Music

All abuzz with Kutcheris

Gayathri Mani, R. Ramkumar, Madhav Rajan, Vikram Raghavan and Vidhya Raghavan are a happy bunch as they view the fruits of their efforts in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo:S.R. Raghunathan

Gayathri Mani, R. Ramkumar, Madhav Rajan, Vikram Raghavan and Vidhya Raghavan are a happy bunch as they view the fruits of their efforts in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo:S.R. Raghunathan  

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An app that now gives information on artistes and events

As the music season gathers momentum, those of you planning your schedules may no longer need to riffle through newspapers or browse through a variety of sites to keep tabs on what’s on. If you have a smartphone, just download the Kutcheris app and you can have your own personalised calendar. “There are nearly 3,000 concerts held across the city during the music season. There is a wealth of information available but it is scattered across the web. We have tried to organise relevant information and make it easily accessible for people,” says Vikram K. Raghavan, a vocalist. The driving force behind > kutcheris.com is a team that comprises Vikram, R. Ramkumar, a management professional, and students Madhav Rajan, Gayathri Mani and Vidhya Raghavan. With Ram being a mridangam player and Gayathri, Vidhya and Vikram, vocalists, the team has found an interesting way to make artistes and their performances accessible. Madhav, a final-year student at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, has been handling the technical side of the app. It was Carnatic musician T.M. Krishna who first proposed the idea of having a site for the music season in 2009, say the team members. With his support, a few artistes came together and launched the DecemberSeason.com then.

The initiative grew into a website that offered information about music events not only in Chennai but across the world. It now provides information on artistes, organisations and events to viewers in nearly 50 countries.

“When you see people in the Netherlands sharing our links with people in Chennai, you realise the kind of reach it has,” says Vidhya, who studies biotechnology in Anna University. The app provides an easy interface to the user wherein she can either browse by artistes, organisations or venues, filter out the type of event — drama, lecture demonstration or Carnatic concert — or view the entire list of events. A Google map opens up as soon as she clicks a venue, providing location details. “People may go to concerts to listen to their favourite accompanying artistes, but may not find their names in print listings. In the app, we try to give you details about all the performers,” says Ram. It is a boon for people who need to plan their schedules in advance, which is not possible if you depend on the newspaper listings, he adds.

“When I was in Bangalore, I wanted to take two weeks off from work to attend concerts in Chennai. But it was so difficult to plan. A personalised calendar means a lot during such situations,” he adds.

Constant updates

Artistes send in their schedules as do the sabha officials and the teams tries to keep the listings constantly updated. Besides, the website has a list of lodging facilities and eateries to aid visitors in the city during the season.

Links to music videos and expanded articles are also on display and the user can choose to get regular alerts from artistes. “I see many of my friends willing to know about concerts now because the information is easily accessible, on their phones,” says Gayathri.

With over 2,000 likes for their >Facebook page, Madhav says, the response to the kutcheris mobile app has been very positive and growing each day. The team is working on features that will allow artistes and organisers to better manage their content and connect with the artiste community throughout the year. “Our aim is to bring together artistes, organisers, and rasikas into a single online community. We have IMDB for movies and Cricinfo for cricket, why not something for our own music festival?” says Vikram.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 7:16:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/All-abuzz-with-Kutcheris/article12061791.ece

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