Last week’s San Francisco Chronicle featured myself and VidyA in a well written article on the front page of the Datebook section.
Here is a link to the article online: San Francisco Chronicle Datebook.
The article is informative and good introduction to what I am doing with my music. One thing I want to point out, is a minor inaccuracy: The article states that I slept on a bare cot behind my guru’s house. This is not really true.
I actually had a special room for me that was attached to the house, and of course there was a cot in that room. The point that I wanted to make with the questions regarding my “gurukulam” or time spent with my guru studying music in India was this: I felt extremely blessed to be taken in by my guru to study the music and he treated me literally like I was his own son. The rigorous training he gave me was like that he would give his own child. In fact, I spent quite a few classes learning along with his younger son, Manikanth (who is now a popular music director in India).
The writer, Andrew Tolve, did a good job of highlighting one of the other aspects, which was that concept of “gurukulam” was not just about classes, but about living with, spending time with and absorbing everything one could from the guru regardless of whether the student was in a “lesson” or not. I feel that I benefited greatly from this aspect of my learning with Padmashri Kadri Gopalnath.
I am pleased that this article came into being, because it shows that Carnatic music and new directions in Carnatic music are ready for a larger audience in not only the Bay Area, but this country.