September is surely a super busy month for all and weâve started feeling the impact already with not being able to keep up with all the various events happening in the bay area (and Sacramento!). But our committed CCC families made time and got together to listen to our September performers and our sincere thanks to them all!
We had nine solo performances, 8 on the vocals and one violin solo. Aditya Bashyam and Aditi Anand made their debut performance in CCC with their divine, virgin music. Rest of our performers, Alaap, Arya, Aditi, Thejeswini, Aditya Satyadeep, Sanika and Abinaya showcased significant annual progress in their music journey, giving us a variety treat, with each choosing a unique raga to share.
Even though the accompanists learn and grow with each of the opportunities, the amount of effort each of our accompanists and their parents put in towards the success of our performances is incredible. They help the students get together for one or more rehearsals, help them learn the content to be more effective, plan out their coordinated outfits (love this part always!), and cheer each other up before, during and after the performance. This brings in the true team spirit which reflects directly in the performances. Kudos to our accompanists and their parents!
I am so glad we managed time in the schedule to host the feature a guru segment again this month. Vid. Sri Arvind Lakshmikanthan presented to our audience, in an encapsulated form, how to go about âpracticeâ and his valuable tips would apply not only to excel in music but also in other activities as well. Our sincere thanks to him for the efforts and time he spent, for the benefit of our CCC members. Smt Vasudha Ravi who is visiting the bay area paid CCC a surprise visit, listened to all the performers and had kind words to share, our thanks to her too.
Our September schedule was so tight that I did not even get to utter a thank you to our dear volunteers who help, on and off the stage, pre and post event! I know they are not expecting that but it is my duty to acknowledge and thank them for all their help and support! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Our Asthana photographer Prasanna was back this month to cover the event and here are his lovely captures. Anand G and Vidya have recorded, edited and provided us this excerpt clip to reminisce the event and Iâm sure this will be a treasure to watch if you could not make it in person. Many thanks to Sowmya (Aryaâs mom) for bringing coffee /snacks and Shreeranjani (Aditiâs mom) for bringing some finger food for our volunteers.
Please save Saturday October 7th from 4-7pm for our next event!
Carnatic Chamber Concerts – 9th September 2017 CCC Event
Authored By: Sashwat Mahalingam, Anirudh Ramadurai
When preparing for a concert
or a performance, a musician would typically plan or outline what they are to do, and practice according to that plan. However, on stage, the game becomes different. It could be the stage fright, or time delay, or simply the capacity to think of ideas on spot,
but there is always a slight change between what one practices and what happens on the stage. The adaptability that lets a musician adjust to these differences is extremely essential to be able to succeed. In the September 20th, 2017 CCC event, every performer
that went on stage displayed this form of extemporaneous thinking and enhanced their performance by doing so.
The event began with a performance
by Aditya Bashyam, who was accompanied by Preetika Ashok on the veena and Avinash Anand on the mridangam. Aditya started the event off with Sivan’s Malayamarutham composition,
set to Khanda Chapu. This brisk composition was followed by another krithi, sarasija bhava jAyE.
This song was composed by Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, and was in ragam Kalyani, set to Thisra Gathi Adi. This song showed some unique phrases that are not normally heard in other krithi’s in this ragam. Throughout the performance, Preetika mirrored the melody
of the performance with her veena accompaniment, while Avinash kept the audience engaged with his mridangam playing.
Succeeding Aditya’s energetic
rendition was a mature performance by Alaap Rag, accompanied by Anirudh Prabhu on the veena and Akshay Aravindan on the mridangam. Alaap began with a calm, but captivating alapana in the ragam Panthuvarali, showing the essence and the depth of this ragam.
This was shadowed beautifully by Anirudh Prabhu, who showcased a short, but rich alapana. Alaap then proceeded to Tyagaraja’s popular composition in Panthuvarali,
siva siva siva enarAdhA,
set to Adi talam. He took up the challenge of doing second speed kalpanaswarams at the pallavi line, and finished it with an edam to edam korvai. The interaction between the vocalist and vainika were well executed. Akshay’s accompaniment on the mridangam
was equally brisk-paced and very involved throughout.
Ensuing Alaap’s captivating presentation
was a performance by Arya Venkat, accompanied by Vandana Chari and Rahul Swaminathan. Arya started his performance with
Papanasam Sivan’s composition in Hamsadhwani ragam, and set to Adi talam. This was followed by Tyagaraja’s famous
a composition in Vasantha ragam, set to Rupakam. Both songs were taken at a moderate tempo, and helped emphasize the ragams in both songs. Vandana followed and accompanied Arya very well throughout the performance, and Rahul kept the audience engaged with
his mridangam playing.
Following Arya’s staging was
a presentation by Aditi Anand, who was supported by Vishaka Ashok on the violin and Sachin Venkat on the mridangam. Aditi rendered Tyagaraja’s popular krithi in Kambhoji,
set to Deshaadi. Aditi took this song at a slow pace, and showed the nuances of the ghana ragam throughout the song. Vishaka was supporting Aditi very well and showed perfect synchronization with her, while Sachin gave huge support with his dynamic mridangam
skills on stage.
Thejaswini Sai Swaminathan:
Following Aditi was a vocal performance
presented by Thejaswini Sai Swaminathan, supported by Yogitha Balasubramanian on the violin, and Abishayan Siva on the mridangam. Thejaswini began with a clean alapana in the ragam Thodi, where she displayed some flexibility with her voice through some fast
phrases. Yogitha’s response was excellent overall, and displayed as much of the essence as the vocalist. Following this was
one of Saint Tyagaraja’s Sriranga Pancharatnams, set to Rupakam. For her kalpanaswarams, Thejaswini chose the anucharanam (sEvanu
gani surulu virulacE). This included some simple swarams and nice sarvalaghu patterns. Abishayan’s
accompaniment on the mridangam was dynamic, and accompanied well throughout the performance.
Following Aditi’s rendition was a performance by Aditya Satyadeep on the violin and Santhosh Ravindrabharathy
on the mridangam. Aditya began with a smooth and free flowing alapana in the ragam Madhyamavathi. He then proceeded to render
one of Saint Tyagaraja’s Lalgudi Pancharatnams, set to Misra Chapu. For his manodharma, Aditya chose the anupallavi (pAvana
pravruddha) for kalpanaswarams. Similar to his alapana, Aditya’s sense of classicism and bhavam
dominated his swarams overall. Following some nice kanakku, Aditya rendered a korappu on the eddam with a eddam-to-eddam korvai. The accompaniment Santhosh gave on mridangam was quite befitting and spirited on stage, including a short mora-korvai following
Following Aditya was a performance
by Anirudh Ramadurai on the vocal, accompanied by Urmika Balaji on the violin and Pranav Tirumalai on the mridangam. Beginning with an alapana in Vachaspati, Anirudh brought out his innovativeness in the creation of phrases throughout the range of octaves
covered. Urmika’s response to this was filled with an equal amount of skill and variety of flavor. Following this, Anirudh proceeded to briskly render Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s krithi
ennADu nI krpa galgunO
set to Deshadi Talam. On the anucharanam, ninnu nEranammI,
he took up a few rounds of rapidfire niraval and 2nd speed swarams. The types of patterns Anirudh utilized in his sarvalaghu including mel thisram were creatively thought out, and every response from the violin was on point to that. After a swaram essay and
a nice samam-to-eddam korvai was a samam-to-edam mora and korvai by Pranav. In the duration of performance, Pranav’s accompaniment on the mridangam was equally brisk-paced and very involved throughout.
Following Anirudh was a performance
by Sanika Pande on the vocal, Sahana Prasanna on the violin, and Sriram Subramanian on the mridangam. Sanika began with a calm alapana in the raga Shankarabharanam, where she displayed her voice’s flexibility through a variety of difficult and quick phrases.
Sahana’s response to this on the violin was equally mellifluous and soothing to hear overall. Following this was Mysore Vasudevacharya’s composition
harI nI bhajincE,
set to Khanda Jathi Triputa Talam. For her manodharmam, she engaged in the uncommon but interesting practice of niraval and swarams on the pallavi of the krithi. Sanika’s and Sahana’s niraval displayed the use of very traditional phrases in Sankarabharanam,
with the extended range of rendition given how relatively long Kanda Triputa is. In her swarams, Sanika used a lot of jaaru-based phrases and sarvalaghu throughout, which Sahana kept up with extemporaneous skill on stage. Throughout the performance, Sriram’s
accompaniment on the mridangam was maturely accomplished, and following a nice samam-to-eddam korvai by Sanika, Sriram rendered a short mora-korvai as well.
The Feature-a-Guru segment this
month in CCC featured a rather significant topic amongst many musicians. In his 20 minutes today, Vid. Sri. Arvind Lakshmikanthan gave us students a huge insight on what real practice is, and what makes a practice effective and not unnecessary. The five steps
to practice per his perspective in the session were mindfulness of timing, clarity of goals and achievement, patience to practice, determination to master, and intelligence to practice (smarter, not harder). Going into the intensity and personalness of practicing
overall, Vid. Sri. Arvind Lakshmikanthan’s session helped us students gain a more needed focus and attitude given the tips that were presented overall. Knowing what is necessary to do is very important in the practice of any art, and the session given today
helped clear the distinction and pave way for more effective musical improvement and fruits of benefit.
Following the informative Feature-a-Guru
segment was a Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Purvikalyani by Abinaya Srikant on the vocal, Aparna Thyagarajan on the violin, and Srivatsan Tennathur on the mridangam. The alapana was very intricate with the use of of difficult and complicated phrases as well as vadi-samvadi
harmonious notes such as r,d,r, close to the end. Aparna’s response was with equal grandeur as she utilized an appropriate style of elaboration and emphasis, especially in the taara sthayi octave. Following a brisk and enjoyable tanam was the pallavi, which
was set to Kanda Nadai Kanda Jathi Triputa Talam. The sahityam, in regards to Navarathri, was “mInAkshI mA madura mInAkshI, mE mudam dEhI maragathAngI.” The niraval was a well-handled challenge as the pallavi structure was rather elongated to ensure that keeping
the tempo while rendering niraval would be difficult. Following a brief thrikAlam in keezh kAlam, chatushra tisram, and mEl kAlam, were the swarams. The first few beginning swarams were handled effortlessly as nice sarvalaghu and quick transitioning dominated
throughout between the vocalist and violinist. In the rAgamAlikA section, Abinaya chose to take Bahudari, Kalyanavasantham, and Rasikapriya, and as an added challenge, transition between all three in the final swaram essay towards the eddam-to-eddam korvai
that followed. Throughout this Pallavi, Srivatsan’s accompaniment on the mridangam was enthusiastic and tireless as he handled every rhythmic challenge with accuracy, including a nice mora-korvai in the end.
hindsight, each performer, through their respective renditions, demonstrated an ability to innovate, think, and adapt on stage when needed to do so. The experience and previous training that goes into making this possible is thanks to the gurus, who actively
and completely give each student the resources and experiences they need to continue forward. Next, without the parents to be able to push their children to grow in the right direction musically, the thought of even performing on stage would be impossible.
Finally, it is because of the selfless support of organizations such as CCC and their volunteers that help give a reason for students themselves to want to grow and perform overall.