Shreya Devnath – Violin, Mylai Karthikeyan – Nadaswaram,
Praveen Sparsh – Mridangam and Gummudipoondi R Jeevanandham – Tavil.
This quartet has been conceptualized as an effort to explore the coming together of two distinct instrumental artforms within the Carnatic tradition. The melodic instruments in this collaboration, violin, and nadaswaram, come from very different cultures. So is the case with the mridangam and tavil. The intent is to explore each of these instruments, without restriction, and to witness the magic that happens when they come together.
Each performance is crafted keeping in mind the musical and sonic uniqueness of the four instruments, and their coming together in both composition and manodharma. Every listener so has something special to take back with them, be it a Mallari, a Bhairavi swarajati, a lilting tillana, a folk song (Kavadi) or even an old film song sung by one of the Carnatic greats.
Over the course of each concert, every instrument gets its own space, playing solo, and in combination with one, two or all three other instruments. The sincere admiration and respect each artiste has for the other’s space and the aid of technology is what makes this collaboration a celebration of instrumental music.
Shreya Devnath is a student of the legendary Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman. She is a well-established solo violinist, who also curates, performs and tours with “A Carnatic Quartet”, a Carnatic instrumental ensemble, as also “An Experiment with Sound and Music”, a duet with percussionist Praveen Sparsh. A capable vocalist, and committed teacher, Shreya handles students from different parts of the world. She has toured the US and UK extensively, as also Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Dubai for concerts and workshops. She has scored and performed music for plays, ad jingles and short films. Shreya has also created music outreach programs for underprivileged children, with the intent of spreading the joy of music far, wide and deep. Her music is characterised by substance and freshness, a journey for the artiste and the audience.
Praveen Sparsh is one of the most sought after Mridangam exponents in the field of Carnatic music today. Having trained in the mridangam under Guruvayur Sri Dorai from the age of five, Praveen is now also a multi percussionist and a music producer who has scored and performed music for plays, ad jingles and short films. He has toured the United States extensively, as also, countries like Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, France, Amsterdam, Singapore, Malaysia, Srilanka, Jakarta, Sydney, Melbourne, Israel and Palestine. Praveen’s perception of music is as nuanced as it is precise, and his boundless artistic curiosity reflects in his wide array of musical explorations.
Mylai M Karthikeyan is a young torchbearer of the Nadaswaram tradition. He started learning Nadaswaram at the age of eight from his father Mylai Sri S.Mohanraj, and then proceeded to learn from Nadaswaram Vidwan Mylai Sri Rajendran, at the age of ten. He then joined the Adyar Music College, and went on to complete his Diploma in Nadaswaram under Nadaswaram Vidwan Vysarpadi Sri G. Kothandaraman. He remains under the tutelage of Sri Vysarpadi Kothandaraman, with a view to further enhance his skills. Karthikeyan completed his Diploma from Adyar Music College, as a Gold Medallist. He was subsequently awarded the title “Vaadya Visaaradha”. He has also been awarded the titles of “Vaadhya Kalaimani” and “Nadaswara Eilaval”.
Gummudipoondi R Jeevanandham is a well regarded Tavil artiste, and a disciple of Gurus Sri Sozhavaram Nathan and Sri Vetharanyam V.G.Balasupramaniyam. He has completed his Music Diploma in Raja Annamalai Mandram, earning the title Vaadya Visaaradha upon completion. He has also been awarded the title of Sangeetha Seva Rathna. Jeeva is a ‘B High’ graded artiste of the All India Radio.