Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kalaa Utsavam 2015



I have been attending the annual Kalaa Utsavam since 2010. I look forward to it every year because it is always set at year-end where I get to let my hair (hijab?) down. I attend the events to melt all that anxiety and stress that has built up over the months.

I'm done with a number of major events and I decided to treat myself to a three-hour carnatic music performance by an extraordinary team of musicians - carnatic vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan, Umayalpuram Sivaraman on mridangam, S. Karthick on ghatam, and Nagai Sriram on violin. They played carnatic music from different parts of India, from different centuries (as early as 11th - 12th century).

As I sat through the performance, I imagined how it echoed in ancient Hindu temples. It was a different experience from sitting in classical dance performances. I can easily feel the depth of classical dance, the intensity and profound meaning. This carnatic music performance was much deeper, and it took a while before I really experienced the length, breadth, and depth of it. It's a complex weave of different elements - rhythmic cycles, melodies, how the notes ascend and descend! The sounds you hear can translate to feelings, and then if you sink in deeper you see forms.

I enjoyed tonight's performance. I've a deeper respect for such musicians.

The Importance of Carnatic Music, by Sikkil Gurucharan (TEDxSairam):
Here, he talked about the poem "Aasai Mugam" - I've heard so many renditions! His is true lament. I wonder how it would sound if there were a touch of Homayoun Shajarian's heartwrenching emotion.

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