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Discernment. Online


Recorded and mixed in Los Angeles, the album has slick production values


Birth of a dasa

R K Padmanabha releases his compositions in a book titled Samarpana

Samarpana (Kannada)
Srimadwadiraja Aradhana Trust
Phone: (080) 659 3454: Rs 60

This book contains 48 compositions of R K Padmanabha. In 2002, the well-known vocalist started writing songs. He set them to music and recorded them with his disciples. In Samarpana, he has published all 48 of his compositions with notations. At the end of each composition, he gives a brief prose summary.

A very apparent influence on Padmanabha is the poetry of Purandaradasa. In fact, he signs off with the name of Padmanabhadasa, and places himself in the Haridasa tradition. The neatly produced book is divided into nine sections, to coincide with the nine cassettes he has brought out.

Padmanabha uses musicological terms in quite a few songs. The more successful songs, like Rangana kaaniso Vadiraja, Manirangana paadiso Tyagaraja, have lines that strike you as original. He ends this song, for instance, with a line that brings together his spiritual yearning and his love of music. Padmanabhadasage rangana darushana/Kharaharapriya suta maniranganindale, which means, "Padmanabha sees (god) Ranga with the help of (raga) Maniranga, born of (raga) Kharaharapriya," is a good example of the succinct lyricism that Padmanabha is capable of. But in other songs an awkwardness creeps in, as in Nambike idabeku gurugalali. Here lines like Sangeetavirabeku samskritigagi ("You need music for culture") and Nirutsaha bidabeku badukinali ("You must give up apathy in life") sound like officialese.

Padmanabha has achieved phenomenal popularity as a singer and organizer of classical music events. His charisma motivates people from all walks of life to participate in musical activity. Many of the groups he interacts with are already learning his compositions. You may know that he has been teaching, out of sheer love and commitment to the cause of music, the compositions of Vadiraja, Purandaradasa, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Mysore Vasudevachar to groups of interested laypeople in various Bangalore extensions. Samarpana presents his first set of compositions, and his admirers will surely keep an eye out for his next.

For copies of the book (and the tapes), Padmanabha may be contacted on (080) 659 3454.

TMM Desk

Published on 12 May 2003

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