Kanniks Kannikeswaran, a U.S.-based music producer, released Raag Darshan- A Tribute to India in 75 Ragas. Created by Dr. Kannikeswaran for India’s 75th year of independence, and performed by Sathyaprakash Dharmar, Abby V., Keerthana Vaidyanathan, Reeshabh Purohit, Savitha Sai Shravanam and Mayur Davay, produced by Shanti Academy, and presented by the Hindu University of America.
This magnum opus was released during the University’s formal event ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on Sunday, August 14, 2022. Raag Darshan is a musical, lyrical, and visual tribute to the timeless Indian ideals and traditions, presented as a garland of 75 ragas, with lyrics in Sanskrit, delivered by a contemporary orchestra consisting of accomplished musicians.
According to Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran, “The music video is a once-in-a-generation kind of production that strings together names of 75 ragas embedded in Sanskrit supported with powerful visuals from all over India. The lyrical component of the composition has been 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 it incorporates Raagas from both the North and South Indian traditions of Classical music with raga names encoded into the text. Its integration of visuals from all parts of India, from different eras and traditions captures a unique sense of the diversity of Bharat and at the same time, the unity of its underlying spiritual vision.”
Dr. Kannikeswaran explained that intricate connections exist among the ragas, the text and the visuals weaved in throughout the composition. He is known for his pioneering work in Indian American Choral music and a history of more than 25 years in building communities through choral music. His earlier music video, ‘Rivers of India,’ celebrating India’s veneration for water-resources, featured acclaimed musicians such as Mrs. Bombay Jayashri and Mrs. Kaushiki Chakrabarty, and it went viral while receiving critical acclaim.
Raag Darshan is a musical, lyrical, and visual tribute to the timeless Indian ideals and traditions, presented as a garland of 75 ragas, with lyrics in Sanskrit, delivered by contemporary orchestra consisting of accomplished musicians. A distinctive feature of this production is the use of stunning visuals spanning various corners of the Indian subcontinent. The music video can be viewed on HUA’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAFWA_yvh2E.