Gratitude to Gurus, Women Percussionists, Rangapura – August 2021

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As schools reopen and classes begin, I find myself reflecting on all that’s changed over the last 18 months. I know I’ve become more aware of the tenuousness of life and all that I took for granted.
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Gratitude to Gurus
Recently when my spouse restored a nearly decade-old hard drive I was surprised to find a treasure trove of pictures and videos. One of the videos was of a song by Purandaradasa, I’d performed at The Bangalore Gayana Samaja. The song had been set to tune by my late teacher Seethalakshmi Venkatesan. Lalgudi R. Rajalakshmi, who’d taught me previously accompanied me on the violin at that concert. It brought home the message that even in the good times my successes however small or large were really the result of my teachers’ (music gurus) unending encouragement and support. You can see the song recording here.
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Women Percussionists
Historically we haven’t seen that many women artistes in Indian percussion. So when one of my students shared this short clip of four young girls playing the Djembes in Ahmedabad it made it all the more special. From Sukanya Ramgopal to Anuradha Pal, Rimpa Siva and others we now have more women artistes who have set the stage on fire with their rhythmic beats. Here is Anuradha Pal welcoming the monsoon in this joyous new music album.
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Rangapura Vihara
The song Rangapura Vihara is a popular carnatic piece composed by Muthuswamy Dikshithar in raga Brindavana Saranga. Listening to singer Harish Sivaramakrishnan sing this song makes you realize that there are multiple approaches to appreciating a classical raga. Film buffs can savour the beauty of this raga in the song Ghoomar from the film Padmaavat. ***
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You can read earlier editions of newsletters here and the Raga Ruminations Podcast here.
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