Orchestral Aves – 2015
It has been said that birds and whales sang before humans.
Since my childhood, I have been attracted to bird songs and the background hum of electrical equipment. Growing up in Bangalore, I was often awoken by the calls of roosters, crows, sparrows, Indian cuckoos and brahminy kites, which I transcribed as musical notes in my head.
For more than 20 years in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, we have been visited by “backyard birds”. However, I noticed the rhythmic pattern of the Carolina Wren’s call for the first time only ten years ago. Since then, I have been recording bird songs with my Digital Voice Recorder and composing around their melodies and rhythmic patterns. That marked the beginning of this project.
There is a PBS Boston (WGBH) commercial wherein a composer, sitting in front of a piano, struggles to compose and keeps throwing out his writing in frustration. He looks out through the picture window and notices that the birds sitting on the power lines resemble notes on a musical staff. This inspires him to play and continue composing. I too found my muse in the everyday birds that I had previously taken for granted.
In this project, each track begins with the melodic or rhythmic pattern of a bird, answered by Veena and Bansuri. This is followed by a melody which integrates bird songs. The title track blends an orchestra of bird songs with raw human voice, flute, trumpet, cello, keyboards, Indian folk percussion, Latin percussion and rhythm pads.
2. Morning Song
3. Rhythmic Birds
4. Tufted Titmouse Mourning Dove
5. Dancing Aves 1
6. Asian Koel Carolina Wren
7. Tufted Titmouse
8. Carolina Wren
9. Melodic Improvisation 1
10. Raga Detailed
1. Dancing Aves 2
2. Baltimore Orioles Veena Conversation
3. Black Capped Chickadee
4. Tufted Titmouse Northern Cardinal
5. Northern Cardinal
6. Indian White Cheeked Barbet Duet
7. Melodic Improvisation 2
8. Orchestral Aves
9. Raga Brief
Music & Composition:
Composed and arranged by Dr. Krishna Raghavendra
Produced by Dr. Raghavendra
Executive producer, Dr. Uma Shama
Dr. Krishna Raghavendra
Detachable Veena: Dr. Krishna Raghavendra
Bansuri: Annada Prasanna Pattanaik (Flute Butto)
Cello: Eugene Friesen
Grand Piano: Sharik Hasan
Trumpet: Phil Granadier
Mandolin and 12 String Guitar: Brian Cass
Key Board: Sangeeth Thomas
Acoustic and Electric Bass: Bruno Raberg
Electric Bass: Keith Peters
Gogo Bells, Bongos, Chekers, Cajon, Congas, Cowbell, Cymbals, Djembe, Tar Drum, Guiro, Mayan Clay Drum, Pandeiro, Rain Stick, Rattles, Wood Block : Ricardo Monzon
Indian Folk Percussion:
Directed by Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma
Bass Tape, Bodhran, Chowdkee, Cymbals, Dagga, Dambdi, Dikki, Dikki Tharang, Frame Drum, Gejje, Jaws Harp, Karata, Khanjira, Nakara, Nakara Effects, Rain Stick, Reso Reso, Spring Drum, Sticks, Thala, Voodoo Drum, Udukkai, Voodoo Pot, Wood Block, Wood Phone: Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, Nagendra Prasad and Gopi Shravan
Rhythm Pads and Konnakkol: Arun Kumar
Recorded and Edited by Omkar, Ganalahari Studios, Bangalore, India.
Recorded, Edited and Mixed by Brian Cass, Overclock, Inc, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Assisted by Corey Sherman and Rob Massoud
Bird songs background hiss removal by Aravind Kiggal, Ganalahari Studios, Bangalore, India.
Ragha and Uma would like to thank:
Jay Dev, for suggesting the title “Orchestral Aves”.
Family and Friends, for their support and encouragement.
Professor Henry Santos, for the additional arrangement of “Morning Song” in the CD 1 which is dedicated to his wife Leona.
Mr. Wayne R. Petersen, Director, Massachusetts Important Bird Area (IBA) Program, Mass Audubon, U.S.A. for identifying the “Backyard Birds” whose songs were used in this recording.
Dr. Shankar Raman and Mr. Harish Bhat, for identifying birds from Bangalore, India.
CD cover design by Ram Gautham
Printed at Jwalamukhi Mudranalaya, Bangalore
Portrait of Dr. Krishna Raghavendra by Seshu Photography