Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012 - Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Vani Mahal

violin - parur ananthakrishnan
mrudangam - nc bharadvaj
ghatam - n rajaraman


  1. varnam - kalyani - adi - ramnad srinivasa iyengar
  2. evarikai - devamanohari - misra chapu - thyagaraja (s)
  3. amba neelambari - neelambari - adi - ponniah pillai (r)
  4. palaya deva - bairavi - rupakam - swathi thirunal (r,n)
  5. mohana rama - mohanam - adi - thyagaraja (r,s,t)
  6. vetta veli - cenjurutti - misra chapu - kudhambai sidhar
This was my first time singing in Vani Mahal in about seven years. I can't remember exactly actually, but I think it's been that long! It was nice to get on that stage again. I've felt that Vani Mahal has one of the city's better mini halls ever since they did major renovations about a decade ago. A decent sound system, a pretty big hall (for mini hall standards), and usually a good crowd make this place one of the better venues over all. I'm seeing more NRIs in the audiences, which means that season is full-swing, and once a few more sabhas have their inaugurations, Mylapore and T. Nagar will start to feel even smaller, and see more Indian kids talking in American accents (like me!). I enjoyed today's concert for the reasons above, but also because I revived an old song (Amba Neelambari) that I don't remember having sung in several years. I also sang this krithi in bhairavi which I learned a few months ago for a recently released Charsur album. It is the first time I was singing it live in concert. I hope to continue mixing old and new for the remainder of the season.

Sabhas seem to have a recurring theme this year -- they're all freezing! I actually asked the audio engineer to reduce to the AC during the main item, and he shut it off. It was much more pleasant for the remainder of the concert. I've noticed a lot of sabhas are cold in the audience, and many people are draped in shawls/socks/etc, but I was actually cold ON stage today, which is probably a first. I don't know who designs the air conditioning systems for these auditoriums but they need to take a better look next time. I know of a popular sabha in the city (won't mention it's name here), with an AC that has two options: ON and OFF. What's worse is that once it is turned off, it can not be turned back on for 30 minutes. I wish I was making this up, but sadly I am not so clever. This was told to me by the sabha secretary after I complained to him that everyone sitting inside was frozen.


  1. Yes, I had a bad experience for days at Narada Gana Sabha and, yesterday, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. I don't understand these guys when they say that they cannot meddle with it as they please. All in all, it's frustrating managing to ferry my dad around without (1) knowing if there will be an elevator, (2) being sure of the temperature inside, and (3) having an idea about the restrooms. All three are not pleasant in most places. The amount of money that's put into food in this place? Why can't folks give the same importance to other things?


  2. Most sabhas say the same thing even to the artists on stage. I was lucky that the sound guy at Vani Mahal immediately shut it off after I told him it was cold on stage. Its tough on the voice and gets very very dry, but makes it especially difficult for instrumentalists to play.