S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Designer concerts

By S Sivaramakrishnan
Going by the emerging trends in the presentation of Carnatic music, the day may not be too far when concerts of these sorts happen:
Multi star concerts
If you could roughly divide the concert into three parts, the first artist will render a varnam, a few kriti-s and the so called ‘sub-main’; the key vidwan will handle the core segment consisting of rare numbers and the main piece and the third artist will go merry with the tukkada section. An RTP expert will chip in, if needed, between the core and tukkada segments.
Multi-pitch concerts
Very simple. For ‘medium-sthayi’ oriented pieces (for example, the Todi swarajati Raave himagiri) the artist will happily choose a bright pitch. He will select a low pitch for kriti-s like Ksheera sagara, where hitting the upper panchama at Taraka nama is mandatory. Needless to say multi-pitch concerts will be a boon for artists who do not have a sweeping range. Of course you have to put up with the interludes for change of sruti or instruments between songs.

Double duets
In other words, two duets on the same platform. This can promote healthy competition. Requires adequate space on the platform. The so-called ‘stage presence’ will be guaranteed!
Vaggeyakara concerts
Here the artist will dress up like the composer of the kriti. As considerable time may be needed for change-overs, two or more artists may participate and ‘alternate’ the slots.
A group of well rehearsed artists sit together. Songs won’t start at the pallavi. Singers take turn to sing sahitya passages at random to make meaningful formations to elicit audience admiration and finally arrive at the kriti. These events will also have raga alapana with rare pidi-s leaving the listeners guessing the raga name. The exact raga roopa will emerge after a while.
Three or four rasika volunteers can be provided with buzzers and rewarded with gifts for quickest identification of the raga as quiz programmes.
Camaraderie concerts
The raga will be rendered by one team, the kriti by another, the niraval-swaraprastara by yet another and so on. Entertainment assured!
Sing along concerts
If you are a great fan of a particular singer, you can fulfil your dream singing along with the star your favourite kriti sitting beside him or her on the stage. Mind you, the cost can be high or even exorbitant.
Walk-in music
The event promoters bring a celebrity to your doorstep quite unexpectedly on a Sunday. How well you receive the team and treat them to instant snacks with ingredients provided by the sponsor will be the challenge for the host. The reward will be in the form of a song of your choice rendered by the guest artist.
Any more ideas?

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