Ragamala's a straightforward passion-play amidst the impressive twenty professional multimedia CD-ROMs developed thus far by Reality Information Systems Pvt. Ltd. in Pune ~ a product pushed by a musician's love of music as "the Crossroad of Indian Painting, Poetry and Music". The lucky part here's been that Angelo Fernandes the musician is a Director at Reality too.
Speaking as sometime musicians ourselves, the product's certainly a great way to introduce others to the basics of several Indian Ragas, in a manner that's (surprisingly) never really been available before in any form at all. Basic AVIs outline the "Aaroh" (scale) and "Pakad" (grip of a scale) of each Raga dealt with on the CD in a simple and universal manner for musicians and listeners anywhere (to view examples, click here, after stopping the music on this page).
And there's two tracks of audio-CD too (top of page) along with legends, tidbits, history and origin of ragas, and other little-known facts in a friendly interactive format that requires no installation and will run on a Mac too.
Three special "activities" have even been tagged on to each raga for children in particular ~ paint a raga, create a ragamala lyrical painting using a combination of natural elements, and explore the structure and theme of a raga audio-visually.
In the end, the product actually revolves around the art form of Ragamala miniature painting which is speculated to have given birth to two other parallel art forms - Ragamala poetry and music. Accordingly, content is structured around twenty-six paintings of ragas, their poems and the structures and themes of the music.
By melding this all into digital new-media, the effort in the end emerges visually very representative of the present trend towards re-processing and re-presenting old content from the vast reservoir of Indian cultural history. Old wine decanted to tetrapaks, yes ~ but a jolly show too!
The pack retails for INR Rs. 595/-.
Reality Information Systems Pvt. Ltd.
301 Gera Chambers
Off Boat Club Road
Pune - 411 001 (India)
Tel: (91-20) 605 1987, 620 154, 627 030