So, as promised, Here are the videos of my Classical Carnatic concert "BHAGYADHA LAKSHMI BARAMMA" for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Navarathri Mandapam Music Series october 2013. Part 1 and Part 2 are here. Part 3 & 4 will be uploaded later this week. Please listen and relish these specially chosen Kritis on Goddess Shakthi and soak in the Bhakthi! It's well worth it! Part 1 Part 2
Friday, October 25, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Gave a great fusion performance at the Tedx Mambalam Ed conference held this year at IIT Madras. Tedx is a platform for highly eminent speakers who share their thoughts and expertise in their chosen fields. Myself with our band inaugurated this year’s tedx. Bharathiyar poetry was the theme of this performance and I sang “POZHUDHU PULARNDHADHU” which I tuned in beautiful ragas Durbari Kaanada and Behag as the opening and proceeded with “Enadhu Bharatham” composed by Alan pradeep in a rock fusion with Carnatic. The performance ended with “Parukkulle Nalla Naadu” of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar!
Feeling very humbled and blessed to have performed a Carnatic Classical concert for the “NAVARATHRI MANDAPAM” series organized by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Mylapore, Chennai on October 5 th 2013. I did a thematic concert titled “Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma”. This literally means “O Lakshmi! The one who grants all prosperity, welcome!!”. I felt this would be an apt theme for my concert as Oct 5 was the first day of the Nine day Navarathri extravaganza. What better place than the festive, ever-buzzing Mylapore than to begin Navarathri? Beginning with Sri Vigna Rajam Bhaje, a majestic kriti on Lord Vinayaka by Oothukadu Venkata Subbier in Gambira Nattai, the concert warmed up with Kamakshi Swarajathi on the presiding deity of Kanchi, Mother of the universe Kamakshi in Raga Bhairavi. My paataanthara (repertoire) for this kriti, comes from one of my Gurus, Smt. Savithri Satyamurthy is Dr S Ramanathan sir’s padhathi. I felt extremely happy that it was well received by the housefull audience. People love songs like “Nee Iranga enil” in Raga Atana in festive times like these. The kriti made popular by MS Subbulakshmi amma needs just the beginning phrase to grip the audience for the next 3 minutes. I am a huge fan of Shyama Sastri kritis. The bhava with which he addresses Goddess Kamakshi in every one of his compositions, like a son would address his mother, plead with her, humour her, argue with her, everyone one of these rasas flow as a soul-call in his kritis. My concert featured his “Marivere” in Anandabhairavi with the concise two minute aalapana. Following this was my sub-main piece “Saravana Bhava enum” in Shanmukhapriya. I always refer to shanmukhapriya as the PACE MAKER of any classical concert. True to this, it never fails to entertain and engage the listener. The filler song was the not often performed “Vancha Thonuna” with lightning fast swara passages sprinkled in between the song this is a classic in Raga Karnaranjani by harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar. I always love singing this song. Out of all the ragas , there are certain ones that are most fit for worshipping ambal and one such is the universal raga, Kalyani. Kalyani is also one of the many names of Goddess Devi. “Bhajare Rechitha” by Muthuswamy Dikshithar is a beautiful kriti in this raga with Neraval and Swara passages in “Devim Shakthi Beejodhbhava”. The heroine of this concert was “Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma” and audience response to this was amazing with their applause still ringing in my ears:D. During this song I had that beautiful out-of-body experience and it was as though a higher super-power sang through me and I was just the witness, enjoying the music. Such was the grace of Ambal as I believe she orchestrated the entire concert through me! Navarathri, the festive Kolu atmosphere of Mylapore, Jasmine fragrance in the air, lots of good music, lots of happy hearts, that’s what make every festival special and I am happy it became doubly special with this concert! Videos will be out on youtube soon! Will post links here! Accompanying me on “Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma” were: Sri Durai Srinivasan – Violin Sri VS Raghavan- Mridangam Sri Sunil- Kanjira
Navarasa festival is organized every year by Jupiter Fine Arts. This is Navarasa’s fifth year and it was a 3 day festival of Music , Dance and Drama. I feel happy to have performed on the inauguration day , October 2nd 2013, which also happens to be Gandhi Jayanthi. When the organizers approached me for this concert, they really wanted something unique, not done before kind of thing. Giving it a deep thought, it struck me that we have pure Carnatic concerts happening or Film music shows or fusion kind of shows but would it be possible to provide a coherent package of all the most loved genres for the audience in 2 hours? Well, that’s how SANGAMAM was born. This seed was sown into my mind one fine day and it started taking shape intuitively as I began drafting a list of most loved genres. I personally sing Carnatic, Film music, Bhajans, Ghazals and I have seen Chennai audience enjoying all these genres so much! Also the fact that India is a land of diverse cultureswith every state boasting of a different kind of music, made me feel that this would also be a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi in the language of the soul, transgressing all boundaries- MUSIC. I immensely thank my team of musicians who made Sangamam possible. I had the violin and Mridangam for classical accompaniment and had keys, table, flute etc for the lighter side. The 2 hours was enjoyed so much by the star-studded audience and the chief guests for the evening were Dancer and Director of Kalakshetra foundation, Dr Priyadharsini Govind who appreciated the Sangamam concept and thoroughly enjoyed the concert till the very end. Other eminent personalities were Dr Kamala Selvaraj (Daughter of Gemini Ganesan) who was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed “Singara Velane Deva”( Konjum Salangai- Starring Gemini Ganesan and Savithri) (It was pure coincidence , I did not have the slightest clue that she was coming for the concert!, Celebrity photographers G. Venket Ram, Karthik Srinivasan, Actor Jayaprakash, Sri Ranjani and many others. The proceeds of this show went towards RMD Pain and palliative care trust. I have posted some memorable photos for all of you to see and share and videos will be posted very soon here!!