Created at IRCAM, Paris, with Marta Gentilucci during her composer’s residency there in fall 2017, this piece sets the early Kannada vachana of Akka Mahadevi, the Shaivite ecstatic poet and mystic of Southern India in the 12th century.

Texts and translation:

Pearls: I

Vachana # 144 by Akka Mahadevi (c.1130-1160)
(with great thanks to Prof. Sajjan S. Shiva for translation and pronunciation help)


ಅಳಿಸಂಕುಲವೇ             O swarm of bees

ಮಾಮರವೇ                  O mango trees

ಬೆಳುದಿಂಗಳೇ                O moonlight

ಕೋಗಿಲೆಯೇ              O cuckoo bird

ನಿಮ್ಮನ್ನೆಲ್ಲರನೂ                 all of you

ಒಂದ                             for just one thing

ಬೇಡುವೆನು                  I beg of

ಎನ್ನೊಡೆಯ                my master

ಚೆನ್ನಮಲ್ಲಿಕಾರ್ಜುನ ದೇವರ   my lord Chennamallikarjuna

ಕಂಡಡೆ                           if you see

ಕರೆದು                            call me

ತೋರಿರೆ.                          and show him to me.


  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
  • Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.