Vaivasvata is a suite for 7-string electric guitar and piano in seven movements; it is an instrumental setting of a tale from Hindu mythology. The story tells the tale of the current manu (progenitor of humanity) from whom we are all descended. In it, the Lord Vishnu appears to the righteous king of the Dravida Kingdom in the form of an ever-growing fish, eventually informing him of an impending all-destructive deluge, and commanding him to build a boat to take his family and the seven sages to safety. I have attempted to portray this narrative in the movements of the piece, in part through motivic implementation and development.
I introduces the character of the manu and his defining musical motive.
II evokes the pastoral nature of the scene where he first encounters the fish, who is represented by a distinct motive.
III represents the growth of the fish through "growth" of the motive.
IV shows the reveal of the fish as being Matsya, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
V depicts the construction of the ship that will carry the manu and the seven sages to safety, introducing the "ship motive."
VI portrays Vaivasvata sailing the ship through a vicious deluge, guided by Matsya.
VII contains the denouement of the story. The storm is weathered, but humanity has been all but erased. It is Vaivasvata's enormous task to rebuild humankind.
released May 27, 2016
All audio recorded and produced by Vikram Shankar
all rights reserved