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Hyderabad parks come alive to the sound of classical music

At 6 am a gentle breeze fills Dr GS Melkote Park in Narayanaguda. Six volunteers are working on a makeshift stage: unrolling a dhurrie, setting up microphones and multi-speakers.

Hyderabad parks come alive to the sound of classical music

A motley crowd gathers, from yoga enthusiasts to senior citizens taking a stroll. Soon, the park transforms into a concert venue as violinist Bhatti Pavan Singh accompanied by M Chandrakant on ghatam and Krishna Sravan on mridangam begin to perform.

Titled Shubhodayam, the recital continues for an hour, with walkers enjoying listening to ‘Sri Mahaganapathim’ kriti as they stroll, and yoga enthusiasts perfecting the Adho Mukha svanasana with ‘Brochevaarevaru ra’ playing in the background.

It has been over 10 months since the Shubhodayam- Music Unlock series was launched. Curating this outdoor musical experience are Akhilesh Washikar (managing partner) and tabla artiste Gajendra Shewalkar (co-founder and son of theatre personality Bhaskar Shewalkar) of city-based Tatvaa arts.

Hyderabad parks come alive to the sound of classical music

The initiative stemmed from onscreen fatigue. “In 2020, we organised around 300 virtual shows, but nothing came close to a live performance,” says Akhilesh. In January this year when the number of COVID-19 cases dipped, Akhilesh — who has been part of SPICMACAY ‘s early morning concerts at Public Gardens and Gudi Sambaraalu performances at Indira Park — met members of the Walker’s Association at Melkote Park.

“They simply asked us the date of launch; their encouragement gave the initiative a flying start,” says Akhilesh acknowledging the support of members Pritesh Patil and Prashant Sardeshmukh and volunteers who begin their day at 4 am on concert days.

The first concert on January 24 was a flute recital by ENT specialist Dr Ramakanth Katti, accompanied by Vijay Kumar Panchal on the tabla and Ramu Vedma on the flute. “The speakers and mic setup cover the radius of the park and we make sure we do not disturb people outside,” says Akhilesh.

This simple idea of playing music in a natural setting in order to spread music and connect to classical music has found resonance.

With two or three instrumental concerts per month, Tatvaa has organised 18 such recitals. These have been held at Dr G S Melkote Park, Botanical Garden (Kondapur), Krishna Kanth park (Yousufguda) and Indira Park, with Hyderabad-based musicians, as well as Jal Tarang artiste Milind Tulankar from Maharashtra.

Hyderabad parks come alive to the sound of classical music

Milind shares that such park recitals are common in Maharashtra. He says people enjoy music more in a natural environment than in an auditorium: “In an open-air setting, the body reacts positively to music.”

Violinist Pavan Singh adds, “We usually play to a discerning audience in auditoriums. In these parks we are able to reach out to those who don’t know classical music but enjoy the experience.”

Music lover Dr Madhusudhan Joshi jokes that he goes to parks for both walks and music; the 67-year-old has attended eight outdoor concerts so far.

“Some of us are not aware of all the classical instruments. We discover new sounds and these recitals provide artists an opportunity to perform in our places,” he says.

With plans to hold 52 concerts in 52 weeks, Akhilesh says, “Music relaxes and rejuvenates. This is a unique experience for visitors, who can listen to uplifting music while breathing in fresh air.”

Interested people can contact the organisers at : 99497 00611

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 11:07:57 AM |

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