Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

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gajaa
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#1 Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by gajaa »

Those on social media would have seen the project titled 'A cray little thing called Chakravaham' from the RaGa sisters creating quite a movement in the Carnatic Music fraternity all over the world. It's very heartening to see such independent (non-filmy) classical music creating a lot of engagement enabled by digital media. While it's very common for cover versions to be created for popular film songs / English music, seeing the trend replicated for Carnatic Music is wonderful. What's even more beautiful is the observation that vocalists as well as instrumentalists are participating in this program with a lot of fervor. Kudos to the sisters and their team comprising Ambi Subramaniam, Akshay Anantapadmanabhan et al. Let's see more such projects blossom and thrive. As we inch towards the December season this year, such projects do infuse a lot of positive energy in the air. View their FB page below to follow all the Jamming sessions from the participants. Some of them have been super creative!

https://www.facebook.com/Ranjani.Gayatri.RaGa/

sureshvv
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#2 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sureshvv »

Jethro Tull ellam varudu pa :D

Ranganayaki
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#3 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

I didn't really like their choice of title. The singing was often nice, but the basic motif was uninteresting. The raga is far more interesting than the motif they chose. I didn't enjoy the constant smiling. 😊

I found their introduction to Chakravakam demonstrating its grihabheda relationship with Sarasangi lovely and interesting in its approach. I don't think fusion has to entail a loss of the richness.

sureshvv
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#4 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sureshvv »

Some of Ambi's playing seemed like "bow syncing" for the video :D

Ranganayaki
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#5 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

Just saw this.

https://youtu.be/Sy0iyUTdSqY

It makes it much better as here that rather silly line is not a recurring motif.

This reminds me a lot of this moment (decades ago) in “Amadeus” involving the music of Salieri.

https://youtu.be/-ciFTP_KRy4

I can’t help sharing this.. But I must add that I love the music of RaGa sisters and don’t mean to slam them. I’m just not very fond of this piece. They are not doing justice here to their own talent.

sankark
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#6 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sankark »

Ranganayaki wrote: 19 Sep 2018, 23:06 Just saw this.

https://youtu.be/Sy0iyUTdSqY
.
.
and don’t mean to slam them. I’m just not very fond of this piece. They are not doing justice here to their own talent.
Neither to chakravAham. Cringeworthy.

Ranganayaki
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#7 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

gajaa wrote: 19 Sep 2018, 07:32 It's very heartening to see such independent (non-filmy) classical music creating a lot of engagement enabled by digital media. While it's very common for cover versions to be created for popular film songs / English music, seeing the trend replicated for Carnatic Music is wonderful. What's even more beautiful is the observation that vocalists as well as instrumentalists are participating in this program with a lot of fervor.
(...)
Let's see more such projects blossom and thrive. As we inch towards the December season this year, such projects do infuse a lot of positive energy in the air.
Notwithstanding all I said, I welcome your reaction, and if it was pleasing to you, please do enjoy it. Personally I would like to hear something more that is at their level as I perceive it. More such projects are certainly welcome. I think it’s also the dearth of such projects that makes it so easy to love this one. If we had more like this, they would all have to do much more to stand out. 🙂

sureshvv
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#8 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sureshvv »

sankark wrote: 20 Sep 2018, 07:51

Neither to chakravAham. Cringeworthy.
Really? You may have a weak constitution :D

Try listening to the music first without watching the video.

I found it extremely good to Chakravaham.

vasanthakokilam
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#9 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by vasanthakokilam »

sureshvv wrote: 19 Sep 2018, 18:06 Some of Ambi's playing seemed like "bow syncing" for the video :D
All of it is. That is how these videos are made, the sound recorded separately in the studio.

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#10 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sureshvv »

Is that true of the vocals also? They are remarkably well synced then!

rshankar
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#11 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by rshankar »

The Indian Raga productions are created and shared to promote excitement among today's youth. In a previous thread the purpose of these uploads was hashed out. Given the purpose of the uploads, I thought that the sisters had done a remarkably fabulous and restrained job of keeping it away from themselves (the "look at us, this is how fantastic we are" element) as well as limiting the facets of cakravAkam they have explored.

So, keeping this is mind, I wonder if Ranganayaki and Sankar's opinions are still the same.

PS: A question I have is that transcends the purpose of these uploads: shouldn't the rAga name be cakravAkam and not cakravAham??

sureshvv wrote: 20 Sep 2018, 22:19Is that true of the vocals also? They are remarkably well synced then!
From what I understand, the answer is yes. It is that aspect that led some posters in the thread I have referenced above to say that the children's expressions were rather plastic and inappropriate for the sentiment of the lyrics being sung, or something to that effect,

rupavathi
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#12 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by rupavathi »

rshankar wrote: 20 Sep 2018, 22:40shouldn't the rAga name be cakravAkam and not cakravAham??
True, but this could be chakrava-ho-hum... ;)

Ranganayaki
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#13 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

sureshvv wrote: 20 Sep 2018, 22:19 Is that true of the vocals also? They are remarkably well synced then!
My first thought when they started singing was that it was a studio recording, and that they were amazingly well synced with the music. It was probably music that they had heard a lot after recording it, and they could emote perfectly. But I am completely out of touch with the world of audio recording, so my reasons for my guess may not be even valid!! What I think is impossible may well be everyday practice.

Ranganayaki
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#14 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

rshankar wrote: 20 Sep 2018, 22:40 Given the purpose of the uploads, I thought that the sisters had done a remarkably fabulous and restrained job of keeping it away from themselves (the "look at us, this is how fantastic we are" element) as well as limiting the facets of cakravAkam they have explored.
The RaGa sisters never appear flamboyant and never seem to be drawing attention to themselves, even in the early videos. The focus is always on the music, not on them.
So, keeping this is mind, I wonder if Ranganayaki and Sankar's opinions are still the same.
Yeah, I didn’t think for a second that I was not part of the target audience 😂 !! If the music is for other people and not for regular listeners, then really what can I say? It’s fine. My feedback is of no interest! But why should artists do that?

I almost caught on! I thought they were dumbing down their music. Why should they? Fusion will sound just as great even to novices when the music is top notch!! I can readily understand that people won’t be easily attracted to hard-core CM. But fusion? Why couldn’t this piece have been written to appeal to us too?
PS: A question I have is that transcends the purpose of these uploads: shouldn't the rAga name be cakravAkam and not cakravAham??
That spelling was chosen by the OP for this thread. If I remember, the title of the piece said “Chakravakam.”

But really, what I didn’t like was just the motif. It was too simple and if I remember correctly, quite static and did not vary at all throughout. It should have at least varied, waxed and waned may be in added beauty.. My final thought is that it’s very nice, but as top-notch musicians, they shouldn’t dumb down their music even for a second. They should leave this level of music to artists of growing caliber and my feeling is that they will find that their current target audience will still get on board.

rajeshnat
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#15 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by rajeshnat »

Ranganayaki wrote: 21 Sep 2018, 02:58 I almost caught on! I thought they were dumbing down their music. Why should they? Fusion will sound just as great even to novices when the music is top notch!! I can readily understand that people won’t be easily attracted to hard-core CM. But fusion? Why couldn’t this piece have been written to appeal to us too?
...
But really, what I didn’t like was just the motif. It was too simple and if I remember correctly, quite static and did not vary at all throughout. It should have at least varied, waxed and waned may be in added beauty.. My final thought is that it’s very nice, but as top-notch musicians, they shouldn’t dumb down their music even for a second. They should leave this level of music to artists of growing caliber and my feeling is that they will find that their current target audience will still get on board.
Ranganayaki
Marketing Campaigns is an orthogonal activity which is far more important than perfecting that perfect chakravakham sangathi(the former gives more count of rasikas in thousands where as the latter gives a count of 10 rasikas in cycle rickshaw) . Dumbing a bit is part of adding visual territory. The experience of CM is vocalist -violin -super solid mrudangam- may be upapakkavadhyams are just optional(look at the other sakritilaya thread right now of 4 hours is always the best). Here in the musical background you can hear apart from pradana mrudangam, lot of western style violin , we also have ipad-keyboard , in the background there are also other percussion and timers like a typical film music ensemble. They could have avoided all that the chakravakham polish will be aurally better.

As such they are winning with this marketing campaign . ranganayaki - having learnt music also mentioning with statements like they should not dumb down being top notch musician. Rajesh who hates any aural impurities coming in also heard RAgA chakravakham(CM is only aural and not visual is my life long motto) also clicked the link and heard it .Hey visual gives more marketing momentum atleast for 6 months to 1 year for rAgA this campaign is great for them . It is bit like antha kAlathu milE sur mErA thumArA, it will bring fresh blood rasikas.
Last edited by rajeshnat on 21 Sep 2018, 17:35, edited 4 times in total.

rajeshnat
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#16 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by rajeshnat »

at 06:17 AM I posted the above. Then opened The Hindu Paper on Sept 21st.2018 around 07:15 AM . The Hindu reaches 2 million rasikas, this rajesh post will take it to 2 million + 2000(Max) to 2 Million + 200 (Min), that is just a moot point .

My ammA who goes gA gA with rA gA opened the paper , my amma's only daughter in law has just discussed with her Mother in law to take the only kid in my house possibly to rA gA this season. Hope it happens, way to go RAgA sisters your campaign just is working at least in my home. The car driver(rajesh) is ready with his chakravAkham , the driver will buy 4 tickets and will report soon if the campaign clicks with 4 rasikas.

https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/ ... 995519.ece

Ranganayaki
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#17 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

rajeshnat wrote: 21 Sep 2018, 06:17
Ranganayaki


As such they are winning with this marketing campaign . (...) It is bit like antha kAlathu milE sur mErA thumArA, it will bring fresh blood rasikas.
I think you are taking a very negative view of what I wrote. You are preaching to the converted! Please check out my post #7.

arasi
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#18 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by arasi »

vAgam, vAkam and vAkham, and going in circles...சக்ரவாகம்!
I listened to it, liked it and gave it a Like. No akku vERu ANi vERu (taking it apart) for me with this. I am not being critical of anyone here--no intention of complicating rasikatvA more--with the way some threads stray far away from our enjoying a musical experience...

Rajesh,
My belief is that whatever you say about music, in whichever fashion you choose to--however critical you may sound at times, you to me stand for a true rasikA. You come from two rasikAs family, never give up the enthusiasm of both clans, and continue their tradition in experiencing music wholeheartedly. Your fervor is deep-rooted, and your enjoyment of music is wholesome. Good to know what went on in your household :) I can visualize the scene. Guessing what your little one is all about, she'll make up her own mind and tell you a thing or two in the future about which artistes to listen to. Bless her :)

Ranganayaki
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#19 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by Ranganayaki »

Thanks to Rajesh for caring and taking down his more offensive words, thanks to the moderator who took down my post in reaction, which I then was unable to even edit. We spoke and i was finally able to get through to him why the post offended me. But it was kind of him to take it out even without understanding why, just because he didn’t want me to remain offended. I appreciate that.

I am still feeling a little frustrated that a thread that I enjoyed to begin with turned out to become negative. I thought I was being measured, not meaning to slam this whole piece, but my honest reaction to it was making people think that I was.

My posts are there to read, I clearly say what I didn’t enjoy about it, most of it is not related to the music itself. The title, the smiling!! It was all in good spirit as far as I am aware, not a take-down of the artist or their work.

I have clearly said that the singing was nice, but what I didn’t like was the motif (repeated (central/dominant) pattern, google defines it, i was told later, as “dominant central idea”). It is a specific criticism, and not unfair even if nobody agrees with me. My reason for it coloring my enjoyment of the whole piece is its dominant and central nature. I felt at the very least there could have been variations in complexity to add interest.

My other question was why should a top notch artist produce less than their best sound to appeal to younger audiences and why should older Rasikas be left out. Is that an unfair question? Why should you market art and adapt it for Rasikas? The greatest art is produced without such considerations.

The “Amadeus” reference was very enjoyable to me, and I’ve been meaning to clarify that I didn’t mean that as a take-down either of the RaGa sisters. That boy has titled his piece as “Fun” and “challenge”, I enjoyed it immensely, and liked his cocky attitude at the end, which is in keeping with his title of “challenge” (and “fun”). It really reminded me of that movie scene, where Mozart is having so much fun with that piece, and unintentionally wounds the ego of Salieri. I was really enjoying this thread, and sharing my views, but it seems to have upset most of you, and I didn’t even get a reaction to the flute guy! His video to me is part of a conversation, again not a take-down of the sisters in my mind, and I bet it was not in his mind either.

I was a little uncomfortable at Ravi clubbing my reaction with Sankark’s, the spirit of mine was a little different, I felt, from his, though I don’t have much info on his thoughts. Just uncomfortable, and he may not have particularly “clubbed” them.

I was not nitpicking, but I thought sharing your honest reaction is ok.

But I am mostly feeling bad that I really love the sisters’ music, and somehow the first thing I write about them turned out to be a negative experience over all (for everyone).

I’m sorry. 🙁🙁🙁

shankarank
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#20 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by shankarank »

arasi wrote: 21 Sep 2018, 09:07 No akku vERu ANi vERu (taking it apart) for me with this.
akku is point , ANi is extension! - There is a deep philosophy embedded right in the metaphor 8-) :lol:

It is getting rave reviews and appreciation from Gurus ( the serious ones - who teach to perfection!) in the Dallas Whats App! Same ones may not have done it , if their kids hadn't grown up to be in the school band!

After all, many a new rasika parent lands into Cleveland, dragged there , kicking and screaming , complaining about Airfare/Hotel expenses, by their own Kids!

Otherwise is it that easy to to get into the footsteps of the halls of music ( of any serious type!) ?? summa EriDa muDiyuuma! That should be proof enough how the intellect is a dust in front of great music!

vasanthakokilam
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#21 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by vasanthakokilam »

To a first level of approximation, this Gartner style magic quandrant works for many two parameter debates.
Not many arguments will be about quadrant 1 or 4. Most people in this forum will skew towards 3 and 4 and general public as a whole will skew towards 2 and 4.

This CD is probably on the lower part of 4.

Image

SrinathK
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#22 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by SrinathK »

I think we're being a little too harsh on artistes for doing something lighter that isn't pure CM per se once a while.

Now I heard the recording myself and it was an absolutely superb effort overall, though I thought they were repeating the opening line a bit too often. It was the ipad that surprised me, didn't know that app was as versatile as a chitraveena at one end and a guitar at the other. But who was on the drums?

Ranjani and Gayathri got a chance to show just how good their voices are in this one, their swarasthana shuddham and clarity intact even at these high tempos.

Ambi's a total wizard on the instrument. What bowing! It was his idea all along.

Now the mridangam is a casuality here, he must simplify and keep a steady beat for the most part, except in the violin interludes. If he had a mini solo to himself it would be perfect. The flute guy could also get a role, he played some good stuff. Bindu needs a bit more role though, I hardly heard her.

Strictly it was the violin trio of L Shankar, Subramaniam and Vaidyanathan who over a period of time of collaborating with a whole host of genres and artistes on a global stage, came up with a form of music that I call (simply because of the words that popped in my head) as 'postmodern fusion' -- all others just followed the path they laid.

The structures of compositions of this form need not be based on anything lyrical, they can purely instrumental (however Dikshitar has seen some of his popular numbers get the treatment - like ranga pura vihAra), the emphasis is more on virtuosity and cerebral brilliance than melting sentiment, the instruments more electric / electronic than acoustic, and so on, the gamakas minimized (except for the solo CM portions).

As for the video part, well, if you've ever tried it, you'll know there's really no other way to do it, unless you videotape a live performance.

It works best for a target audience that is similar in their exposure as well, they've heard some stuff from here and there, but aren't hardcore into any of them.

shankarank
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#23 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by shankarank »

vasanthakokilam wrote: 22 Sep 2018, 05:31 this Gartner style magic quandrant works for many two parameter debates.
Thanks VK! You boxed all of us. 3% of population of tamizh nADu, among which may be if I am generous, 3% will be listening to serious music , out of which 3% will listen to anything popularly Carnatic , out of which 3% will listen to core Carnatic, out of which 3% will listen to vINA/nAdasvaram and so on. The boxes reduce in iteration. If I missed out an intermediate step or two feel free to add.

Now the supra majority out there, boxes the Carnatic lover into a corner. We box them in turn in your Gartner quadrants! Well before that we boxed ourselves into saBox - the sound box auditorium!

As they say in refrain: "Am I just a data point in a statistic ? Do numbers lie after all?" தமிழிலேயே கேட்பர். நம்மை எந்த கட்டத்தில் போடுகிறார்கள் என்று!

The iterative reducing box is in stark contrast to the 4 equal boxes you drew. We are all fascinated by the concept of equality. I will show you how the latter creates a false sense! It is this quest for false equality that creates all this conflict about why the music that I like is not reaching others!

But I tried a different approach! That is the liberating concept of Indian view point. Irrespective of whether you have a snAna prapti ( a connection to perform ablutions at it's death!) with Carnatic music , to paraphrase rookie MA Secretary in one of his articles, music is sacred to you! You say, "Oh I have no taste for such a thing, don't have a clue what it is!". The Indian tradition says it believes in re-incarnation and you will get your turn!

Whether the above ( I have to be very specific now eh! - I cut the paragraph! ;) ) has any truth in that or not, there is one thing true about it. It rings an eerie liberating sense even in this life of reality!

Else my musically agnostic tone deaf father would have failed to point out one of the two MPN brothers - don't know if they were playing still, but their cassettes played at home - crossed the inner prahara steps into Madurai Meenakshi temple as me and my father crossed out and he said , "see, he is the one. They are ardent devotees!"

https://www.thehindu.com/features/metro ... 051507.ece

But for the article covering them, I did not even know they were the ones who played in the movie, as I was born afterwards, and saw the movie in Doordarshan when Kodai started telecasting and Chennai TV got linked few years after!

My father, I suppose would be in box no 1!! In your quadrant framework he is an unequal forebear in my life, even to me. But in my framework he unites somehow and the question of equality is moot.
Last edited by shankarank on 22 Sep 2018, 20:42, edited 2 times in total.

sureshvv
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#24 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sureshvv »

The piece is more about "group jamming" than any individual performance. Would have been great if the sisters jammed on violin too - with Ambi. They were known to be quite the violin duo no that long ago

ram1999
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#25 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by ram1999 »

In one word that this Chakravaham is to me is "CACOPHONY"
the acrobatics, high decibel levels, and jumping up and down the raga scale like a monkey has killed the beauty of this lovely raga :(

shankarank
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#26 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by shankarank »

ram1999 wrote: 23 Sep 2018, 17:45 and jumping up and down the raga scale like a monkey has killed the beauty of this lovely raga :(
Sorry! Only the sense of a rAgA creates music is a wrong notion! I have spent all my effort to disprove that. candam illAmal svaram illai. Language is music first!

Notwithstanding the fact that rAgA itself has laya embedded and changes name [:cough:] when laya changes, only that we try to ferret out milli-tones, micro-tones, nano-tones, anu-svara etc. We fail to realize that the latter is grammar, the one to be kept sacred also(nava vyAkaraNa svabhAva) , meant for a guru SiSya conversation.

Discourse on Music, picked this latter idea up to trumpet, after it was found that the West also had 7 notes. Meanwhile the west took our languages into the dictionary!

May be you can ask for a new rAgA name ;) :D

sranjani
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#27 Re: Crazy Little Thing Called Chakravaham

Post by sranjani »

I think jamming is enuf now .the quality has gone down considerably too bored with albela and gajana nayutham which is vegavahini in Dikishitar school any way .

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