A recent musical evening turned the mundane into a meaningful occasion. The mundane wore euphony on its sleeves, while conveying a powerful message without a single word uttered
German poet Heinrich Heine said ‘When words leave off, music begins'.
And, this made perfect sense at the eighth anniversary celebration of the Jus Drums School of Percussion.
On the occasion, even the mundane wore euphony on its sleeves, while conveying a powerful message without a single word uttered — think, clearing plastic water bottles with plastic brooms turning musical!
Percussionist Murali Krishna (who runs the school) and his students presented an amalgamation of the old, the new and the ingenious. The show opened with the students' soulful rendition of the World Tamil Conference anthem ‘Semmozhiyaana Tamil Mozhiyaam'.
The setting was elaborate, with five vocalists, four keyboards, two electric drum pads and four drums, among other instruments.
And, just when you thought getting children to do this would be a long row to hoe, twelve tiny tots came, played, and conquered hearts with their drums. Maestro Ilaiyaraaja's numbers took the stage, with students performing old numbers such as ‘Anjali Anjali' (“Anjali”), ‘Raakkamma' (“Thalapathy”) and ‘Kaalam Kaalamaaga' (“Punnagai Mannan”). The team pulled off ‘Hosanna' and ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani' too, with as much ease and to great applause.
It was time once again for the drums to reclaim the stage, with an all-drums piece. Here, Murali Krishna used everything from a salangai to the South-African djembe; a four-year-old alongside a 46-year-old, to put together a stimulating composition.
The ‘live re-recording' as it was called, saw students play live music to scenes from movies such as “Gunaa”, “Chinna Gounder” and “Thiruda Thiruda”.
But, it was the finale that stole the show. The message was ‘use plastic wisely, and dispose them of carefully'. Fittingly, with only plastic mugs, stools, paint cans, and buckets for company, the group broke into Knaan's ‘Waving Flag'.
And, before you realised, the beats came closer home. After some folk music, it was time to call it a day. To put it mildly, the performance was arresting.
But, what Murali Krishna said, best summed up the spirit of the evening: “There's no point in a painter painting the walls inside his house, because art is an expression, and it needs an audience.”