“The basic point of the app is to bring all my online activity on to one single platform”

Back in the winter of 1995, Carnatic vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyan had his first brush with the Internet. It left a permanent mark on him. “When I sent my first email to a friend in Australia and got a reply within two minutes… that whole experience was exciting,” he says.

Over the years, he has been one of the first Carnatic musicians to blog, publish audio podcasts and distribute concerts online. Now, he has his own mobile phone application – the ‘Sanjay Mobile App'. It is available for Android and iOS devices at a nominal cost. As the season of mists and music descends upon the city, he hopes to induce some sort of interaction and engagement through the app.

A contest is already on for two free tickets to his Brahma Gana Sabha concert on December 14. “The basic point of the app was to bring all my online activity on to one single platform.” Fans can ‘check-in' their location with the app as soon as they get into the venue and start commenting about the concert on his Facebook page or Twitter stream. A selection of sample audio tracks is also available.

“I believe the mobile phone is going to dictate a lot of our future digital activity. It is very easy to organise information on a mobile app,” Mr. Subrahmanyan says. Mr. Subrahmanyan says that the marghazhi music festival can use a bit of it too. “The concert schedules are still released as huge booklets. It is very simple to create a searchable database of venues and artists. Any IT guy can set it up for you. We just need to learn to translate technological applications into the music field.”

Sanjay is also contemplating directly distributing his concerts through a personal website, which would be integrated with the mobile app. Fans would soon be able to buy his music through their phones.

“Carnatic music has a small audience and we need more people to listen to it,” he says. But eventually, the margazhi festival needs to evolve into a cultural fest in order to have greater reach and wider presence on the web, such as partnerships with YouTube for live streaming, Mr. Subrahmanyan says. “We don't even have a common inaugural function. Everywhere else in the world, the government is actively involved and launches such festivals. The music season has to come under one umbrella for it to be branded and promoted.”