music review

Tribute to the guru

Guru Naman is an album of seven bandishes dedicated to the guru (or teacher), an important figure in Indian musical traditions. The bandishes have been written and composed by Keerti Kumar Badseshi. He was groomed by Pandit Vinayak Torvi in various aspects of music. Keerti is known from his khayaal gaayaki in the Kiraana and Gwalior styles. An All India Radio and Doordarshan artiste, Keerti has also lent his voice to playback singing, and is the director of Sur Naman, an institute for performing arts in Bangalore. Each bandish is about 10 minutes on an average. In the fast-paced world of instant, radio-cut tailored music, it calls for a bit of patient and concentrated listening. The opening song is the longest at 13 minutes. It is composed in Raag Bairagi Bhairav.

This raag was historically associated with glory and awe, but became identified with peace and devotion, which is manifested in the rendition of this bandish. With his devotion to the guru, Keerti expounds various ragas. Madhuvanti, for instance, is a romantic raga based on the foundation, eternity and colours of love. Madhu literally means honey. It is a sweet raga with a simple philosophy of love and romance. However, Keerti’s bandish brings out the essence of devotion to the teacher. Again, there is a devotional tinge in Bhoopali, a raag in which most of the songs are based on bhakti rasa. He explores the sobriety of the scale of Raag Puriya Dhanashree, the strikingly beautiful Raag Chandrakauns, the grave late night Raag Darbari and the late evening Raag Raageshri. Keerti’s dedication to his guru is manifested in the lyrics of the song Krupa Karo Guru Moray. He is accompanied by Vysasamurthi Katti on the harmonium and Jagadish Kurthkoti on the tabla.

Guru Naman
Keerti Kumar Badseshi
Times Music, Rs 125

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