Music

Bringing it to the fore

The name Reeds and Ragas, a series by Hamsanada ensemble, suggests that it concerns with reed instruments which generate music by the vibration of air in their grooves called reeds. Hamsanada ensemble, founded by Saitejas Chandrashekar, an enthusiast who currently teaches music at Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir, Vidyaranyapura, Bangalore propagates harmonica, mouth organ or the French harp as it is known otherwise. Apart from harmonica, “the emphasis is on its sister instruments like melodica,” says the founder who is trained in Carnatic vocal and tabla.

Hindi film songs of the 60s and 70s had segments of harmonica music. Referring to Kishore Kumar’s famous number Mere Sapno Ki Rani where Rajesh Khanna plays the harmonica in a moving car, “it had even received a visual presence on the screen,” he recollects. But down the years, the instrument has been sidelined with the advent of electronic ones, feels Saitejas who has been working to bring harmonica into the mainstream music since 2012. The aim of Reeds and Ragas is “to create more audience for harmonica music,” he adds.

The school where he works had once asked him to conduct summer camp for its children. As a self-taught harmonica player, all he could think of was to make children play his most revered instrument. “Hamsanada was thus formed in 2012 with just 20 children,” he recalls. It currently consists of 75 members including outsiders.

The troupe which encompasses learners from age nine to 20, holds a yearly festival called Harmonica Vaibhava which was held last month.

The fourth season of Reeds and Ragas features short thematic recitals by its members and a maestro from The Bangalore Harmonica Club. If Dashami A.M. recreates the songs of Amitabh Bachchan on the reed instrument, Anirudh Bhatta plays popular melodies of A.R. Rahman. Abhishesk Ramprasad on the keyboard, Rithvik Sastry on the acoustic guitar and Saitejas on the cajon will accompany Anirudh. These recitals will be folwlowed by a rendition by Anur Keshavachar Krishnaprasad who will present classic Hindi and Kannada numbers.

The concert which is on June 1 is scheduled at 6 p.m. at Seva Sadan auditorium, Malleswaram, Bangalore.

The art appreciation fee for the concert is Rs. 49.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 3:02:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/bringing-it-to-the-fore/article24047676.ece