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Gayana Samaja music conference inaugurated

Ranjani Govind
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Chandrashekar Kambar (left) and R.K. Srikantan (right) exchanging greetings at the music conference in Bangalore on Sunday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.
Chandrashekar Kambar (left) and R.K. Srikantan (right) exchanging greetings at the music conference in Bangalore on Sunday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Nothing stopped the speakers at Bangalore Gayana Samaja's 43{+r}{+d}Music Conference from singing praises about the design of the ethnic stage-backdrop during the inauguration on Sunday.

Seeing the fascinating pastoral ambience come through with wooden doors and pillars sporting rangoli art, conference president Nedunuri Krishnamurthy said, “Our yesteryear greats would have lived in such countryside houses for inspiration.”

If Gayana Samaja had 106 years of history behind its endeavour, Karnataka, from where Purandaradasa hailed, had scholars, musicians, musicologists and classical lyricists, all nurtured by the Mysore kings who were themselves devotees and practitioners of melody, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy said.

“Music conferences entwined with academic sessions help people study and analyse both the Kalpita Sangeetha, the aesthetic ‘set music' passed on to us from the saint-composers; and aspects of Manodharma Sangeetha where one's ingenuity stamps a distinct identity. These lec-dems also demand a responsibility from participants to pass on the core established values of the art. Only time-honoured institutions such as the Gayana Samaja can fulfil this,” he said.

“I had asked Chandrashekhar Kambar, much before he was awarded the Jnanpith, to inaugurate our conference, even as he was surprised that we had chosen a non-classical enthusiast,” said M.R.V. Prasad, president, Gayana Samaja.

Nevertheless, Dr. Kambar, who inaugurated the conference, came across as a person with instinctive sensibilities to appreciate the finer nuances as the folk aficionado said, the lyrics of Janapada sangeetha come alive in Yakshagana. “British rule, globalisation and western influence had changed most of our native constituents, but for our classical music which has been insulated from external influences,” he said.

Talking about the Janapada strains that spell an aural indulgence because of its simple lyrics and down-to-earth tunes, Dr. Kambar said that even the ragas in this form are named after flowers that represent a particular deity, as the Mallige raga makes the flower bloom to evoke Goddess Saraswati. And the writer also said that he has forever “appreciated the English rock band Beatles for their ingenuity in blending Indian music in several numbers.”

Chief guests Basavaraj, secretary, Kannada and Culture, said, “Gayana Samaja not just promotes classical arts, but every kind of music. Bhavageethe, gamaka, janapada, dance and sugama sangeetha is being given importance along with talent promotion programmes. That's where the sabha speaks for its values.”

Sadananda Maiya, industrialist, said, “We can be one of the industrialists helping Gayana Samaja with grants to help them build more space to accommodate several other aspects in promoting fine arts.”

This week will see morning academic sessions (October 17-22, 10 a.m.-noon); evening young talent (October 17-22, 4.15 p.m.-5.45 p.m.) and concerts by professional performers (October 16-23; 6 p.m.-9 p.m.).

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