Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan: RIP

February 18, 2016

Hindu reports on the passing away of Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan; I have heard him once on Doordarshan and enjoyed it too!

Two music related pieces

December 19, 2015

One is from the Hindu about an archive of music collected by Jane Austen and family being available online. The other is from Sriram (in the Hindu again) about some of the songs tuned by Ariyakudi other than Tiruppavai — a must-read, in my opinion if you are interested in Carnatic.

Chembai and the Music Academy

December 12, 2014

Sriram’s article on Chembai and the Music Academy is a must-read.  It is very difficult to argue forcefully or fight with Institutions while maintaining no ill-will. Chembai seems to have managed it. When we are on the topic, let me also strongly recommend Lakshmi Subramanian’s From the Tanjore court to the Madras Music Academy: A social history of music in South India. I am yet to complete the book. But I liked whatever I have read so far.

Singing without accompaniments

July 25, 2014

Singing without any accompaniment has a particular charm which we do not get to enjoy often. I heard Dr. Sriram Parasuram on Raagaa: a design principle yesterday and  the demonstration pieces he sang were very nice. The talk was very interesting too!

R K Srikantan: RIP

February 18, 2014

Hindu reports on the passing away of R K Srikantan. I have never heard him live; but liked some of his CDs a lot.

The musical fireworks

November 27, 2013

Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur’s music reminds me of Diwali sparklers; listen to his renditions of Shivmat Bhairav and Sawani in the Legend lives on CD for example. So, I was quite surprised (and very happy) to see the following description of his guru Manji Khan Saheb’s music:

It was as if a flowerpot sparkler had burst forth colourful sparks of fire into the sky and rained on mother earth with brightness and light.


Ranjani Hebbar Guruprasad: RIP

June 14, 2013

We discovered her singing more than three years ago; a great loss! Here is the news and note from Hindu.

Pt. Venkatesh Kumar: a profile

January 22, 2013

Arunabha Deb’s profile is nice, and it captures the same feeling that we had when we listened to him first a couple of years ago:

First-time listeners share a common confusion: a man in his fifties, singing as well as any other reigning maestro of the day, but relatively unknown. Why hadn’t they heard him as an upcoming star?

Take a look!

Sawai Gandharva in Pune! Or, …

January 15, 2013

A musical antidote to regional chauvinism:

It was around 1930. In Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, a play was being performed. An actor came on stage and began to sing in a unique voice. There was a commotion amongst the spectators, and someone called out: “Kaanadi appa” (a derogatory term used for Kannadigas in Maharashtra). Others picked up the cry. The accompanying instruments stopped playing. The actor came to the front of the stage, and said: “You are showing this intolerance because I am from the Kannada desh. Show me someone amongst you who can sing as well as I do, and I will engage him in a contest.” Having said this, he sat down for a baithak. He sang for a good three to four hours. The spectators fell silent. As the man finished singing, garland after garland was heaped around his neck. Everyone began to praise his display of erudition. The actor who conquered Marathi intolerance with the light of his knowledge was Sawai Gandharva.

From Tejaswini Niranjana’s Music in the balance: Language, modernity and Hindustani sangeet in Dharwad at EPW.  A must-read!

There are more interesting stories too — like the one about Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur and Ustad. Bade Gulam Ali Khan (which also involves Ustad Alladiya Khan) and the role of chillies in promoting Hindustani music in Dharwad. Have fun!

MSG passes away

January 3, 2013

Hindu reports on the passing away of violinist MSG.