Purna Loka Ensemble

Metaraga

Origin 82794

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Curved phrases from Indian ragas melt into languorous blues microtones. The strains of music born on the American South's slave plantations mutate into the more angular notes and layered melodies of the Western classical genre...creating a shifting and arresting aural landscape that feels at once both achingly familiar and dazzlingly novel.
Sumana Ramanan, FirstPost (India)

Hailing from southern India, Purnaprajna Bangere began vocal studies at 7, and rigorous lessons on violin at 13 in the Parur style, characterized by high technical virtuosity and musicianship. Training under Vidwan H.K. Narasimhamurthy, he was deeply influenced by Indian classical music, Western classical music, and American blues, jazz and folk music. Now a Professor of Mathematics and Music at the University of Kansas, Purna combines the two disciplines into Metaraga, a systematic musical framework deeply inspired by ideas and concepts in Algebraic Geometry introduced by Alexander Grothendieck. The journey may start from any of the known genres, traverse into other musical worlds, and ultimately arrive in a "no man's land" - music with no east or west, which is also reflected in the ensemble name: Purna, meaning 'complete,' and Loka, Sanskrit for 'world.' Joining Purna on the journey is multi-Grammy winning violinist from the Turtle Island String Quartet, David Balakrishnan, bassist Jeff Harshbarger, and Amit Kavthekar on tabla.


Track Listing:

1. Syzygy 8:45
2. Abhogi Varnam 7:56
Triality
3. Movement I 6:28
4. Movement II 4:12
5. Movement III 5:13
6. Alabama 8:13
7. Vatapi Ganapatim 17:33
8. Fibration 7:26

COMPOSITIONS BY:
(1,3,4,5) Purnaprajna Bangere/David Balakrishnan
(Purna Loka Music/Balapadam Music, BMI)
(2) Patnam Subramania Iyer (trad.);
(6) John Coltrane (JowcolMusic, BMI);
(7) Muthuswami Dikshitar (trad.);
(8) Purnaprajna Bangere (Purna Loka Music, BMI)

Performers:

Purnaprajna Bangere - Violin I (& solo violin)
David Balakrishnan - Violin II
Jeff Harshbarger - Bass
Amit Kavthekar - Tabla
with special guest: Robert Walzel Clarinet (6)

Production Info:

Produced by David Balakrishnan and Purnaprajna Bangere
Recorded: October 23-25, 2018 & April 10, 2019
at Swarthout Recital Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Engineered by Brock J. Babcock, Lawrence, KS
Mastered by Paul duGre, Los Angeles, CA
Photography: Oliver Hall
Ensemble Photography: Oliver Hall
Front cover graphic design: Jessica Irving
Cover layout by John Bishop


Reviews of Metaraga

FirstPost (India) (Sumana Ramanan)
Geometry Sings the Blues in Indian-American Mathematician's Radical New Music System - CURVED PHRASES from Indian ragas melt into languorous blues microtones. The strains of music born on the American South's slave plantations mutate into the more angular notes and layered melodies of the Western classical genre. The different sounds weave in and o ...

Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Loka's cover shot makes it look like he's hanging out with Jerry Garcia and Johnny Cash, and in some weird way, this set of improvs based on classical Indian music sounds like he's made it so you hear hippie grooves smacking into hillbilly/Celtic riffs. Not at all what you'd expect if someone told you to check out this Indian music/world set, inter ...

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