Sruti Magazine articles reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. www.sruti.com
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The music season at the Madras Music Academy was inaugurated on 15 December 2018. I spent most of my days attending concerts at the Academy and occasionally listened to a few concerts at other venues as well. It was an enriching experience to attend several well laidout concerts with in-depth raga alapana, rare kritis, complex pallavis, and lilting tailenders.
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Ours is a traditional musical family. My mother Tiruvarur P.R. Anandavalli hails from Tirukkannamangai village, and my father belongs to Madurai where he was a businessman. When I was barely 2-1/2 years old my father passed away. My maternal great grandfather, Ramdas Nainakkarar was a renowned nagaswara vidwan and he followed the Vaishnava culture and tradition as he played regularly at the Tirukkannamangai Perumal Temple.
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A singer has to pay attention to her aharya pretty much like a dancer, though to a lesser extent. Presentation and presentability are important. Aruna has the ability to appear well co-ordinated on stage—be it her saree, jewellery, nail art, hairdo—every element is well set and fine tuned.
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In the mid-sixties I was very much involved with records (78s and later SPs, EPs and LPs), buying, hearing and, writing about them in Telugu and English. Andhrapatrika weekly in Telugu carried Saragamala (named by my guru Malladi Ramakrishna Sastri) - the first regular column in Telugu to review various aspects of gramophone records-including identifying the labels and giving record numbers.
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I honestly cannot recall when and how I met Anandhi Ramachandran. I was a regular at Kalakshetra programmes and on happy terms with singer-nattuvanars Kamalarani, Bhagavatula Seetharama Sarma and the man I described as second to Nandi as far as dance was concerned, Karaikudi R. Krishnamurthy.
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The world of Hindustani music venerated her as Maa Annapurna Devi. She was a sadhika who abhorred the arclights of the concert stage, shunned publicity and refused to face the public eye even when invited to accept prestigious awards.
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Ramnad Krishnan’s name brings to mind his electrifying delineations of ragas like Sahana and Begada, Keeravani and Sankarabharanam. Through his son R.K. Ramanathan’s initiative, a yearlong celebration of the legend’s music was organised at Raga Sudha Hall in Chennai, with two programmes held every month, starting in September 2017 and concluding in September 2018.
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Each religion has its system of music based primarily on its cultural origin. Church music indicates the Western origin of its original propagators and mosque music indicates its Arabian origin. But does music itself as an art have any religion?
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A lovely floral display spelt the name of the magazine which was soon to be launched that morning on Vijayadasami - an auspicious day. It was a double celebration to mark the release of the inaugural issue of SRUTI and the golden jubilee of Sangita Kalanidhi D.K. Pattammal’s concert career.
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Ramesh Vinayakam, the talented film music composer, conceptualised and curated Class of Class - a full Carnatic music concert featuring many of his own compositions rendered by leading Carnatic musicians, at a well got up event recently in Chennai.
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Mannargudi A. Easwaran is a reputed and popular mridanga vidwan, who through his exemplary ability to enhance, embellish and admirably blend with any style of music, has carved a niche for himself in the field of Carnatic music.
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From the 17th century, Indian mythology and ideals have exerted an indefinable influence on Western thought and artistic practice. The use of certain types of note intervals, experiments in transilience (equivalent of the gamaka), as well as atonal/functional harmonies have found their place periodically in themes that were generally classified as mystical or exotic.