Dawn Raga

U. Srinivas

Released 18 June 1996

  1. Siddhivinaayakam
  2. Sadamathim
  3. Raghunaathaninne
  4. Sree Venkatesa Prabhu
  5. Sangamam

Liner notes

U. Srinivas received his first mandolin at the age of five, a birthday present from his music teacher father. Though mainly self-taught, his talent was so remarkable that his first concert was at the age of nine.

“When I started, I saw that only a handful of people were there, perhaps thirty at the most. They had very little idea of what was to come and this was the first time that the mandolin had even been heard attempting the repertoire I gave. The concert lasted for four hours and slowly people kept coming. When the concert was over, there were 3,000 people there. For me, this was amazing.”

This achievement was all the greater because it was the first time the mandolin was adapted to the complex and culturally sophisticated demands of Indian Karnatic classical music.

The recordings featured here were made between 4:30am and 6:30am on the morning of 26 July 1995 in the 50-foot diameter main room at Real World Studios. As they played, the musicians looked across the mixing desk and through a wall of windows to a reedy pond and the rising sun.

The centrepiece of the session is ‘Raagam Thaanam Pallavi’, a major composition in South Indian classical music. The musicians start by playing an unmetered improvisation, alternating between traditional and spontaneous scales (Raaga).

A strong rhythm ushers in Thaanam, a second movement of improvisation. The drum signals Pallavi, the music continuously returning to the opening scales before flying off to new peaks of playing. Finally, Srinivas and Rajesh play ‘Raagamaalika’, meaning ‘Garland of Raagas’.

At 4:30am the sky was a faint grey. Two hours later, a warm and sunbathed morning flooded the room as the exquisite music faded to silence.

Further Listening

  • Rama Sreerama

    U. Srinivas

    Released 27 June 1994

    U Srinivas is the child prodigy of Karnatak music who has taken the mandolin, an instrument unknown in India, to unique classical heights. A recording of an exquisite, candle-lit live performance at Real World Studios.
  • Dream

    U. Srinivas

    Released 22 May 1995

    A journey through the darker meditations of Eastern and Western ambient music. Virtuoso mandolin player U Srinivas is found in musical conversation with Michael Brook, Nigel Kennedy, Caroline Lavelle, Jane Siberry, Sikkil R Bhaskarnan and Nana Vasconcelos.

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