a good selection for the visitors.

The song that immediately came to her mind was ‘Ivanaarava Ivanaarava’, a Vachana by Basavanna in the raga Vakulabharana. “This song has universal acceptance and I felt it was apt to experiment with harmonic melodies,” says Surabhi.


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