Songs of the Saints: Hindu Devotion in Indian Folk and Classical Music

Sowmya in concert


A Lecture and Demonstration on Carnatic Music and Hindu Devotion by
S. Sowmya and musicians

S. Sowmya, one of the most accomplished contemporary Indian classical vocal artists of her generation, brings a strong background in the theory of Indian music to her performance of Carnatic music.  She has drawn from the research experiences of her teacher Dr. S. Ramanathan, known for his seminal work on Ancient Tamil and folk Music Traditions, and has presented guided appreciation sessions on Tamil and folk music to help bridge the gap between research and performing, with the ultimate goal of bringing the richness of these traditional, sometimes rather recondite, musical forms out to a wide audience. 

Her lecture/ performance at Swarthmore will explore the pans or musical modes in early South Indian music, from their origins in folk songs played by bards and wandering minstrels to their transformation, though medieval devotional songs of Hindu saint-poets, the songs of devadasis or temple dancers, and the courtly performance mode of 16th-18th-century South India, into what is known today as Carnatic Music. 

S. Sowmya will be accompanied by Embar Kannan on the violin, Neyveli Narayanan on the mridangam, and K.V.Gopalakrishnan on the kanjira.

Thursday, November 8, 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Lang Concert Hall
Swarthmore College

Free and open to the Public

Co-sponsored by Śruti: The Indian Music and Dance Society of Philadelphia, along with Asian Studies, The Department of Music and Dance, DESHI, and the Department of Religion at Swarthmore.

"Sounds of India: Influences and integration of folk melodies in Carnatic music" is also supported by PEW center for Arts and Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project.