Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
Post Reply
shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#1 Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

Hello all.

Bored to death with the quarantine, first of all, and second, this is a topic that has really lent itself to a lot of thought in my mind.

Of course, I would like to preface this with the fact that, as some of you might be aware, I am a huge fan of T M Krishna (of course, this explains the title of the post, and also the many references to his music you will see here).

I was just reading a review of a TMK Concert in 2008, under which I saw a rant that once he began a concert with Ahiri and another time with Ramakatha in Madhyamavathi. The thread is linked here... viewtopic.php?t=5490

First of all, does it really matter what raga a concert begins with? If the artist feels that he can deliver, I really wouldn't mind a concert beginning with an RTP (as mentioned in said thread). In fact, TMK has done it multiple times over the last few years, and I don't think he's ever going to abandon that tradition (or lack thereof) anytime soon. And this is just one thing.

1) Beginning and ending a concert with set pieces:

Begin with a varnam, end with a mangalam. The latter is perhaps more understandable, but why, exactly, must one begin a concert with a varnam at all? Warming up the vocal cords might just as well be accomplished by a fast-paced krithi. I have heard, as mentioned, furious outbursts about what TMK began a concert with - So what if he chooses to sing Ahiri? If the manodharma was good, I couldn't care less.

2) Where to sing neraval or swaras

First of all, it's the artist's freedom where he/she wants to improvise. The current concert format honestly leaves little room for getting rid of monotony - You sing Kambhoji, then you sing the overused O Rangasayi and sing Neraval and swaras at Bhuloka Vaikuntham. How is nobody ever bored of hearing the same neraval and swaras? I attended a concert of TMK and his wife in Bangalore where he sang a higher-octave neraval at Kailasadipudu and she sang a lower one at Bhuloka. Well, that's a good place to take neraval too. I have heard people complaining that X took neraval at ABC place in a krithi and not XYZ. Oh, the travesty! The sacrilege! The blasphemy! Why does this matter at all? Again, if the manodharma is good, I couldn't care whether you take neraval at Bhuloka, Kailasa, or maybe even Pilachite O Yanuchu Rarada.

These are just two examples. I'm sure if I can take some time, I'll be able to come up with a more prolific list. Do the people who complain about things like this not know that ARI's format was considered laughable at the time? Tradition is not static. Tradition is not singing neraval at Bhuloka, or singing Nenarunchinanu between two 'heavy' pieces. And finally, the same people who complain about a misplaced neraval 'ah' and 'oh' when youngsters attempt pallavis in vivadi ragas that allow for nothing more than permutations and combinations. Tradition should be preserving older ragas like Narayanagowla, Ghanta etc. Not pouncing on an artist for singing a Ganapathy krithi with an alapana.

Inviting your thoughts, and pardon me if this topic has already been discussed.

SrinathK
Posts: 2301
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 170
x 16

#2 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by SrinathK »

Every tradition is originally a good idea, that worked.

There is no tradition in history anywhere, anytime, except this one.

sureshvv
Posts: 5380
Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 18:17
x 148
x 20

#3 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by sureshvv »

Every living tradition is a good idea that works.

Artistes experiment at the fringe all the time. Sometimes these experiments stick and tradition gathers mass. Other times these experiments fail to get traction until someone finds it worthwhile to tinker with the idea again.

In general, these experiments reflect some deep inner musical values that the artiste is trying to convey. The acceptance or not of these, will depend on how much resonance these values find with the rasikas.

rshankar
Posts: 13688
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 22:26
x 809
x 12

#4 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by rshankar »

I guess the questions shouldn't be the confines of tradition, but rather "what makes a musical experiment 'acceptable' and morph into 'tradition', and what doesn't?".....

SrinathK
Posts: 2301
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 170
x 16

#5 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by SrinathK »

The bigger question is whether the idea worked or not?

shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#6 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

All the same, while I agree with the fact that experimentation occurs and is often successful and accepted, my gripe is with those 'elite' few who find no other reasonable justification for criticising an artist other than on the grounds of some 'tradition.' After TMK began a concert with Merusamana circa 2000, I have seen newspaper reviewers criticise him for 'not having respect for the veterans who would always begin with a varnam.' My point is, to what extent can we really consider such 'traditions' relevant in this day and age?

As
The bigger question is whether the idea worked or not?
Yes. As a matter of fact, most 'experimentation' that occurs today is a result of either a flow of creative imagination that sparked a new thought on a particular day or a deliberate attempt to flout the system's 'rules' because there is an inherent inconsistency. For example, I have seen people grumble that an artist took up Karikalabhamukham as an elaborate item in the middle of a concert. How long can krithis on Ganapathy remain auxiliary items to be presented at the beginning of a concert with a smattering of manodharma? If a really majestic krithi like Karikalabamukham or Vatapi were to be taken up and the level of manodharma good enough, I don't think it should really matter. While singing a Ganapathy krithi at the beginning is often recommended from a religious standpoint, I don't see why these krithis ought to be treated like dirt and performed perfunctorily at the beginning a concert. If, as SrinathK says, the idea works, I don't see why there should be so much criticism.

Finally, when TMK at MA 2008 sang an elaborate Viriboni, I have seen ample complaining, once again linked with a supposed 'lack of respect' but really lacking any serious backing. If your only issue is with the fact that an artist didn't 'respect' tradition, aren't you not seeing the forest for the trees?

Sachi_R
Posts: 1807
Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 20:20
x 57
x 14

#7 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Sachi_R »

Shreyas, you write well! And beginning with the word Unto, that too, such a traditional word indeed 😀

As the beginner of this thread, it is unto thee to ensure that the discussion is not only about TMK.

I will just say one sentence about TMK from my side: he is a great musician and has established himself so well that whatever he does becomes tradition for many people.

Tradition is like the basic groove in which the art flows. Sometimes it spills over, sometimes the groove is damaged by forcible overuse, needs to be repaired at times, and the viscosity of the art makes it stick to the groove naturally.

If I were to create a scorecard for the state of CM in terms of the traditional groove adherence, my ratings:
1. Sticking to Tala =10
2. Sticking to singing kritis =9
3. Sticking to basic raga structures =8
4. Sticking to the accepted sangatis =7
5. Sticking to ARI concert format=6
6. Avoiding Vivadi ragas =5
7. Adhering to the correct sahitya = 4
8. Sticking to Rajesh Theorem of 3+ hr concert =3
9. Not using memory devices on stage = 2
10. Using a real tambura = 1

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#8 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

The kutcheri format became so ordained for a long time that , even the order of items, the air of a concert feel , the fact that SSI had a long reign and nobody can question conventions etc. etc. made sure that all of this became part of "Tradition".

Even the Canteen menu along with sabha as a mainstay would be considered as "tradition".

So much that a Sanjay Subs concert in Detroit or somewhere in Michigan for sure, in a temple, drew the ire of his friend and follower ( he followed many of his concerts in U.S tours) , that the latter described it as kalyANa chattiram atmosphere in the erstwhile Sangeetham.com.

So even the fact that there were kalayaNa kutcheri and kOvil kutcheri were forgotten by people - i.e. they were no longer tradition, but viewed as circus now!

And that is tradition for you. We already covered classicism elsewhere ;) --- :lol:

I feel like using a quintessentially American expression - "My gggoddd...!!!" :evil: :lol:

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#9 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

Thats quite a nostalgia - tradition!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGKNWBnIX64

I really wish one day TMK will tweet the same about the Academy. He had tweeted the above sometime back.

Before sub-altern art forms like parai get equal space and connoisseur appreciation in Academy , Kabadi needs equal place in the Lords. The queen, the prince, Rahul, Tharoor and the cricketers and their wives need to sit and watch through it!

shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#10 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

Thank you @Sachi_R for the compliment :) and of course, most of my listening is TMK, so most of my opinions will be with respect to him. I will, however, try and keep it to a minimum.

I think your list is quite representative of the current scheme of things. While most of the items on the list are examples of what I was talking about, a large number of those are traditions that ‘make sense,’ like the tambura. Traditions like where to do improvisation are what I believe don’t hold water.

sureshvv
Posts: 5380
Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 18:17
x 148
x 20

#11 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by sureshvv »

Starting a concert with a non-varnam cannot be considered an experiment (it never was). Enough people have done it and from way before.

In fact it is the other way round. Featuring rare seldom heard varnams is the experiment and seems to be proving successful.

Some of the failed experiments of TMK are:

1. Starting concert with main piece
2. Disembodied raga alapana and ragamalika tanam

sureshvv
Posts: 5380
Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 18:17
x 148
x 20

#12 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by sureshvv »

rshankar wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 00:28 I guess the questions shouldn't be the confines of tradition, but rather "what makes a musical experiment 'acceptable' and morph into 'tradition', and what doesn't?".....
There are different types of experiments.

1. Take an existing and well accepted idea and execute it at a different more intense level.

2. Come up with something totally unique and never thought of before.

3. Take an existing idea that is frowned upon and repeatedly execute it.

(1) is hard. (2) is much harder. (3) seems to be TMK route :D

rajeshnat
Posts: 9199
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 119
x 16

#13 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by rajeshnat »

Sachi_R wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 09:22 8. Sticking to Rajesh Theorem of 3+ hr concert =3
Great post sachi!!
Since you bought in my name, way back in 2010 i wrote a post explaining 5 tenets as pancha-nirvanA carnatic index (in short panic index) explaining the requisites of a concert

I did not know then that the acronym Panic can be appropriate, atleast as of now this panic is there.

Check for the more granular details bit more in the below link
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12212&hilit=Panic#p152500
Last edited by rajeshnat on 08 Apr 2020, 16:09, edited 1 time in total.

Nick H
Posts: 9136
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 02:03
x 920
x 26

#14 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Nick H »

As I said before:
Innovation yesterday is fine; innovation the day before yesterday is even better, Innovation today is an unacceptable breach of tradition. Until tomorrow, when it will be fine.
There is a problem, though. It's like with language. All the mistakes that become habitual, accepted, and part of the language itself, find their way into the dictionaries, by which time we might call them "tradition." But they are still actually mistakes.Taken to task, people will say, "But language evolves," which they take to be their licence to do what they like with it. No, it doesn't evolve, it degrades, and it degrades to the lowest common denominator. Amongst all that garbage, which it seems is inevitable, there are occasional flashes of brilliance, with, for instance, the creation of new words that may not satisfy the classical etymologists, but have a kind of genius about them.

In language, it seems, it is so much easier for the nonsense to catch on than it is for the genius to catch on. And, in language, just as in music, it is not even agreed which is which!

Sachi_R
Posts: 1807
Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 20:20
x 57
x 14

#15 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Sachi_R »

But they are still actually mistakes
Quite an important point! There is a collective intelligence and wisdom that underlines all "good" traditions. For example, the Ariyakudi concert format achieved so many positives and was the foundation of CM's growth:
1. Many compositions, with variety, bhava and language appeal
2. Scope for innovation without transcending grammar.
3. Interesting for the lay audience as well as experts and other music students.
4. A sense of satisfaction that comes at the end of the concert.
5. Enough scope for accompanists.
6. A kind of reverence or bhakti for our music that it invokes.
7. A sense of proportion which underlines all good art.
8. An opportunity to listen to new compositions - something listeners look forward to.

So when someone sings ragas and tanas without any basic RTP kind of structure, or slows down the tempo like crazy, or sings some random (at least they appear to be random) songs in no predictable order, some of these values are being lost. Deliberately, but cannot be called right just for that reason.

More than anything else, as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavadgita, a very influential and powerful opinion leader and artiste has a responsibility not to lead audiences astray for his own personal delight or agenda.

shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#16 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

Taken to task, people will say, "But language evolves," which they take to be their licence to do what they like with it.
A highly interesting analogy, I must say.

Perhaps therein lies the problem - our definition of what may be considered a breach of tradition is in itself a detraction from the cogency of our argument. Case in point: Graha Bhedam. Frankly, what real advantage does it give? Even if it may be considered an aesthetic exercise, does it really stimulate the ears to hear Madhyamavathi appear in an instant after listening to ten minutes of Mohana? (Of course, this is a personal taste; I'm not very fond of Graha Bhedam during alapanas). So, to me, changing ragas in the middle of an alapana is more of a superfluous and maybe even frustrating idea.

I think, as Nick H stated, what we define as innovation and a change in tradition might just as well be balderdash, but just as long as there is enough following for the artist, it should work.

Another thought: I have never been fond of Sanjay Subrahmanyan's music. I don't know what exactly ticks me off (could it be the grotesque swara-mangling or the utter disregard for how the music sounds rather than how complex it is?), but I can't possibly bear the man's singing for more than a few minutes (and, no, it has nothing to do with me liking TMK). When Sanjay decides to sing a ragam thanam pallavi in Patdeep, does that add to the aesthetic sphere of Carnatic music or undermine the core values of the music? Is this innovation, or is it a gimmick ? Many have often asked the same about TMK as well, and they are of course entitled to feel this way. Even with his 'innovations,' there are some that land and some that don't. Singing a Mangalam at the beginning of a concert is only culpable in the mind of the purist because of the religious context. If one is able to bring about Manodharma in Sourashtram that would equal what might be presented through a Suryamurthe or Ninnujuchi, then what is the real harm done? On the other hand, some other experiments of his HAVE fallen flat on their face - singing neraval at Pataka Samshaya in Deva Deva (mind you, not because it's inherently preposterous but because the line does not lend itself to good neraval singing). So, it's upto each individual what one chooses to define as innovation and what may be dismissed as a gimmick. The issue arises when people are not able to differentiate between tradition and meaningless customs. Experiments are within the rights of every musician to perform, but unless the experiment is intrinsically detrimental to the music, the artist or the audience, it shouldn't be censured as being against tradition.

My two cents.

sureshvv
Posts: 5380
Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 18:17
x 148
x 20

#17 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by sureshvv »

shreyas wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 17:42 When Sanjay decides to sing a ragam thanam pallavi in Patdeep, does that add to the aesthetic sphere of Carnatic music or undermine the core values of the music? Is this innovation, or is it a gimmick ?
Check this out.

https://soundcloud.com/karnatik/c3522

Does it add to the aesthetic sphere of CM or undermine its core values?

Is it an innovation or is it a gimmick?

Check out this thread after you listen to the clip.

viewtopic.php?t=2338

sureshvv
Posts: 5380
Joined: 05 Jul 2007, 18:17
x 148
x 20

#18 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by sureshvv »

Nick H wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 16:05
There is a problem, though. It's like with language. All the mistakes that become habitual, accepted, and part of the language itself, find their way into the dictionaries, by which time we might call them "tradition." But they are still actually mistakes.Taken to task, people will say, "But language evolves," which they take to be their licence to do what they like with it. No, it doesn't evolve, it degrades, and it degrades to the lowest common denominator. Amongst all that garbage, which it seems is inevitable, there are occasional flashes of brilliance, with, for instance, the creation of new words that may not satisfy the classical etymologists, but have a kind of genius about them.

In language, it seems, it is so much easier for the nonsense to catch on than it is for the genius to catch on. And, in language, just as in music, it is not even agreed which is which!
Seems like you are channeling Smt. RV. :!:

Nick H
Posts: 9136
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 02:03
x 920
x 26

#19 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Nick H »

shreyas wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 17:42... ... ... unless the experiment is intrinsically detrimental to the music, the artist or the audience, it shouldn't be censured as being against tradition.
I would agree 100%. Without such freedom, I have a doubt that we can call it art.

But, we cannot necessarily agree about what is "detrimental." to the music. There is stuff that I consider has no place in carnatic music --- and this is supported not only by my ignorance: some serious rasikas and even musicians agree with me, but many others, equally serious and qualified, do not, and halls are filled.
Seems like you are channeling Smt. RV. :!:
Well, that would be nice, but I would have expressed the same thing long before I actually got to know her.

Of course, yes, there is a certain kind of music that I like, but I would not limit the whole carnatic world to my taste! Just... maybe there are boundaries. GOTO "But..." :)

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#20 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

Sachi_R wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 17:36
More than anything else, as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavadgita, a very influential and powerful opinion leader and artiste has a responsibility not to lead audiences astray for his own personal delight or agenda.
What are you referring to? Is there a verse you can mention?

SrinathK
Posts: 2301
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 170
x 16

#21 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by SrinathK »

Also it depends on what's your age kid. Believe me, every old timer on the side of conservative tradition now has been as old as you once upon on a time... :lol:

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#22 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

SrinathK wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 19:57 Also it depends on what's your age kid. Believe me, every old timer on the side of conservative tradition now has been as old as you once upon on a time... :lol:
I think we can learn from kids too, no need to shrug him off for his age. This caught my attention and I need to read more for the context, I admit, but this doesn’t sound right on this forum where we welcome people of all ages. We don’t tell people who come in that older people might have their views accepted a priori.

This also seems a little too personal a retort for my taste.

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#23 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

shreyas wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 17:42
Taken to task, people will say, "But language evolves," which they take to be their licence to do what they like with it.
Case in point: Graha Bhedam. Frankly, what real advantage does it give? Even if it may be considered an aesthetic exercise, does it really stimulate the ears to hear Madhyamavathi appear in an instant after listening to ten minutes of Mohana? (Of course, this is a personal taste; I'm not very fond of Graha Bhedam during alapanas). So, to me, changing ragas in the middle of an alapana is more of a superfluous and maybe even frustrating idea.
I’m responding piecemeal, just to ideas that catch my attention, hope you all don’t mind.

I agree completely with Shreyas, I find the exercise of grihabhedam, in the way it is executed (during manodharma) completely lacking in aesthetic value. It only serves to demonstrate a certain “vidwat” to the audience. There is no beauty in it! And knowledgeable members of the audience can feel very satisfied to have caught it and identified the ragas, leaving everyone else frustrated or mystified. That’s the only value, to feel good, but without aesthetics.

Let’s take this piece, can we say that this involves an example of grihabhedam?

https://youtu.be/3pxO2-y_TYM

If it is, this type of bhedam might be quite innovative in a concert, if it can be done. It feels so natural, and it could have a place if it is nicely done. But this one here is composed music and we have it occurring in a Tillana of Lalgudi’s too, and it sounds lovely and just does not draw attention to itself.

SrinathK
Posts: 2301
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 170
x 16

#24 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by SrinathK »

Ranganayaki wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 20:12
SrinathK wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 19:57 Also it depends on what's your age kid. Believe me, every old timer on the side of conservative tradition now has been as old as you once upon on a time... :lol:
I think we can learn from kids too, no need to shrug him off for his age. This caught my attention and I need to read more for the context, I admit, but this doesn’t sound right on this forum where we welcome people of all ages. We don’t tell people who come in that older people might have their views accepted a priori.

This also seems a little too personal a retort for my taste.
It was a joke. He knows I have a sense of humor as he's spoken to me personally. More than discussing opinions (which are slowly becoming less important for me than the actual execution of the idea), these days I just look for more fuel for more jokes... :lol: And few things are as funny as the quirks of human nature. :lol:

He's a chap with great singing talent, though his voice is now settling down through those dreaded teens. He'll find broad minded seniors here, he needn't worry. But he will never, ever find another human being anywhere in time and space who admires TMK's music as much as he does.

The vast majority of rasikas as far as I've seen are also quite discerning and you can have great discussions with them. But whenever I hear the word tradition, I just hope he doesn't run into that one mama who declares that all that was good in CM died with the old ones and these "upstarts" have no respect for tradition and aren't worthy to wipe their slippers or something similar (I did, more than once :lol:). Or that other mama who said there is no need to listen to any music after 1965.

Getting serious. The point is, people change over time, sometimes without realizing it. Most people age conservatively by default. You can fight it off, but you'll have to be very aware and do stuff to keep your brain cells rejuvenating all life.

I'll confess one thing. Some CM concerts are so predictable, I know exactly how many speeds the varnam will be sung, how long the submain and main alapanas will be, where will the brighas come, what those brighas will be, what line will be chosen for neraval, what they will do for said neraval, what calculations they will use in the swaras, what will be the korvai, and even what they are going to play in the tani - it is that formulaic. As for the so called spontaneous musicians, I observe a trend to keep falling back on repetitive numbers and ragas, though within that they might offer something new again and again - however the price they pay is reliability.

So being creative is quite an act of carefully balancing ideas with structure and spontaneity. The only answers to "why" and "why not" lie in the execution and can only be answered by experiencing it for real.

@shreyas, having a good idea is one thing. Getting it to work repeatedly for you, that's an innovation. Getting it to work repeatedly for others also, that's a tradition. :mrgreen:
Last edited by SrinathK on 09 Apr 2020, 06:23, edited 3 times in total.

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#25 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

SrinathK wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 21:56
It was a joke.
Okay!!! 👍🏻 :oops: 🙂

SrinathK
Posts: 2301
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 170
x 16

#26 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by SrinathK »

Sachi_R wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 09:22 Shreyas, you write well! And beginning with the word Unto, that too, such a traditional word indeed 😀

As the beginner of this thread, it is unto thee to ensure that the discussion is not only about TMK.

I will just say one sentence about TMK from my side: he is a great musician and has established himself so well that whatever he does becomes tradition for many people.

Tradition is like the basic groove in which the art flows. Sometimes it spills over, sometimes the groove is damaged by forcible overuse, needs to be repaired at times, and the viscosity of the art makes it stick to the groove naturally.

If I were to create a scorecard for the state of CM in terms of the traditional groove adherence, my ratings:
1. Sticking to Tala =10
2. Sticking to singing kritis =9
3. Sticking to basic raga structures =8
4. Sticking to the accepted sangatis =7
5. Sticking to ARI concert format=6
6. Avoiding Vivadi ragas =5
7. Adhering to the correct sahitya = 4
8. Sticking to Rajesh Theorem of 3+ hr concert =3
9. Not using memory devices on stage = 2
10. Using a real tambura = 1
@Sachi_R One thing I ought to point out is that there is actually no such thing called "accepted sangatis". All sangatis are improvisations, since then crystallized. Every musician uses sangatis to distinguish themselves from the other, every single one.

Therefore, the item ought to be "Not inventing sangatis beyond what your guru has taught you".

I don't know why tala is rated 10 on 10 (Explanation shall be gratefully acknowledged). I'd probably change that to "Using old rupaka, tisra triputa and jhampa tala" as a 9 out of 10.

To your scale, I may add "Avoidance of pyrotechnical gymnastics = 10" and "Singing something older than current practice as = 9", since these tend to be by far the biggest tell tale signs of a "traditional style".

And somewhere you should mention avoiding abhangs and "lighter" compositions.

Giving a lecture on "bhakti marga" would qualify it for an 11. :lol:

I am actually convinced that the only traditions in Carnatic Music are innovations and changes - we are in a relative island of stability right now due to the proliferation of information. The music community talks a lot of tradition, but if I look at what they've been doing throughout history, CM is entirely innovation and change, lock, stock and barrel.
Last edited by SrinathK on 08 Apr 2020, 22:26, edited 2 times in total.

Sachi_R
Posts: 1807
Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 20:20
x 57
x 14

#27 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Sachi_R »

Ranganayaki wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 19:48
Sachi_R wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 17:36
More than anything else, as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavadgita, a very influential and powerful opinion leader and artiste has a responsibility not to lead audiences astray for his own personal delight or agenda.
What are you referring to? Is there a verse you can mention?
BG 3.21-BG 3.26 specifically 21 and 26. In the entire 3rd chapter, Lord Krishna is explaining how duty is inescapable for everyone and one should continue to set an example by diligent peformance of duty without attachment. In fact he elevates such performance to a Yajna.

Sachi_R
Posts: 1807
Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 20:20
x 57
x 14

#28 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Sachi_R »

@@SrinathK,
I am given to believe sangatis do find mention in books like SSP.

Yes, tradition develops over time no doubt by the contributions of many.

Maybe my scale wasn't clear. I am rating current concerts vs. the specific elements of tradition in CM. So I say 10/10 for sticking to the prescribed tala for a song in a performance. Not using a stringed tambura is so common that I rank that factor as a 1/10.

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#29 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

Sachi_R wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 22:23
BG 3.21-BG 3.26 specifically 21 and 26. In the entire 3rd chapter, Lord Krishna is explaining how duty is inescapable for everyone and one should continue to set an example by diligent peformance of duty without attachment. In fact he elevates such performance to a Yajna.
More than anything else, as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavadgita, a very influential and powerful opinion leader and artiste has a responsibility not to lead audiences astray for his own personal delight or agenda.

I don’t know how you speak of leading audiences astray. The best/most influential among musicians should not lead audiences astray? How do you know that it is not the traditionalist who is leading audiences astray through his own fettered views and agenda (which is an attachment to the status quo) to prevent change? What is “astray?”

You are quoting the Bhagavad Gita yourself with a view to giving a greater validity to YOUR point of view, trying to make your views prevail. That is itself a spirit of attachment.

When the Gita is used to tell others what the right thing to do is, we run a great risk of misrepresenting the Gita, taking advantage of it. It is considered a universal teaching, because it addresses individuals, and teaches each individual to examine themselves, and does not encourage them to prescribe to others.

In fact I think these very verses say that the wise person should not disturb the mind of the ignorant one who is attached to the fruits of action. In fact in that light even what I wrote in my second paragraph here would be a mistake on my part to say. I think the solution offered to the agnani to overcome attachment is to offer all actions and their fruits to God. The gnani simply performs without attachment.

So applying these verses to our context to say that some artists are leading audiences astray while sticklers to tradition are doing their duty is, i think, a misinterpretation of the Gita at more than one level.

And, also, both kinds of artists are attached to their preferred outcomes.
Last edited by Ranganayaki on 08 Apr 2020, 23:40, edited 1 time in total.

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#30 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

SrinathK wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 22:15

@Sachi_R One thing I ought to point out is that there is actually no such thing called "accepted sangatis". All sangatis are improvisations, since then crystallized. Every musician uses sangatis to distinguish themselves from the other, every single one.
I agree completely.

vgovindan
Posts: 1859
Joined: 07 Nov 2010, 20:01
x 92
x 14

#31 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by vgovindan »

I have been very hesitant to participate in the discussions, because I am not musically qualified, nor I attend any concerts as such.

The topic of 'sangatis' is worn out - unending discussions - earlier discussion.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1978

More than the tradition, the core of art is 'rasa' and that is something which is not expressible - but experienced at metaphysical level - transcending physical and psychical.

I was watching a video lecture by a male dancer - Sri Vaibhav Arekar on 'Male perspective on SRngAra' - the link is here -

https://youtu.be/FfrJ4z7K3hk

He describes his life journey in brief - some of his observations made me sit up and compare with those who want to break traditions - not for art's sake, but for the sake of breaking.

The following are three of them -

"...tyAgarAja wrote the kRtis and did not make money out of it - I am making money out of it. Can I be even one percent of tyAgarAja?"

"How much of we worked to understand Radha
Internalising the character?"

"..You have to be transparent."

I will leave it at that.

I will take two kRtis - ennALLu UrakE' of tyAgarAja - if you can understand the intensity of this kRti, to say that tyAgarAja created sangatis in his kRtis may not be totally true. Did he render this kRti to his ishTa dEvata in a concert style? Yes, not all kRtis are such intense. There are a lot which are more 'artistic' than intense. But rAma was his audience, first. No more comments.

The kRti of MD - tyAgarAjE kRtyAkRtyaM arpayAmi, vidEha kaivalyam yAmi. Is this a concert style kRti? Can any person say this more than once in his life time? Again no further comments.

What is 'rasa' that we all yearn for when we see an art or hear an artist? Some quotes -

"It has been found that no one word or phrase is adequate to convey the total meaning of rasa. Rasa is actually the impression created on the mind of the sympathetic audience by the expression of bhavas or 'emotions‘ and is an experience the individual is subjected to on account of this expression. Bhava is the emotion that creates a sense of enjoyment or experience which in itself is an entity and that enjoyment or experience is rasa."

"Normally incidents that cause pain in real life create depression in human beings. But when the same incidents are described in a work of art or presented on the stage, an inexplicable pleasure is derived by human beings and that is rasa. The actor interprets not only what is literal in the text, but also contributes his own by way of sub-text which is more implied than explicit and with his creative talent fills up the blanks that have been left over by the author. The imagery created on the stage with the expression of bhava produces rasa in the minds of the audience and makes the representation thoroughly enjoyable. Thus it is an experience shared equally by the author, the actor and the audience."

Significance of Rasa and Abhinaya Techniques in Bharata’s Natyasastra Dr. C. S. Srinivas

I say with sadness that I prefer to listen to HM concerts - for example Kaushiki, because HM artists understand bhAva and rasa better - is it because the literature are mostly Sanskrit - North Indian?

shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#32 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

It was a joke. He knows I have a sense of humor as he's spoken to me personally. More than discussing opinions (which are slowly becoming less important for me than the actual execution of the idea), these days I just look for more fuel for more jokes... :lol: And few things are as funny as the quirks of human nature. :lol:

He's a chap with great singing talent, though his voice is now settling down through those dreaded teens. He'll find broad minded seniors here, he needn't worry. But he will never, ever find another human being anywhere in time and space who admires TMK's music as much as he does.
Thanks for the introduction @SrinathK :D

Of course age is a factor: change of opinions as you grow older is a result of the inexorable passage of time. You were talking about using older Jhampa and Triputa talams, which I think are useful to improve one's own sense of rhythm and to present to the audience a different structure for a composition or pallavi. An example, for me, of what a 'good' tradition is. However, it is interesting that artists choose to perform pallavis in these talams rather than singing manodharma for a krithi. Obviously, it requires an elevated understanding of the framework of the talam and the krithi itself (taking an example, singing swaram for Matya talam like Chandram Bhaja Manasa in Asaveri would have a different structure due to the 4-2-4 split as compared to Budham Ashrayami in Jhampa talam with the 7-3 split), but I think this is a 'tradition' that deserves to gain more traction among youth today.

On the other hand, another tradition is singing RTPs in rakthi ragas, an idea that is rapidly becoming rarer on the modern scene. While it is perfectly acceptable (and commendable) to sing an RTP in Kosalam, Niroshta or Nasikabhushani, it often comes at the cost of the aesthetic structure of what a raga should be (case in point: Rasikapriya. Frankly, that raga only exists as a display of vidwat and has nearly no appeal in a melodic sense). By descending into the mire of permutations and combinations with vivadi swaras, you are losing the , how can I put it, 'Carnatic'-ness of the raga. Singing multi-raga RTPs also creates a mess unless it's elaborate enough. It may be satisfying to others, but I can't appreciate one-minute snatches of ragam and thanam in five ragas and then more ragamalika in the pallavi. It's interesting now and then, but what is the purpose of singing a pallavi in Sri, Ranjani and Sriranjani? Besides the cerebral choice based on their names, they have nearly nothing in common that would elicit a meaningful exploration of any of them.

These are some examples of traditions that I think should be followed but aren't. It's, of course, my personal opinion, but all the same, I think these are traditions that have some objective. By abandoning tradition, we shouldn't be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. My view is that one should respect traditions of older ragas and talams rather then letting them get lost in the mists of time - a duty that we have before the entire concert scene is dominated by Kokilapriyas and Kosalams. Also, that tradition is a dynamic aspect of the art form is evinced in these observations - years down the line, maybe singing a Sankarabharanam RTP will lead to gasps from the entire audience. Who knows?

shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#33 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

I have listened to the track in Patdeep. Doesn’t seem very contrived to me, but I was referring to the idea of performing an RTP in it. It honestly doesn’t have that quintessential Carnatic ‘sound to it.’

Again, a matter of personal opinion.

rajeshnat
Posts: 9199
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 119
x 16

#34 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by rajeshnat »

Sreyas,
I attended the Patdeep RTP of sanjay concert in Mudhra atleast 12 years back. THat was exceptional that too considering my ignorance where i was thinking it was gowrimanohari. THere are musicians who do so much home work and package and present more raga bhava in rare ragas in RTP that too when the ragas itself donot have compositions .

kamalamanoHari by TNS
Patadeep, rakeshri by Sanjay
Suryashri (dwi madhyama raga, SKR scale), srothaswani ,miyan ki malhar, Janasammodhini by suryaprakash
Narayani by Pantula rama
Janaranajani by TMK
saramathi by AbhishekRaghuram
Jog by Suryaprakash and TRichurbrothers
Jayanthasena by VijaySiva and RK Murthy

Each of the above i have heard atleast 90 percent of them in live .They only had quintessintial carnatic muse in it. I have not jotted down in any combo or quad ragas pallavi at all. For each of the renditions the artists presented by giving fresh new unheard sangathis which were all well done.

Yes agreed some times you miss a ghana raga like shankarabharanam , todi , bhairavi as RTP but those generally are only sung when a musician considers dropping of main and usually sing this as RTP due to structural duration of concerts getting to around 2 and half hours. When ever those ragas that you say are not needed to be sung are sung, it is very likely that musicians would have sung a main in todi/kalyani/shankarabharanam . As such you are just reporting half the news.

Overall in the last 25 years in ragam thanam pallavi we are doing far far better ,.THere may be depth within a core raga in the course of a krithi like the era of say KVN,TRS,SRK, SOmu, MLV to an era before like MS, SSI , MMI and GNB is may be missing in many concerts. But in that era i was not even born or a toddler , I may have not heard theri so so concerts in recordings.

IF Covid is all about just one point social distance, Kutcheris is all about absolute duration of the concert . Fix that

rajeshnat
Posts: 9199
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 119
x 16

#35 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by rajeshnat »

Sachi_R wrote: 08 Apr 2020, 09:22 10. Using a real tambura = 1
Sachi
In one of the concerts that i heard of RK murthy (your favourite) a known person was strumming tambura . I gave concert very very high rating . Actually over and above that ,there was also gadgets used . At one point i heard more gadget shruthi than actual tambura when the tambura artist was not playing .

Ofcourse every one thinks through visual interpretation that real tambura is played .

Bottomline , we have to give gadgets more mark as the volume and quality of sound is lovely. Moving forward you have to really aurally evaluate and not visually evaluate .

You can use the below point instead
10. Accompanying Artist quality = 1

Sachi_R
Posts: 1807
Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 20:20
x 57
x 14

#36 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Sachi_R »

Rajesh,. I agree that real tamburas are more for optics for the audience. A few artistes do actually listen to the stringed tambura/s and retune it/them mid-concert. That's the exception.

One reason for the stringed tamburas losing their importance may be the stage acoustics and amplification levels that kill off the soft sounds of a strummed tambura.
On the other hand, nowadays the electronic tambura has a prominent presence with its own feed/mic. I find generally the electronic tambura sound not so nice. But I may be in a minority. We should start sharing samples and links of better and worse tracks available online to assess electronic shruti/tambura sounds.

Coming to accompaniment, are you implying that today's accompanists are not given importance or don't add value?

rajeshnat
Posts: 9199
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 119
x 16

#37 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by rajeshnat »

Sachi_R wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 15:28 Coming to accompaniment, are you implying that today's accompanists are not given importance or don't add value?
The count of quality acompanists are very minimal to the count of quality main artist. SO having great well set accompanist is a match winner for many many concerts

Sachi_R
Posts: 1807
Joined: 31 Jan 2017, 20:20
x 57
x 14

#38 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Sachi_R »

Great point, Rajesh. But I don't agree there is paucity of good accompanists.
We should avoid rating and berating individuals here, but I think there are around 20 very good violinists in circulation. Some 25 very good mridangam exponents in circulation. They are very busy in zigzagging and accompanying all the top male and female artistes. In fact there is a great deal of learning they display within 1-2 years after coming into this league.

The top stars pretty much depend on the same sidemen as they are called and work hard to get them confirm the slots. Of course after this Corona mess a lot of things are likely to shake down to a new order. We will also be more accommodative I think in coming months of new faces.

rajeshnat
Posts: 9199
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 119
x 16

#39 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by rajeshnat »

Sachi
I am not berating any one per se . Accompaniments reaching higher quality takes a little longer gestation time than vocalist, it is just the nature of the art with few exceptions. I wish for next 10 years there are less count of vocalist coming in so that it balances out .

Ranganayaki
Posts: 1700
Joined: 02 Jan 2011, 06:23
x 176
x 31

#40 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by Ranganayaki »

Sachi_R wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 15:28

One reason for the stringed tamburas losing their importance may be the stage acoustics and amplification levels that kill off the soft sounds of a strummed tambura.
i agree with this completely. I feel dismayed when I hear the electronic drone (it really does drone) is set to a high volume, which is most often the case. It gives the concert a very noisy feeling. If you can amplify this drone with mikes, we could place mikes for tamburas too! Why is that never done, while we amplify an electronic sound SO much? Tambura use is a tradition I’m very sad to see go. it’s such a beautiful and subtle sound!

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#41 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

Blame https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_rock for all the trends :lol: . Once "digital" Sruti came about that was raved about.

Musicians making bulk of the income travelling , has made it like what is good for U.S is good for Mylapore!

Now if vINa can have a pickup, why not tambura? Ok now I am getting into a troublesome zone!

So much is made of how this art is for the elites. Actually it is an anarchist art, with no credible support system and priority given to it by those who can afford it ( calling them elites doesn't change a thing here!).

It can reach others fine, but it has to be supported by those who can afford it.

Palghat Mani Iyer was able to demand a seat in the flight for his Mridangam - have a vague memory of hearing it. I am sure most of musicians of stature in the north will not checkin their instruments.

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#42 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

Saw this: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ ... 000494.ece

This one covers a celloist, who has bought tickets for her cello - who has a name now - Mr Cello Wallace - which has a frequent flier account to it.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/flyi ... index.html

Also read somewhere : If you want to know something about a set of people, a civilization or a country, just take a look at their music! Not even sports! Russia won lots , lots of medals in Olympics - means nothing!

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#43 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

vgovindan wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 06:48 I have been very hesitant to participate in the discussions, because I am not musically qualified, nor I attend any concerts as such.
More than musically qualified, it is the second part that creates a void. Hence you reaching the following conclusion is unfortunate.
vgovindan wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 06:48 I say with sadness that I prefer to listen to HM concerts - for example Kaushiki, because HM artists understand bhAva and rasa better - is it because the literature are mostly Sanskrit - North Indian?
Hindustani music in my view is overly melodical, too much invested into dissemination of plain holds on shruti, sometimes overdone! It seems an easy way to please a listener.
vgovindan wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 06:48 Significance of Rasa and Abhinaya Techniques in Bharata’s Natyasastra Dr. C. S. Srinivas

Second, the tradition of dancing is essentially absent from discourse for quite sometime, concentrated in pockets of few sabhas in metros. Even there, the rasikas essentially divided, which reflected all the way into the U.S. At some point, the musical aficionados viewed dance as a money spinner when the patronage for music was seen under threat as budgets were increasing due to increasing costs.

The lone dance program in Cleveland, the third day - in what used to be a 3 day festival, is essentially a 3 piece suit/coat and a bow tie affair, may be the women tried to wear Sarees. It was a showcase of "Indian culture" , a museum display to the "ticket paying" audience, the rich and connected, may be quite a few Westerners there too! The only program you see locals coming in may be.

We all musically thirsty people would have driven home on that Easter Sunday to be back to work. The dancers weren't doing much better back in India, they were going to Europe and Russia!

This being the case, what do you mean by "rasa"? "expression", "bhava"? These are more of recent interest. Nothing to do with not knowing Sanskrit.
vgovindan wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 06:48 The topic of 'sangatis' is worn out - unending discussions - earlier discussion.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1978
Well, sangati itself isn't the problem. Lets not blame what has been handed down.

The judicious use of dhirgha / hrasva , and the judicious use of brigha there and control of layam there is the problem.

This is where narrative becomes important. Is carnatic music ancient? Did purandaradAsa lay down the fundamentals? Did tyAgarAja create sangatIs? But then nobody was singing kritis then! When did people start doing svarams? We have to cut it here and say, the music is ancient, medieval, modern and post modern all at the same time!

The musician became insecure. Brigha pOTTu asattalEnna aduttha kutcherikku kOOTTam varAdu. Without dishing out brighas, the next concert, the crowd would dwindle!

So no learned person's accreditation or guidance would have been heard. These youngsters were saving the scrapped music, picking it up on the guillotine, auction spree, for takers! They know better how to save it and how to get the crowds. As we are just crowds, kooTTam is what we became!

The seniors already dejected from their own fortunes, would have resigned themselves and kept their mouth shut. The concept of sadas in the sabha was no longer there!

Beyond that, we know generally what any young musician would have to deal with. The insecurity of people in the ecosystem and all the chicanery. Who would be thinking of "rasa" here? Only the home "rasa"!

"SastramellAm yAru pAkkarA"? - that is the saying that tells all!
Last edited by shankarank on 13 Apr 2020, 10:48, edited 1 time in total.

vgovindan
Posts: 1859
Joined: 07 Nov 2010, 20:01
x 92
x 14

#44 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by vgovindan »

Shankarank,
Thanks for your response. What is more disturbing is the mention of Vaibhav Arekar in the video that he is yet an 'eligible' bachelor. There are other professions too which do not fetch a bride. Arts flourish when the country enjoys a peaceful life. When artists are not indeed flourishing, then it clearly reflects the underlying turbulence. And Corona has only added to that. Will we come out unscathed - a serious question which should make us ponder about our course.

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#45 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

All is not lost. Please listen to few old concerts.

Here is one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi8ns4n6L1M

After the first two kriti, his stuccato svarams are noteworthy. It cannot convey any bhava or expression except adbhuta may be. He is said to have "improved" a lot after this! The thing is that voice is still considered wholesome, a fully developed tone, even amongst my generation of youngsters who have engaged with the music.

Somebody once mentioned, when listening to Chowdiah, don't expect your mylapore proper meal. His anandabhairavi has some extra touches.

For the all the work you did in transliterating , translating the meaning of kritis, you cannot miss the grandeur of rhythmic flow of the same words. Artha pramANA is done. chanda pramANA may need a janma.

If you cannot take in the way of singing, you need to listen and learn to listen to Mridangam. Just that! That is the only gateway to listening to this music. Unlike Hindustani.

Else you should be borne again in Maddala Narayanan Street. Assuming they keep it alive somehow. There is one connoisseur who wrote here and in RMIC who hails from there. Most others who have posted here prolifically are in some ways connected to one such eco-system.

The musician above Semmangudi mama had his critics. I think the same isai veLLalar from Madurai in the MS Misunderstood episode. "The Iyer cannot do any Math : in tamizh pappanukku kaNakkE varAdu" - goes with a mock "da-da-da-da pa-pa-pa-pa". But the Iyer did laugh all the way to the bank.

In carnatic music it seems there are two jAtis - kaNakiTTOR - kaNakkiDAtOR. iTTOR periyOR - well I stop there.

And there is another one here:

https://youtu.be/BmmCL423POY?t=1024

karagi, karagi nilcu certainly brings that bhava.

You see until I reached U.S, Lalgudi was a railway station that I passed by every time I went to Madras by train. Luckily it was on the Chord line. Else I would have missed it. The main line would cover more of the Carnatic circuit.

But certainly the name would be familiar. I did think of the artiste I had heard about, when I saw the name board in the station. Then one cassette the tillAnas is all I knew. I did see him twice, once a speech in Sri Sundarkumar's Krishna hRdayam discourse @ KGS - he spoke the last day. And one more in Malkuans festval, he was a rasika in front of Hari Prasad chaurasia at NGS.

Later it would be shocking of an experience to hear his gItArtamu as a main, a song familiar to me in bhajana vIti.

I think you should start again there, with those two recordings.

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#46 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

Googling on Maddala Narayana street, brought this:

https://www.sruti.com/index.php?route=a ... s&intId=64
Ariyakudi had a tambura in every city, every town that he visited; they were given for safe-keeping to a trusted sishya in each of these places. In Madras, it was my guru Ganesa Iyer who had the privilege of looking after Ariyakudi’s tambura. Ariyakudi used to come in a jatka (carriage), tune the tambura, and use it whenever he was here.
So that could be a solution. Most reputed musicians have to sign up a (skype) siShya in all major centers in India/US and one of the assignments ought to be, to get a tambura and keep it in good shape!

shreyas
Posts: 206
Joined: 03 Mar 2018, 13:16
x 2

#47 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shreyas »

Why has our discussion shifted to tamburas ??? :lol: :lol: :lol:

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#48 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

Deleted ... Duplicate
Last edited by shankarank on 14 Apr 2020, 04:35, edited 1 time in total.

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#49 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

It is pretty clear that, musicians don't give importance to tambura to the level Palghat Mani Iyer gave to his Mridangam. And it is not about choice of rAgAs, which one comes first or at the end. It is about tone! Tone stupid.

That is before you get too emotional and talk about rasa etc.

In fact it is more important than the other oft discussed thing about this "tradition" : Preserving the pAThAntaram.

From the same link above - reminiscences and Maddala Narayanan Street
Most of them may not have succeeded as performers, but their pathantaram was authentic, and teaching music was their main source of livelihood.
I remember a nice rasikapriya RTP from Vid. Raji Gopalakrishnan @ Cleveland - 2000?. Remember the pUrvAngam. Starts with a 4 offset in miSra nadai - vINA gAna rasikapriyE!

shankarank
Posts: 3395
Joined: 15 Jun 2009, 07:16
x 4
x 18

#50 Re: Unto what extent do the confines of 'tradition' reign?

Post by shankarank »

vgovindan wrote: 13 Apr 2020, 10:46 When artists are not indeed flourishing, then it clearly reflects the underlying turbulence. And Corona has only added to that. Will we come out unscathed - a serious question which should make us ponder about our course.
A Sahithya Academy winner talks about how the Nadasvaram art was supported. Farmers did not enjoy the music , but gave them assistance. The speaker is a communist , but here he is ruminating on culture of his place setting aside his politics.

He is talking about their travel travails, how they struggled to board buses , with demands of luggage charge etc and they would be made to sit on the roof!

https://youtu.be/T70064p7qyU?t=280

So it is not that only the Sitarist goes through this with airlines , but here in the pAlai that is kovilpaTTi nAdasvaram players faced the same challenge.

With everything shut and nothing plying, when the transport Industry re-opens, will they think about this?

The democrats in Congress got $25 or so M - that is M for a million inserted amid tough negotiations with Trump on the Trillion dollar stimulus, to finance the debt and other renovation needs of the performing arts center in Washington D.C. The right wing which talks about values, is blind to fine arts, always thinking they are renegade counter cultures. But Trump grudgingly agreed!

Part of stimulus in India should be to build best in class Auditoriums, that would provide work and income to others and become a benefit for society. Classical music and arts should get a permanent lease of concession on specific calendar days! That might generate enough press and attention also.

And we should petition the airlines, who would be leaving the middle seat empty for social distancing, for a while to allow instruments on board!

Post Reply