Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 24, 2012 - Music Academy

violin - b. ananthakrishnan
mrudangam - s.j. arjun ganesh
ghatam - n. rajaraman


  1. varnam - kalyani - ata - pallavi gopala iyer (s)
  2. undhumadha (thiruppavai) - saveri - misra chapu - andal
  3. ini oru kanam - sriranjani - rupakam - papanasam sivan (r,n,s)
  4. marakathavallim - kambodhi - adi - muthuswami dikshitar (r,s,t)
  5. rtp - shubapanthuvarali - adi (4 kalai)
    ragamalika swarams: hindolam, sama
  6. narayana - sama - adi - papanasam sivan
  7. thillana - hamirkalyani - adi - harikesanallur muthiah bhagavathar

Being my first year at the sub-senior slot in Music Academy, I felt a little pressure coming into this concert. As the concert started however, I got quite comfortable and the tension eased away quickly. I owe a lot of that to the calm, cool nature of my fellow artists yesterday. However it slowly came back during the kambodhi alapanai when the mic system started to howl continuously in the monitors/speakers and interfered with the concert. Kambodhi is a ragam which I sing with some caution as it is, so this didn't help my flow. But I waited a few seconds, and after realizing the problem wasn't going to go away anytime soon, I decided to keep singing through it. Once I made that decision, I was back to being comfortable, and tried to focus on my violinist and the alapanai itself. Perhaps elsewhere one might have waited a few minutes for them to resolve the issue. But seeing that clock in front of my face, and knowing the Academy's strict adherence to time, I whispered to the violinist that we'd better just ignore it and keep going or else we'd lose time over all. He agreed. They reduced the volume and we proceeded with the rest of the concert with minimal feedback on stage. These sorts of technical issues happen everywhere I suppose, and hopefully they were able to resolve the issue for the concerts which followed mine.

Music Academy concerts remain a special experience though, and I don't think that will change anytime soon. Though I've only sung in the academy for 5 years now, I know that even senior artists hold it in high regard. Someone asked me after the concert, "Why does it seem like you all save your best stuff for this venue?" I didn't have a sure answer, because I wasn't sure if artists really do save their 'best stuff' for the music academy, or if perhaps the venue brings it out of them. For now, I'm just relieved that the concert seems to have been well received. And I am especially happy that my accompanying artists, Ananthu, Arjun, and Ramji played so well, and were so accommodating and adjusting on the stage so that we could finish on time.

Now it's time to focus on Thursday's concert in Brahma Gana Sabha at 4pm, with Delhi Sri Sunderrajan and Neyveli Sri Venkatesh!


  1. Yeah the feed was because the monitor levels were too high, me and another guy figured it out as the guy on the console was clueless.
    By the way, the 6th piece by papanasam sivan was simply outstanding.

  2. Btw - the monitor levels were fine the first few songs. Once it started having a problem in the main ragam they cut it down and we could barely hear ourselves on stage for the remainder of the concert. I was told afterwards that it was a loose contact at the mixer, and the issue was rectified for the rest of the concerts thankfully.

  3. That seems kinda implausible because loose contacts cause electronic buzzes (loud scratchy noises) and not feedback. Feedback occurs when the amplified sound of a speaker reaches into a microphone and is then super-amplified.
    The music academy have a great sound system but they should surely invest in sound engineers of the same calibre.
    Anyways, kudos to you for the way you handled it, coolly.