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    Chennai Margazhi season


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    Chennai Margazhi season

    A curtain raiser to the Chennai December Season



    December is here, and with it Chennai's iconic Margazhi music season too. Here is everything you need to know about this year's music line-up

    Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/entertainmen...le21240915.ece
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    Let the music stream in: embracing a digital Margazhi season
    The digital stage is bigger and the options endless for artistes, who want to reach out

    The dawn of another Chennai winter is unmistakably familiar. With rain becoming a regular feature in December, puddles greet rasikas as they walk to the sabha halls. The aroma of filter kaapi inspires lilting flourishes of the same on stage. Concert notes circulate far more rapidly than the pace of the ongoing tani avartanam, and kutcheri schedules are colour-coded for the optimal sabha-hopping experience.

    Listeners stream into the auditoriums, a sort of determination etched on their faces as they settle into their seats after the long journey. There’s a tripod perched in the middle. The live-stream link is already active for those tuning in. For others, still slogging away at their cubicles, they return home, open iTunes, and the downloading begins. Soon, their hard drives are bursting with enough music to fill their December days without moving an inch.

    It’s this space, floating around in the digital sphere, which keeps artistes innovating. We see them in concert garb, presenting the past year’s work in a matter of two hours. An artiste’s persona evolves from season to season. He unravels his work, thread-by-thread through YouTube clips, Facebook live-streams, and albums — new platforms allow him to build a rapport with his rasikas, both on and off stage. With multiple avenues open to innovation, Margazhi is undergoing a makeover of its own.

    Linked through a Live-Stream


    “The idea is to take the art to a wider audience,” Arkay Ramakrishnan explains. One of the first to use live-streaming in Chennai, he began digitalising concerts taking place at the Arkay Convention Centre as early as 2012.

    Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/entertainmen...le21290403.ece
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    Margazhi’s on the move

    CHENNAI: Music isn't just in the air this Margazhi season, it's everywhere — like the gust of wind that refreshes you on your way back from work, eases your mid-day worries on your commute, or invites you for an evening out while you are window-shopping.

    Apart from the nearly 100 sabhas, packed with 2,000 concerts spread across one and a half months, strains of ragas and the beats of paraiattam had permeated into the parks and beaches, now the sabha is on the move popping up in metro and railway stations, on buses and in malls. And all for free. While the trend began last year with these alternate venues testing waters, the response has been good enough to make it a Margazhi must-do.

    The change is a reflection of people's connect with the city and their entrepreneurial spirit, feels guitarist Prasanna. "Music in alternate spaces shows a deep connection with the city, and how music and culture is an essential part of that bond. Celebrating arts in an inclusive way shows how the city is evolving with the times," says Prasanna, who performed on Saturday as part of the two-day Margazhi festival at Phoenix Marketcity. The fest, now in its second year, will feature Hindustani and Carnatic vocalists along with and instrumental jugalbandis. "It brings a local flavour to the mall experience. Since Velachery doesn't have many sabhas people appreciated the idea of a concert here," says Murugan Rajan, centre director at Phoenix Marketcity.

    Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/62003643.cms
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    ‘Music flows, not money,’ say Sabha secretaries

    by Suganthy Krishnamachari

    Cash-strapped, most of the sabhas pitch for Government aid. How was it in the past?

    There was a time, when Madras did not have to look beyond classical music, if money had to be raised for a good cause. For the Kasturba Fund set up in 1944, most of Madras Presidency’s contribution came from kutcheris, with M.S. singing for five consecutive days, and collecting 60,000 rupees. In 1945, the Corporation of Madras organised a series of kutcheris in Suguna Vilasa Sabha to start a fund for poor homes.

    In 1949, when Ramaswamy Chettiar wanted to convert Sir P. Tyagaraja Chettiar school in Washermenpet into a college, he organised a sangeetha utsavam (music festival). The pandal erected in the school playground could hold 8,000 people. The accompanist for Dandapani Desigar was Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai, and M.K.T. Bhagavatar composed a song in praise of Pillai and sang it too!
    Madras has always loved music of any kind, and the inclusion of the city in UNESCO Creative Cities Network for its musical tradition, is only natural.

    The beginning


    Madras Jubilee Gayana Samaj, begun in 1887 at Pachaiyappa’s Hall on NSC Bose Road, was Madras’s first sabha. In the early years, there were many — in North and Central Madras. There was the Purasai Sangeetha Sabha, whose kutcheris took place in M.CT.M. Boys’ School, Lawder’s Gate. Prof. Sambamurthy, who lived in nearby Diwan Rama Iyengar Road and Vainika Rangaramanuja Iyengar often attended concerts at the Jagannatha Bhaktha Sabha, Egmore. Rangaramanuja Iyengar taught English at M.CT.M school, and if he spotted any of his students in the audience, he would test their music knowledge by asking them to identify ragas. In 1944, the Egmore Dramatic Society started a music division with kutcheris at the Museum Theatre.

    In 1936, Annamalai Chettiar organised a conference presided over by V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, to deliberate on popularising Tamil compositions. This was followed by more such conferences, and these efforts culminated in the establishment of Tamil Isai Sangam in May 1943.
    ………

    ………

    Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/entertainmen...le21223560.ece

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    Margazhi season: For the young, old and new

    The Margazhi season has evolved over the years. Despite new artistes & concepts, it has retained its traditional value. Upcoming musicians look forward to this season as they get to interact with senior artistes and showcase their talents.

    CHENNAI: The curtains will soon go up, caterers will serve hot tumblers of filter ‘Kapi’, ladles of pongal and tiffin and, there will be haunting melodies from aspiring carnatic musicains to some of the world best in the city in December.

    The month of Margazhi is not only a time for worship and prayers, but also a season for Carnatic aficionados to get together and enjoy some great music and food. One of the largest cultural events South India, the Margazhi music festival is just around the corner and preparations have commenced across the city. Do the new-age rasikas-cum-performers in the city relate to this? We attempt to find out.

    “As a Carnatic musician, the Margazhi season is a special time. So many memories, music and learning is associated with it, and these 30 days were instrumental in shaping my musical interest and career,” says Rithvik Raja, a carnatic vocalist and disciple of TM Krishna.

    There’s something for everybody — students get to interact and learn from senior musicians and scholars, there’s a variety of ‘listening opportunities’ across generations for both casual and serious listeners, and many avenues for artistes to present new compositions and musical ideas. “I am caught in the middle, where the student in me wants to be out throughout the day hopping from Sabha to Sabha, while the performer wants to stay at home and focus my energies on practice and performances. But it is also exciting to plan my entire month with only music as the focus!” he smiles.

    Has his perception about the festival changed? “I am in awe of the sheer magnitude at which the festival happens each and every year,” he says.
    Read more at: http://www.newindianexpress.com/citi...w-1717688.html

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    ‘Our culture thrives thanks to music’



    While there are many ways to propagate our culture, music is thequickest among them to reach masses, said Kanchi seer Sankara VijayendraSaraswathi Swami
    Inauguratingthe 38th Isai Iyal Nataka Vizha and 29th Bharatham festival of Sri ThyagaBrahma Gana Sabha in Vani Mahal Saturday, he said, “Carnatic music must prosperamong people along with sciences. We have mantram and japam to satiate thesupreme divine, but they would take their own time. They are difficult tomaster. But music is the easiest way to connect ourselves with the Almighty.Music is always been associated with devotion.”
    Speakingon the occasion, Jayendra Saraswathi Swami said music and dance programmes arebeing organised regularly in this part of the country and it helps the richessence of our music culture to thrive.
    Onthe occasion, Vani Kala Sudhakara title was conferred on O S Thyagarajan(vocal), S Varadarajan (violin), Thiruvarur Sri Vaidyanathan (mrudangam),Professor C V Chandrasekhar (bharatanatyam) and V Sreevathson (theatre).
    SriKanchi Mahaswami Vidyamandir’s chairman V Shankar said, ‘Indian music was neverrestricted to entertainment alone, it has gone beyond that. Classicalmusic has always associated itself with devotion.’
    Inhis acceptance speech, dramatist S Varadarajan said the title he receivedserves him a reminder that while he is moving in the right direction, much hasto be achieved in the years to come.
    Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.p...anks-to-music/
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    Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru to kickstart 18 Dec




    Margazhi festival in Chennai is not just for Carnatic music lovers. This is the theme of Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru, a yearly musical fest jointly organised by Lakshman Sruthi and Zee Tamil.

    The 13th season of this eight-day mega Carnatic music and dance festival will be held from 18 to 25 December between 7 am and 10 pm at Kamarajar Arangam.


    As part of the event, a mega food festival is also planned with a giant food court on the premises.


    “This year, we have a special arrangement of a 50-feet long and 24-feet wide vegetable Indian tricolour flag. This is done to show our support for farmers. There will also be a wax statue of the late vocalist M Balamuralikrishna at the entrance to remember his musical journey,” said Lakshman Sruthi founder, Lakshmanan.


    “Grammy award winner Vikku Vinayakram’s performance is going to be the highlight of this year’s fest. In addition to that, Shehnai S Ballesh’s performance and Pattimandram Raja’s speech will crown the event. The craze for Carnatic music is increasing day-by-day and today about one lakh students are learning it,” he added.


    Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.p...kstart-18-dec/
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    Abaswaram in Margazhi festival

    Mellifluous margazhi also a season of bitter spats, controversies

    The Margazhi season is here. For another four weeks, music will rule Chennai with numerous concerts, lectures and awards lined up for the month. But over the years the season has not only churned out soulful music, but also bitter arguments and controversies, most of them revolving around renowned musicians and cultural institutions.

    The coveted Sangeetha Kalanidhi award, given by The Music Academy has been the bone of contention many times. The institution has often been dubbed insensitive towards musicians and criticised for bypassing doyens like vocalist M D Ramanathan, Flute Maali, nadaswaram maestro T N Rajaratnam Pillai, Veena Balachander and violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman while shortlisting recipients for Sangeetha Kalanidhi.

    When in 1978, the award was conferred on M Balamuralikrishna, the citation credited him with the invention of new ragas like mahati. Opposing the award, veena maestro S Balachander immediately issued a statement stressing that a raga can never be invented. He argued that rearranging the seven swaras of the 72 'melakarta' ragas would in any case result in the creation of new ragas and to claim that a new raga was invented was a fraud. This issue was greatly debated for a long time.

    Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/62075278.cms
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    Chennai cultural academy fest begins




    Awardees with president of Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan (Coimbatore) and chairman of KCT group of Coimbatore, Dr B K Krishnaraj Vanavarayar and industrialist Nalli Kuppusami Chetti at the inauguration of Chennai Cultural Academy Trust on Thursday.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Carnatic music being a rich cultural tradition of the country should be passed on to the younger generation and sabhas need to organise more youth festivals for achieving this mission,’ said president of Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan (Coimbatore) and chairman of KCT group of Coimbatore, Dr B K Krishnaraj Vanavarayar.


    Speaking at the inauguration of the Chennai Cultural Academy Trust’s 50th fine arts festival on Thursday, Vanavarayar heaped laurels on the sabha for promoting art and culture.


    On the occasion, Life Time Achievement award was presented to AKC Natarajan (clarinet), Sangeetha Kala Siromani to O S Thyagarajan and Neyveli Santhanagopalan (vocal), Nrithya Kala Siromani to Shella Unnikrishnan (Bharatanatyam), Nataka Kala Siromani to Maadhu Balaji (theatre) and CCA Excellence award to Dr Premnath for social service.


    Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.p...y-fest-begins/
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    A busload of entertainment




    The fourth edition of Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha has begun withperformances in public and private spaces, on MTC buses and railway stations.The event is a blend of nativity and art celebrated during the month ofMargazhi.
    As part of the Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha, a group of performersfrom the city, with the aim of taking the performing arts to public spaces, putup dance,music, theatre and stand-up comedy on a bus going from Vadapalani toBesant Nagar.
    On Thursday afternoon, a group of performers boarded 5E routebus that plies be- tween Vadapalani and Besant Nagar and started to entertainthe passengers commuting on it.
    Scriptwriter/journalist Gnani’s Pariksha theatre group presenteda short play on women sporting short hair as per their wish. Classical dancerSwetha Prachande gave a scintillating performance on the swaying bus to thevocals of Shruti Ravali Manda. Swetha con- veyed through abhinaya in thecramped space all that she wanted to portray through her dance.
    Vijay Devasigamani entertained the changing audience with nearly10 Ilayaraja songs.
    Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.p...entertainment/
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