The violin exponent's love for the game comes through in her latest project.
Violin expert Kanyakumari always strives to create something new and unique. There are many things that inspire her. It was while watching a cricket match a few years ago that she hit upon the idea of composing short tunes for different aspects of the game.
Kanyakumari is happy to talk about this project. “One hears a lot of drums during a match. So I began to wonder how short pieces on the violin would sound at crucial moments of the game. I put my mind into it and composed some pieces. But left it at that and forgot about it. Till Shankar, the president of Shanmukhananda hall, Mumbai, who's a good friend, requested me to compose something for cricket. I was thrilled and revived the old pieces I had composed and put them in an audio format,” she explains.
Tentatively christening the project ‘CricMusic', the violin wizard chose three kritis (Bhadrachala Ramdas, Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar and a Sai bhajan) and composed fresh tunes in ragas such as Sahana, Ahirbhairavi and Kadanakutuhalam.
That was when she felt the need to present the tunes with animation. It took about eight months and plenty of consultations before the idea took shape. “As I went about scouting studios, I realised how expensive animation is. Thankfully, a lawyer friend in Hyderabad was all too willing to help and roped in two creative youngsters, Navin and Krishna, who invested a lot of time to provide animation. My Hyderabad-based nephews Swarup and Shashank too pitched in and finally the DVD, tentatively titled CricMusic, is ready.”
At every stage, Kanyakumari sought the opinion of her young, cricket crazy disciples. “They are the best judges.” Her disciples Rajesh and Rajiv were instrumental in playing the DVD to many friends. The verdict was unanimous: the music was apt and would work beautifully. In fact, the Sahana tune (for out and catch) was universally appreciated.
But will CricMusic find takers? “I love to create, innovate. I enjoy cricket and felt the need to make this, and am pleased with the result. Nothing like this has been attempted before. I hope, somebody shows some interest. Then, it will be worth the effort,” says Kanyakumari.
T.M. Krishna thinks the idea is innovative and interesting. “The sound that falls on your ears is different – Carnatic ragas here and there laced with a Western flavour,” he says. “The bits are apt for the situations they have been conceived for,” he adds.
Will the violin be audible in the stadium din?
“Why not? In fact the music is ethnic and so appropriate for Chennai, which loves cricket and Carnatic music. The aesthetic touch will make watching IPL a unique experience, both in the stadium and the drawing room. Constant hearing, I'm sure, will make an impact on the viewers,” he says.
T.V. Sankaranarayanan: The effort has to be lauded. Appropriate ragas – Sahana, Kuntalavarali, Kadanakuthuhalam, Ahirbhairavi and so on - have been used to create lilting and flowing music. Something different and pleasing…
Kadri Gopalnath: Kanyakumari loves to try out something new all the time. This effort to marry Cricket and Carnatic music is truly laudable. The music is catchy and captures the spirit of the moment. The apt choice of ragas to signify an important moment on the field tells you about Kaynakumari's capabilities.
My only concern is whether people will be able to appreciate it and whether it will fit into the general scheme of things.
N. Ravikiran: Commendable initiative. Kanyakumari is a creative artist known for enterprise and out-of-the-box thinking. She loves to experiment and has a finger on the pulse of the audience. She has an appetite for huge affairs and rasikas are quite familiar with her ensembles. This time round she has found a way to connect classical music and a popular sport. The effect is quite pleasing.
How receptive will be the end-users – the Cricket Control Board and the channels?
Well, Australian channels introduced animation 30 years ago. The technique is being refined and people love it. Indian sports channels too have been using graphics and animation with telling effect. Kanyakumari's initiative is a welcome addition to this concept of entertainment enhancement.
Mannargudi Easwaran: Kanyakumari is as passionate about cricket as she is about Carnatic music. What she has done is interesting and intelligent, indeed. Hope she finds takers for her effort.
Unnikrishnan: I liked a few of the pieces which Kanyakumari has tuned. In fact the tune for the sixer is apt. Nothing like this has been tried out before, and it will be a new musical experience if the concept is snapped up by the authorities.
I guess a concept like this one will work best for television. It will lend an extra effect to a replay. Kanyakumari's love for the game is evident in this concept.
Film director K. Balachander, connoisseur of Carnatic music, finds the concept good. He feels interpolations (mixing) of typical cricket sounds without marring the aesthetic effect would add value to the product. Is he crazy about the game? “I was, once upon a time. I'm still in touch, what with the young bunch at home mad about cricket. Kanyakumari's is a good effort.”