The start of the year 2010 can only continue looking forward, moving my mind’s view from the old dusty archives of musical geniuses such as Semmungudi, Alathur Bros, Bade Ghulam Ali and Amir Khan, to what lies in the present with a potential to flourish and blossom in the future, I had a bit of a sniff around. The exercise was purposeful. The aim was to shock myself out of slipping into a musical reverie belonging in the past like an old professor with a haunted view of the world that exists no more. Lo behold I found the following dedicated performers whom even India noticed and talked about:
“Nadhamuni” Gayathri Bharath a sydney resident has been performing in Chennai since 1999. A singer who is fully proficient with indian audiences her performance received a glorious review. Gayathri comes with an impeccable thalim or training and is some one whose concerts should not be missed in Sydney. More about her here
Kishan Jeyendran is a first generation Australian of a Sri Lankan background. His love for the Mandolin sees him almost glued to it says his father. Under the guidance of many musical personalities and his dedicated interest to pursue a command over his instrument and the genre of Carnatic Music Kishan performed in Chennai during the December season this year and received some raving reviews. Kishan is also proficient in playing the tabla and has accompanied many eminant artists such as Anooradha Sriram and Parasuram, Veenai Kannan in Sydney over the years.
Iyankaran a dentist by profession who puts his nimble fingers to test on the tabla during every spare moment, is a student of Yogesh Samsi and performed in the northern parts of India in the last couple of months. Iyankaran says “Performing in India is a great experience” with music all the time around you this is the environment that fires your interest and hones your skills bringing a maturity and well rounded development to one’s understanding. Iyankaran is looking forward to his graduating performance in Sydney with the accomplished violinist of the Mewati Gharana, Kala Ramnath. He is also to accompany Kala during her Australian Tour alongside his guru Yogesh Samsi.
Krishna Ramarathinam, student of Dr Ramanathan in Sydney and grand son of Sattur Subramaniam also received great honors for his performance at Chennai during this December Season. About his experience Krishna says this “Performing at the Chennai music season was a spectacular experience. Chennai, the divine city has played a significant part of promoting and nurturing Karnatika Sangeetham. Most of the current and past maestros in this field have embellished their music and gained recognition by performing in Chennai Sabhas. Furthermore, the rasikas in Chennai concerts are highly knowledgeable and they expect perfection and dedication from performing artistes. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform in some of these prestigious Chennai sabhas. I was also very fortunate enough to have a number of senior vidwans and highly knowledgeable rasikas attend my concerts. They provided me with detailed feedback i.e. they commented on kalapramanam, raga bhava, mandhra stayee sancharas , kutcheri paddati etc. I would encourage all young aspiring carnatic musicians to “connect” themselves with Chennai. It is such a blissful and soulful experience and not to be missed!!! More details here
Sakthi Ravitharan a Melbourne resident and student of Shobha Sekhar recently completed her vocal Carnatic Arungetram with accomplished indian artists Embar Kannan [Violin] and Vaidyanathan [Mridangam]. Sakthi’s dedication to music is both in Western classical music and choir and Carnatic Music. Besides being able to sing Sakthi plays the western flute, violin at a high AMEB standard and has participated in several senior orchestras in Victoria. A Young song writer Sakthi’s composition Beneath her Smile received an Award in the Australian Children’s Music Foundation National Songwriting Competition. Sakthi successfully completed a Ragam Thanam Pallavi at her recent Arungetram showing all the makings of a musician and singer of our times, well educated in more than one genre. She has performed in Chennai in 2003 and 2008. It seems Sakthi is preparing for her Bharathanatyam Arungetram .. how does she do it ! Photos from her Vocal Arungetram in Melbourne are here.
Janakan Swathanthiraraj is a Sydney resident who teaches at school of Carnatic Music called the Ghana Layam, specialising in mridangam Janakan traversed the southern parts of India this season and performed at many Sabhas, also giving radio programmes. Janakan continued his training under the tutelage of Sri MelaKaveri Balaji during this trip. He says the trip was most valuable.
Bobby Singh the tablist from Sydney and Adrian McNiel, the Sarodiya and student of Pt Ashok Roy were amongst the professional musicians who performed at the Baajaa Gaajaa festival held in Pune during the first week of February. They are both presently touring around India.
Sayak Bhattacharya is a young vocalist and student of Rashid Khan has been not been seen this last year in Sydney. However he accompanies and sings with his Ustad during his holidays in India in between working and maintaining his career in Law.
Shen Flindell Tablist from Brisbane who spends more time in India says “This Indian winter I performed at Japan Foundation with Taro Terahara in Delhi, as well as a few small programmes in Varanasi. In previous years I’ve performed at Dhrupad Tirth on Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi” Shen’s details can be found here
If you know of more Australian artists who have connected with India leave your comments..