TAMIL NADU

Music in the time of distraction

FOCUSSED: (From left) Bahauddin Dagar, Ganesh, Vijay Siva, Shruti Sadolikar, N. Ravikiran, Gayathri, Ranjini and N. Murali during a symposium `Reaching Within: Musical Growth in an Age of Distraction' held at Taj Connemera on Tuesday. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

FOCUSSED: (From left) Bahauddin Dagar, Ganesh, Vijay Siva, Shruti Sadolikar, N. Ravikiran, Gayathri, Ranjini and N. Murali during a symposium `Reaching Within: Musical Growth in an Age of Distraction' held at Taj Connemera on Tuesday. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan  

Anjana Rajan

Lively exchange of ideas between musicians and music lovers Lively exchange of ideas between musicians and music lovers Lively exchange of ideas between musicians and music lovers held as a part ofThe HinduFriday Review November Fest

CHENNAI: A large number of the city's artists and music lovers gathered at Taj Connemara on Tuesday morning for a symposium titled `Reaching Within: Musical Growth in an Age of Distraction', organised as part of The Hindu Friday Review November Fest.

Welcoming the gathering, The Hindu's Managing Director N. Murali, also President of the Music Academy, mentioned the paper's long association with music and arts coverage as well as its commitment to the exchange of ideas on the arts. He pointed out that Subbarama Dikshitar's seminal work on music, `Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini', was inspired by the letters Dikshitar exchanged with music patron and connoisseur Chinnasami Mudaliar in the columns of The Hindu. It was but natural, said Mr. Murali, that a symposium should be a significant part of The Hindu's own annual music festival.

The symposium's moderator was Violin Ganesh of the Ganesh-Kumaresh duo. Other speakers were Carnatic vocalist Vijay Siva, Hindustani vocalist Shruti Sadolikar, chitra veena maestro N. Ravi Kiran, Dhrupad exponent Bahauddin Dagar, and young vocalists Ranjani and Gayathri.

Ganesh, speaking first, said that the biggest distraction for musicians today was having to earn their own living.

Vijay Siva's presentation outlined the ill effects of distractions on musicians and a five-point remedial plan that would lead to a focussed mind, which alone would ensure musical growth. A "golden key" solution was `satsang'. This would help "shatter" the performer's ego.

Shruti Sadolikar was of the view that since life for children today is more full of distractions than earlier, it is the duty of the parents and teachers to guide them. She mentioned the Internet as a useful tool. Ravikiran warned that technology should be "used as an aid and not as a substitute."

Bahauddin Dagar, 20th generation of the Dagar gharana, felt that today's distractions were nothing compared to the upheaval suffered by his father and uncle when they lost their princely patrons after India's Independence and had to sell wares on Mumbai pavements, yet they did not relinquish their Dhrupad heritage.

The young Ranjani and Gayathri mentioned "horizontal growth" in terms of expanding repertoires, since audiences demanded greater variety, but felt that the growth should be "inward turned."

Lively exchanges with the audience continued as informal conversations over lunch.

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