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Chennai Margazhi season

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Let the music stream in: embracing a digital Margazhi season
[h=2]The digital stage is bigger and the options endless for artistes, who want to reach out[/h]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/entertainment/music/margazhi-in-the-digital-era/article21290403.ece
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/city/chennai/margazhis-on-the-move/articleshow/62003643.cms
[h=1]‘Music flows, not money,’ say Sabha secretaries[/h][h=1]by Suganthy Krishnamachari[/h][h=2]Cash-strapped, most of the sabhas pitch for Government aid. How was it in the past?[/h]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.
[/h][h=1][/h][h=1]Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/we-need-government-support-say-sabha-secretaries/article21223560.ece[/h]
[h=1]Margazhi season: For the young, old and new[/h][h=1]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.[/h][h=1]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.[/h]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.
[h=1]Read more at: http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2017/dec/03/margazhi-season-for-the-young-old-and-new-1717688.html[/h][h=1][/h]
[h=1][FONT=&quot]‘Our culture thrives thanks to music’

[FONT=&quot][/FONT][/h][FONT=&quot]While there are many ways to propagate our culture, music is thequickest among them to reach masses, said Kanchi seer Sankara VijayendraSaraswathi Swami[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.”[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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).[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.’[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/10/our-culture-thrives-thanks-to-music/
[h=1]Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru to kickstart 18 Dec[/h]

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.php/2017/12/12/chennaiyil-thiruvaiyaru-to-kickstart-18-dec/
[h=1]Abaswaram in Margazhi festival[/h][h=1][/h][h=1]Mellifluous margazhi also a season of bitter spats, controversies[/h]

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/city/chennai/mellifluous-margazhi-also-a-season-of-bitter-spats-controversies/articleshow/62075278.cms
[h=1]Chennai cultural academy fest begins[/h]

[FONT=&quot]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.php/2017/12/15/chennai-cultural-academy-fest-begins/
[h=1][FONT=&quot]A busload of entertainment

[FONT=&quot][/FONT][/h][FONT=&quot]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.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]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.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Vijay Devasigamani entertained the changing audience with nearly10 Ilayaraja songs. [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/15/a-busload-of-entertainment/[/FONT]
[h=1]Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha award for Yesudas[/h]

Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha’s annual music festival begins today at 6 pm at Vidya Bharathi Kalyana Mandapam.
It would be inaugurated by Yathiraja Jeeyar Swamy, Sri Yathiraja Mutt, Melukote.

On the occasion, Sangeetha Kalasarathy award would be conferred on singer K J Yesudas.

A K C Natarajan (clarinet) would be given the Gottuvadyam Naranga Iyer award, Mannargudi S Eswaran would be given the Palghat Mani Iyer Centenary Award.

The function would be presided over by industrialist Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti. Felicitations would be offered by T V Gopalakrishnan and Chitravina Ravikiran.

The festival would be on till 4 January 2018.



[h=1]‘Ragas help me come up with evergreen songs’[/h]

The prestigious Music Academy has broken the mould by inviting music director Ilayaraja to inaugurate its 91st annual music conference and concerts. For an institution perceived to be ‘tradition-bound’ and sworn to uphold the pure strands of classical music, this is certainly a turning point.

In 1988, while presiding over the annual function, the then Sangita Kalanidhi-elect and flute maestro T Viswanathan had said Music Academy was the ideal organisation for providing a platform and facilitating a fruitful exchange of ideas between traditional art music and cinema music.

“Ilayaraja has been an icon of Chennai music for the last four decades. In the past we had invited Governors, sportspersons, judges and others to inaugurate the event. It is very appropriate that Ilaiyaraaja inaugurates the current season. He is well-versed in Carnatic, Western classical and folk music,” said N Murali president of the Academy, explaining the rationale behind inviting the maestro to inaugurate the function.

Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/16/ragas-help-me-come-up-with-evergreen-songs/
Annual arts fest begins in Chennai

The 85th annual South Indian music conference & festival of the Indian Fine Arts Society was inaugurated by BJP MP L Ganesan at Ethiraja Kalyana Mandapam Saturday.

He presented awards and accolades to achieveres in the fields of dance, music and theatre on the occasion.

Vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam, who was conferred the Sangeetha Kala Sikhamani award, said, “I reiterate my commitment to play my part for the betterment of Carnatic music as long as I can.”

Veteran danseuse Padma Subrahmanyam was conferred Natya Kala Sikhamani and in her acceptance speech, said, “This is my 130th award. I wish everyone here today will support the association and ensure it celebrates the centenary celebrations successfully.”

Nataka Kala sikhamani award was conferred on dramatist S Ve Shekher. He said, “People often believe that actors live in an isolated place and do not get affected by the tragedies that hit people. It is not true. We all share the same bonding – We are one, we are Indians.”

A minute of silence was observed was those who lost lives in the recent cyclone in Kaniyakumari. Anbazhagan, president, Tamilnadu Fishermen Forum also spoke on the occasion.

The other awardees included Mridungam vidwan Trivandrum V Surendran and musician O S Thyagarajan, who were awarded for their outstanding contributions.

Source: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/17/annual-arts-fest-begins-in-chennai/
[h=1]Bringing on stage the despair of displacement[/h]

CHENNAI: Do people remain the same once they are displaced — the question has always plagued dancer Aravinth Kumarasamy, so much so that he chose to delve into his art to find answers. Drawing from his own experience as a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee in Singapore, Agathi, his new dance production for the Margazhiseason, explores the dilemma and longing of the exiled.

Based on a book of poems by refugee children across the world, 'Expressions from our Youth' brought out by UNHCR, Agathi revolves around the emotional evolution of a person who has been displaced from his/her homeland. "The production is not about a specific set of refugees. It applies to anyone in any part of the world who has been forced to move to a new place and start all over," says Kumarasamy, artistic and creative director Singapore-based Apsaras Arts. The production, which also uses a mix of poems by
Subramania Bharati and Kannadasan, will be staged at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on December 24 as part of Karthik Fine Arts' 17th Natya Darshan conference.

Kumarasamy's concept is among the few that departs from the traditional themes of mythology and epics in Bharatanatyam recitals by basing the content on a present-day topic. "We wanted to focus on using the language of Bharatanatyam to portray issues of today," says Kumarasamy, adding that he wants his art to be a reflection of society.
CHENNAI: Do people remain the same once they are displaced — the question has always plagued dancer Aravinth Kumarasamy, so much so that he chose to delve into his art to find answers. Drawing from his own experience as a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee in Singapore, Agathi, his new dance production for the Margazhiseason, explores the dilemma and longing of the exiled.

Based on a book of poems by refugee children across the world, 'Expressions from our Youth' brought out by UNHCR, Agathi revolves around the emotional evolution of a person who has been displaced from his/her homeland. "The production is not about a specific set of refugees. It applies to anyone in any part of the world who has been forced to move to a new place and start all over," says Kumarasamy, artistic and creative director Singapore-based Apsaras Arts. The production, which also uses a mix of poems by Subramania Bharati and Kannadasan, will be staged at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on December 24 as part of Karthik Fine Arts' 17th Natya Darshan conference.

Kumarasamy's concept is among the few that departs from the traditional themes of mythology and epics in Bharatanatyam recitals by basing the content on a present-day topic. "We wanted to focus on using the language of Bharatanatyam to portray issues of today," says Kumarasamy, adding that he wants his art to be a reflection of society.

Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/bringing-on-stage-the-despair-of-displacement/articleshow/62126082.cms
Music and food connect… Margazhi also celebrating food feast...

Exploring the thali IN THE THALAM

Traditional South Indian Dishes Such as Akkara Adisal And Sweet Kummayam Have Been mentioned in Ancient Sacred Texts and Verses.

There are songs of love, happiness and longing. And then there are songs of food. Of how much ghee you should pour into a dish, or the elaborate buffet of sweet and savoury dishes that were given to Shiva and Parvati to celebrate their union.

And it is food that comes to the fore in the workshops and panel discussion being hosted by Rakesh Raghunathan this week to celebrate the December season of food and music. The TV show host and culinary enthusiast, who curates food tours through his company, Puliyogare Travels, plans to recite poems and stories that talk about the connect between food and Margazhi.

"In the songs of Andal that are sung during the Margazhi season, in terms of food, there is one that stands out for me," says Raghunathan. "It talks about how one must put lots of ghee, till your fist or elbow is submerged in it, into the food you are preparing," says Raghunathan, who adds that there is mention of dishes like akkara adisal or sweet pongal in classical songs of yore.

Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/exploring-the-thali-in-the-thalam/articleshow/62157219.cms

Y Gee Mahendra talks about Bharat Kalachar

When it is Margazhi, all eyes will be on Thirumalai Road in T Nagar, where Bharat Kalachar is hosting annual music festival for over a month. It has successfully completed three decades and the man behind the show Y Gee Mahendra,a versatile actor and the sabha secretary is busy co-ordinating the programmes.

Taking time off his busy schedule, he shares with News Today about the sabha and how it nurtures young talents. He says, “We not only encourage but provide scholarships in music for outstanding students from the school and they will be encouraged to perform in stages also.”


Q: About Margazhi festival in Bharat Kalachar?

A: We believe in rich traditional values. Musicians perform with devotion and dedication. People from all age-groups attend the fest. This year, we gave away 23 awards to outstanding and aspiring artistes. Also, leading musicians from across the country are performing in our Margazhi mahotsav every year.

Q: Being a busy actor, how do you manage the activities of Bharat Kalachar?

A: My passion is to perform on stage. Till my last breath, I want to stage dramas. A retake is possible in movies but it is not so in stage plays. I ensure that I give my best in bringing great talents under one roof every year be it dance, vocal
or drama. Bharat Kalachar strives to promote our culture.

Q: You family is deeply involved in activities of the sabha. Tell us about their contribution.

A: My father late YG Parthasarathy is my inspiration. Till his last breath, he acted on stage. He inspired us to involve in different activities and our family is committed carry the good work done by him.

Q: Do you encourage young talents?

A: We not only encourage but provide scholarships in music outstanding students and
they are encouraged to perform in stages too.

Q: What are the future plans of Bharat Kalachar?

Read more at: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/21/y-gee-mahendra-talks-about-bharat-kalachar/
Actor Sivakumar to inaugurate music fete

Ramaniyam’s Lasya, the cultural hub is hosting music festival at OMR Janaki Ammal Auditorium at the APL Global School campus, Thoraipakkam. The 10-day music fete will be inaugurated by actor Sivakumar on 23 Dcember.

V Jagannathan, Managing Director, Ramaniyam said, “Lasya the Cultural hub is organising 10 day music festival at

OMR Janaki Ammal Auditorium at the APL Global School campus, Thoraipakkam. The 10 day music festival will be inaugurated by actor Sivakumar. Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashree will lighht the kuthuvilakku.”

The inauguration event will be followed by a violin duet by Dr M Lalitha and Dr M Nandini. The music festival also features Carnatic vocal by Gayathri Venkataraghavan (24 Dec), Namasankeerthanam by Dr Udayalur Kalyanarama Bhagavathar(25 Dec) vocal by Abhishek Raghuram (26 Dec), Bharathanatyam concept & choreography by Anitha Guha, lyrics & music by Neyveli Santhanagopalan (27 Dec), vocal by Ranjani & Gayatri (28 Dec), Saxophone by Dr
Kadri Gopalnath (29 Dec), Chocolate Krishna, stage play by Crazy Mohan (30 Dec), vocal by Sudha Ragunathan (31 Dec) and Vijay Siva (1 Jan).

“Our main aim is to help strike a balance between the traditional and contemporary art forms by promoting a wide range of events from concerts to theatre performances across diverse art forms,” Jagannathan said.

Courtesy: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/21/actor-sivakumar-to-inaugurate-music-fete/
But this is at Mumbai

Music beyond religion..

[h=1]Music beyond religion: TM Krishna sings Tamil Sufi song at Mumbai church[/h]

[h=1]Ending with an invocation to Allah in the church, TM Krishna provoked a flood of reactions on Twitter.[/h]Last Sunday, the picturesque stained glass windows of the British-era Afghan Church in Colaba, Mumbai, echoed the music of Tamil sufi singer Nagoor Hanifa. Singing at a one of its kind performance in India, TM Krishna, in collaboration with the Mumbai-based First Edition Arts, brought together different religious and cultural identities at a time when these markers are increasingly defining public discourse in the country. This was at the culmination of a five-day festival called Karnatic Modern in Mumbai.

Over the years, TM Krishna has been a vocal opponent of the Brahmin-domination of Carnatic music and is known for speaking out against the exclusion of other castes in what is perceived as the "high" arts. For the past few years, he has been pushing for art and music to move into alternative spaces, and away from the traditional sabha culture. In yet another effort to push these boundaries, he has now taken Carnatic music to the Anglican Church, built by the British to honour their slain soldiers in the Afghan War. To add to this jugalbandi of different faiths, he performed a song popularised by Tamil sufi singer Nagoor Hanifa. And unsurprisingly, this is exactly what has landed Krishna in yet another controversy.

While those who attended the event by TM Krishna and ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayakram at the packed church have been heaping praises on the event, some have taken to Twitter and raked up a storm, even telling Krishna not to resort to “singing Jingle Bells in Ananda Bhairavi” ragam.
[h=1]Read more at: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/music-beyond-religion-tm-krishna-sings-tamil-sufi-songs-mumbai-church-73535[/h][h=1][/h]
Music matters, but so do the many Margazhi collaborations

Margazhi, or 'The Season', in our land, is no longer confined to the pious ritual of singing the Thiruppavai, or following the Pavai vow (vratham or ritual) throughout a month. We had long translated the month into one that celebrates music as an art form — more specifically Carnatic music, as that was the closest to the divinity of the Pavai that we could get. But now, specifically, with this season, it seems to have become a month that celebrates our contemporary lifestyle, and the love for all things Epicurean, therein. And so, Margazhi is now 'in association' with food, art, car rides, competitions, win free passes, the works! And as money makes music (or is it the other way round), and the purists are choking purple and wondering what happened to the music, the others, including the artistes, are lapping up the opportunities this sudden burgeoning of the season has afforded.

Food for song?

"It was quite interesting," says Maharajapuram Ganesh Viswanathan, who performed live at the Thaligai, where music lovers can have that extra more, packaged in the form of a high tea, buffet dinner, and an interaction with the artiste. "The raga of the day when we performed was Mohanam, and so, we sang the main piece in that raga. The food had a pentatonic variety — there was Panchamurtham, Pancha keerai soup, five types of ilai adai, five vegetables-mixed pakodas... and so on. So, we sang two songs in Mohanam — the Varnam as well as the main piece was Gopika Manoharam, a composition of Dikshitar. It worked very well for us, as our Bhani is known for Mohanam rendition, and for this particular song, which was popularised by my grandfather (Maharajapuram Santhanam)." Adds Nalina Kannan, proprietor, Thaligai, "Our forte is food, so we have one raga as a theme for each day, and make some foods around the raga. So, when we had Raga Amritavarshini, we used honey as the main ingredient, and had salad with honey dressing, payasam with honey as the sweetner, and when we had Raga Keeravani —greens were used a lot. I inform the artiste regarding the theme, and they choose what to sing."

Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/music-matters-but-so-do-the-many-margazhi-collaborations/articleshow/62190096.cms
[h=1]Mela around music: When businesses get creative[/h]

SEASON TIME: Shanthi Dance Needs in Mylapore caters to dance students and teachers seeking tailor made costumes and jewellery during their visit to the city in December.


Come December and all roads lead to Chennai. The music and dance season brings in the largest influx of rasikas and tourists, both domestic and international. And it's not just the sabhas that benefit. From hotels and bed-and-breakfast facilities to sari shops and entrepreneurs, a number of allied industries get a boost as they cater to the ever-growing bunch of enthusiasts.

As hotels run full, many residents throw open their doors to visitors from distant shores. Vijaya Subramanian and her son Aravind have been renting out two rooms of their house in Mylapore since last December.

"Though we rent it out all year, we get more people during Margazhi," says Vijaya, who is now hosting an Indian couple based in Australia.

"They are soaking in the season and also using the opportunity to visit relatives and friends," says Vijaya, adding that she will soon be also hosting a teacher and author from Bengaluru who is planning to attend some concerts.

Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/mela-around-music-when-businesses-get-creative/articleshow/62200573.cms
[h=1]Another story …. from rags to riches.[/h][h=1]Tirunelveli lad becomes Mountbatten Mani Iyer[/h]The sabhas in Mylapore are decked up and hosting various concerts by legendary singers. Equally important are the canteens at each sabha where the best food of the year is dished out by famed caterers.

At Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha in Mylapore, a spacious pandal has an artistic painting of the city then and now. “It cost Rs 4.5 lakh for the painting,” says K Srinivasan (37), son of Mountbatten Mani Iyer, one of those famed caterers whose menu is also music to the ears of concert-goers.

“If you mention Triplicane/Thiruvallikeni to my father, he can go on for hours talking about it and his life,” says Srinivasan.



n 1947 (before Indian Independence), the last Governor General Lord Mountbatten had come visiting the Governor’s house in Guindy. “South Indian food was included in the buffet and my father prepared for him Badam Halwa, Paal Payasam and many other dishes including Sambar Sadam, Potato Kara curry, Cheppan Kezhangu roast, traditional curd rice and cut mango pickle. Mountbatten was so impressed with the food and excellent cooking. He said hereafter he will be called as Mountbatten Mani Iyer,” says Srinivasan.

“My father loves the profession of cooking more than his family,” laughs Srinivasan. “But, he worked without a visiting card or a phone,” he points out.

Former president V V Giri, former Prime Minister Morarji Desai and actor-politiican M G Ramachandran (MGR) are some of India’s great people he has served food for.

“While MGR had gone to London for his treatment, he returned with his surgeon and gave a party for around 3,000 people at Vijay Seshmahal where Vijaya Forum Mall stands today and a private party for 50 people. He loved the rasam so much that he presented my father a gold chain,” adds Srinivasan.

Today, K Srinivasan runs Mountbatten Mani Iyer Catering Services. He was not taught by his dad, he learnt everything through observation, just the way Mani Iyer did.

Source: https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/12/21/tirunelveli-lad-becomes-mountbatten-mani-iyer/
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