Friday, January 3, 2014

Chennai Margazhi Music Season 2013



Posts and updates here have been pending for a long time, starting from Episode 10 of Myriad Forms of Lord Shiva till my concert on the 31st of December at Madurai.
Before I proceed with those updates, I thought I would write about the concerts of other colleagues of mine that I managed to attend during the December Music Season.
Amidst my own concert schedule, I attended concerts of Ranjani-Gayatri (at Narada Gana Sabha), Sanjay (at Krishna Gana Sabha), Gayathri Venkataraghavan (at Mylapore Fine Arts) and two of Abhishek's (at Music Academy and at Bharat Kalachar). Each one of them was wonderful. It always gives me great pleasure to listen to different styles and to different artists, who have worked really hard, to be what they are today.

The review in today's Hindu Friday review (3rd Jan 2014) of Abhishek Raghuram's concert at the Music Academy has prompted me to write this now:

Abhishek is an artiste with extraordinary prowess and talent. A genius. His presentations always have an astounding amount of freshness and uniqueness in approach (this is one of the reasons why I try and attend as many concerts of his that I can) and I have also written an earlier post here in December 2012 about his NGS concert.

  • I can firmly say that there was no ambiguity in the simhendramadhyamam that he sang that day at the Music Academy.
  • His immense virtuosity needs to be first understood. Remarks made in the review are in poor taste.
  • The kamAs AlApanA was definitely neither dragging nor repetitive. Hats off to him for the rAgamalikA swarAs that he presented - it is not easy to sing like that- I can vouch for it !
  • Mysore Srikanth- one of the most wonderful violinists that I have known. Has accompanied me in more than 100 concerts and I know from personal experience that he is very quick in responses, be it in a rAga AlApanA phrase or mathematical patterns and kanakkus that we sing. That he is one of the most sought-after violinists says it all !!
  • This kind of a review gives a very different picture of the entire concert for people who have not attended.
  • Reviews have to be more balanced and just - be it accolades or brickbats.

Finally, I truly believe that Abhishek Raghuram has richly deserved the Yogam Nagaswamy Award that he has got in December 2013, which is the highest honor that the Music Academy bestows on an artist in the senior category.

10 comments:

BHASKARAN19 said...

Excellent counter I have to concur with your views. Especially on 1) Abhishek Raghuram has richly deserved the Yogam Nagaswamy Award that he has got in December 2013, which is the highest honor(2)Mysore Srikanth- one of the most wonderful violinists- There is no two opinion on his.(3) Reviews certainly must be constructive (4) Some of the views expressed by leading musicians during the recent season that they stopped reading The Hindu in view of the poor reviews given by them.

Unknown said...

Your view to raise up for a fellow deserving musician (younger to you, indeed)is certainly commendable. I happened to read this critic's ill-statements in a SNW site about the Great TNS Sir and Abhishek and could only conclude, this person is against intellect music. You gave it back in the same tempo.... well written, gayathri....

Unknown said...

Your view to raise up for a fellow deserving musician (younger to you, indeed)is certainly commendable. I happened to read this critic's ill-statements in a SNW site about the Great TNS Sir and Abhishek and could only conclude, this person is against intellect music. You gave it back in the same tempo.... well written, gayathri....

Venky said...

Hindu is biased and take side with the Premier Music Organization. Nothing new to me. I had told my close friend about this on some more issues also. By now we also could know who will be the next SK :-)

suja said...

"Remarks made in the review are in poor taste".--- aaha, maha gnanamana statement gayathri!!!!!

Anonymous said...

To begin with, I must commend you for attending your colleagues'concerts, amidst preparing for your own performances, and also for chipping in to defend a colleague who might have been rather unfairly maligned.
Itoo attended Abhishek's concert and fully concur with your views.
Personal malice/bias can be very damaging and demoralising.
Keep up the good work madam and looking forward to your next SIVA presntation.

Murali Narayanabhatla said...

At the outset, hats off to you! These are the days many (or most) senior artists are busy looking at their own interests, lobbying for themselves and all the time envying others' accomplishments. There are hardly any artists acknowledging others' achievements. You are selflessly defending the brilliant, young genius in Abhishek Raghuram. Good.

Sadly, I missed all the action this year. Sitting here in Hyderabad, I am sadly singing vargulamo Ayya Naanange - T M Krishna style!

I was keenly looking at your blog to see what you sang in all those concerts. I hope you would update soon.

Cheers,
Murali

Sankar said...

I agree sometimes reviewers can take personal vengeance - the advantage of them never having to undergo one such review adds to their confidence. I hope the reviewer gets to read this blog.

Aside, pardon my ignorance - but this question has baffled me for quite sometime now. What is the purpose of different musicians rendering the same song again and again month after month, year after year?

(In asking this question, I don't mean to demean this art form - I am a die hard fan of carnatic music and listen to it a for a large part of each day)

Sankar

P G Padmanabhan said...

Hi
It would be really good if you can give your comments in "comments " section of the article.Would serve well coming from you. My views in the column.
==================================
I have not been to this concert but had been to the Jan 2nd concert in Parthasarathy Sabha and honestly found it exhilarating. I find the review scathing and honestly such strong words are unwarranted. With regard to "angst ridden acrobatics" I ask the writer to run 200 mtrs and come and daintily sip a cup of coffee. Making Abhishek conscious of his mannerism will cramp his style giving more importance to form than content. I'm not sure how much of the review is about exhibiting your knowledge of the trade than it is about the concert.

It would have been more apt if the reviewer had put across his comments in a more constructive manner as that would encourage any artist to imbibe the essentials of the review.

I recall Subbudu's interviews. When reviewing young artists he said he would put it across gently as they are "Pachai Mannu". If one is trampled on at such an early stage, you would never have a U Sreenivas, Sowmya or Bombay Jaishree etc.But then he was a "Nerai Kudam".

Gayathri Girish said...

To begin with, I would like to thank everyone for supporting me. I have always felt strongly about constructive crticism - that valid and well-reasoned opinions help an artiste grow and improve.

Oppositional critique on the other hand can be a deterrent. I spoke for Abhishek only because I felt the reviewer was a tad too harsh.

Gayathri