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Kala

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Raga - Jogkauns 1. Vilambit Ektaal 2. Madhyalay Ada Chautaal 3. Tarna In Drut Ektaal Raga Bhatiyar 4. Madhyalay Teentaal 5. Drut Ektaal
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10:33
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6:13
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15:14
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5:07
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sense World Music
  • ASIN: B0001XQFNW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,215 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
If I were to survive on a deserted island with only a few pieces of music to listen to, I would certainly like the company and unique beauty of the timeless music of violinist Kala Ramnath on two of her latest albums, 'Touching Air' and 'Kala'. Both albums were released by Sense World, a young label that focuses exclusively on classical raga-music. I've enjoyed a lot of their releases already and in my opinion Sense World excells in recording musical sound and in the choice and combination of artists.
In the world of North Indian raga-music Kala Ramnath has become famous for her unique 'singing violin'-style. Her musical abilities were nurtured in a family of celebrated violinists in both the North and South Indian musical forms. Kala took the road of North India, playing the hindusthani vocal style of Khyal, a genre that allows performers to display the depth of their musical knowledge and skills. Kala Ramnath was educated from a very early age by her grandfather Vidwan Narayan Iyer and later on by her aunt N. Rajam, another famous violinist who became legendary for developing a new vocal style for violin called 'gaayaki'. After absorbing this style Kala Ramnath continued her musical journey for many years under the guidance of another famous musician, singer Pandit Jasraj. His approach left a decisive mark on her playing, which elegantly combines an excellent technique with a deep emotional quality.
The renowned world music magazine 'Songlines' welcomed the album-release of 'Kala' with a raving review last year and later on it was voted there as one of the 'best world music albums of 2004'. I couldn't agree more! Kala Ramnath displays the very same top-performance level on her album 'Touching Air', a live-performance at the Saptak Music Festival 2001.
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Format: Audio CD
I first came across Kala Ramnath's violin playing on a track from "Samwad" - the Jugalbandi (duet) with sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee.

Even with many years of listening to Indian classical music - to me her playing was simply stunning - her tone had a vocal quality and was unbelievable (and that is even comparing to the greats in Western classical music).

I would fully agree with the previous reviewer Pieter de Rooij about Kala's playing.

Listen starting about 3 minutes into track 2 for playing that just takes the breath away.

The tabla player is Subhankar Banerjee (who is also on Samwad) responds really well to Kala - listen to the way he incites and responds to her on track 3

Not only do I highly recommend "Kala" - I would also strongly suggest considering the aformentioned "Samwad" (see my review of "Samwad").
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
First of all, I'm the kinda person if I don't have anything good to say, I won't say nothin'. Especially - regarding musicians. I know & understand thoroughly what's required to attain such a high level of artistic maturity. I hesitated when challenged with the opportunity to express my humble opinion regarding the genius, skills, talent, beauty & performance of an artist of this magnitude. Kala Ramnath is a unique violinist in a special class along with a very few. See - I feel expressing my thoughts about her music is the same as expressing my thoughts about her. Her performances express, convey & captures on recording 'her' - Kala.The music she's playing is her and she is the music she's playing! Along with her skills, talent & beauty, Kala has a unique spiritual gift & insight which is obvious when listening and/or watching her perform. I've collected all of Ms. Ramnath's recordings (mp3 also). She's exciting & mesmerizing to watch on 'Youtube' as well. All her recordings are superb & unique. Never disappointed!However, the recording 'Kala' transports the attentive listener through another realm. It is my favorite. Listening to it, always takes me where I experience being in touch with 'somewhere' else' Past??? Future???. Raga Jogkauns is perfection! Tabla artist, Subhankar Banerjee is creative and listens well as he accompanies, supports & interacts with Ms. Ramnath with premeditated precision. Ok...No more words trying to described her expressions. I'm impressed! I'm very impressed! I'm highly impressed every time I listen to this. Buy it!!! Listen to it!!! You won't be disappointed. After all, if you weren't interested, you probably would not be reading this. Thanks for listening to me,
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Format: Audio CD
Violinists of the North Indian tradition are not common; they are typically seen in the Karnatic, or South Indian tradition. Perhaps it is because the North has the sarangi, with a cello-like timbre, as bowed instrument. Listening to Kala Ramnath on her self-titled album, I was immediately struck how vocal was her performance. I should not have been surprised, since Hindustani music originates with singing and ragas are associated with passages from religious literature, but her style seemed so much like that of Pandit Jasraj, one of her teachers. This is a good thing. As Jasraj is the much beloved vocalist whose performances reach spiritual profundity, Ramnath's violin sings and cries of humanity. You can compare her performance of the morning Raga Bhatiyar with that of Jasraj's [Worship by Music, Chhana Dhara] or any of his other recordings to recognize the influence. However, she has her own fine musical voice that we can appreciate. She plays with strength and a deep musical sense of development within the rag scale. This is an excellent album. I am pleased to hear another North Indian violinist besides V. G. Jog, and that a woman musician has made her mark is bonus. Brava!
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