Celebrating young talents during Margazhi


Up and coming artistes talk about making music their calling and what Margazhi means to them

Artistes gear up as we enter yet another edition of the December Music and Dance Festival. This Season, with its young crop of talents, actually will set the course for the new decade. Bringing their thoughts into focus, here are some emerging artistes to watch out for.

S. Sayee Rakshith (violin)

Everything changes when Margazhi comes, but somehow it has remained the same for Sayee Rakshith. He has been learning the violin for the past 13 years from Guru A. Kanyakumari. He is thankful to his grandparents to have introduced him to the ‘Mylapore buzz’, as he calls it. As excited a rasika as a performer, Rakshith has come to associate the season with artistic interaction, food and good company.

Today’s availability of platforms, he feels not only facilitates exposure but allows one to improve the presentation style. “Each presentation is a unique experience that I have enjoyed ,” he says. Having played with the Trichur Brothers for the U.S. Fall tour and with around 35 concerts this season, Sayee Rakshith has enough to look forward to.

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

Deepika Venkatraman and Nandhika Venkatraman (vocal and violin)

Growing up with music and performing together has been a way of life for the sisters. They belong to a rich musical lineage, that of vocalist and violinist Chittoor Appanna Bhagavathar. Twenty two and 19 years old respectively, they were initially trained by their mother and then Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan and A. Kanyakumari. Aspiring vocalists and able accompanying artistes, apart from their gurus, they draw their from Akkarai Subhalakshmi, Charumathi Raghuraman and Ranjani-Gayatri.

The season being a special occasion for the artistically inclined, they try to learn as much as possible by attending kutcheris. “It’s a great opportunity to observe and follow the sampradhayam practiced by stalwarts in the field,” says Nandhika. Deepika, a diploma student with the Music Academy, says, “We’re trying to present some new pieces in terms of rare kritis and ragas .”

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

Vishruthi Girish (vocal)

She was introduced to the world of Carnatic music by her mother Gayathri Girish and grandmother Padmini Srinivasan. Her formal training began at the age of seven. When accompnaying her mother to performances, little Vishruthi would carry a diary to note down songs and ragas. What started as a childhood hobby has turned into a purpose for her. She makes sure to at least attend 50 concerts every season and listen to different artistes. “Even though performances happen throughout the year, Margazhi brings with it a unique musical flavour. The season is an opportunity for emerging artistes to put their best foot forward and make their names known among rasikas,” she adds.

“Over the last couple of years, the competitions conducted through various platforms have helped get over inhibitions of performing in front of an audience,” adds Vishruthi. She believes every artiste has a different style of presentation, which evolves with time. Over the years, she has realised how much there is to a concert and how much effort is needed for an overall impact. “I guess the key is to consistently render good music,” says Vishruthi, who is gearing for a 10-concert schedule this season.

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

Kishore Ramesh (mridangam)

Twenty one and ambitious, Kishore Ramesh has been playing the mridangam for the last 13 years. His training under his father and guru R. Ramesh began at the age of seven. His schedule includes performances at the Margazhi. He will perform at the Music Academy, Brahma Gana Sabha, Mylapore Fine Arts, Kartik Fine Arts, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and more. “The wonderful experiences with several artistes have only increased my passion for the art. There’s enough feedback to work on and learn from. The body of work presented by maestros are important pieces to observe and implement. Nonetheless, Kishore believes it’s important for young artistes to keep developing their creativity. He is grateful to sabhas for reaching out to young talents and encouraging them through the festival.

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

Sruti Sarathy (violin)

As a three-year-old based in the U.S., Sruti took her first steps in the world of Carnatic music. She began learning from Guru Anuradha Sridhar in Bay Area’s Trinity Centre for Music and is now training under violinist Kalaramani in Hindustani music. “Instrumental music has scope of its own to explore,” she says. In what she describes as festive, fun and hectic time of the year, Margazhi is not just about music but bonding with music-lovers.

“I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, especially for a violinist.” For Sruti, music gives meaning to each day. She is set to play for Sikkil Gurucharan and accompany harikatha performances. Sruti will be performing at Kartik Fine Arts, Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Mylapore Fine Arts and the Music Academy.

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

S. Adityanarayanan (vocal)

“It’s a season of 24/7 music and my favourite time of the year,” says an excited Adityanarayanan. A student of T.M. Krishna, he has been learning Carnatic music for the last 17 years along with learning to play the piano and harmonium. With a penchant for composing and producing music, he sets out every Marghazhi attending lecture-demonstrations, concerts and practice sessions. Though it’s a routine every year, Aditya reflects on how he has evolved with his art. “Music is an ocean, you have to keep exploring. The Internet has been a game-changer in aiding the exploration and showcase of talent,” he points out.

He feels that the artiste’s mood on the day of the performance often influences the repertoire he or she presents. “It can be altered depending on the dynamics of the team on stage.” Aditya believes that it’s a great time for the classical arts and its ability to reach out to larger audiences through several mediums.

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

Idhalur Adarsh (mridangam)

What started as a hobby for Indhalur Adarsh, now appears as an exciting career. Along with his love for cricket, his training in mridangam began at age eight. Fifteen years later, under the tutelage of i Guruvayur Sri Dorai, he is all set to play in 18 concerts this Season. “Margazhi is a pride of any musician — the joy of working together and creating remarkable experiences to learn from year after year. It’s a time when both tourists and the city’s residents experience the culture. Performing at sabhas and then sitting in sabha canteens to discuss and review the performance is a feeling like no other,” he gushes.

“Margazhi is a great platform to interact with and imbibe from masters. We have a responsibility towards making every concert enjoyable for the rasikas and should keeping honing our skill towards that,” says Adarsh.

Celebrating young talents during Margazhi

Abhishek Ravishankar (vocal)

Performing during Marghazhi is a dream come true for Abhishek Ravishankar. Along with lessons from his mother, Abhishek has been learning for the past 13 years from AS Murali (a disciple of PS Narayana Swamy). He has watched Margazhi transform from a family outing to a career. Of course, sabha canteens adding the requisite flavour to his love for the art and the season.

He says that not just the number of sabhas, even opportunities for young artistes have grown tremendously. “A lot of sabhas have been promoting youngsters and afternoon slots are incredibly supportive, bringing these talents to the forefront.” He feels one should look at developing an individual style of presentation. “I have not figured out my own yet. It requires prolonged training and deep understanding.” Though Abhishek divides his time between academics and music, he feels his heart and future belongs to the latter. He is looking forward to another Margazhi that brings with it hopes and aspirations for young musicians like him.”

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:50:54 PM |

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