The Odissi Project
A search for traditional musicians across Odisha
Odissi music is a system of Indian classical music with a history spanning more than a thousand years. It has its own repertoire of indigenous ragas, a vast body of literature in the Odia language and a distinct style of rendition. This project is an attempt to make more people aware of this rich tradition by providing carefully curated content, and bring some much-needed attention to the hundreds of dedicated musicians in the villages of Odisha who have kept alive this ancient art.
From my own research of the subject as a vocalist, this is my attempt to provide a single portal that collates never-before available lyrics, rare literary genres, lost tunes, gramophone recordings, interviews and other archival data to provide a holistic view of this distinct school of music.
Sri Balaram Gouda is trained in the ancient tradition of Sakhi Nata in Ganjam. His repertoire spans odissi, chhanda, champu and a lot more, from the works of several authors.
I once saw a performance by his troupe and that was when I heard his voice for the first time. It did not take long to realise that the tunes and variations he employed were steeped in tradition. Since then I had been waiting to meet the gentleman; fortunately, things went well and we were able to sit with him for a wonderful session at Naikanipalli, Ganjam, Odisha.
Sri Chandramani Lenka is a veteran Odissi musician. His voice has a distinct touch of Puri and his training was mostly under Singhari Shyamasundar Kar and Balakrushna Dash.
Recorded in September 2017
Not too high quality but documentation nonetheless; this is because it was one of my first attempts at documentation, and that too without any specialised equipment.