cleveland diary

Sometimes ignorance can be a bliss. Thats precisily what i experienced couple of weeks back when i went to attend Cleveland Thyagaraja Sangeeta Aradhana.I am not a compulsive carnatic music enthusiast.So, i donno much abt the stalwarts in that field. This ignorance is what saved me from being overawed in the presence of the greats of carnatic music.
For the 2nd year in a row, i made it to Cleveland for the Tyagaraja Aradhana.Its an annual 10 day carnatic music concert held in cleveland for the 29th year in the running ! It has concerts by well known personalites and also by some budding and aspiring talents.My cousins sisters have been performing violin there for last 16 yrs or so and my uncle is an active volunteer of that.So, last year my sole purpose of visit was just to meet my relatives, which i lived upto by sleeping thru most of the concerts :) But this time, may be coz i got a taste of the music 2nd time around, or may be it was much better tis time (first one seems to be more probable), i enjoyed it throughly.I got the oppurtunitu to listen live to eminent figures like Sudha Raghunathan,Aruna Sayeeram,Dr.Ramani,Ravi Kiren,Ranjini & Gayatri,Umayalpuram Sivaraman etc.Also there were superstars like Sanjay Subramaniam,T.M.Krishna,Papanasam Sri Ashok Ramani etc. which i missed.
I am not an expert in this field, neither i have any previous reference of their concerts attended...but indeed it was enjoyable.Though i had heard of Sudha Raghunathan and Ravi Kiren, the other icons were ,to be honest, completely unknown to me.Its only after my return to UC, that i go thru net about them and realised their stature.Indeed it was a priviledge for me to see them perform live.But the stand out even for me was the bharathanatyam performance by Sujatha Srinivasan.It was too good.Even a completely stranger to dance would have been captivated by there 'natya'.And equally excellent was the mridangam demonstration by Umayalpuram Sivaraman assisted by Chitraveena Ravi Kiren.His dexterity on mridangam was magical.
I think even i hv started developing taste for carnatic music.i am the only odd one out in my family- each single member in my family is good in some form or art, either music or instruments. though my parents and others desperately made me learn mridangam,i was lazy enough even there to be a 'drop out'.If I say that I attened all the concerts of all artists even without dozing off even once, then that speaks a lot about how much i enjoyed it ( people who knw me will understand, hw easy i sleep if made an audience-be it class,seminar, concert or anything).
I still donno any nuances or technicalities of carnatic music, i still manage to fit all songs in my 'adi or roopaka thalam'(only 2 i knw), but i think i hv become more receptive to this kind of music.It has become like how english movies were like to me till sometime back-its hard for me to sit thru the first 15 mins, after that i will be completely engrossed! Am already looking forward to next years concert.And i hv promised my cousisns that i will be better equiped with the technicalities so as to enjoy it more.
It was refreshing to see how many kids and youngsters here in US devote much of their time and energy to indian music when its facing much neglect from youngsters in india (that includes me too!).I met 2 youngsters coming all the way from UK and Ausralia just to perform tere...thats for dedication and commitement! Maybe its another case of we indians need to learn abt India from NRIs!



Jaya said...

U r really lucky Aravind... Being a trained carnatic singer, I am soo totally engrossed in it.. But being in it has its disadvantages... Being a novice, you are able to appreciate the music for what it is... Thats refreshing. Me being me makes me critical after 13 years of the music and the second anyone deviates from the raagam, I cant forgive them! But thats sooo awesome that u got to hear Sudha Raghunathan n Sanjay Subramaniam - both on my alltime fav list! Keep the taste brewing.. Its worth it!

Aravind said...

thanx tat i hv gone tere for the 2nd yr, i can really feel the change in my aptitude for really grows in u.all i need now is regular exposure to it :)