Chennai Music and Women

I thought about this a lot, but cannot come up with any solution. Everyone lays it on the women artistes to get together and fight the discrimination, but that’s not going to happen. A note of dismay over inequality at music and dance festivals in Chennai Shoba Narayan January 3, 2015 Updated: January 4, 2015…

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Carnatic Instrumentalism

When Mint Lounge’s new editor, Sanjukta Sharma, contacted me with the idea of doing a cover story on the Chennai December Season, I had no hesitation about what I wanted to write: instrumentalists. My previous columns on singers had produced so much ire from instrumentalists for writing “vocal centric columns,” that I thought it was…

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Musicians and Nakhras

OK, so I am obsessed with Annapurna Devi. And Grigori Perelman, the mathematician who rejected the Fields medal when he was awarded it. Why is the idea of a reclusive genius so seductive? When musicians give up ‘nakhras’ The singers and dancers who can point us to the stars and give us a glimpse of…

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Reinventing Carnatic Music

For those who want to delve deeper, here are some books and papers that I read. The delight of research is discovery. You sift through reams of stuff and come upon some gems that make your hair stand on edge. If you must read one, just read this. From the Master himself: Ariyakudi on the…

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Evolution of Music 3

LOUNGE FIRST PUBLISHED: SAT, MAR 22 2014. 12 08 AM ISTHOME» LEISURE» THE GOOD LIFE Carnatic music: what’s the way ahead? Can dramatic changes of the sort that happened in Western classical music in the 18th century happen in today’s Indian music? Vrinda Acharya believes Carnatic music is dynamic. Photo courtesy: Vrinda Acharya The thing…

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Evolution of music 2

Carnatic music: on the cusp of change Madras, some would say, is not just a place. It is a pace that begins with the milkman at 4am. As cities go, it is like any other. It is a mindset and space. There are birdwatchers and tree-huggers (Madras Ramblings is a great blog on both these…

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Evolution of Music

My friend, Chitra Srikrishna and I are doing a music event together on March 14th. Details here. A happy result is that I am reading a lot about Carnatic music. Ranging from Pantula Rama’s book to Sangita Ratnakara to white papers. Two chance conversations started this. In both cases, the two music lovers were gushing…

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Song from the navel

One of the tough things about writing is that the piece that you think is great will not resonate with readers and the piece that you think is so-so will elicit unusual responses. FIRST PUBLISHED: SAT, JAN 11 2014. 12 50 AM ISTHOME» LEISURE» THE GOOD LIFE Music should begin at the ‘nabi’ or navel,…

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Chennai Music Season

Chuffed that Ranjani Gayathri posted this piece in they Facebook page (Ra-Ga). Nice acronym. Sat, Dec 07 2013. 12 09 AM IST The Chennai music season decoded A primer to Chennai’s music and dance festival Shoba Narayan Ranjani and Gayathri perform with Charumathi Raghuraman This is the time of year when my Klout score drastically…

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Culture and Specificity

Nice response to the piece below in Livemint website. I wish The Skeptarian, whoever she or he is had said some more. I don’t agree with her or his notions about culture as talking to sweeper. That’s my milklady version. The Skeptarian • 7 hours ago − This article just re-articulates a certain sameness in…

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