witnessed a workshop on Carnatic Music in the first week of May 2006.
Carnatica Global Gurukulam and Smrithi Nandan Cultural centre organized the
3-day workshop for students of Carnatic Music aspiring to hone their musical
skills. This was well attended with around 15 participants.
It was a
refreshing and educative workshop conducted by the noted duo Carnatica
Brothers – K N Shashikiran & P Ganesh. Chitra Sherman who is the anchor for
the Bangalore chapter of Carnatica coordinated the logistics of the workshop.
The venue of the workshop was at Smriti Nandan on Palace road which is really
serene and well suited for Music.
appreciated & thanked Worldspace for sponsoring a program that was value based
& non-commercial in nature. The workshop was meticulously planned & all the
three days had packed sessions that kept the participants soaking in the
divineness. Music is a form of meditation. To re-emphasize this concept, the
organizers arranged a session on the “Use of Meditation in Music” by Arun
Madhavan who is the Chairman of the Art of Living Foundation. This was
followed by an address by Sangeetha Kalanidhi R K Srikantan, which
highlighted the meditative, creative and intellectual aspects of Carnatic
Ganesh’s approach to teaching was really commendable & kept the students in
rapt attention. They were quick to ascertain the needs of every student &
customized the workshop accordingly. The workshop comprised of voice
exercises, manodharma singing (raga alapana, swara kalpana, neraval), Laya
concepts, 72 Melakartha concepts, pallavi singing, concerts at the end of the
day of the workshop etc. The renewed focus of Carnatic Musicians towards voice
culture is heartening. Shashikiran trained the students that taught techniques
to improve their breathing techniques while singing, shruti alignment,
sustaining the stability of the voice, improving the range of the voice across
octaves etc. It was stressed that all these would directly benefit students
while singing ragas, krithis etc.
advised to sing Akaras, Omkaras in various ragas. Shashikiran demonstrated
rapid switching between Mayamalavagowla and Hemavathy. This exercise is good
for ragamalika singing & reinforces the position of all twelve swaras in the
student’s mind. Shashikiran also taught the participant three krithis - of
Tyagaraja, Syama Sastry & Gopalakrishna Bharati. These were reference krithis
for swara kalpana and neraval singing. The workshop was highly interactive,
thought provoking and the teachers patiently answered all the queries of the
really appreciated this facet of Carnatic Music as they had not been exposed
earlier to these intricate aspects.
Students were made to sing individually & special counseling was given to
improve on their strengths & correct the deficiencies in their singing. All
days had concerts at the end of the day. On the first day Naveen Nambuthiri
enthralled the audience with a lively concert. The next day, the Carnatica
Brothers gave a concert with an interesting RTP. They all sang Lalithe in
Bhairavi, which was appropriate for the occasion as the venue was made
available for the occasion by Lalitha Ubhayanker of Smrithi Nandan! On the
final day R K Srikantan sang an RTP with the pallavi lines embedding Lalithe
in the sahitya.