The regal veena
“Veena is one instrument closest to human voice. Vocal music is intrinsic to learning this instrument because you understand the stress required on the lyrics to get the expressions become near-vocalised,” says Bangalore-based vainika Bhagyalakshmi Chandrashekar, who gained much of her knowledge from Mudikondon Narayanaswamy Iyer in Madurai.
A purist who looks forward to connoisseurs recognising the authentic and scholarly facets of the Carnatic veena, she is also a sought-after teacher. “Students have to see beyond degrees in music!”
The dedicated teacher takes up varnas in four speeds and insists that students take up RTPs in concerts, an inclusion almost forgotten in today’s concert packaging. “The basic learning exercises devised by me for the veena seems packed as I have alankara lessons too devised in all 72 melakarta ragas, instead of only Mayamalava Gowla lessons. This helps students be better equipped to understand raga scales and talas,” says Bhagyalakshmi, who has released a CD, Vara Veena Mrudu Paani , for learners.
When and where
Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira in association with the Department of Kannada and Culture has arranged a veena recital by Bhagyalakshmi Chandrashekar on December, 16, 6 p.m. at the Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira, Banashankari II Stage with N. Vasudev on the mridanga and Raghavendra Prakash on the ghata.
Another classicist of the Hindustani genre in instrumentals is sarod maestro Rajeev Taranath who believes that “classical music is shared knowledge, an engagement between the musician and the listener”. The joys of the journey of a raga or a tala have to be experienced by a discerning mind, “only a sahrudaya can capture the nuances of the musical experience.”
Son of the legendary Pandit Taranath and a distinguished disciple of maestro Ali Akbar Khan, he chose to pursue the sarod at a time when it was hardly ever seen on the concert stage in south India. His schooling made him take up serious research as a Ford Foundation scholar on the teaching techniques of the Maihar-Allauddin Gharana.
When and where
The Veena Doreswamy Iyengar Memorial Trust is organising a sarod recital by Rajeev Taranath, accompanied by Udayraj Karpur on the tabla, on December 16, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 10 a.m.