DK Pattamal Centenary Tribute; her music & her life in a song and story presentation by Justus Repertory Theater
Concept, Script, Narration Dr. Gowri Ramnarayan
Produced by JustUs Repertory, Chennai
Sushma Somasekharan – Vocal & Aditya Prakash – Vocal & Shreya Devnath – Violin & K Praveen Kumar – Mridangam
Dr Gowri Ramnarayan has curated this centenary tribute to celebrate the legacy of DK Pattammal (1919- 2009), the matriarch of Carnatic music.
Gowri’s story telling is based on her research, reading and close personal interaction with the legendary vocalist. She takes the listener through the times and the unique experiences of an artist who faced many challenges.
The narration explores DKP’s endearing personality, profound vidwat, ardent patriotism, and her ability to achieve many firsts without noisy rebellion.
HER MUSIC HER LIFE also celebrates Pattammal as a wise and lovable guru, a role model of rectitude for young musicians to follow. Throughout her life DKP never failed to encourage young musicians.
Aditya Prakash, Sushma Somasekharan (vocal), Shreya Devnath (violin), K Praveen Kumar (mridangam), belong to different schools of music, but they come together to represent the impact of DKP on the younger generation of musicians. They claim her inspiring legacy of uncompromising classicism, recognizing that Pattammal remained a classicist to the core, but was also a radical at heart.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Aditya Prakash – Vocal
Aditya Prakash is an American born Indian classical musician best known for his powerful, reverberant, emotive voice. Rooted in the SemmangudiSrinivasaIyer school of Carnatic music with Palai CK Ramachandran and PS Narayanaswami as gurus, he is currently being guided by TM Krishna and RK Shriramkumar. Aditya’s experiments in collaborative projects on both sides of the Atlantic, reflect his fascination for genres from classical western and Hindustani to Sufi, jazz, hip hop, and flamenco.
Sushma Somasekharan – Vocal
A chartered accountant in Singapore who has developed a sensitive, nuanced vocal style, Sushma received her initial training in Carnatic music from Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society and is now a disciple of Lalita Sivakumar, DK Pattammal’s vocal accompanist. Sushma is a contributor to Sruti, India’s premier performing arts. Winner of the Junior Outstanding Vocalist Award for her performance (Dec 2017) at the Music Academy, this graded AIR artiste has impressed audiences with recitals in three continents.
Shreya Devnath – Violin
A disciple of Lalgudi Jayaraman currently under the guidance of GJR Krishnan, Shreya has made a mark for herself as a soloist and accompanist in her frequent recitals in India and abroad. She has evolved a distinct style where precision is matched with fluency. Shreya’s intelligence, quick grasp, and mellifluousness make her an asset to any team. She has enjoyed performing chitraveena and flute jugalbandis, and singing for Bharatanatyam recitals.
K Praveen Kumar – Mridangam
With veterans Valangaiman Shanmugasundaram Pillai for grandfather and TanjoreUpendran for father, K Praveen Kumar grew up in a world resonating with rhythms. With initial lessons with Nellai Balaji and advanced training from Guruvayur Dorai, he has established himself as one of the brightest young percussionists of today. Playing for renowned Carnatic musicians Praveen blends sensitivity with vigor. He also enjoys making independent music and an occasional foray into composing and performing music for theatre.
Gowri Ramnarayan – concept, script, narration
Starting her writing career with an in-depth profile of DK Pattammal, Gowri Ramnarayan went on to become a prolific writer on arts and cultural issues for The Hindu, a playwright, and vocal accompanist to Pattammal’s contemporary MS Subbulakshmi. Her witty, thought-provoking, visually interesting productions make original use of music and dance. Gowri has served as a member of the Fipresci Jury at European film festivals and received the Nataka Choodamani award for excellence in theatre.