Friday, August 17, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I am introducing this new section primarily to raise a few pertinent and poignant questions regarding the growth and the future of Carnatic Music.
While there is no gainsaying that there are many youngsters taking to Carnatic Music in a big way, my query is - are they serious enough and\or can they stay away from the strong influence of the lighter versions of music which could bring them instant fame and lucre?
With music becoming more and more of a visual medium these days, serious Carnatic Music is getting relegated to a handful of its faithful audience.
However I am an optimist and am hopeful that things will turn around and also that youngsters will learn to understand and appreciate the depth, range and the varieties that Carnatic Music has to offer.
Suggestions, ideas and views regarding this are welcome.
Looking forward to your comments,
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I presented a thematic concert of songs from Tamil Literature in chronological order, starting from Sidhar Padalgal and proceeding to composers of this century.
I covered Tevaram hymns, a hymn from the Divya Prabandam, Manikkavasagar's Tiruvembaavai, an Arutpa Paadal, compositions of Uthukkadu Venkatasubbier,Arunachala Kavirayar,Papanasam Sivan, Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar and concluded the concert with a Tiruppugazh.
The audience welcomed this kind of a theme.It was a nice and different experience to explain the significance of a few of the songs and then sing them in the concert.
Accompanists were Kumari Akkarai Subbalakshmi on the violin, Sri.Neyveli Skandasubramaniam on the Mridangam and Sri.Madipakkam Murali on the Ghatam.
You can go the following link to see a review of the above concert:http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=3095
The concert for "Shanmukhapriya" at Swamys Hall, Mandhaveli on the 9th of June was a very well attended one..I personally enjoyed singing Mamava Satatam (Jaganmohini) and Brovavamma (Manji).
Majority of the audience stayed on till the end, listening in rapt attention.
Accompanists in this concert were Sri.V.Sanjeev on the violin, Sri.Poongulam Subramanian on the Mridangam and Sri.S.Karthick on the Ghatam.
You can go the following link to see a review of the above concert:http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=2991
Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
I thought I would briefly write about my concerts here in the US during the month of April.
The week starting from 5-Apr was indeed very festive at Cleveland, with many of us artistes having arrived there for the Tyagaraja Aradhana celebrations. The Vocal-Violin-Mridangam-Harikatha competitions held on 6-Apr were of very high quality, with children in various age groups performing extremely well.We had the Pancharatna group singing on the 7th.
Gayathri At Cleveland
Accompanied by Jayashankar Balan and Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan
My concert at Cleveland is indeed memorable, with many Vidwans like Sri.Guruvayur Dorai,Sri.Srimushnam Raja Rao,Sri.Nagai Muralidharan,Sri.Chitraveena.N.Narasimhan and Vidushis like Smt.Suguna Purushothaman and other ardent Rasikas present among the audience.
Sri.Jayashankar Balan was on the violin and Sri.Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan was on the Mridangam.
Gayathri at Rochester
Here was an excellent auditorium with great acoustics. It is always a pleasure to sing with such high quality audio systems. The concert was well attended. I would like to make a special mention of lots of Westerners(students of music) who were present.It was amazing to note that they could clearly follow all talas ranging from Kanta Jathi Ata thalam to Adi (Tisra Nadai)! They keenly observed all the nuances and also pointed out that ragas Bowli and Vaasanthi are allied ragas!!
You can go the following link to see a review of the above concert:http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=2590
Accompanists for this concert were Sri.B.U.Ganesh Prasad on the violin and Sri.Gowrishankar on the Mridangam.
Pomona Temple,NY,14-Apr 2007
Gayathri At Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona,NY
I was indeed fortunate to perform at this beautiful Ranganatha Temple on Tamil New Years'Day.
Accompanists were Sri.B.U.Ganeshprasad on violin and Sri.Prakash Rao on Mridangam.
This again was a nice auditorium and lots of serious Rasikas present. It was a pleasure singing for this elite crowd.
I had excellent support from Sri.Nagai Sriram on the violin and Sri.Vinod Seetharaman on the Mridangam.
One noteworthy feature in all concerts in the US is that Rasikas stay till the end of a concert. There is no exodus during the Thani! One can see a lot of discipline inside the auditoriums (no mobile phones ringing either!)
You can go the following link to see a review of the above concert:http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=2568
Meenakshi Temple,Houston,21-Apr 2007
Gayathri Girish At Meenakshi Temple, Houston
Akkarai Subbalakshmi-Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan
This concert was a part of the Tyagaraja Aradhana celebrations at Houston. I took up the theme "Rama Avatara Vaibhavam" as seen by Tyagaraja. I think the audience welcomed this slightly different format of a concert, wherein I provided brief explanations about the songs chosen for the occasion. Also, everyone enjoyed the choice of a few rare compositions of this great composer featured during the concert.
Accompanists were Kumari.Akkarai.Subbalakshmi on the violin and Sri.Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan on the Mridangam.
SIFA,San Jose,22-Apr 2007
This concert was a part of the two-day Spring Music Festival at SIFA. Here again, there was an excellent audience and acoustics. The three-raga RTP that I had presented during the concert was very well appreciated.There was one lady who came up to me after the concert that the Ashtapadi that I sang in Sivaranjani moved her to tears..Well, I can't ask for anything more..
Excellent support from Smt.Anuradha Sridhar on violin,Sri.Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan on the mridangam and Sri.Ravi Balasubramaniam on the ghatam.
Gayathri, Smt.Anuradha Sridhar (third from left) and other members of the organizing committee
You can go the following link to see a review of the above concert:http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=2635
DFW Hindu Temple,Dallas,28-Apr 2007
Gayathri Girish At Dallas
This was a 4-hour concert, with a very good, appreciative and knowledgeable audience. I sang Karthikeya Gaangeya(Todi) as the main item and then,a detailed RTP in Kalyani. We really enjoyed performing at the temple and it was heartening to get a very good feedback from a lot of Rasikas after the concert..
Accompanists were Sri.H.N.Bhaskar on the violin and Sri.Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan on the Mridangam.
Balaji Temple,Chicago,Illinois,29-Apr 2007
Gayathri Girish At Chicago
This was the last concert in the one-month tour of mine during April 2007.
The concert at this beautiful temple was on the Pradosham Day and I was very happy to be a part of the elaborate Puja at the temple premises after my concert.
You can go the following link to see a review of the above concert:http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=2686
Sunday, April 1, 2007
1. Singapore Indian Fine Arts, Singapore - (November 1997)
2. Dance India - Taste India Festival at Malacca - (March 2004)
3. Kamban Kazhagam - Colombo - (December 2000)
4. Tour of the United States - (September-October 1999)
5. Department of Cultural Affairs, Colombo - (December 1997)
6. Muscat - (September 2006)
7. London - (October 2004)
Dr.Lakshmi Sriram (Hindustani) and I (Carnatic) have given several such Jugalbandhi concerts and I think this is a totally different kind of experience, wherein, we sing in our own respective styles and also try and complement each other.
I consider myself to be indeed blessed to have received my very first title of Sahithyapriya from none other than the Sangeetha Pithamaha, Semmangudi Sri.Srinivasa Iyer. This was instituted by Jan Kalyan and given by Kalavardhani.
I was one of the proud recipients of the title Yuva Kala Bharathi instituted by Bharat Kalachar, in December 2000.
To have been the recipient of the prestigious title of Isai Peroli in December 2003 instituted by Karthik Fine Arts, Chennai, has always been a memorable moment for me.
Some of the other awards and titles include:
Gaana Rathna - from Department of Cultural Afffairs, Colombo
PRICE Award of Excellence - given by Shakespeare Millenium Club
Dr.K.V.Mahadevan Award of Excellence - instituted by Shree Bharatalaya, Chennai
Dr.MLV Award - instituted by CMANA (USA) and Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai
1. Carnatic Vocal- Margam Series -HMV
2. Carnatic Vocal - HMV
3. Carnatic Vocal - INRECO
4. Carnatic Vocal - AVM
5. Swaraadesham - Kalavardhani
6. Devi Krithis - Kalavardhani
7. Sunaadha Soundaryam - Sangeetha
8. Vande Vaasudevam - Sangeetha
9. Captivating Melodies - Sangeetha
10.Compositions of Trinity - Sangeetha
11. Carnatic Vocal - Sargam
12. Explosions- Fusion Album - Volume 1- Kosmic Music
13. Explosions- Fusion Album - Volume 2- Kosmic Music
14. LAYAM- Rhythmic Ecstasies - Music Today
15. Ultimate - Fusion Album - Kosmic Music
16. Karnaranjani - Amutham-Tamil melodies with orchestration
17. Neelambari - Amutham-Tamil melodies in the usual concert format
18. Rama Namam - Amutham-Thematic album comprising of songs on Rama
I would like to share with you some of the thematic concerts that I have presented in the past:
1. One Raga - One Krithi concert organized by Mudhra. I have sung two such concerts for them. One was a concert comprising of only the ragam Varali. Another similar concert I gave was based on the raga Kalyani. I think this kind of a concert helps us in exploring our Manodharma (imagination) to the fullest.. This concert was truly a great experience for me!
2. Concerts comprising of only Thevaram (Tamil hymns), sung under the auspices of Ramalinga Pani Manram. Such concerts again, helped me to learn a lot of these beautiful ancient Tamil verses.
3. Concerts comprising of verses from the Divya Prabandham, sung under the auspices of Alwargal Mayyam.
4. Concert comprising of Tamil songs on Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram, covering a wide gamut of composers ranging from Pattinathar, Naalvar Thevarams to contemporary composers. This special thematic concert was organized by Centre of Pondicherry of the Ecole francaise d'Extreme- Orient during their Classical Tamil Seminar.
5. Concert based on the theme of Nava Vidha Bhakthi, from among compositions of Sri.Papanasam Sivan
6. Concert titled Avatara Vaibhavam sung as part of a series during the Tyagaraja Aradhana celebration under the auspices of Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha.
7. Concert based on Sri Adi Shankara's Shanmatham theme.
8. Concert with songs in Allied Ragas. This again was a new effort, wherein, an attempt was made to bring out the distinctive differences between closely related ragas.
9. Bharatiyin Vanna Mani Maalai- exclusive concert of songs of the great poet, Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi.
I would like to list my latest audio album releases here:
1. "VAISHNAVAM" released by Charsur. This is a thematic album
2. "KUNTHALAVARALI" released by Rajalakshmi Audio . This thematic album contains Krithis in the ragas Kunthalam, Varali and Kunthalavarali
3. "CLASSICAL MELODIES" released by Vani Recording Company
4. "VENU GAANAM" released by Vani Recording Company
5. "SRI RAJA RAJESWARI ANTHADI" released by Kalavardhani
6. "GAANA PRAVAAHAM" -concert on DVD
7. "KSETRA-ARUPADAI VEEDU" released by Charsur
8. "Madrasil Margazhi 2006-Music Academy Concert (2 volumes)" released by Rajalakshmi Audio