Reviews Worth Reading

Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
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vageyakara
Posts: 602
Joined: 01 Dec 2006, 20:24

#101

Post by vageyakara »

Hallo Arasi,
I have not meant any thing against the content of the article.It all reflects some of the thoughts which ran across our musically curious minds.I have grouse against the media which more often than not is biased in not publishing articles from authoired by others.As u said rejection slips are the tags attached to non-influential ones.

arasi
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#102

Post by arasi »

You got me there, Ramaraj! Yes, rejection slips are not things to brag about, though I have heard that a very successful author (after years of struggling) framed rejection slips from the most successful publishers and hung them in his study. Sweet revenge :)

rbsiyer
Posts: 56
Joined: 02 Feb 2007, 19:21

#103

Post by rbsiyer »

vageyakara wrote:Hallo Arasi,
I have grouse against the media which more often than not is biased in not publishing articles from authoired by others.As u said rejection slips are the tags attached to non-influential ones.
it is only natural the hindu would prefer to give space to prominent names. readers tend to attach more credibility to their views. personally i would too. someone like TMK is far more likely to air responsible views given his stature than some irresponsible hack who hides behind XYZ initials

Suji Ram
Posts: 1529
Joined: 09 Feb 2006, 00:04

#104

Post by Suji Ram »

Found this review interesting.
Do we have other present performers who can whistle in CM...

http://www.starofmysore.com/main.asp?ty ... &item=2928

Chennigana Thota is a very small hamlet in Malnad near Heggodu village in Sagar taluk. Malnad is known for its natural beauty with all the forests and hill ranges. Born in such an environment, Madhava Bhat from this hamlet learnt the nuances of Karnatak music from his father, who had asked him to practise whenever it was possible.


He did not have time to sing as working in the agricultural fields demanded much of his time. Therefore, he opted for another alternative, "whistling." He says that there was nobody to object to his whistling on the deserted fields. He whistled and whistled his way through all the tunes he had learnt in Karnatak style. This practice made him an adept in that form of art and today he is capable of presenting a full-fledged concert.


He has practised whistling during both exhaling and inhaling. He has overcome the most difficult factor in Karnatak music, shruthi. He can produce gamaka flawlessly, which is the life of Karnatak music. Swaras produced by his breath are without any haziness, ragas produced without any perplexity.


He gave a performance at the Suttur Mutt branch in the foot of Chamundi Hill during the last full moon day, under the joint auspicious of Suttur Mutt and JSS Sangeetha Sabha, as part of its monthly Moonlight Music. He had chosen the compositions in such a way that there was no monotony. The Varna in Mohana was in a hurry. Ganapathe Mahapathe (Kalyani-Rupaka-Muthuswamy Dikshitar) was the next slower one. The pleasing Reeti Gowla Alapane led to Jananee Ninnu Vina of Subbaraya Shastry with a neat Swara Prasthara. A faster one Enta Muddo Enta Sogaso (Bindu Malini-Adi-Tya-garaja) was a pleasant change.


Again, an Alapane in Darbar was beautifully developed and Raghavendra Guru (Kanda Triputa – Mysooru Vasudevacharya), a rare composition was rendered. The next Janaranjani Ranjani (Jan-aranjani - Khanda Chapu-BK Padmanabharayaru), is an almost vanishing composition, came from his whistle skillfully. Equally elegant was Subram-hanyena (Udaya Ravi Chandrike – Adi –Muthuswamy Dikshitar). The main Raga of the evening, Shankarabharana, was taken up for detailed delineation. The Alapane was an excellent endeavor. The composition Saro-jadala Nethri of Shyama Shastry in Adi Taala was embellished with an admirable Swara Kal-pana. The finale Sindhu Bhairavi was a composition of Swamy Prasanna Theertha Noduva Baa. Udaya Kiran (violin) and G.S. Ramanuja (mrudanga) lived up to the reputation they have established as accompanists.


Madhava Bhat is perhaps the only whistler of Karnatak classical music in Karnataka now. However, he is not the pioneer of this art form. Vidvan Tanjavooru Kalyana Raman (1930-1994) hailing from Komal village of Tanjore Dist of Tamil Nadu had practiced whistling as a necessity. His father Komal N. Srinivasa Iyer initiated him to Karnatak music. He became a great scholar of Karnatak music, and was very famous in those days. He had performed in Mysore too in seventies, under the auspicious of Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, during the days when the concerts were held at the Sahakara Bhavana on 100 feet Road. Unfortunately, Kalyana Raman lost his voice due to an ailment and failure of vocal chords, which had no cure in those days.


Nevertheless, the urge to sing prevailed on him, which gave him the thought of practicing whistling, which he eventually mastered. He had presented his whistle concert in many foreign countries, including USA. He was instrumental in publishing all the GNB’s compositions, with notation, in book form.


—S.R. Krishna Murthy

mohan
Posts: 2793
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#105

Post by mohan »

Suji Ram wrote:Found this review interesting.
Do we have other present performers who can whistle in CM...
There is K Sivaprasad. You can hear his tunes on musicindiaonline.

The late Tanjavur S. Kalyanaraman also started giving whistle concerts when he had problems with his voice.
Last edited by mohan on 29 Jan 2008, 09:45, edited 1 time in total.

mahavishnu
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#106

Post by mahavishnu »

Mohan, is Sivaprasad also called Siva Kalyan?
Any relation to Kalyanaraman?

jkrks95
Posts: 1
Joined: 22 Mar 2008, 08:39

#107

Post by jkrks95 »

Hi,

Siva Kalyan is a different person from Sivaprasad. Siva is a 16 year old. He is belongs to the musical lineage of the late Sri.Tanjore S Kalyanaraman. His teacher (and mom) was a student of Smt.Radhakrishna of Delhi then Sri. Tanjore S Kalyanaraman.

http://www.thehindu.com/2008/01/23/stor ... 330200.htm contains a review of his concert in January 2008 in Madurai. The review has his name as Shiv Kalyan.

Ramnath Iyer
Posts: 71
Joined: 19 Nov 2007, 13:33

#108

Post by Ramnath Iyer »

A review certainly worth reading..... I thought the sentence 'To create the same emotional appeal on an instrument without the sahitya is not an easy task but the vidwan was able to do so with ease and élan' captured the essence of what instrumental music should be.....

http://www.hindu.com/fr/2008/04/18/stor ... 080500.htm

martin
Posts: 68
Joined: 23 May 2008, 04:58

#109

Post by martin »

arasi wrote:Ravi,
Several years ago, in the very same hall I heard Aruna Sairam and a french medieval musician give a performance. I wasn't sure what to expect. It turned out to be enjoyable.
Ha! That would have been Dominique Vellard! He is something special allright. I followed a course in Gregorian chant with him in 1988 and have been singing a lot of medieval repertory - some of it to the accompaniment of a Tanpura. Dominique is a singular person in that he revived the Gregorian chant tradition by singing it with exceptional clarity, consistent and precise intonation and above all with a fluency and ductility of the voice. He was quick also to recognize the common sources of Gregorian chant and traditional near-Asian modal musical traditions. And Aruna is also top-notch, I have accompanied her on a tour in NL/BE - that's one of the nice things of being a tanpura-artist, you get to be very close to the fire.

KNV
Posts: 34
Joined: 28 Feb 2008, 19:50

#110

Post by KNV »

Prof Alladi Krishnaswamy has wriiten a very nice article on Key features of Thyagaraja Compositions in 9th Jan Hindu Friday Review column. Log on to Hinduonline site.

coolkarni
Posts: 1729
Joined: 22 Nov 2007, 06:42

#111

Post by coolkarni »

.
Last edited by coolkarni on 29 Nov 2009, 12:15, edited 1 time in total.

Niranjan Damle
Posts: 30
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 18:37

#112

Post by Niranjan Damle »

hello everybody, i joined rasikas.org few days back and being in mumbai, i started posting my views in one of the mumbai related topics. i was going through this post regarding madhava bhat and it drew my attention. reason's that i've listened to madhava bhat in one of the monthly programmes we organize in our school of music called 'Prapancha-The World of Music' in bangalore.

I happen to be a flautist and am learning since the last 19years. the music that madhava bhat produces through whistling is truely of a very high quality. being a flautist i'm aware of the challenge it poses to produce music through wind. the biggest challenge is shruti. madhava bhat has quite a good control of this aspect.

balakk
Posts: 129
Joined: 05 Feb 2010, 06:56

#113

Post by balakk »

Here's an article on latest edition of Kalachuvadu - a tamil magazine.

http://kalachuvadu.com/issue-113/page40.asp

Not a review as such, but more of a rant - it's a tamil translation of an original Malayalam article I gather.
Sorry if this is not the right place to post this - I'm a bit of a newb here.

arasi
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#114

Post by arasi »

balakk,
Thank you! Quite an article. Hope many others get to read it.

I did translate the original kAlaccuvaDu interview of Sanjay into English. It appeared in our Rasikas forum in September 2007 (?).

Rasika911
Posts: 521
Joined: 09 Mar 2009, 06:11

#115

Post by Rasika911 »

A non-believer's guide to divine music - Do you have to be religious to understand sacred music?

Buzz up!
Digg it
guardian.co.uk, Monday 15 May 2006 12.15 BST Article history

I was with a group of westerners attending a a concert of Carnatic music - south India's classical music - in Chennai. An affluent looking middle aged man in the row in front of us turned and smiled. He asked us if we liked the music. We said yes. Then he said: "But you cannot really understand it if you do not believe."

Now, it's true that the lyrics of much Carnatic music are addressed to various members of the Hindu pantheon and strongly coloured by the south Indian bhakti tradition of personal devotion. It's also true that they are written and sung in languages I don't speak (though I've read what I can in translation). But I resented this gentleman's complacent assumption that I could not understand the music. When the percussionists pumped out their rhythms and the violinist soared away with the melody, a visceral charge passed through the audience, believers and non-believers alike. A gift from one group of human beings to another. A gift that is at one and the same time intellectual, emotional, and physical.

Music is a material phenomenon, entering through the ears, pulsing in the blood, prompting the muscles. Carnatic music is sometimes seen as forbiddingly technical, but when the audience in Chennai counted the rhythmic pattern with fingers, palms, slaps on the thigh, they were moved by the same power that's tapped by rock n roll, township jazz or bluegrass. And in the miraculous alchemy of art - the only miracle I believe in - that material stimulus becomes much more than physical. It engages, soothes, sensitizes the human being as a whole. And the human being as a whole is by definition a cross-cultural entity.

You don't have to be a Christian to feel the swooning power of gospel music. You don't have to be a Muslim to be thrilled by qawalli. I'm an atheist and a materialist but I'm excited, touched and inspired by the art of William Blake, Kabir, Curtis Mayfield, Giotto - all of it saturated in faith. And I don't see that as a contradiction.

Religious art, when it's more than just a rite for the faithful, is multi-dimensional, enriched by undertones of doubt, desire, frustration, jealousy, and fear. It can be cerebral, erotic or political (dangerous as it is to generalise, I'd say that the greatest religious art tends to be protestant and prophetic, rather than orthodox). And it offers something hard to find in secular art: a fragile but somehow limitless hope, poised against all evidence to the contrary, a consoling promise, a reaching towards an ultimate peace. When this hope is given body in great art, in Bach or Tyagarajah (the Carnatic Mozart) or Hank Williams ("I saw the light, I saw the light, no more trouble, no more night...") its appeal is irresistible, even to the most die-hard sceptic.

Much as I respect sincere believers of all faiths, I'm afraid I remain convinced that human beings are alone in the universe and that it's in our individual and common interests to recognise this. I'm with the Russian anarchist Bakunin when he wrote: "The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth" and with the Tamil iconoclast Periyar when he declared: "The temples are not built for gods. They have come up for the livelihood of the Brahmins and to degrade and exploit the common people."

Nonetheless, I think we atheists and materialists also have to admit that in the end there remains a mysteriousness to life that is not merely a mystification. There are basic questions which humans ask to which we cannot give definitive answers. The impulse to explore these mysteries seems to me healthily human and not inherently retrogressive or escapist. And whatever happens to religion in the future, art is certain to remain one of the prime means by which we engage in that exploration.

The song performed at the Carnatic concert that we had been told we could not understand was, in fact, Tyagarajah's Vararagalaya - a sprightly and sarcastic composition. "They chatter and blabber, pretending they're top notch experts in melody and cadence but they don't have a clue in their brains ..." it begins. "They chatter as if they're aficionados of raga and rhythm. All the while they don't know a note from a fluttering."

There's a wonderful irascibility in Tyagarajah: he's frequently impatient with his listeners, his fellow musicians, himself and at times his God. In Vararagalaya, he's angry with those who do not understand that "the sounds which arise from the body are indeed the outpouring of the divine OM". I suppose that would include me. Still, the thrust of the song is a complaint about people who substitute the form for the soul of the music, just as elsewhere he complains about people who substitute outward ritual for inner devotion. Whatever Tyagarajah himself might have thought, I feel I'm closer to him in this matter than some of his more sectarian devotees.

Rasika911
Posts: 521
Joined: 09 Mar 2009, 06:11

#116

Post by Rasika911 »

The above isnt really a review as such but i couldnt be bothered starting a new thread- mods can do so if they feel it is appropriate.

keerthi
Posts: 1309
Joined: 12 Oct 2008, 14:10

#117

Post by keerthi »

If I remember right, this had appeared in either the Deccan herald or the Hindu sunday supplement, in 2006...

I particularly remember the vararAgalayagnulu reference..

alexson115
Posts: 1
Joined: 04 Jul 2009, 14:07

#118

Post by alexson115 »

wonderful! thanks for the info..



pret personnel

bilahari
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#119

Post by bilahari »

Nice article. Thanks, Rasika911!

VK RAMAN
Posts: 5000
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#120

Post by VK RAMAN »

Good article and thanks for sharing with us.

varadhukutty
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Feb 2006, 20:10

#121

Post by varadhukutty »

Some good balanced reviews of 2009 music season are available in English here

http://unrulednotebook.wordpress.com

Each review seem to contain some demonstration audio clips and written elaborately.

More reviews in Tamil (by the same person) are available at http://ommachi.wordpress.com

MV
Posts: 454
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#122

Post by MV »

Rasika 911: Now, it's true that the lyrics of much Carnatic music are addressed to various members of the Hindu pantheon and strongly coloured by the south Indian bhakti tradition of personal devotion. It's also true that they are written and sung in languages I don't speak (though I've read what I can in translation). But I resented this gentleman's complacent assumption that I could not understand the music. When the percussionists pumped out their rhythms and the violinist soared away with the melody, a visceral charge passed through the audience, believers and non-believers alike. A gift from one group of human beings to another. A gift that is at one and the same time intellectual, emotional, and physical.

To answer that: I went to Music Academy on 29/12 for Bombay Jayashree and 30/12 for Sanjay. Walking out with a group of westerners after Sanjay's concert I heard them analysing the 2 concerts. BJ has a great voice and sings to perfection but it is Sanjay who touches me and surprises me every concert and I have heard him a few times now!

So much for Hindu pantheon and tradition and all that baloney. Music is seamless...
Last edited by MV on 21 Jan 2010, 12:28, edited 1 time in total.

rshankar
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#123 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by rshankar »

A nice one! http://www.hindu.com/fr/2011/04/08/stor ... 840300.htm

Is the S. Sankar mentioned (as one of her students) vidvAn B'luru S. Sankar?

arasi
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#124 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by arasi »

Ravi,
Thanks for bringing this to the forum. Our kind are proud (both in gender and age !).
Very well written too.

VRV
Posts: 151
Joined: 04 Feb 2010, 19:03

#125 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by VRV »

Very well written article. What a cherished life she has led so far. May she live long and impart her knowledge to one and all.

Vinod Venkataraman

bilahari
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Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 09:02
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#126 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by bilahari »

Thank you, Ravi, for providing the link to that beautiful article. I hope she gets invited to perform in Chennai - I was looking out for her name last year, but she didn't have any concerts.

venkatakailasam
Posts: 4170
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 19:16

#127 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by venkatakailasam »

You can find a few songs of hers at :

http://www.sangeethamshare.org/svasu/UP ... enkatesan/

Shri Vasu's folder

venkatakailasam

rshankar
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#128 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by rshankar »

I am posting this because of the artist mentioned at the end - Smt. Vasavi, a sibling of the Malladi duo. Are there any tracks of hers one can listen to?

rshankar
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#129 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by rshankar »

A lovely review of this music director extraordinaire...

venkatakailasam
Posts: 4170
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 19:16

#130 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by venkatakailasam »

Image

His classical odyssey......

Are we aware that Actor Kamal Haasan learnt music from Dr. BMK?

Read it at..

http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday ... epage=true

bala747
Posts: 314
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#131 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by bala747 »

"Vidvan Tanjavooru Kalyana Raman (1930-1994) hailing from Komal village of Tanjore Dist of Tamil Nadu had practiced whistling as a necessity. His father Komal N. Srinivasa Iyer initiated him to Karnatak music. He became a great scholar of Karnatak music, and was very famous in those days. He had performed in Mysore too in seventies, under the auspicious of Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, during the days when the concerts were held at the Sahakara Bhavana on 100 feet Road. Unfortunately, Kalyana Raman lost his voice due to an ailment and failure of vocal chords, which had no cure in those days."

I heard a spellbinding subhapathuvarali (I realize I am biased towards the varali family of ragas, from varali to kuntalavarali) of SK whistling. My words to my brother, as I sent him that recording were:

"Dear Lord! S Kalyanaraman.. Whistling! Whistling! How on earth does he even make a gimmick sound so fantastic? Goosebumps."

That S in front of his name is Subhapanthuvarali. To me he will always be Subhapanthuvarali Kalyanaraman.

I also realize all my heroes were crazy and they died way ahead of their time... I guess that's why I find the current music scene so underwhelming. Its too "standardized, homogenized and sanitized for your protection".

There are no mad geniuses anymore. I would rather have ONE Kalyanaraman than a hundred million Sanjay Subramaniams. Nothing against him or his fans though. I am sure the fault is all mine.

Rsachi
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#132 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Rsachi »

Bala747,
the originality and innovation of masters like SK are like the classic 747 airplane :) Nothing today can match its majesty.

There is a YouTube concert of SK with LGJ and UKS. Totally brilliant with Mohana, Hamsanada, Kedaragowla...
https://youtu.be/qDNB9q_Jtpo

Ramasubramanian M.K
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#133 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K »

Folks: FYI. A couple of us headed by Dr.P.Rajagopalan--Founder-member of CMAN-- arranged a concert tour of SK in the US in the early seventies(prior to formation of CMANA).SK gave us 2 chamber concerts in Dr.Rajagopalan's house --one of them a full concert of GNB krithis--a 3 hour tour-de-force and the other a 2 hour Whistling Concert--I am sure the tapes are available somewhere(I am very poor at "archiving"). I will try to "unearth" them.

SK was an awesome talent and a very easy-going artiste to host--he was adventurous in the sense that in between concerts he would venture all by himself with Srimushnam Raja Rao (who was in his early twenties at that time) from Garden City in Long Island NY to Manhattan for sight seeing--no tour guide. Anybody who has lived in NY during the early seventies would recall how dangerous the streets were(mugging was common) and despite our overtures(none of us could take time off to take them around!!!) not to risk being "rash" SK would ignore and venture out--He was as bold in his personal demeanour as he was with his music!!!

bala747
Posts: 314
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#134 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by bala747 »

I used to wonder why people were singing praises of artistes of yesteryear. In fact in the old Sangeetham.com website the arguments used to come to blows (virtually)! I recall a particularly nasty one involving MMI. I think I might have called some of you there a opprobrious name or two (apologies for that by the way).

I realised after listening to enough concerts that what they had back then was real originality. In the sense that you could distinctly identify what made a Semmangudi Sankarabharanam, a GNB Sanmukhapriya, or an MDR Panthuvarali and no matter how 'simple' it sounded, creativity was always 'uber alles'. Nowadays there are many great musicians in the scene who give very elaborate renditions of ragas like Thodi and Bhairavi but it all appears rehearsed, standardised and default. Furthermore, they performed within the limits of the raga, and their forays into different aspects of the raga ALWAYS had the bhava of the raga in mind. The essence of a raga is more than just a series of ascending and descending notes (which is why I never liked TN Seshagopalan who has the dubious honour of singing unintended sruthimalikas in his concerts, in his quest for 'fastest brigha singing in the world'.) They also never took the audiences for granted. Nowadays you have artistes dumbing down their performances thinking 'ivaalukku ivlavu porum' (Especially when they are overseas), and from concert halls being crowded for OS Thyagarajan in 1996, nowadays you can't get ten people to listen to an Abhishek Raghuram in Singapore (I am just using names at random, Sri OST has given some fantastic concerts here), despite the population of expat Indians growing by leaps and bounds here. Even the reviews I read are pretty much the same. Ridiculous cricket analogies, overusage of jargon all covering up the fact that there is nothing different about the different concerts anymore. Either the concerts have become stale, or the reviewers have become lazy, or afraid to say anything that might be perceived as negative about the artistes.

And again there are too few mad geniuses. Balachander for instance would drive you insane playing the same line twenty times, and follow it up with a line so fantastic you wonder if for a brief moment you were transported to a musical heaven before being brought back to earth. Don't believe it? Listen to his 'teeratha vilayaatu pillai' or MDR's Saroruhasana Jaye.

Nick H
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#135 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Nick H »

nowadays you can't get ten people to listen to an Abhishek Raghuram in Singapore
There are ten of us here that you can't get to listen to Abhishek. Me and nine others. Otherwise, I gather that he is a hall filler.

:twisted: :lol:
I also realize all my heroes were crazy and they died way ahead of their time... I guess that's why I find the current music scene so underwhelming. Its too "standardized, homogenized and sanitized for your protection".
Do you think that the MBA and CA etc education might have had a deleterious effect on music?

VK RAMAN
Posts: 5000
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#136 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by VK RAMAN »

MBA's logical and analytical mind and CA's accounting mind - fact based - are inimical to creativity I guess

vasanthakokilam
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#137 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Bala, are you sure about Abhishek in Singapore? As Nick says, these days he gets a fairly huge following in both India and the U.S. And he is also not the one to do the usual things. So he is creating his own brand, if I may. If he does not get a decent audience in Singapore that will be surprising indeed.

Just like you said in apologetic terms that your impressions have changed about the past masters, I would say leave some room for the current day musicians to do the same to change your mind in the next 20 to 25 years. I am saying this on the assumption that you are not set in your ways and not coming to these conclusions as a cliche as a lot of old timers tend to do, and also not swayed by someone else's criteria to evaluate things but to look at it with a fresh perspective and independent and individualistic judgement. Because if none of those assumptions are true, then it does not make sense to even talk about it except for shooting the breeze in 'anglaippu' fashion.

Contrary to what you may be feeling, the CM world is changing and in my own assessment, the changes will be palpably felt in the next decade. Tastes are different of course so I would predict how you will react to those changes, but one thing I do not think we can say is that they are all the same. The reasons are multifold but the chief one is that the availability of music is so plenty and free that musicians need to make a case to the audience as to why they need to come to the concert hall and to listen to live music. A lot of the past masters' audience did not have all that luxury, the only way to listen to them is in a live setting. I think that itself changes things in a dramatic way. As I said, the end result is not guaranteed to be to any one person's specific liking. And even if someone does things differently,there are thousand others who want it to be the same and provide the opposing voice. TMK is a classic case of that but he seem to be pushing through not minding all the nay-sayers and the audience seems to be reacting to it. In his case, the interesting thing is, his changes are not necessarily populist. So he is not catering to the ultra conservatives or the populists and I am surprised he actually managed to define his niche. We will see if it lasts.

Having said all that, I do not know who in the current crop of leading musicians can raise to that stature of an MDR or Balachandar. Of course, our imagination is a limiting factor here. We should not be looking for any one resembling their style of course. I guess what we are looking for is someone who is unique and that uniqueness will be obvious, whether one likes the music or not.

The 'mad genious' criteria is a measure of Himalayan proportions and we will be lucky to see one in each generation and that too only if the prevailing taste-makers do not crush them in to oblivion.

bala747
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#138 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by bala747 »

Oh no I didn't mean anything negative about Sri Raghuram. I was just saying how even in here, audiences have fallen for all but the MOST popular artistes. I don't mean Sri Raghuram personally, I just used his name as a placeholder. I thought I had made it clear. I have never heard him to be honest. Now that you are saying he is worth a listen I will most certainly do so. (Ah old times where I had to spend more words explaining one throwaway sentence than everything else I wrote!)

I think institutionalising a 'degree programme' in music was the most detrimental to the spirit of the music, rather than the MBA/CA education. Artistes back then were well educated too (GNB was a Literature graduate, and MDR was a physics major I think). That didn't stop them from being great musicians. Loss of royal patronage and later, support due to strong anti-brahmin sentiments in Tamil Nadu didn't help the cause much either. We brahmins have to bear our share the blame as well, becoming more exclusivist and elitist when it came to music. It is now a case where you have an art form that is in search of relevance. But I think the worst thing that could happen to music was the Music Academy and the institutionalising of musical training by a bunch of administrators.

You summed up the problem perfectly:
" As I said, the end result is not guaranteed to be to any one person's specific liking. And even if someone does things differently,there are thousand others who want it to be the same and provide the opposing voice."

And that is what is going to kill the music system. When you have so much resistance to any innovation, you will become stale. Ariyakudi was pilloried by people into the 90's (the 1990's!) simply for inventing the concert format! I had oldies in my granddad's place bemoaning that a talentless womaniser changed the concert system to be more populist because he wasn't able to sing three hour thodis!

I don't expect to be hearing a Balachander or a Kalyanaraman again, but I also don't want to. One is enough. However, we DO need an Ariyakudi. We need someone who can fundamentally change the way the music is presented so that it continues to appeal from a musical, emotional and spiritual point. Fusion stuff is not the answer. All you end up doing is demeaning the quality of both streams of music, and will only appeal to the cultural window shopper. Innovations 'for the sake of it' like what Balamurali or L Shankar does isn't either. A contortionist is not a dancer. The essence of our music has always been about exploring the moods created by a set of notes. The bhava is supreme. It is also a fundamental concept of virtually all music. So why are we getting worse and worse at expressing it through our system, despite our artistes becoming more and more adept at it? When you 'structure' the learning of music such that only those who follow a prison-system like instruction regimen are passed through it, you pretty much create a stale music scene.

bala747
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#139 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by bala747 »

I went and dug out Abhishek Raghuram on Youtube and found a concert.

Started with Ananda Natana Prakasam.

One of the krithis I pretty much use as a barometer. Great musicians will sing krithis like Ananda Natana perfectly. Even D K Jayaraman manages to not mangle this too much. (But he usually doesn't. That's pretty much all he has). Abhishek had my attention up until the heart of the anupallavi, and he decided to profoundly hurt my feelings by profoundly mispronouncing the words. The line, 'bhukti mukti prada daharaakaasham' (He, the provider of pleasure and salvation, resides in the 'daharaakaasha' ) had morphed into 'bhukti mukti daraakaaram'. I have no idea what a daraakaaram is. The line is such a beautiful and profound one, and you can write an entire philosophical treatise on what the 'daharaakasha' is, and to see it mangled like this shows no respect for the profundity of the piece. This is not just a typical krithi. This is one of the masterpieces of Dikshithar, and written about Shiva in Chidambaram, the temple that represents that VERY WORD AAKASHA that he mangles! Unforgiveable. How can you claim to be a musician and not know and bring out the depth of the krithi you are supposed to be singing?! Would it be okay to willy nilly change the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th?! Would someone accept "Meru samaana" being sung as "Peru Samaana"? Or the Mona Lisa with a groucho Marx moustache? I don't say that they should know the meaning of every line of every composition ever composed, or that every syllable of yours needs to be criticised but to not know the meaning of even a few prominent works of the Trinity that you are presenting to an audience? Or even the one line you SHOULD perhaps pay some attention to? Listen to how MDR handles it. Okay if you think MDR is too high a standard to aim, listen to RK Srikantan.

The rest of the concert was fine. Fantastic imagination, and brilliant alapanas. I hope he doesn't break my heart again. Please sir, learn the meaning of some of the most beautiful lines penned by man before you step on the stage. Yeah there is a sruthi bhedam in the concert somewhere from Kamas to Vasantha or what not, but at the end of the day, a krithi like Ananda Natana Prakasam needs to presented in all its majesty. Don't bloody its nose.

Don't mess with a masterpiece.

cacm
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#140 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by cacm »

I am GLAD you are pointing out how CARNATIC MUSIC "EXPERTS" MURDER THE COMPOSITIONS & GET WAY WITH IT BECAUSE OF IGNORANCE ON THE PART OF LISTENERS.. VKV

Nick H
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#141 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Nick H »

bala, you say that TNS was not one of your favourites. I have wondered if he sang like Abhishek in his youth and has mellowed. I'm not sure that I'll live long enough (another 20 years?) for Abhishek to mellow sufficiently for me.

VKV, I made some comments to a friend, about how an artist had hummed and mumbled their way through a particular song. My wife said that she wondered what more I might have to say if I actually understood the language! For the record, it was a statement of fact, and it was part of a great concert that I really enjoyed. Thus no identity is given, not even a clue to gender.

cacm
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#142 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by cacm »

Dear Nick,
We enjoy MANY things & this is especially true if they dont sing using words as it can complicate things. As a matter of fact I enrolled in a JAZZ COURSE when I found out that DIXIELAND JAZZ made me happy till I learnt it was Funeral stuff! VKV

Nick H
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#143 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Nick H »

Wonderful. A friend once pointed out to me that funeral anagrams to real fun!

vasanthakokilam
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#144 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Bala, thanks for the clarification. I was not even thinking you were saying anything negative about AR ( and even if you did, there is no reason for me to rebut that ) but more the surprise that he was not getting any audience. Now I see you used his name as a random place holder. BTW, Ananda Natana Prakasam is something he has sung a few times. We can check that one word in other recordings, we do not want to nail him just because of one misstep.

Nick H
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#145 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Nick H »

I would nail the person responsible for printing non-chalance in a newspaper report. The single offence is one too many for a professional writer editor!

When I see this done with English, I am able to get a sense of how people feel when languages they know are mangled by the musical-equivalent mishap.

vasanthakokilam
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#146 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Nick, A lot of people here would become serial murderers :)

btw, is the '-' the problem? I have seen the word without the colon, I think.

I can sort of see why that can be annoying but these reactions are many times more than my own when I hear people making mistakes in Tamil. But that is what makes the world interesting, people having different pet peeves.

Nick H
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#147 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by Nick H »

Indeed it is a problem, because there is no such thing as chalant or chalance. Nonchalance is not the state of not being "chalant."

Sometimes these things, in print, arise from line-ending mistakes, where someone has manually hyphenated an end-of-line word which, in the final layout, doesn't come at the end of the line. However, in this instance, I choose to blame lack of understanding. I am very underwhelmed by New Indian Express English! ;)

PS. This is interesting. There might be an argument for introducing chalant into the language, but not for hyphenating nonchalanace.

RasikasModerator2
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#148 Re: Reviews Worth Reading

Post by RasikasModerator2 »

This thread is being moved to the reviews section.

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