Leveraging social media as a platform for Carnatic music

-C. Ramakrishnan

Music has got an ethereal quality to heal the disturbed mind and provide solace. The impact of Covid-19 and the stress of confinement within one’s home have been multiplied by the disturbing news flashing across media – both visual and social. In these testing times, many organisations have come forward to provide music to rasikas around the world through social media.

Arkay Convention Centre, Chennai, owned by philanthropist cum music enthusiast Arkay Ramakrishnan, has been providing free music and literary discussions throughout the year. During this lockdown, when live concerts could not be held, Arkay Ramakrishnan was quick to provide webcasts of previously recorded concerts everyday in the evening. Concerts by R. Vedavalli, T.N. Krishnan, Rama Ravi, Malladi Suribabu, T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Prof. Venkitaramanan, Sandeep Narayanan, Suryaprakash, Mandolin U. Rajesh, and many other top ranking musicians provided sublime music. Special mention should be made of thematic concerts by the late Suguna Purushothaman of exclusive ragamalikas and that of Suguna Varadachary comprising kritis on Tyagaraja by other composers.

Mudhra Bhaskar, Secretary, Mudhra and the brain behind the Paalam TV, conceived the programme titled Nimmadhi, where high quality music, dance and dramas were streamed in the evenings on their channel. The programmes featured concerts by Gayathri Venkatraghavan, Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna, Ramakrishnan Murthy, Sankaran Namboodiri, Sid Sriram, Abhishek Raghuram, Priya Sisters, Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan, violin duet by Mysore Brothers, flute by Shashank, jugalbandi by Jayanthi Kumaresh and Ronu Mazumdar, and a thematic concert, Khandam Square presented by Sriram Parasuram. Thought provoking dramas like Tanneer Tanneer and dance programmes were also aired which were viewed by rasikas world over. The webcasts were free and the audio and video quality were commendable. The daily webcasts started with Insights—a unique educational programme by Radha Bhaskar on the subtle nuances of Carnatic music… read more