Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aurjitya - A unique programme of music by Shakti Foundation

Shakti Foundation, had organised a concert of music at the Music Academy on the 19th of this month, some called it 'fusion' music, but it was quite a good music - no distortion of any type of music. They called it 'Aurjitya', means 'energy', the energy of music, we can say. All the four players, blended all the instruments so well that I was not bored even for a minute throughout the two and a half hours of the concert.

When I saw the advertisement in the newspaper, I asked my son if he was interested in attending the concert. He said 'yes' and insisted that I should accompany him. First, I thought, it is not Hindustani or Carnatic music but mostly percussion, so I may not be able to sit with the loud sound for a long time. And I saw the photos of Melmaruvattoor Aadi Parashakti and the poojari of that temple, Bangaru Adigalaar, whom I despise, as soon as I entered the Music Academy and sat in my seat! Thank god, the organisers never mentioned the name of the temple or the poojari during their speech! And, I enjoyed the music throughout, alongwith the mostly, young audience! Selva Ganesh saw to it that we got involved with their music. He is a great entertainer! We, Chennai people are not that outgoing to even move our hands for clapping that easily, but here, we followed the rhythm with our hands!

The best part in the concert, according to me, was Kanjira, by Selva Ganesh. This unique instrument, which was not very popular earlier, seems to catch interest now, thanks to Selva Ganesh! I got some videos of his concerts abroad, but nothing is comparable to what he played here, in this concert. The sound which came out from that small instrument was wonderful! His konnakkol (vocal percussion), also was very good. But, he is the son of the legendary ghatam player, Vikku Vinayakram, who is world famous and is a key player with Shakti band.

Nobody needs introduction for Mandolin Srinivas. He is a great musician, but in this programme, he was not his usual self. But the sound of the mandolin and Jonas's Guitar were so peaceful with the other faster paced musical instruments.

Jonas Hellborg, is a Swedish bass guitarist. I don't know much about this instrument, but it blended well with the other instruments. He and Selva Ganesh are in a band for the past 15 years, it seems.

Steve Smith, is a famous American Drummer. He is not connected with any of the other musicians here. But the Organiser, Mrs. Raghuvir, invited him to come and play in this concert and he flew down from the US, reached here at about 12.30 pm, started rehearsing from 2 pm and played superbly at the concert on the same day! He had been playing drums with Zakir Hussein, Prasanna etc. for many years now and is very familiar with Indian music. He did konnakkol (oral percussion of South Indian classical music style) along with Selva Ganesh. He didn't seem to just memorise the rhythm, but enjoyed our music (Watch the video and you can know, how much he enjoys Indian music!). More than that, he was a happy man, smiling all the time and moving his hands and legs like an octopus!

The four musicians came from 3 continents, but blended well with each other. They gave space to each other, did not stamp on others' feet and were very happy people. We enjoyed the evening.

The Shakti foundation organised this programme for its “Project Ramp”, one of its attempts to make Chennai barrier-free for the disabled. This project was presented in the short film prelude, featuring the foundation's brand ambassadors Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble.

Now, here are some interesting videos of these artists. Hope you enjoy like I did!

My family members have become fans of Selva Ganesh, now!

Picture courtesy: The Hindu


Deepa said...

Oh I missed the show. I love it when people are creative with music. Just a question, why you do say 'I thought it was fusion, but it was pretty good music"? You dont like fusion?

And I'm very curious to know why you despise the poojari - I was very amused to read that actually. I have an image of you in my mind as a pacifist! :))

Swaram said...

I lovee Mandolin Srinivas Sandhya! What talent :)

And I love that name of the concert too :)

Thanks for sharing with us :) Lemme go listen to Selva Ganesh :)

writerzblock said...

Wow! I'm a huge fan of Mandolin Srinivas too, and he's such a simple and noble person.. almost feel some divinity radiating from him :-)

Sandhya said...

Deepa: Some people distort music in the name of 'fusion', but here, it was very good. I could feel western and our music, blending together peacefully.

Oh, I have seen this person at the temple long back and also seen how people fall in his feet and he enjoys watching elderly people at his feet. Recently his temple was raided too! Lots of scandalous news surround his temple!

Swaram: Yes, Mandolin Srinivas is a great person and his music is divine, but on that day, he played in bits and pieces, but even that was soulful.

Yes, the sanskrit name suited the show well.

The video doesn't show the Selva Ganesh, we listened to, on that day, Swaram, he was too good to believe!

writerzblock: You are very right about Srinivas. He is very active in this Shakti Foundation, they said. He is a very soft natured person.

radha said...

Fusion music can make good listening. I saw one with Amjad Ali and a Scottish Orchestra. I watched another performance by a young group from Chennai which incorporated Sanskrit Slokas in their music. It was good.

Destination Infinity said...

The second video is awesome! The drums were played very well along with the Tabla. The video editing was also good.

I love fusion music. I really wish there are more fusion music concerts...

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

Radha: Somehow I thought that I may not like fusion music, but I am wrong about me! I seem to like this music too!

Destination Infinity: Many groups are conducting this type of concerts often here, in Chennai, nowadays, but the first place of their choice is always Bangalore!

Yes, the video is good!

manjujoglekar said...

Such a lovely description of the programme, Sandhya! I enjoyed reading this.

Thanks for the videos- liked them very much!

Ashwini Sriram said...

I have never been a big fan of fusion music either Maami, but this seems to have been a lot of fun!

"More than that, he was a happy man, smiling all the time and moving his hands and legs like an octopus!"--> I love this line! :) I can imagine the American drummer's enthusiasm!

Keep these great posts coming maami!

P.S (Videos not loading, will comment again after watching them. :))

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

My cousin attended the show. Lovely post..! My wishes!

Aparna said...

I love fusion music. Some months ago I attended a concert of sitar and saxophone. It was brilliant.

Sandhya said...

Manju: I liked the programme and it was a surprise for me!

I am happy to know that you liked the videos! The kanjira was better than it was played in the video!

Ashwini: I thought I won't like fusion music, but slowly I am changing my opinion!

You can see the happy American drummer in the video too!

Thank you, Ashwini!

Pranavam Ravikumar: Welcome here, Ravikumar and thanks for the comment!

Aparna: Sitar and Saxaphone? It must have been nice! Nowadays, I too enjoy fusion music!

UmaS said...

I would have loved to attend this one concert....but missed it....

Shyam Ash said...

I attended this concert.It was worth every minute! Also, my classmates and I performed M.J's " Heal The World" to the end the show .

Sandhya said...

UMA S: I am sorry, Uma! I missed acknowledging your comment.

Yes, I still remember, I enjoyed it a lot!

SHYAM ASH: Welcome to my space, Shyam!

I remember the last song was by some children and it was 'Heal the world' song. The prog. was great! Thank you!

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