S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Friday, 30 November 2018

PUBLISHER’S NOTE


After a long stint with Sruti, V. Ramnarayan our former Editor-in-Chief has retired due to health reasons. Right from bringing in the Sanmar collaboration, introducing theatre in Sruti, to bringing about a diverse assortment of topics to our readers, Ramnarayan, ably steered the magazine all these years. A progressive thinker, he welcomed fresh ideas, young writers, and would always look for an opportunity to feature a deserving performer. His keen eye for detail, his ability to micro-edit ensured high production standards for the magazine. We wish to place on record our appreciation of the years of service with Sruti and Sanmar. We will miss him here at Sruti and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Effective December, S. Janaki takes over as the new Editorin- Chief of Sruti magazine.
‘Sruti’ Janaki, as she is often addressed, is an extraordinarily conscientious and dependable member of our team since November 1989. Back in 2002, after the sudden demise of our founder-editor N. Pattabhi Raman, Janaki and the rest of the Sruti parivar kept the magazine going against overwhelming odds and ensured that the magazine came out every month on time without a break. Today, even though her editorial plate is overflowing, she is always enthusiastic and ever-ready to help, be it our in-house events, designing our cover, website or even ideating for a panel discussion. A multifaceted personality and a prolific writer, Janaki is a well-known arts activist and commentator for almost 30 years. She is also an office bearer and committee member of prominent arts organisations and of course a lifelong student of music, dance and painting with a degree in journalism.

The Sruti Foundation welcomes Janaki and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us all these years—our writers, readers, subscribers, advertisers and well-wishers.

It is “season time” in Chennai, when all the halls—big and small—are abuzz with music and dance. We have a brief curtain-raiser on this season while music historian and raconteur Sriram V harks back to some of the happenings in Margazhi 75 years ago, in his inimitable style. The Chennai music and dance season is also the time when all the cultural organisations recognise and celebrate excellence among young talent and mature musicians. In this issue, the focus is on two personalities who have reached the pinnacle of success—Aruna Sairam, recipient of the Sangita Kalanidhi, and Dr. Premeela Gurumurthy recipient of the Musicologist Award, Saraswathi Puraskaram and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Both are performing musicians and arts administrators and have struck a good balance between their personal life and profession. They do not belong to a musical lineage by birth but had parents who inculcated in their children their own passion for Indian classical arts and exposed them to its holistic nature. They were also lucky to learn from great teachers. Aruna Sairam is a musician of the masses and Premeela Gurumurthy is an academician.

Unlike her seniors, Jayanthi Kumaresh, recipient of the Indira Sivasailam award this year, can boast of a great musical lineage. She deserves special mention as she has remained steadfast to a traditional instrument like the veena and is exploring ways to popularise and propagate it.   

We also pay tribute to the late Annapurna Devi who was a master of the surbahar—an instrument even less popular than the veena and the sitar. Totally devoted to playing the instrument and teaching, she was a rare human being in that she shunned publicity of any kind and lived like a recluse.

We have a colourful bumper issue this month as it draws advertisers who wish to make a statement during the season—a landmark happening in Chennai.

P.U. ARAVIND

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