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Notes and beats from different directions

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NEW STORY: M. Balamuralikrishna with Chinnaponnu Kumar and Raju (in the foreground) and other artists at the shoot of ‘Kadhai’ in Chennai on Wednesday.
NEW STORY: M. Balamuralikrishna with Chinnaponnu Kumar and Raju (in the foreground) and other artists at the shoot of ‘Kadhai’ in Chennai on Wednesday.

Meera Srinivasan

The exotic ensemble will be featured in ‘Kadhai’, a film being directed by television actor Abhishek

CHENNAI: Imagine listening to a soulful Sindhubhairavi by legendary vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna, with the reverberating beats of Thappattam tastefully interspersed. Add to this the magical voice of a young baul musician and the grandeur of the nagaswaram.

One such exotic ensemble will be featured in ‘Kadhai’, a film being directed by renowned television actor Abhishek. Paul Jacob, music director, has brought together a group of noted artists representing different genres for an interesting number.

While the nearly-seven-minute song was recorded earlier, it was filmed at the auditorium in Lady Andal School here on Wednesday. Mr. Jacob, who has been working with artists across the country for about a decade, thought it would be interesting to feature them in the visual sequence, too. So right from Mr.Balamuralikrishna and singer Malgudi Shubha to folk singer Chinnaponnu Kumar (of ‘Nakkamokka’ fame) a host of artists gathered at the elegantly done-up auditorium.

“All these artists, who are masters in their respective styles, have such an amazing attitude and response to this kind of integration,” says Mr. Jacob, adding: “When we approached Balamurali sir, he was so enthusiastic about being part of this.” Mr. Jacob asked him whether it was okay, since he came from a very traditional background, and the singer replied: “What is tradition? It is something that changes constantly according to those following it.”

All the artists seemed to find the experience very enriching. “I have only heard and seen Balamurali sir on TV. To be able to perform along with him is a great honour,” says Chinnaponnu Kumar, who was taking a tea break with members of the Thanjai Veera Chozha Thappatta Kalai Kuzhu and Madurai Alanganallur Samar Thappatta Kalai Kuzhu. “This experience shows how art can bring together people with varied backgrounds,” says Selvakumar, another folk artist.

Baul musician Raju from Shantiniketan is only 17, but has already made a mark in the field with his soulful renditions. Dressed in a multicoloured robe and turban, the teenager could not hide his excitement about dancing on stage with other artists.

And for noted singer Mukthiyar Ali from Rajasthan, known for his style that seamlessly blends Sufi and Qawali music, being an ambassador of one’s village, culture and country through one’s art is a blessing. “Initially, I was wondering how Paulji was going to put together so many styles, but now after performing together, I am beginning to see a beautiful common thread in all these styles,” he says.

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