Tag Archive: Carnatic music


It’s time for sound intervention | The Hindu.   Excerpt:

Acouple of years ago, 18-year-old Ram couldn’t communicate and was even incapable of making eye contact. Now, after many sessions of Carnatic music therapy, this boy with autism shows expressions on his face and is able to speak a little. Fifteen-year-old Tejas has got over her stammer, while 50-year-old Lalitha has gone back to her cheerful self after undergoing depression following menopause.

This transformation was brought about by Carnatic musician and music therapist Rajam Shanker, who works with various medical and rehabilitation professionals and organisations in India and abroad. A member of the World Federation of Music Therapy, Life Member of NADA Centre for Music Therapy and Research and other organisations, Rajam has made presentations on therapeutic aspects of Carnatic music at prestigious forums such as the European Music Therapy Congress at Cadiz, Spain, and the World Congress of Music Therapy at Seoul, South Korea.

……………Carnatic music has always been acknowledged as a structured art form with a fantastic repertoire of ragas, swaras , shruti and talas . “This structured framework allows for calibrated delivery of music therapy. Its potential for infinite improvisations also allows it to be tailored to suit different individuals, making Carnatic music an effective tool for therapy. Besides, Indian classical music has a spiritual connect,” says Rajam, who uses Carnatic music to treat autistic children and adults, slow learners, those with neurological problems, and those undergoing depression. Based on an individual’s age, health and emotional status, work schedule, colour and food choices, body constitution, etc, Rajam arrives at the precise raga and the right pitch for treatment. She starts by making the person listen to the raga. Those undergoing treatment are gradually made to sing if they can. While singing is more potent, it is not an absolute necessity; lyrics of the song are not sacrosanct; and musical training or knowledge is not a prerequisite either. Rajam employs nada anusandana, the ancient tradition of evoking sound from the body’s energy centres. She explains, “The human body responds to physical and neural communication, and music, deployed in a calibrated dosage evokes a positive response.”While singing is more potent, it is not an absolute necessity; lyrics of the song are not sacrosanct; and musical training or knowledge is not a prerequisite either

 

 

A rare musical library

I hope the day isn’t far off for an exhaustive online library tracing the roots of Indian film melodies ….both old and new…..to carnatic raagas and folk music….the folk songs of India are a dying tradition , and its futile to google the raaga on which the song is based , because nothing  turns up even after 20 pages of searching…….doesn’t really matter to me …….but makes a lot of difference to traditional music aficionados like my dad .

A rare musical library in town – The Hindu.

The collection is a treasure trove for classical music lovers.

They can read articles, books, journals on Carnatic music and listen to rare audio and video recordings of renowned musicians, thanks to Saptaparni, which launched ‘Swara Raga Nidhi’ – Musical Archives library on Ugadi. “The inspiration for preserving the treasures of our Carnatic music came from the late Palagummi Viswanadham,” says Rajani Vakkalanka of Saptaparni and adds, “The maestro didn’t want the books to be confined to individuals and book shelves. He would say, ‘We have this treasure, it should not end with us. It should go to people and we should pass it on to the next generation.” “One can sit in a peaceful atmosphere here amidst books and continue reading. The ambience creates the mood,” he says and adds, “It is a humble start. We don’t want to be greedy and accumulate thousands of books.”

If you are done with reading, one can even listen to the audio recordings of legends like M.L. Vasantha Kumari, Voleti Venkateswarlu, Srirangam Gopalaratnam and M.S. Subbulakshmi amongst others.

“There is a big collection of rare recordings in the form of audio cassettes. We are in the process of digitising these audio tapes and it is quite a big project,” smiles Rajani. Nevertheless, some recordings have been digitised.

A user-friendly software SMILE (Saptaparni Musicals Interactive Library and Encyclopaedia) installed by Chamarthi Radhakrishna, a retired scientific officer at Thumba helps music lovers to listen to the recordings. “At present we have the recordings of Carnatic vocalists and instrumental artistes. We will eventually have the Hindustani music recordings too,” says Anuradha Reddy who signs off, “We have taken a small step and hope to take it positively forward.”

articles/design

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/a-letter-to-young-men-who-protested-against-rape/article4278356.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/the-happy-persons-meal-plan/article4398708.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/no-workout-worries/article4278370.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/thank-you-for-the-music/article4398699.ece –  reminds of my dad trying raga recognition……….

My brother and mother then began to ask me (the newly-discovered savant) — “what feeling does this song give?” And I would reply “sad” or “happy” to start with, and on to “like praying” or “like boyfriend-girlfriend” or “like king-and-queen” (much to my family’s amusement, because I didn’t yet know the words “devotional” or “romantic”, or “regal”, but that is what I was trying to express). And so there it was: the raga name, its identifiable face or mukhda in a film song, and its bhaav or emotional charge, all “taught” to me in a non-lesson.

As I grew, Hindi film songs of the time and older ones became a rich repository of raga recognition. My mother would then often “staple” a raga that she was learning with a song that we liked, providing one more approach-road to the rich farmland of classical music. Was this a thought-out strategy to transfer music knowledge to her kids? I don’t think so. There was very little that was premeditated in my mother’s personality. So it is likely that she was simply joining some dots for herself and us, in a casual, relaxed journey of discovery.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/wellness-read/article4398710.ece -John Perry’s new book, Don’t Buy This Book Now!: The Art of Procrastination argues that procrastinators are often perfectionists, and structured procrastinating or doing one thing as a way of not doing something else is sometimes extremely effective.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/the-two-faces-of-tokyo/article4278372.ece   –  Everywhere I turn in this city, there is a visible dichotomy between the old and new. I get off the Metro and walk through a shopping area inside the station, larger than many malls in India. And at a short distance from the exit, I enter a Japanese home to witness a traditional tea ceremony. It is a different world here. The lady of the house is in her kimono and the students, here to (re)learn their traditions, are men in business suits.

There is a lot of talk about Japan’s, in particular Tokyo’s, global identity and modern ways but to my uninformed eyes, they seem as conformist as ever. While the style on the street is definitely avant-garde (think of Tokyo as an Asian Milan), people with tattoos are viewed with suspicion. Even tattooed teenagers trying out their newfound coolness are not allowed in several places including city buses and trains.

And they take their rules very seriously. My guide almost weeps in embarrassment when her cellphone suddenly rings in the middle of a Metro ride. There is no written law; it is just impolite and therefore not acceptable to disturb other passengers. That kind of discipline is ingrained and imparts them with a great dignity, even while noisily slurping noodles from a bowl.

I have read a lot about the Japanese love for all things aesthetic and sensual. Their preference seems to be for straight lines rather than curves, perhaps an extension of their need for tidiness. On my way into the city from the airport, I see building after building, a Legoland of little square boxes balanced delicately on top of each other.

This is the most fascinating culture I have seen, even if for a short time and from a distance. Japan is a country torn between the allure of a shiny modern persona and the strength of its strong traditional heritage. And nowhere is this struggle more evident than in Tokyo.

Must-dos in Tokyo: Visit the Asakusa Kannon temple and Roppongi Hills tower, make a day trip to Mount Fuji, watch a kabuki performance, attend a baseball match, buy a kimono, shop at Shibuya district and eat sushi.

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The Hindu : FEATURES / LITERARY REVIEW : A moveable commune –  Shakespeare and Company is a bookstore in Paris where one feels like being in one’s own apartment, just exactly how founder George Whitman wanted it to be, says Charukesi Ramadurai.

I know it is fashionable to call it “the end of an era” when someone famous or important dies but in George Whitman’s case, it was definitely so. With him went an age where people loved to read and in his case, lived to read (he once said that he was in the book business since it was the business of life). Sylvia Whitman has been shouldering his legacy since her return from the UK over 10 years ago. “It has been very difficult adjusting to life at the bookshop without this eccentric, witty, wild character at the centre of it… I am still trying to find my way in,” she admits candidly.

.Photos: Charukesi Ramadurai

“Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise” reads the entry to the room, but from all accounts, Whitman’s generosity was never in anticipation of finding the odd angel who would sprinkle blessings on his shop. He was also known to describe it as “a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” Delannet says, “George was serious about this; he wanted his bookstore to feel like one’s own apartment — anybody can come and read all day long in the first floor library and never get kicked out.” Jeremy Mercer, a Canadian journalist who wrote about his stay there in his book Time Was Soft There , says, “The young people I met at Shakespeare and Company were infected by George’s mad, romantic view of the world and they left the bookstore with the passion to do incredible things. And the older people I met there were reinvigorated by it all, ready to go forth and face the world again.”

……………..in modern life, with its furious pace, there isn’t enough time to sit and talk with idle poets and eccentric cyclists. But my six months at the bookstore gave me that time and as a result I have some of the richest friendships possible.”

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-literaryreview/excessively-wilde/article4155259.ece -. The result — both in classical opera and in Wilde — is a kind of lightness in movement that entirely belies the sheer energy and vitality that goes into its creation. The final work is, as Stoppard puts it, nearly perfect. In another letter to Alexander, Wilde wrote, immodestly, but accurately: “The first act is ingenious, the second beautiful, the third abominably clever.” He might well have been describing his life.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/performers-with-a-new-profile/article4155298.ece –Thanks to social media, the mystique of the Carnatic musician has been punctured by finger pointing — with “likes” and “dislikes” and, on rare occasions, the proverbial middle finger, says Kalpana Mohan.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-educationplus/relax-help-is-on-hand/article4158435.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/pursuing-boredom/article4155297.eceart/destination-kochi/article4170978.ece – A uniquely British eccentricity celebrating the prosaic and mundane.

Pepper House: Scene of activity. Photo:Thulasi Kakkat Valsan Koorma Kolleri: Rebirth of material. Photo:Thulasi Kakkat

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/destination-kochi/article4179813.ece

carnatic music today ……

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861805.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861793.ece            When parents enjoy parenting, they ensure happy years of growing up for the children.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861789.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685706.ece  –  Whether the shawl draped on this singer by this sabha came about because of an envelope stuffed with distinctly non-musical notes. How Carnatic music has suddenly become a cool lifestyle statement for a new generation, with kriti -laden iPods tucked into its jeans.        This informality, perhaps, will offer him a clue to the ever-increasing popularity of a music festival that, unlike Glastonbury or Bayreuth, doesn’t advertise itself, and is driven largely by word of mouth and an undying love for the art. He doesn’t need to have heard of the performers. He doesn’t even have to know the music. And if he doesn’t get tickets to a concert, there’s always another one playing down the street. Every year, he will eventually realise, Carnatic music makes its grandest statement with a festival that feels as intimate as a gathering of family.

An annual ritual Every year, around the Tamil month of Margazhi, some 60 organisations (or sabhas) cast a spell of music over Madras, with over 200 performances every day. These performances include vocal and instrumental concerts, lecture demonstrations about the intricacies of Carnatic music, walks along historic sites of musical importance, and talks about events and personalities. If the December Music Season is not the largest music festival in the world, it’s certainly a top contender for the spot — and, with every passing year, it only keeps getting bigger. And better.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685708.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685727.ece   –  How not to get diabetes

Here’s an emergency plan to shield you until the weight comes off. Besides maintaining a healthy weight, four factors keep diabetes at bay. If you combine any three, it’s like throwing up a force field between you and diabetes. The combo is more protective than the individual parts, a fact that has startled the experts. It gets better: If you combine all four, you’ll start losing weight without half trying.

Walk 30 minutes a day. Start slowly if you need to, but start. Buy a pedometer, and add a few more steps every day.

Drink lightly. Up to two drinks a day for men, one for women.

Eat smart. Lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of 100 per cent whole grains, very lean protein (including at breakfast; it’ll curb your appetite later), a little low-fat or no-fat dairy, some nuts, a bit of dark chocolate.

Don’t smoke. If you do, quit.

Then kiss diabetes goodbye.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685734.ece