Srikrishna and Sharada started Q&A after they heard from their father about Nashville, Tennessee. In his trip to Nashville, their father had noticed that musicians truly enjoyed music there and were not bothered about formats and other intricacies.
They quickly understood that there was more to musicians than music and they worked together to dig out interesting stories about great musicians of yesteryear and worked with senior artist A.P. Sreethar to capture ten of these stories in form of paintings for posterity. One such story is that of Chakravarti Rajaratnam Pillai. When India became independent, he stood outside parliament house and played his nadhaswaram to celebrate it. Pandit Nehru gave him the title of Chakaravarti.
True to the tradition of marghazhi, then they went on to host a series of thematic concerts in the front yard of their home. They invited their friends and family to perform on a stage that they designed.
There was one, where a young girl sang reflecting moods of planets. Srikrishna did a presentation on Pantuvarali. He had played a clipping in the presentation of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi rendering Poorva Dhanashree animatedly – the Hindustani equivalent of Pantuavarali.
He had pulled out an interesting statistics from the Internet for the raga with time and overlaid it on Dow Jones Industrial Average. He discovered an inverse correlation, which was intriguing.
Songs on predecessor
This year’s highlight thus far has been Sharada M. Subrahmanyam’s presentation on Mayamalavagowla. She introduced the intricacies of the raga, demonstrated the simplicity followed by the complicated nuances of the raga. Audience were treated to an assortments from compositions on Mayamalavagowla. There was a song based on the Tamil predecessor Pann Indhalam. There was also an Arabian derivative called shadd arraban which was played. Clippings of some songs from Tamil and Hindi movies were also shown. The highlight of the evening was when Sharada invited Srikrishna to render the scales for the famous viral gangnam style. Following that he played a composition derived from gangnam in Mayamalavagowla. Smt. Kumudha Balaji accompanied Sharada on the veena.
The audience are treated to a ‘sundal’ ahead of every concert and they are expected to pay back by saying nice things at the end and nothing else, say Sharada and Srikrishna.
They borrow their father’s I-phone as remote for the Apple iMac computer, which they connect to a TV and the sound output. They use a Bose professional musician systemand treat the audiences to a wonderful evening of music entwined with technology.