Performed by Andy Kruspe with Hunter Curry, Jared Messinger, Kevin Newsome

Instrumentation: Soloist – Irish Bodhran. Ensemble – Finger Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal, Tam Tam, Triangle.

Program Notes:

The bodhrán is a fascinating instrument, with many cultures in the world having some form of the instrument, but vastly different ways of approaching the instrument. In Ireland, the instrument is typically associated with tradition Irish styles of reels, jigs, etc. While this can be quite helpful in steering the course of a commission for the instrument, it also has the possibility of weighing it down with quite a bit of musical “baggage”, so to speak.

When approached by Andrew Kruspe about the possibility of a piece for Irish bodhran soloist and percussion ensemble, I immediately felt the weight of that baggage as I thought about what to do with the instrument. Luckily, at the same time I was exposed (as many percussionists were on social media) to the work of B.C. Manjunath, a musician from Bangalore, India who has become popular recently through his videos of konnakol, the South Indian art of vocal percussion. Manjunath’s work immediately resonated with me and became a perfect path toward avoiding the musical traditions of the Irish side of the bodhran by transplanting the instrument into a completely different musical culture.

The word “karagadamu” is comes from the South Indian dialect of Telugu, and means among other things “fusion”. This piece is exactly that, a fusion of the Irish bodhrán with the musical traditions of South India, specifically konnakol.

Many thanks to Andrew Kruspe for his eagerness and passion for this project, as well as his incredible musicianship. This has been one of the most inspiring projects I have been a part of, and it is completely through the efforts of Andy. Thanks also to Hunter Curry, Jared Messinger, Kevin Newsome, and Dr. Luis Rivera from the University of South Alabama, who premiered the piece along with Andy in February of 2018.