second and final volume of his CD recording ‘Vismaya
– An Indo Celtic Musical Journey’ featuring the
unique genre of nottusvara sahityas composed
by Muthuswamy Dikshitar, one of India’s foremost
classical music composers, researched and
produced by Kanniks Kannikeswaran was released at
the Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University by Swami
A number of popular folk and other
western melodies (primarily Irish and Scottish)
arrived in the India during the rule of the British
East India Company. Composer Muthuswami Dikshitar
(1775-1835) wrote lyrics in classical Sanskrit in an
unprecedented manner to some of these tunes when he
heard them played by the British bands at Fort St.
George, Madras, India. The result is a set of 39
compositions that are referred to as the
The beauty of this genre of music is
that it is neither completely Indian nor completely
western, yet it is uniquely both Indian and Western
at the same time. Given the easily accessible
nature of the music it easily serves as ideal
introductory material to the world of Indian
classicism for young students of Indian origin
residing in the western hemisphere.
This has been the subject of Kanniks
Kannikeswaran’s research for the last three years.
His award winning paper on this topic was presented
at the prestigious Chennai Music Academy during the
annual music conference in 2007. Kanniks
Kannikeswaran released the first volume of this
music featuring 19 of these compositions back in
March 2008. The second volume was released Oct 4,
2008 at Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA.
Titled ‘Vismaya – An Indo
Celtic Musical Journey’ this collection features the
nottusvara sahityas recorded with Indian
voices and primarily Celtic instrumentation.
is a historic recording. It represents the first
time that the entire genre of music has been
recorded and published. Music written in the Indian
notation is available for 38 of the 39 compositions.
The 39th composition has been arranged by
Kannikeswaran to the melodic contour of an ancient
band tune in a similar genre. Dr. Pappu Venugopala
Rao of the American Institute of Indian Studies
describes the recording as ‘a marvelous effort
and a collection to be owned and cherished by every
Kanniks has been sharing the results
of his work through lecture concerts at various
venues in the United States. He will be giving
presentations on this topic at selected venues in
India later this year.
Kannikeswaran can be reached at
513 315 9286.
Click here to
listen to samples from Vismaya.
Vismaya I is now
available for sale online! Click on the
following link to order a CD. Please also check out