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 time. Percussionists deserve a separate column– mridangam, tabla, dholak, damaru, … Continue reading Carnatic Instrumentalism

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 katcheri format here Pantula Rama’s book on shaping of an … Continue reading Reinventing Carnatic Music

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 about TM Krishna’s “musical genius” and berating what he was … Continue reading Evolution of Music

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, move to the ‘hrud’ or heart, then ‘kanta’ or throat, … Continue reading Song from the navel

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 our thinking, a tired view of culture that equates it … Continue reading Culture and Specificity

80th Birthday

What after you have seen 1,000 moons? Life for many of us is not about artistic genius or business impact. It is about small pleasures, rich relationships and the ability to make peace with your soul The Good Life | Shoba Narayan Posted: Fri, Aug 17 2012. 8:32 PM IST In the last six months, I have participated in five sathabhishekams-as 80th birthdays are called … Continue reading 80th Birthday