Singing with just a tambura is almost a daily activity for me. I was not so regular with this practice in the past. I would always just get the tambura ready on concert day and that was that as I went back to the electronic ones for my home practice. I had a very good friend, Jega, who taught me the value of maintaining, tuning and using a manual tambura. All those lessons stood me in good stead as I slowly got used to using just a manual tambura as my accompanying instrument. Of course for that to happen on stage I also need capable people to play the instrument. I have been very fortunate that some of my students, especially Swarnarethas & Rahul Krishna, got into the habit of tuning and playing the tambura regularly and this makes it most helpful.

During the recording of the series on Notations, we got the idea that I should sing compositions with just a tambura as the accompanying instrument and record the same. The manual tambura is a beautiful instrument and I have been using one for many years now. Whenever I use a manual tambura I don’t like supplementing it with any of the electronic versions. It is just a personal preference of mine. In recent times I have also resorted to using a microphone for my tambura in live concerts.

These compositions that I have recorded specifically have a relationship with each episode of Notations. A few of you have requested that I also give full versions of the clips that were shown in these Notations. We are happy to launch those songs as a separate series. The first will be Kamakshi, the Yadukulakambhoji swarajati of Syama Sastri. This series is being released as a Patron Members Special on my YouTube channel.

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