Browsing All Posts filed under »Music: Classical«

Notes from the south

January 28, 2017

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Meandering thoughts on music based on a few recent happenings. When the Carnatic musician TM Krishna unveiled Chennai Poromboke Paadal a couple of weeks ago, it felt like the musical world’s answer to the fall of the Berlin Wall, facilitating a crossover between two hitherto separate realms. “Poramboke” refers to land set aside for communal […]

Sa ri, but you asked for it…

December 16, 2016

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Our annual feature, where ‘Metro Plus’ staffers (names changed), all newbies to Carnatic music, raise questions about the Season. Baradwaj Rangan attempts to keep a straight face and provide answers. An earlier installment can be found here. Dear BR: Why are most popular ragam-s named after women? Bhairavi, Arabhi, Kalyani, to name a few… – […]

A musical bridge across time

March 19, 2016

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If Chitravina N Ravikiran has his way, couplets from the ‘Tirukkural’ may soon be part of the Carnatic repertoire. Last December, while preparing for his session at The Hindu Lit for Life 2016, Gopalkrishna Gandhi selected 34 couplets from the Tirukkural and asked Chitravina N Ravikiran to set them to tune. Gandhi had just translated […]

The storm and the qualm

December 10, 2015

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You could drive yourself crazy debating whether the Music Season should be held this year. Baradwaj Rangan draws up a pro-con list. Con: Isn’t it awfully insensitive to go on stage wearing a silk sari in a carefully chosen shade, with carefully coordinated accessories – when so many people don’t have clothes to wear? Pro: […]

Art reorientation

November 13, 2015

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A colossal performing-arts space in South Korea hopes to establish the East as the centre of the cultural world.  One evening this September in Gwangju, South Korea, some 125 people watched Tishani Doshi and Shaji John slip into what seemed like a trance and demonstrate Chandralekha’s theories about “the geometry of the body.” The production, […]

The effects of ga-ma radiation

December 13, 2014

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Some of the ‘Metro Plus’ staffers, all newbies to Carnatic music, had questions about the Season. Baradwaj Rangan attempts to keep a straight face and provide answers. (All names are changed.) Dear BR: If we’re listening to an earnest Abheri and the smell of the adai-avial from the canteen is irresistible, what do we do? […]

The silent musicians

December 11, 2014

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Most of the artists in the performing circuit in Chennai have been groomed by individual gurus. So what about those who learn music in institutions? In a small room behind the Woodlands counter at Narada Gana Sabha, three schoolgirls, aged 13 to 17, were sitting on a mat. An electronic sruthi box lay on a […]

“One”… A little too pretty, but the sound, the music is what matters

December 5, 2014

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Spoilers ahead… During the release of his first concert film, Margazhi Raagam, the director Jayendra Panchapakesan said, “A concert is the feeling of an artist performing on stage and an audience sitting down and listening.” By that definition, his new film, One, is not a concert film – though you could certainly make the case […]

Master of Arts

October 17, 2014

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Kamal Haasan talks about how music came into his life. And dance. And everything else. Baradwaj Rangan listens. Forget the actor. That was the brief. After fifty years of acting, that’s the only facet of Kamal Haasan people think about. Sometimes, maybe, they think of Kamal Haasan the writer or Kamal Haasan the director. But […]

Self life

August 21, 2014

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Impressions from the 2014 edition of ‘Svanubhava’. What was running through Ustad Mohi Baha’uddin Dagar’s mind, on the first day of Svanubhava, when he set up his rudra veena and began to play? There’s a reason behind this question, and it has to do with the sessions that preceded his. The morning began briskly, with […]

‘I am willing to give up the kutcheri’

December 14, 2013

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What is it about the chirping of some birds that makes it a song? What is the purpose of music? Does it matter whether you are a man or a woman in the world of Karnatik music? TM Krishna, in his book ‘A Southern Music’, lays down the history, evolution and grammar of his art […]

‘A’ for Agam

November 20, 2012

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With loose locks cascading down his back and a tendency to raise a leg while pulling off vocal feats, Harish Sivaramakrishnan, the frontman of Agam, came off like he was auditioning for the part of Shiva in the film adaptation of The Immortals of Meluha. He had the attitude too. Noticing that the full house […]

A teardrop in the ocean

August 25, 2012

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It’s a small beginning, a modestly scaled cultural exchange between India and Sri Lanka’s Northern Province that’s hopefully the drizzle before a downpour. A report from Jaffna on an arts festival that ventures overseas for the first time. On the penultimate day of the month-long annual festival of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, the long ribbon […]

Interview: ‘Guitar’ Prasanna (Rolling Stone)

June 20, 2012

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‘The Film Industry has killed the Art of Performance’ The ‘other’ Indian musician attached to an Oscar winner opens up about the sad state of non-film music in our country today. JUNE 2009 – IT’S AN UNDERDOG STORY THAT RIVALS Slumdog Millionaire, the tale of a little girl with a cleft lip who underwent corrective […]

A Navroz by any other name…

December 23, 2011

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A Carnatic-music concert can be enjoyed even if you think Kapi is a darkly aromatic bean. Honest! Here’s something you will not find in a concert of western classical music that has just begun to play Mozart’s Symphony No. 40: a member of the audience, face flushed with the smugness of discovery, whispering to his […]

Margazhi tingle

December 3, 2011

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It’s December. It’s The Season. The regulars know what to do, what to expect. And for the music-loving tourist who doesn’t, a crash course is inevitable, beginning with the gentle instruction that sa-ri isn’t just six yards of local attire. The emails have begun to trickle in. A friend from Seattle, who is visiting Madras […]

Musician on a Mission

August 29, 2011

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How significant is western classical music in India? Jean-François Gonzales-Hamilton is here to find out. We are born to run, to shout, to love, but we are not born to play an instrument. Those skills aren’t innate, and when we learn to play the piano or the violin, we slip into a default mode dictated […]

Between Reviews: Musical Memories

July 31, 2010

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MUSICAL MEMORIES A recent biography and an even more recent debate prove that the life and times of singer-superstar MKT continue to enthrall readers, viewers and listeners.

Between Reviews: The Shorthand of Emotions

September 13, 2009

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THE SHORTHAND OF EMOTIONS The first installment of “Samvada” featured a venerable old-timer’s ambles down lanes of musical memory. SEP 13, 2009 – THE FRUSTRATING AS WELL AS THE FIRST-RATE ASPECTS of Chennai were on display during the first installment of Samvada (“Conversation”), where RK Srikantan was interviewed by ‘Chitravina’ N Ravikiran. One the one […]

A New Home for MS's Piano

July 18, 2009

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PIANO WOMAN MS Subbulakshmi’s baby grand finds a new home. Marking the occasion, a concert celebrates both artist and instrument. JUL 19, 2009 – A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, AT THE instant of creation, is but a piece of construction – an exoskeleton of wood and metal and skin. And then a flautist blows into it the […]