S.P.B says he hopes to catch at least a few concerts of both seasoned and young artists
Very soon, it will be raining concerts in the city. The December music festival attracts not just the connoisseur and lay rasikas, but also some hardcore music lovers from the film fraternity.
Several artists in the film industry, including revered playback singers, love dropping by on their relatively free days to treat themselves to some Bhairavi or Kambodi.
Playback singer S.P. Balasubramaniam says he would love to listen to a whole lot of seasoned and young artists. Though he has been travelling a lot to record for films in different languages, he hopes to catch at least a few concerts.
“It will be great if I can listen to Balamurali ji if he is performing. I am eager to listen to Yesudas and Unnikrishnan from our fraternity. I also like listening to Aruna Sairam and Bombay Jayashri,” says Mr. Balasubramaniam.
The avid Carnatic music buff recalls: “I still vividly remember the violin duet of Parur Brothers (M.S.Anantharaman and M.S.Gopalakrishnan) that I heard as a young boy. Lalgudi Jayaraman is another musician I love listening to.”
Mandolin Srinivas, Veena artists Rajesh Vaidya and Devi are some of his favourite younger instrumentalists.
Singer Srinivas is a die-hard fan of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. “Have you heard this virutham he has sung in the four ragas – Mayamalavagowlai, Bilahari, Sahana and Bhairavi? He takes listeners to a different plane altogether!”
His fondness for the Semmangudi style reflects in his list of favourite contemporary musicians. “I am hoping to listen to Ranjani-Gayathri. I particularly enjoy Gayathri's viruthams in the latter half of their concert. Her spontaneity is such a treat.” Mr. Srinivas also likes listening to T.M.Krishna and Sanjay Subramanyan. “If some Hindustani musicians are coming down, I will be interested in listening to them too.”
Some have a soft spot for certain ragas. Cinematographer and film maker Rajiv Menon finds the appeal of Nattakurinji unique. “It brings with it this mood of celebration and joy. It's beautiful,” he says.
In fact, while working on the film ‘Kandukonden Kandukonden', he took old recordings of the raga rendered by several musicians to A.R.Rahman, requesting him to base at least one piece on the raga. Thus was born the super hit number ‘Kannamoochi Yenada'.
Mr. Menon is an ardent fan of K.V. Narayanaswamy. “His music is like default music for me,” says the filmmaker, who is keen on listening to many top artists.
Singer Harini, herself a trained Carnatic musician, is eager to listen to Nithyashri Mahadevan and Bombay Jayashri this time. On her choice of two artists with very different styles, she says: “Their styles are not only different from each other's, but also from everybody else's. They are unique and I simply love how they present their concerts.”
A big fan of M.S. Subbulakshmi, Ms. Harini, who has learnt from her daughter Radha Viswanathan and later, Sudha Raghunathan, says M.S.'s rendition of Sankarabharanam is an all-time favourite.
Most of them seem to wish they had more time to indulge in Carnatic music a little more than their schedules currently permit. Mr. Menon occasionally goes to senior musician P.S.Narayanaswamy to learn. “But one cannot really chase two rabbits, you know. So I try my best and catch some concerts during the season,” says Mr. Menon.
“There are many, many artists I really enjoy listening to. One wishes there was just more time. The contribution of Carnatic musicians to the musical fabric of south India is remarkable,” says Mr. Balasubramaniam.