About Me

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I am a singer-researcher with expertise in Karnatik Music and Early Opera. I discuss intercultural music-making contexts. My work is available at www.charulathamani.com and at www.youtube.com/isaipayanam

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Isai Payanam Concert #14 - BVB Chennai

The Isai Payanam journey for me has been a very memorable and exciting one. Unraveling the beauties and demystifying ragas in Classical and Film Music has helped me gain insight into both systems as a rasika, as a critic, as well as mould myself as a performer who can handle all genres of music. I am able to delve deep into ragas one at a time, and this unhurried thorough approach has made me a more mature and wholesome musician. 

In this edition of Isai Payanam, the fourteenth of the series I presented ragas Atana, Hamsanandi, Bhairavi and Desh, their striking features, classical and semi-classical pieces in them as well as well-loved film songs (Tamil and Hindi) that feature in them. 

The turn-out as usual was huge, including some standees, and all of us had a great time. I love my audience who come with such enthusiasm for my Isai Payanam concerts and cruise with me. Their appreciation and spontaneous participation spurs me to set higher standards for myself and this show. 

You shall soon see a commercial release of this concert in DVD format at music outlets. 

I once again realised that evening the importance of one mantra that has always come back to me in moments of intense artistic emotion -Music is always greater that the musician!...To be an instrument in the hands of art is indeed a gift from above.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Pettagam" on Makkal TV

Dear friends,

I recently spoke about my treasured possessions for the "Pettagam" show on Makkal TV.

Let me tell you the story behind the "Best Vocalist Tambura prize" that I received from Shanti Arts Foundation Kutcheri contest back in 2002. I won a vintage Tambura presented by Sri Ramabhadran, of SAFE.

It was a week-long concert festival featuring various young singers. The judges including Sri K. S. Kalidas, mridangist, Sri. K. V. Krishnan, senior disciple of Sri Semmangudi, and Sri Chengalput Ranganathan, all highly accomplished seniors, awarded me the prize. I later learnt that the owner of the hall in which this was held, though neither a practitioner of the art nor even trained in it, took the liberty of opposing the decision of the veteran vidwans, all because he called himself a "patron" of music. He was firmly against giving me the prize, for reasons best known to him. Anyway, on that day, principle triumphed over pressure, and I won the prize.

Talented youngsters who participate in the plethora of competitions held these days, should take it in their stride when they are ignored. It isn't necessarily a reflection on one's calibre. Most of the competitions I participated in as a young girl were won by persons who are nowhere to be seen today! Never be disheartened; keep following your Muse!