Browsing All Posts filed under »Music: Classical«

“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 […]

Between Reviews: Accolades and Angst

March 14, 2009

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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  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

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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, […]