What happens when you blend carnatic rhythms, flamenco techniques, and modal jazz harmonies on fingerstyle guitar with konnakol (vocal percussion)? Pure joy!
This korvai is composed by my guru Mr V. Raghuraman, who taught me all I know in carnatic music, and I have adapted it into fusion fingerstyle guitar.
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What Ingredients make up this Piece?
Just like cooking, fusion music makes use of diverse flavours and tastes of musical cultures around the world. Let's break things down to see what this fusion fingerstyle piece is made up of!
Powerful and rapid strums using the index, middle, and ring fingers. The concept is simple, but takes years of practice to get right!
The dorian mode is similar to the minor scale, but with a natural 6th degree. This invokes a similar melancholy but with a slight hint of positivity.
Chords stacked in intervals of fourths (as opposed to thirds) creates a sense of ambiguity, where chords seem to float above the texture.
An 8-beat cycle provides the a rhythmic framework from which the piece is constructed upon.
Tisra and Chatusra Gati:
Tisra (3) and chatusra (4) gati refer to the subdivisions of each beat. The speed increases as each constant beat is increasingly subdivided into a larger number of beats (3 to 4 to 6).
A korvai is a type of rhythmic composition which uses the sol (word) 'thathikithathom', and is performed 3 times in different variations.
Konnakol is the art of performing rhythmic syllables vocally, and is the fundamental building block of rhythm in South Indian classical music.
By Neil Chan