Sunday, March 9, 2008

Akhandam Programmes

On the 6th of March, YACM (Youth Association for Classical Music) organised a night-long programme of music at the Madhya Kailash temple in Adyar on the occasion of Shivaratri. I got to sing in the first slot of the programme from 6:25 to 6:55 pm (Well, technically it was to be 6-6:30 pm, but apart from that slight delay, the whole affair was conducted most efficiently). Forty eight young musicians (vocalists, flautists, violinists, percussionists) performed in all, in some twenty four-odd half-hour concerts.

The whole thing was rather exciting, really. For one, I stayed up all night, no mean feat for one who promptly falls asleep at eleven thirty every night. Apart from the large group of musicians present, listening to each others' concerts, there was a steady inflow of other visitors to the temple through the night. As Sam and I realised simultaneously, the most unlikely people seem to be religious and devout.

The music was, needless to say, absolutely beautiful, particularly because there were hardly any breaks, except the few minutes spent in fine-tuning the instruments. Some rare compositions were sung. The energy and enthusiasm of the audience only added to the already musically-charged atmosphere.

I must add that YACM and its activities only reflect the enthusiasm and interest of young Carnatic musicians today, quite contrary to the general opinion that only the very old enjoy Carnatic music.

Today, another 'Akhandam' programme is being conducted by the Bharatiya Sangeetha Vaibhavam Trust,
at The Music Academy Mini Hall, in honour of Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar. I dropped in for the first concert
by T M Krishna. Energetic and brimming with creativity as TMK's concerts always are. Mostly rare compositions,
unearthed by TMK and R K Sriramkumar from Subbarama Dikshitar's 'Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini'. 'Sadashivamupasmahe' in Shankarabharanam was the main piece. It's an absolutely beautiful song.

I certainly hope to listen to many more concerts in the near future.

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