| A Versatile Melody|
Muthiah Bhagavathar an early 20th century composer was challenged to compose a carnatic piece that would appeal to a western audience. English Note his composition popularized by vocalist Madurai Mani Iyer continues to be featured in the carnatic concert circuit. Raga Shankarabaranam in which the English note is composed is a truly versatile melody rich in gamaka. From Tyagaraja’s Swara Raga Sudha to Dikshithar’s Akshaya Linga to Shyama Shastri’s Saroja Dala Netri the compositions in Shankarabharanam are deeply moving. To hear a wide range of songs in this raga click here.
| Recreating Ancient Instruments|
Cave paintings going back nearly 40,000 years display bone flutes and rudimentary drums. Sangam poetry dating back two millennia talk of the yazh, a string instrument considered a precursor of the veena. However none of the original instruments have survived intact. Tharun Shekar architect and luthier, researches and recreates ancient musical instruments. Radhika Iyengar writes about his work here and you can hear him play the yazh here.
| Engaging Audiences|
Connecting with customers is a challenge that not just businesses face, but musicians too. While the pandemic has driven us all indoors and performances online, there are far too many distractions for the typical online rasika. Lakshmi Anand nicely captures the various ways carnatic musicians are attempting to attract and keep engaged their audiences. Read more here.