Sunday, July 12, 2020
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Virtual Live Streaming Event

Event Highlight

Check Our Photo Album

Sashwat Mahalingam (student of Sri Paduka Academy) Srishiva Manikantan-violin solo (student of Sri. Shertalai Sivakumar) Twisha Sundararajan (student of Sri. Ajay Namboodiri and Smt. Nandini Ramamurthi) Vittal Thirumalai vocal-violin(student of Smt. Padma Shankar) Vivrd Prasanna (student of Sri. Neyveli Santhanagopalan)
String/Keyboard accompanists:
Apurvaa Anand (student of Smt. Anuradha Sridhar) Vaishnavi Ravinutala (student of Smt. Anuradha Sundar) Vittal Thirumalai (student of Smt. Padma Shankar) Vignesh Thyagarajan (student of Sri. Delhi P. Sunderrajan)
Mrudangam accompanists:
Akshay Venkatesan (student of Sri. S.V. Ramani & Sri Ramesh Srinivasan) Sriram Subramanian (student of Sri. Trichur C. Narendran and Sri. Gopi L) Pranav Tirumalai (student of Sri. Trichur C. Narendran) Gopal Ravindhran (student of Sri. Neyveli R. Narayanan) Ajay Gopi (student of Sri. Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar and Sri. Gopi L)

Dear all,
Hope you're all doing well. Thank you to those who attended our event last Sunday to celebrate our graduating seniors. The seniors who took the stage gave a very memorable performance and the alumni who accompanied helped elevate the concert to the next level. Kudos to all of our performers and our very best wishes to all of the graduates as they move on to the next phase of their lives.
We have a full visual documentation of our events so I'm not going to write a detailed report like before but instead attach links to all of them :) for you to watch/enjoy/reminisce.
CCC July (full) event video link
Photo album link: (Many thanks to the students/parents for uploading the audience pics at our request, it's really very interesting to see those pics). You are welcome to add any pics you may have taken to this collection as well. 
Feature-a-Guru Sri Ashok Subramaniam part 1:
Feature-a-Guru Sri Ashok Subramaniam part 2:
Reflections team's (musical) write up about the performances will be available this weekend for you to read. Thank you students in advance, for your time in this regard.
Feel free to check out all or any part of the event that interests you. And please save August 9th Sunday (2-5pm) for our next (virtual) event!


  • Carnatic Chamber Concerts – July 2020
    Authored By: Anirudh Ramadurai, Shreya Virunchipuram, Pranav Satyadeep, Mahathi Shankarram, Prahlad Saravanapriyan, Urmika Balaji, Adithya Narayanan

    The graduating senior-special event commenced with a vocal performance by Twisha Sundararajan, accompanied on the veena by Vaishnavi Ravinutala and on the mridangam by Pranav Tirumalai. Twisha began with an alapana in the ragam Madhyamavathi, a janyam of the 22nd melakartha, Kharaharapriya. Twisha melodiously sang many important sancharas of this beautiful ragam. Vaishnavi’s sketch also brought out important phrases in the ragam. Twisha then sang Saint Tyagaraja’s masterpiece “Rama Katha Sudha”, set to Adi Talam, in which Saint Tyagaraja emphasizes the importance of listening to Rama’s story. Twisha then took up kalpanaswarams in the anupallavi “Bhama Mani Janaki”. After some rounds of kizh kalam and mel kalam swarams, Twisha sang a korraipu on panchamam before concluding with a edam to edam korvai and an enthralling thani by Pranav. Throughout the performance, Vaishnavi’s able support and Pranav’s energetic accompaniment thoroughly enhanced the performance.

    The next slot was a captivating violin solo performance by Srishiva Manikantan accompanied by Sriram Subramanian on the mridangam. He started by playing a mesmerizing raga alapana in the ragam Nasikabhushani (70th melakarta). His rendition was very smooth and pleasing to the ears, truly showcasing the beautiful highlights and nuances of the ragam. The team then performed the krithi “Mara vairi ramani”, a composition of Sri Tyagaraja Swamy in rupaka thalam. Srishiva chose the line “dharma samvardhani” to play niraval and swaram. He played several rounds of niraval in two speeds, in which he incorporated many canorous key Nasikabhushani phrases in keezh kalam as well as thanam-style niraval in mel kalam. He then proceeded to execute swarams in mel kaalam, replete with enrapturing sarvalaghu-style swarams with abhiprayams as well as a few yati-based kanakku swarams. He concluded this segment with a kuraippu exchange with himself followed by a simple yet ideal korvai. In spite of this being a remotely recorded performance, Sriram followed the niraval and swaram very closely and highlighted the laya intricacies of Srishiva’s rendition. His accompaniment complimented and further amplified the beauty of the krithi as well as the manodharmam. He concluded the performance with an entertaining and suitable thani avarthanam.

    Following Srishiva’s violin solo was Shri. Ashok Subramaniam’s 1st part of the Feature-A-Guru segment, on the topic “Virutthams”. Shri. Ashok Subramaniam started with the verse “na jAnAmi padhyam, na jAnAmi gadhyam” from Shri. Adi Shankara’s Subramania Bhujangam. It was an appropriate verse that explained the humility and divinity of Adi Shankara, something that is absolutely required to handle Virutthams, and Carnatic music, in general. He then explained that while virutthams originally referred to poetry that came from the Tamil literature, in Carnatic music it is an elaboration of a freestyle verse by giving the treatment of an appropriate raga to it. He also said that virutthams can be sung in beginning parts of a performance and not just in the tail part of a concert. He followed to give an example with Thirumangai Azhwar’s Paasuram from the Naalayira Divyaprabhandham “Kulam tharum selvam thandhidum adiyaar” tuned to ragam Varamu/Shuddha Hindolam. He demonstrated how the last line of the paasuram, “Narayana ennum naamam”, could naturally flow into Papanasam Sivan’s Varamu ragam composition “Thunai Purindharul Tharuna Maadhava” at the charanam line “Paramapurusha Narayanane”. The effect of such a well rendered viruttham on the singer as well as the audience can be quite significant. People knowing the language would instantaneously connect, understand and remember the composition for a long time by choosing an appropriate viruttham before rendering a krithi. Shri. Ashok also explained that the same viruttham could be prefaced for other songs, such as Papanasam Sivan’s “Narayana Nalinayata” in ragam Sama. While virutthams can be delivered in a single ragam, they can also be sung in different ragams that reflect the meaning and mood of the verse(s), and end in the last line with the ragam of the kriti of choice. This session (part 1) on virutthams was very insightful and educative for all of the budding artists in CCC. The part 2 of the session was also very informative and you can read about it in later parts of the reviews.

    The next slot was a unique vocal-violin duet by Vittal Thirumalai, accompanied by Gopal Ravindhran on the mridangam. Vittal began with a soulful and enriching alapana in Reethigowlai, beautifully rendered in both vocal and violin. In tribute to his grandfather, Vittal presented the krithi “Janani ninnuvina”, a compositon of Sri Subbaraya Sastri. In this krithi, the composer pleads and begs the goddess Mahadevi to protect him, saying that she is the only one who can take care of him in this world. With such a soulful rendition of this krithi, his grandfather and Devi herself are sure to be pleased. For such rich and bhava laden krithis, talam accompaniment needs to be just enough and proportionate. Gopal’s experienced accompaniment enriched and enhanced the performance. After such an excellent rendition of the krithi, Vittal chose the last line of the charanam leading to the pallavi line, “Taamasamu Seyakane Brovumu”, for swarams. Vittal was very smart in choosing this line for swaram, as it has great potential for porruthams and kanakkus, which was apparent in Vittal’s singing and playing. The exchange between vocal and violin for each swaram almost seemed as if between a separate vocalist and violinist, and each swaram exchange was distinct and complimenting in the way it was rendered in both vocal and violin. Gopal’s support on the mridangam blended in with Vittal’s singing and playing, while keeping a strong hold of the kalapramanam. Vittal concluded with a short and simple korvai, which was a good representation of the ragam, while also displaying good layam and tala knowledge. To conclude this delightful performance, Gopal ended with a brief, yet elaborate thani, well suited for the kalapramanam of the krithi.

    Following Vittal’s extraordinary performance was Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi presented by Sashwat Mahalingam on the vocals, Apurvaa Anand on the violin, and Akshay Venkatesan on the mridangam. Sashwat started with an alapana in a rare ragam called Deepali, which is interestingly a mixture of two ragams in Hindustani Music (Yaman and Lalit). Although Deepali is a rare ragam and not commonly sung in Carnatic Music, he produced a remarkable sketch of the ragam. Apurvaa echoed Sashwat closely and subsequently played her portrayal of the ragam, which was handled effortlessly. Sashwat then skillfully presented an intricate Thanam and exchanged several rounds with Apurvaa. The trio proceeded to perform a Pallavi with the lyrics “asamAna gAtrI samAna rahita nEtri sakala varadAtrI himagirI putrI,” set to Tisra Gathi Chatusra Jathi Dhruva Thalam. Sashwat then proceeded to sing several elaborate rounds of neraval and kalpanaswarams, which were frequently exchanged with Apurvaa. For his kalpanaswarams, he showcased three combinations, each of them having one ragam having influences from Carnatic Music and the other having influences from Hindustani Music. He first showed a ragamalika combination using Madhyamavathi and Brindavana Saranga, followed by Panthuvarali and Puriya Dhanashree, and finally, with Vagadeeshwari and Jog. Akshay concluded this performance with a bang, as he played a short, yet intricate mohra-korvai.

    Subsequent to the first half of the Feature-a-Guru Segment, Vidwan Shri. Ashok Subramaniam transitioned into the second section, where he elaborated on the selection process of a virutham. Specifically, he noted that in selecting a virutham, you are restricted to certain boundaries/regulations that you have to adhere to simultaneously. In this, he outlined the fact that viruthams must be within the scope and context of what krithi you are singing, and to illustrate this, used two examples of how a virutham should/should not be sung. Along the way, he took the first two lines of the eleventh verse from a rare, meaningful text known as the Kandar Anubuthi, composed by Arunagirinathar, a famous saint of medieval times, in scholarly Tamil, in the ragam Hindolam. Because it wasn’t accompanied by a krithi, the ragam of the virutham didn’t make a difference, but he contrasted this with singing the first two lines of the second verse in the Kandar Anubuthi in the ragam Kapi, followed by “Senthil Andavan” in Kharaharapriya, which wouldn’t be logical. Hence, you have to choose viruthams very carefully, and he affirms that, regardless of the ragam, the finer, historical detail of the virutham has to parallel the composition, which was shown with the following excerpt of the twelfth verse from the Kandar Anubuthi: “semmAn magalai thirudum thirudan, pemmAn murugan piravAn iravAn,” and since Murugan marries Devayani at Thiruparankundram, you can sing the krithi “Thirupparam kundra vElA” in the ragam Hindolam afterwards. Once more, he reiterates the paramount importance of selecting the most appropriate virutham for the corresponding krithi with the analogy of Vishnu only receiving Tulasi leaves and Shiva getting Bilva leaves, not vice versa. Further, he briefly forayed into how correct pronunciation is an integral component of performing viruthams, distinguishing this with some often-mispronounced words in Tamil (“Kundru and Pazham”), to the extent that if you butcher the words, you shouldn’t present it altogether, or consult a scholar/someone proficient in the language to fix the mistakes. Continuing, he lists out a sequence of letters which are common to Sanskrit, Telugu, and Kannada verses, and if the diction is incorrect, the meaning changes. Thereafter, he touched upon the concept of a ragamalika virutham, and how vital the apt sequence of ragams are, where they shouldn’t display your prowess, or raga fluency, but bring out the raga bhavam with consideration to the lyrics, and trimming excessive gamakas if necessary, as you have to do justice to the saints/poets pouring out their emotions for the ultimate divinity inherent. All in all, in searching for a virutham, he denotes many reputable sources, including Adi Shankara, Thevarams, Divyaprabandham, Desika, Thiruvachagam, Thaimana Swamy’s/Ramalinga Nidrar’s Works, Arunagirinathar’s Poetry, Dasakootam, Devarnamas, and Telugu Padhyangal, concluding on the note that virutham singing should become a fixture of a musician’s concert repertoire, as it brings it to the general public’s attention, while making a lasting impression on them, and can embellish the krithi rendition.

    The grand finale to the July CCC event was a Ragam Thanam Pallavi by Vivrd Prasanna, accompanied by Vignesh Thyagarajan on violin and Ajay Gopi on mridangam. Vivrd commenced with an elaborate alapana in the 65th melakartha, Kalyani. The alapana was filled with oodles of canonical phrases, which were all expertly rendered. Vignesh followed with an equally tuneful ragam. Vivrd proceeded to render the Thanam, maneuvering through the exquisite contours of the majestic ragam via rhythmic phrases and exchanging with Vignesh at the end of each phrase. Following the thAnam, the team presented a palllavi in Kalyani Ragam, set to ratta kalai khanda jAthi ata thalam (chatusra nadai). The lyrics of the pallavi were “NeeyE meenAkshi kAmAkshi neelAyadAkshi Yena pala peyarudanengum niraindavaL En manakkOyililum yezhundaruLiya”. This pallavi was composed and set to tune by Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. After a few rounds of kizh kalam and mEl kalam neraval, Vivrd and party skillfully executed trikalam, followed by several rounds of intriguing swarams that had the listeners on tenterhooks. Ajay pursued the swaram structure very closely, providing a sound and modulated percussive foundation. Afterward, Vivrd segued into ragamalika swarams, starting with Vasantha Bhairavi, then Surutti, allotting time in between for Vignesh’s equally superb response. Vivrd concluded with a long sarvalaghu swaram, incorporating both Surutti and Vasantha Bhairavi, then circling back to Kalyani and finishing with a splendid edam-to-edam korvai. This korvai was especially impressive because the first two iterations were rendered in chatusram, but the last iteration was rendered in tisram. Ajay’s mohra korvai was neat and seamless, moreso because all parts of the performance were recorded remotely! All in all, the team’s execution of this RTP was undoubtedly marvelous and very well handled.

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