***Note: Radhakrishnan's most recent album, also available on CDBABY and iTunes is:
East Facing (2007) cdbaby.com/prasant3
Carnatic and Jazz saxophonist Prasant Radhakrishnan's second album Duality is a powerful album featuring legendary musicians, awe inspiring group improvisations and a range of original and ancient traditional South Indian compositions.
An influential artist, Prasant has performed internationally, turning newcomers to Indian music into enthusiasts. Already a huge hit in India, and in demand among his fans all over the world, Duality is no exception. The album features special liner notes written by Prasant that explain the intricacies of each song, allowing listeners to discover more on each listen.
On his second outing, Prasant has developed a completely fresh approach to performing Carnatic music on the saxophone, giving it a more vocal quality without sacrificing the virtuosity and tonal depth of the instrument. The blend of Prasant's alto sax with the violin of international fame Delhi Sunderrajan has to be heard to be believed. Veteran mridungist Srimushnam Raja Rao is considered a living legend for his years of intuitive playing. His performance on Duality is nothing short of genius. V. Suresh (ghatam) and B. Rajashekar (morsing), both innovators and leaders on their instruments not only merge with the group but add energetic rhythmic input and unique tonalities not found in any other music.
About the Music:
South Indian classical (Carnatic) music is one of the two major classical music systems in India. As a classical music, rendering of classic compositions commands importance in any performance. However, the ability to improvise in various ways is equally important. Each composition is set to a raga (melodic picture or scale) and a tala (cycle of beats). Any given piece may start with a rendition of the raga by itself. The composition that follows leaves space for the artist to apply his/her own style within the moment of performance, causing no two performances to be the same. Within the composition, the opportunity for improvisation arises from a "take-off" point in the song. Here, the artists will partake in lively exchanges often ending in a climactic rhythmic cadenza which "lands" back into the composition again.
The highlight of Duality is a 3 part musical journey called Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi (tracks 5, 6 and 7.) This piece covers all types of improvisations found in Carnatic music. Musical communication between artists is the fuel that drives performances in Carnatic music, as each subtle variation or improvisation by an artist is shadowed or complimented in the performance of the other musicians. In Duality, Prasant goes deeper into creating a musical atmosphere that completely envelopes and uplifts the listener.
Also see Prasant's previous album, Swara Sudha (also available on CDbaby).
To find more in depth information about Duality, and Prasant see www.prasantmusic.com.