This is Part II of a recording of a genre of world music that was born in India 200 years ago, a genre that is neither completely Indian nor completely western and yet uniquely both at the same time.
With Vismaya II, we celebrate the first complete recording of the entire set of 39 compositions in this genre of 'nottusvara sahityas' written by Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775-1835) came in contact with and wrote lyrics to popular (largely Celtic) tunes that were played by the bands of the East India Company near modern day Chennai in India.
Vismaya captures this wonder through a contemporary rendition of this music with Indian voices and largely Celtic orchestration.
This CD features 22 tracks and is accompanied by a 20 page illustrated booklet providing lyrics, translation and background information. All of the 22 tracks have been performed by 12 year old Vidita Kanniks.
For more information see www.kanniks.com/vismaya_page.htm
Why Vismaya? Vismaya is an expression of my fascination for the nottusvara sahitya genre of music.
An appreciation that began in my childhood, hearing three generations of my family, starting with my great grandfather, play similar music on the violin and veena. It also represents a lifetime of curiosity about the origin of Indian band tunes heard during my childhood in the George Town-North Madras area in the 1960s.
This project is the culmination of a three year effort to research and record the Dikshita svarasahitya compositions with western accompaniments.
The American School of Indian Art in Cincinnati, OH, has taught the svarasahityas to many children of Indian descent (ages 4 to 7) and has seen a marked improvement in their diction of Indian languages.
The glow of wonder on the faces of children as they hear these lovable compositions for the first time is something that brings me ceaseless inspiration.
This is a humble salutation to the genius of Dikshitar, as I attempt to spread this glow of wonderment through this recording. To young children, these svarasahityas are a great introduction to the world of Indian music. To infants, they are a set of lilting lullabies. For each one of us, they are a collection of joyful songs that brings to life the child within.
Kanniks Kannikeswaran October 2008
Kanniks is a rare visionary musician, composer and writer with numerous productions and recordings to his credit. His masterpiece cross-cultural, multimedia larger than life presentation Shanti- A journey of Peace has thrilled audiences in various venues in the United States. Based in the United States, he is the recipient of several awards and grants including the prestigious Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council. Kanniks has lectured extensively on Indian culture and has offered music workshops at several educational institutions, corporations and cultural organizations nationwide. Kanniks is a passionate educator and he teaches Indian Music at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Kanniks is also the Director of the American School of Indian Art – founded with the vision of bringing the best of the west and the east to the Indian diaspora in the United States. Kanniks is also the author and publisher of Templenet (www.templenet.com) a widely respected and well known source of information on the temples of India on the internet.