Music

Musical movement sans barriers

Acclaimed classical singer Pantula Rama

Acclaimed classical singer Pantula Rama  

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As PaRa, a unique music is held in Hyderabad, its founder Pantula Rama speaks about the inspiration and its uniqueness

Here is a movement that celebrates the love of music and its power to touch the depths of one’s soul. ‘Pa Ra...The Supreme’ founded by acclaimed classical musician Pantula Rama is a one of its kind initiative that hopes to raise awareness and an openness among people towards the various genres of music.

The inspiration

With decades of experience in classical music, Rama shares the inspiration behind launching the movement. “As an artiste, I have always had good audience and an equally good response to my music. But that is not the case with other musicians,” she shares, adding, “We also have people wondering, ‘Why not sing Carnatic music in this way or that way.’ Then there are some musicians who are not open to other genres of music.”

Rama recalls the thought-process that made her reflect on art and its purpose. “Art has to cleanse one’s mind and heart to create a complete human being. If art doesn’t fulfil this purpose, it becomes redundant. With my experience, I wanted to do my bit,” she states.

Joining hands

‘PaRa... the Supreme’ which stands for ‘para tatvamu’ — the supreme consciousness’ came into existence with a team that . includes her, her violinist-husband MSN Murthy, their students and like-minded people from different walks of life. Incidentally, ‘PaRa’ are also the first alphabet of the artiste’s name “People who have been inspired by this movement kept joining us,” she smiles.

Rama maintains these events are not only for those who are musically-inclined. “One need not be a musician or a student of music to be inspired by music. There are many people who cannot sing or play an instrument. They can listen to this music and enjoy; it might be useful to them in some way,”

Two events

‘Pa Ra’ has already conducted two events ‘Swachh Swar’ and ‘Samarpan’ in Visakhapatnam. “It was exciting to watch people from different walks of life and age groups attend the programmes,” enthuses Rama. For Swachh Swar, where the seven universal notes and their variations are imparted, the team blended popular tunes from classical music and film music and modified them in the form of notes. “The advantage of having just notes was that when the participants were singing it, they enjoyed it because the tune was familiar. There was no need of lyrics.”

She stresses the intent is to make people respond in a positive way. “One needs to have a certain kind of focus to understand and enjoy classical music. Even those who are not from the music field attend such concerts and become passive participants. And, when we invite their responses, they become active participants because they know that they have to respond. They become attentive, more focussed and listen better. This enlightened stage will inspire them to succeed,” she points out.

In Hyderabad

, Rama reveals many people from Hyderabad had come to Visakhapatnam to be part of it. “More than us, people in Hyderabad were enthusiastic about this movement and requested us to conduct it here.” The event will include Swachh Swar, with sessions for meditation and learning a song in the morning followed by Spandana in the evening with clippings of various genres of music, response from audience, group singing, followed by a concert by Pantula Rama. “Unlike in a music school where a teacher trains hundreds of students, in Swachh Swar we will have one trainer teaching a group of five,” she states adding music students and concert singers have also responded positively to their earlier events.

She points out such gatherings help in developing a tangible thinking among musicians. “It is a common feeling that if one knows Carnatic music, he/she is capable of singing in any genre of music. That is a very wrong thing to say,” she asserts and elaborates. “Every kind of music has its own set of rules and requirements which cannot be satisfied just because your are a Carnatic musician. One needs to have a voice culture, develop that mindset and put in a lot of effort for that particular music.”Rama stresses ‘PaRa’ is not an organisation but a movement. “We will collaborate with any organisation who wants to participate in taking this movement forward. It is good team work. Though it has a lot of hardwork, it is satisfactory at the end of the day.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 11:41:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/pantula-rama-on-paraa-unique-musical-movement/article19462828.ece

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