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Friday, January 27, 2012

A great trip to Thiruvaiyaru

It is always a blessing to visit temple and more so to visit St. Thyagaraja'r during the Aradhana days. Even more great is to perform few krithis there on one of these days!

I got this oppurtunity and we left home in time to be at Thirvaiyaru little early and had a good Dharshan. It was so sad that the river alongside was almost empty and had a long stroll in the sands! What to do? no water! The schedule time given to me was 545 pm and it was perfect going and got to the dias in time. I had Ms Rajajeswari on violin, Sri Venkatsubramanian on Mrudhagam and Mstr Sai Balaji on Morsing.

It was divine feeling and to perform there we are not only blessed also feel like cleansed after the performance. What was surprising this time for me was that after 3 krithis i thought of getting up Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao sir, Sri Deccan Murthy sir, Sri OS Arun sir and many office barrers who were actually listening to our performance from near the stage asked me to continue performing another krithi! What a blessing for our team and i thought it is indeed a great good sign for the prosperity of the instrument! I sincerely thank one and all for this gesture and pranams to St. Thyagaraja for his Grace!
Concert at Bhairavi Pondicherry

I had a good trip to Pondicherry with Villiwakkam Raghuraman uncle's car along with appa and Kumbakonam Swaminathan anna. Thirukannapuram J Sowrirajan uncle joined us in Pondicherry.  We actually wanted to start little early and have a good relaxed time at the hotel room before going for the concert. But as Raghu uncle had some work we started little late and also went on a wrong route travelling around 25 kms and had to come back and reached hotel only by 4pm! Of all hotel restaurant Suruguru - a fast one delayed to bring our food and so went to the room only by 5pm! Had some snacks and changed costume & proceeded to the venue.  
It was an excellent ambience but the audience was not the usual good strength in number and they sighted recent rain / Thane wind and others for the comparatively not a strong turn out of audience. We enjoyed the concert presenting some rare raga / krtihis and returned to Chennai after having a good dinner at Adyar Anandha Bhavan!.

You can listen to the performance by our team in the link:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year Eve celebrations with Vidwans and Vidhushis at Music Academy!

It was another great year which i enjoyed welcoming 2012 with many great Vidwans and Vidhushis, thanks to Carnatica's effort to bring in all of them under one roof - Music Academy! I think it is for the 3rd or 4th year in succession i have enjoyed this New Year Eve programme! This time again i teamed up with my dear Mamoos - Embar S. Kannan ji, and gave a mix of just film / Carnatic music on a concept of tempos / nadais and it came out good!

I was also happy to get greetings and enquiry on the Jugalbandhi concert i had performed with Pandit ji at Brahma Gana Sabha just before coming in to this programme! I shall post the video of the same at thee earliest for all of you to enjoy! However the last couple of minutes is lost due to no space in the camera as my mom had also used the same for the earlier concert. I look forward to welcoming 2013 soon!!!

In the process of this Jugalbandhi Concert i missed out on detailing the 29th Dec'11 concert performed with M. Rajeev on Violin, R. Sankaranarayanan on Mrudhangam and Sunilkumar annas at PH Mahal, Chitrakulam, Mylapore for Sri Panchamuka Anjaneya Music festival committee which was a grand show indeed. With rain god showering his best with the help of his friend Vayu Bhagawan with "Thane" the possibility of the concert was in fact remote! However there was a good audience turn out and the performance was also of good level with our team giving our best with the Grace of Lord Anjaneya! I always love playing in this forum as it is indeed a divine atmosphere and feel as if Lord Anjeneya is omni present to listen to us!

Great Experience of performing with Inventor of Mohan Veena and a Grammy Winner!
It was indeed one of the most memorable day in my life time - December 31, 2011 ! Yes it was like a dream for me to be realising at 715pm on this day that i was performing with Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt ! Humble Personified personality and i was only fortunate to have had this opportunity! I am confident and hoping to get more such occasions  in the future! A dream New Year Eve indeed!

Panditji was so humble to come home the earlier day with his wife and had dinner - simple Dosas - at our house and we had gone  for a short drive on to the beach side and he was feeling so bad for the effect of "Thane" strom and as he got out of our car he said, "All the best Sathya, let's make a great day tmrw evening". It was a great blessings and i was so stunned to see a person of his stature to be so simple and even more simpler was his wife Ma ji and it was one of teh best moments i had in my life time.

The day of the action i.e. December 31, 2011, appa left home early to see through all arrangements for the evening as Giri Trading Agency had decided to make a Video  & Audio albums of the concert. I was very excited on the show and just tried to concentrate and practise few ragas for slow and speedy phrases as i thought of the Hindustani phrases and ones i might have to give a good response!

God was kind to me with the presence of good number of audience and i thought that was indeed the respect Chennai rasikas gave for this Maestro Mohana Veena Inventor! While doing the sound check we understood teh "Reverb" key was faulty and Pandit ji was so humble in saying, "let's play with whatever resource we have". A great learning for me and for any artist as this is the best mind set one should possess instead creating a big issue and make a scene which might bring in more and more of unpleasantness!

Thanks to my dad's idea of checking with Mr. Ranganathan, incharge of Giri Trading  Agency who was captaining the the recording stream, they brought the studio mixture  from Surang, As we were playing the raga aalapana the new mixture was made set and before we went on to Thanam the equipment was fixed in no time - Thanks to teh sound engineer and team! It was kind of non stop music for the next almost 1 hr 30 mts and as we finished our piece on Madhuvanti - Dharmavathi combination we realised it is time to end the concert! Panditji in all humbleness asked me what we could play to end the concert, i suggested "Vaishnava Janatho" which happend to be one of the best renditions in a Jugalbandhi concert as said by Panditji, Ms. Vaijayanthi Mala Bali and others who had attended.

I sincerely thank Eenadu to have carried an article on the Jan 02, 2012 and Dinamalr on Jan 15, 2012 and you can log on to to read the reviews.

I also thank Brahma Gana Sabha for having thought of this combination of Jugalbandhi Concert and Pandit ji in particular for suggesting to do a Jugalbandhi instead of his Solo which was in first place asked for!

Let's now look forward to Giri Trading Agency to bring out the DVD & Audio CD of this concert and i just cannot wait for a long time to see the same!

Let me also take this opportunity to greet you all for a Very Happy 2012!