Still Here… a recap of my December season in Chennai

I am back from my visit to India during the Chennai music season where I performed and recorded a new Carnatic saxophone album. The whole ensemble was recorded in one room to bring the rapport of a live performance. I’m looking forward to releasing this one.

Photo

L to R: Vittal Ramamurthy, Prasant, Anantha R. Krishnan, V. Suresh. Photo courtesy Prithvi Chandrashekar. Jan 2012.

Ghatam exponent and a close friend V. Suresh brought me into some of his musical endeavors this past season. This photo is from a lecture demonstration at Music Academy mostly on rhythmic aspects of music conceived by Suresh sir. I spoke briefly about melodic approaches to bringing Carnatic ragas to hybrid music and we played a short demonstration. Dr. Pappu Rao and Sangita Kalanidhi Trichy Sankaran presided over the lecture. The talk was covered in detail by The Hindu newspaper, but the link seems to be missing at the moment.

The same day we also performed at the Ambalam festival, a unique experience in the middle of the serene Nageswara Park in Mylapore, Chennai. I was also glad to catch a bit of the esteemed dance master C.V. Chandrashekar sir’s presentation. One of his excellent disciples is Malini Srinivasan.

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On December 25th (at Hamsadwani sabha) and January 3rd (at Max Mueller Bhavan), I performed with Suresh and Carola Grey’s group “Clay ‘n Drum India.” Carola is a well known jazz drummer from Germany and she has been coming to India regularly, exploring the possibilites of combining jazz with Indian music along with Suresh through this group among other endeavors. We played with a slightly different version of this band last year at Krishna Ghana Sabha.

Photos courtesy V. Suresh.

As it turned out, I didn’t bring a camera to any of my own solo Carnatic concerts. Maybe next time. Here are a few random shots: The first is the Dakshinamurthi temple at my grandparent’s place in Thiruvunammalai — a place you should visit if you haven’t yet. Next, a casual shot with my guru, Kadri Gopalnath. The last one is a shot of day 1 recording the new album sans violin.

More to come!

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