We discussed Saamant Saarang last week as one of the rare varieties in the Saarang family of raags. Lankadahan Saarang is another variety that is rarely heard in concert. Like other varieties of Saarang, this one too is prescribed for performance in the afternoon. Lankadahan Saarang does not use Dhaivat, the sixth note, and uses the komal Gandhaar or flattened third, and the komal and shuddha Nishaad, the flattened and sharp varieties of the seventh. It is the komal Gandhaar that gives the raag its characteristic flavour. All others are natural notes. Having said that, rare raags always have multiple interpretations, and thus, interpretations of Lankadahan Sarang do not necessarily include all these features.
We begin with a khayal presentation by Vilayat Hussein Khan, the Agra gharana maestro and revered guru. He sings two compositions in this raag, the first set to vilambit or slow Tilwada, a cycle of 16 matras or time-units, and the second set to a drut or fast-paced 16-matra Teentaal. The second composition is created by Vilayat Hussein Khan and includes his pseudonym “Pran Piya”.
Maihar-Senia gharana maestro Ali Akbar Khan plays two compositions set to vilambit and drut Teentaal. Listeners will note that his interpretation of Lankadahan Sarang is at variance with the previous track.
The third track features Jaipur-Atrauli gharana exponent Shruti Sadolikar Katkar’s interpretation. She sings a vilambit composition set to the ten-matra Jhaptaal followed by a drut composition in Teentaal.