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NKK Holds Carnatic Music Rendition Of Dasa Compositions

Nrupatunga Kannada Koota (NKK) presented ‘Dasara Aradhana’, a Carnatic musical rendition of numerous Dasa compositions on October 22 at IACA Temple in Smyrna. The event also featured young Mridangam artists Avinash Ananth and Ajay Srinivasamurthy. Ajay who also specializes in Morching demonstrated its significance and usage in his lecture. The 75 registered participants, included singers from various communities such as Telugu and Tamil, other than Kannada.

Starting from a group song, the event proceeded to present works of numerous dasas such as Purandara dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Vijaya Dasa, Vyasatirtha, Gopala Dasaru to name a few. These dasas brought the esoteric Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas within the reach of the common man in lyrical form in simple Kannada, composed thousands of hymns in praise of the Lord. They also contributed to the rich heritage of Karntataka, leaving an indelible impression on the religious and cultural life of Karnataka. 

Ajay, in his lecture demo about Morching ( also called Morsing, , Jaw harp or a Jew's harp) said that instrument was used in various forms in the music of Central Asia, Sindhi music, Chinese music, and in Western Classical music. 

“It consists of two parallel metal forks connected in the shape of a horse shoe at one end. Between the forks is a thin metal tongue which is fixed at one end and free to vibrate at the other end, making the Morsing a kind of lamellophone” he explained. 

He also added that it was possible to ‘speak’ with Morsing. “The basic playing technique is to pluck the metal tongue at the required tempo and speak out the Mridangam syllables without voicing, though there are many advanced playing techniques. A Morsing in tuned by sticking bees wax on the metal tongue to lower its pitch. Owing to its non- percussive sustained sound, Morsing provides both pitch support and rhythmic support in Carnaticmusic, accompanying the Mridangam. Morsing is an essential part of percussion ensembles (Talavadya)” he elaborated. 

Ajay Srinivasamurthy is a PhD student at the Music Intelligence Group in the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, Dept of Music, Georgia Institute of Technology and Masters degree holder from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He has completed the Karnataka Talavadya Junior examination by KSEEB and is currently learning Mridangam and Morsing from Vid. G S Nagaraj, an A-grade artist in the All India Radio at Kalavardhini School of Music, Bangalore. 

Avinash, a 10th grade student, is a disciple of Sri. Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan. He has performed at a prestigious scientific conference at UCLA in 2008 and a few Sabhas in Chennai during December Music festival in 2009 and at saint Tyagaraja’s abode in Thiruvaiyyar. He has performed on numerous occasions in the US with leading artists and continues to accompany local and visiting artists.

The concert ended with a vote of thanks by NKK President Pradeep Vittalmurthy who thanked everyone including the coordinator of the event, Chaitra Gururaj, followed by Aarthi to lord Krishna.

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