Quest for the best

The Malladi brothers exchanged many interesting ideas and thoughts with music lovers

Published - October 08, 2015 05:11 pm IST

The Malladi Brothers with their fans.  Photo: V. Ganesan

The Malladi Brothers with their fans. Photo: V. Ganesan

Music aficionados got an opportunity to interact with the Malladi Brothers, who are this year’s recipients of the Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal.Sreerama Prasad and Ravikumar were only too happy to chat with 30-odd rasikas at a session which was titled ‘Anwesha,’ organised by the foundation, at an elegant setting in Rain Tree Hotel.

Also present were senior musicians, Professor Ritha Rajan and Dr. R.S. Jayalakshmi, who served as jurists in selecting the questions from more than a 100 entries from countries such as Oman and Malaysia.

‘Anwesha’ means ‘search,’ and the programme provided a chance for those with a quest for the best in Carnatic music, to meet the singers.

The queries covered a plethora of aspects -- from the relationship between a raga and tala and how the brothers co-ordinate spontaneously on stage during a performance to the recent tech-driven teaching trends vis-à-vis the guru-sishya parampara.

The siblings fielded the queries with patience and a smile. Singing lines from kritis such as ‘Paramathmudu’ (Vagadheeswari, Tyagaraja) the explained the composition for niraval or swara, the importance of gamakam and the charm of brigas.

The siblings spoke of their keenness to reviving of old, rare ragas, the qualities they admire in each other (Sreeram’s planning skill and Ravi’s ingenuity in raga exposition), their training under illustrious gurus such as Sripada Pinakapani, Neduneri Krishnamurthy and Voleti Venkateswaralu, the most difficult RTP they sang at the Music Academy (it was in Ritigowla) and their growth as musicians.

Also the brothers touched upon issues such as introducing classical music in schools, learning under different gurus, benefits of referring to books on musicology books and learning the art of notation.

The Malladi Brothers endeared themselves with satisfactory and logical responses to most of the posers. Sreerama Prasad quoted appropriate Sanskrit verses many times to stress a point or two.

Well, on the flip side, some responses could have been crisp eschewing elaboration slipping into ennui. Was it because the brothers have not really gotten a chance to speak so much before?

The event

The Music Academy, Madras, and The Indira Sivasailam Endowment Fund will present the Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal to the Malladi brothers Sreeram Prasad and Ravikumar at a function this evening, 6 p.m., at The Music Academy. The brothers will present a concert after the ceremony.

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