‘NRI musicians are cultural ambassadors’

NRI artistes and festival convenor Murali Raghavan (centre) with the Kanchi Acharya Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

NRI artistes and festival convenor Murali Raghavan (centre) with the Kanchi Acharya Photo: K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Their role as bridge between nations underlined at Trinity Arts festival

The role of NRIs in propagating culture was stressed at the inauguration of Trinity Arts Festival. The three-day event held at Asthika Samajam, Venus Colony, Alwarpet, showcased young talent from abroad. It was commendable that these Indians nurtured music by investing time to learn and hone their skills even as they were engaged with their main pursuits such as education and career, observed N. Ravi, Publisher, The Hindu, presiding over the event. “It will be appropriate to call them cultural ambassadors,” he said.

In his Anugraḥa Bhashanam, Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati looked back seven decades to the pre-Independence period. He said his Paramaguru, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, had urged artistes to become cultural ambassadors for the nation. As an emerging independent nation, India needed to build bridges with other countries and arts, especially music, lent itself as an ideal tool, he thought and encouraged everyone to focus on the aspects positive and common, which could unite people instead of harping on differences.

Sastriya Sangitam was to Music what Panini’s grammar (Sanskrit) was to languages, said the Acharya. It served as the foundation for all streams of music, he added. Sanskrit is taught and learnt with dedication and discipline, which is true of Carnatic music too. “Just as learning Sanskrit enables one to learn foreign languages, well-trained Carnatic musicians can master the music and instruments of other countries,” he said. This was because the training was based on excellence with the right orientation.

A mind soaked in music merges with the divine like a river, which merges with the ocean. The music Trinity — Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Syama Sastri — have proved this. The Acharya emphasised the need for efforts to revive the link between music, yoga, and Pranayama which are closely allied to the body, mind, and intelligence. “Carnatic music helps to increase the attention span, memory and quick recall. It is a medium, which leads one in a divine path even as it entertains,” he said.

In this context, the Sankaracharya lauded the music sabhas, which featured concerts on a regular basis. He appealed to them to open more slots for NRI artistes. Even abroad, music festivals are held at several places, to connect people and propagate Carnatic music, he pointed out.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 1:52:50 PM |

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