Browsing All Posts filed under »Music: Classical«

Interview: ‘Guitar’ Prasanna (Rolling Stone)

June 20, 2012


‘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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]

Between Reviews: Accolades and Angst

March 14, 2009


ACCOLADES AND ANGST MAR 15, 2009 – THE FIRST TIME “GUITAR” PRASANNA LAID EYES on Megan Mylan, the director of the Academy Award-winning documentary short Smile Pinki, it was on a television set that was telecasting the Oscars. Otherwise, he was in Boston composing the music, while she was in New York, evaluating the efforts […]

Between Reviews: Carnatic Movie

November 8, 2008


CARNATIC MOVIE NOV 9, 2008 – THE QUESTION THAT ARISES AFTER EXITING a preview of the concert-film Margazhi Raagam is one of almost ethical-moral dimensions: Is a Carnatic concert a Carnatic concert without the jamakkaalam – the frayed bedspread that cloaks the dais on stage, printed with sturdy stripes of primary colours and worn thin […]

A Centenary Tribute to Semmangudi

August 30, 2008


A PORTRAIT OF THE PITAMAHA A warm, worthy centenary tribute to Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer shines a spotlight on the man and his music. AUG 31, 2008 – IN THE WORDS OF THE AUTHORS V Subrahmaniam (responsible for the Music section of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer: Life, Music) and Sriram V (responsible for the Life section), their […]

A Festival for Music Students

August 9, 2008


NEE PAADAMULE… An unusual invitation to learn at the feet of accomplished practitioners of Carnatic music. AUG 9, 2008 – IF NOT FOR THE FINGERPRINTS OF TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY – the microphones, the lights and sounds personnel, the oddly placed computer screens flashing picture slides on the giants of Carnatic music – it would have been […]

Interview: Sikkil Gurucharan

December 10, 2007


OF SEASON Sikkil Gurucharan talks about December… DEC 9, 2007 – AT LEAST ONE FAN OF SIKKIL GURUCHARAN will be paying very careful attention to the singer’s alapanas this month. You know this portion of the concert, of course. It’s when the musician closes his eyes, when he furrows his brow in utmost concentration. It’s […]

Rare Ragas in Carnatic Music

May 21, 2007


  GOODBYE KALYANI, HELLO KOKILAPRIYA A look at the popular trend of main pieces in rare ragas… MAY 22, 2007 – SIKKIL GURUCHARAN doesn’t seem to believe me when I say he’s the inspiration behind this story. His email to this effect ends with a semicolon followed by a dash and a closing parenthesis – […]

Carnatic Music with the Piano

March 4, 2007


SONGS IN SA MINOR? A western classical instrument backs our classical music in a wonderfully introspective album. MAR 4, 2007 – HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT YOU’D HEAR if Chopin structured a nocturne around a lyric of Subrahmanya Bharathi? I’m guessing not – because unless you stumble upon Sikkil Gurucharan giving voice to Aasai mugam, […]

Book Review: Voices Within

February 11, 2007


PICTURE PERFECT An impressive coffee-table book on Carnatic musicians may leave you quibbling about some of the text – but oh, the photographs! FEB 11, 2007 – SLENDER FINGERS CARESSING THE BODY of a hollow piece of wood, lips pursed at its one extreme, eyes focused on an infinite beyond, the forearm and the instrument […]

Interview: Sanjay Subrahmanyan

November 26, 2006


  ‘With Tamil lyrics, I do a Sivaji’ Sanjay Subrahmanyan talks about a documentary on his music, and reveals how he learnt a song rendered decades ago by Dandapani Desikar through… the Internet. NOV 26, 2006 – SANJAY SUBRAHMANYAN LIKES TO LAUGH.Every so often, our conversation is punctuated by that huge, hearty sound – a […]

Interview: Bombay Jayashri

September 17, 2006


‘I DON’T LOVE GOD MORE THAN I LOVE MUSIC’ Bombay Jayashri offers an intriguing take on the notion of bhakti in Carnatic music. Oh, and she talks about Vaseegara too. SEP 17, 2006 – AS I NEAR THE ONE-HOUR CAP of my interview with Bombay Jayashri at a cozy little coffee shop by the Besant […]

Interview: 'Guitar' Prasanna

June 11, 2006


STRINGMASTER ‘Guitar’ Prasanna talks about his new album dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. JUNE 11, 2006 – CONCEPT ALBUMS – especially fusion concept albums – are a publicity person’s nightmare. After all these decades of sitars backed by drum sets, guitars playing alongside ghatams, just how do you convey a sense of the music anymore without […]

Interview: TM Krishna

May 7, 2006


‘I AM A BRAND’ Thodur Madabusi Krishna says he isn’t just a performer, but a ‘manufacturer’ of music. MAY 7, 2006 – IF YOU THOUGHT TM Krishna’s passion was reserved merely for his singing, you haven’t heard him get started about his schooling. The Carnatic vocalist is an alumnus of The School (Krishnamurti Foundation India), […]

Interview: Aruna Sairam

August 15, 2005


‘I TRY TO ENJOY MYSELF…’ Whether it’s ‘abhangs’ from western India or medieval music from the Western world, Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam believes that her art is as much for herself as her audience. AUG 15, 2005 – THE WORLD CAPITAL OF CARNATIC MUSICtoday is Chennai, a city mostly of Tamils. The popular concert repertoire, […]