The Hindu University of America celebrated 75 years of India’s independence with the release of a music video titled ‘Raag Darshan’ composed by its faculty member, Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran. This magnum opus was released in a formal online ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ event on Sunday the 14th of August. Raag Darshan is a musical, lyrical, and visual tribute to the timeless Indian ideals and traditions, in a garland of 75 ragas, with lyrics in the Sanskrit language, with contemporary orchestration, sung by a number of popular voices. Conceived, written, composed, and arranged by Dr Kanniks Kannikeswaran, this music video is a monumental work that strives to present a sense of ‘Wonderment’ in a collaboration across time-zones and regions. The 18-minute-long composition is presented in 4 roughly equal parts titled – ‘The Civilization’, ‘Sacred Geography’, ‘Colors of India’ and ‘Yoga’.
A string of 75 ragas with the names of ragas embedded in the Sanskrit supported with powerful visuals from all over India, and a series of captions, this music video is a once in a generation kind of production. The lyrical component of the composition is inspired by the Tamil works of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati. The form of the Ragamalika is inspired by the Classical Music tradition of Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775-1835) and incorporates Raagas from both the North and South Indian traditions of Classical music with raga names encoded into the text.
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