Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 8 -- Songbird

"A delightful evening. Great music," said one member of the audience who attended Songbird. Visitors to the Besant Nagar Beach heard lovely music straining out of Spaces on Sunday evening. About 200 people attended Songbird, with several folks strolling in from their evening walks or hanging out with friends at the beach.

The concert featured Vedanth Bharadwaj and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy. They combined Carnatic and Hindustani musical traditions with Vedanth's guitar. The program also featured the very talented Aditya Srinivasan on the tabla and had a cameo by Matio, a musician from Germany.

We talked to Vedanth about art, mystic saints and more before the program.
Tell us a little about the program. What inspired it and what do you hope the audience will take away?
We will be singing songs written by the great Mystic Saint poets like Kabir, Mirabai, Namdev, Oothukaadu Venkata Kavi, Maha Kavi Bharatiyar and so on.
The intent and meaning of every song and the message every poet conveys through their songs is what inspired us to sing these songs. And of course, our traditional musical styles itself.
We hope the audience will take away hope, peace and inspiration that each song brings in so very seamlessly.

Why is it important for artists to be part of a campaign like this?
Artists of any kind are those who have chosen to share with the world their voice, their identity and what they believe in. This stance itself is a reminder to everyone that they can go by what their heart feels and once driven by heart nothing can stop them no matter how big the obstacles are. Artists touch that part of everyone, the artist that is there in everyone, the free spirit. And music is the most powerful medium which reaches to one and all across all kinds of differences and borders. When artists have the priveliege to express themselves in the way they feel right, it makes more meaning if they express and support thoughts and ideas that benefit each and every individual. It’s the good will of sharing their joys and experiences.

Violence occurs in a myriad of forms. If there was one aspect of Indian society that you could change so it would be safer for everyone, what would it be?
I think I am asking for too much, but the root of violence is fear. If the society can become fearless, if each individual knew what it felt like to not feel fear, and feel safe and protected, we have cracked it.

A big thank you to the musicians and all involved in making the evening a great success!

About the artists:
Vedanth Bharadwaj has been pursuing music as a full time career for the last eight years. He has formally learnt Carnatic classical music for over fifteen years from Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan and currently under the tutelege of Sri Ramamoorthy Rao for advanced Carnatic and Hindustani vocal training for the last six years. He is a qualified guitarist from the Trinity College of Music, London.

BindhuMalini is trained in Carnatic Classical Music. She has learnt under eminent musicians such as Rama Ravi, Kiranavali, Mangalam Shankar and G.Madhavan. She is now a disciple of Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a resident Guru of Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, learning Hindustani Classical in the Gwalior Gharana Gayaki.

After training under Shri Chandrajit under the Farukhabad gharana of tabla for a brief period, MT Aditya Srinivasan has now come under the tutelage of Pt.Yogesh Samsi (Ace disciple of Ustad Allarakha khan) of the Punjab Gharana as well as receiving training in the South indian tradition of percussion under Padma bushan Vidwan Dr. Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman.

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