We don’t always have to travel to seek stories; they are right there in our homes too. In “Stories From My Home“, I examine the many objects surrounding me at home and attempt to document and share the memories associated with them, one story at a time.
Amma was a trained Karnatik Classical vocalist and the tambura (or tanpura) was an integral part of her musical journey. The tambura that features in this story was her second — the first one broke when her younger siblings got a little too rough with it.
My maternal grandmother told me that Amma was heartbroken, and had cried for days. It was only when she got the news that a new tambura was on its way for her, all the way from Tiruchirapalli, that she cheered up. This was in 1952 and since then that tambura was her musical companion.
In 1980, Amma developed a problem with her vocal chords rendering her unable to sing, to perform, to speak even. Eventually, Amma regained her ability to speak, but could never sing like she used to again. Her music went silent and so did her tambura.
Continue reading “Stories From My Home – 8: Amma’s Tambura” →
Do you ever have a song, an idea, a story line, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, a background score, etc. That particular piece of music becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness” (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.
My current “now” song: Allahvai naam thozhudaal, a composition by Nagoor Hanifa and sung by T.M. Krishna.
Surprisingly, it was Twitter which introduced me to this gem, and I still can’t get over that. I was home on sick leave from work that weekday in October with a fever and body ache. Restless and unable sleep, I logged into my Twitter account to do ‘time pass’.
Continue reading “My “now” song: Allahvai naam thozhudaal” →
The Guest Post Series on “My Favourite Things” has contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, photography, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.
Today’s guest post is by Srinayan, the infrequent blogger of The Random Walkaround. Srinayan, however, prefers to be known as a lethargic blogger who is long on intent, but somehow falls short on delivery. An engineer by profession, he writes on many topics, but always with sensitive insight and understated humour. Today’s guest post is on something that readers attending classical music performances would be familiar with.
Performing artistes of today — especially classical dancers and musicians — often speak about the necessity to connect with their audiences. The ability to do so decides the difference between recognition (and a healthy bank balance) and obscurity. Audience tastes and receptiveness is no longer taken for granted.
A generation-and more-ago this approach would have been dismissed as pandering to the audience. Concert-goers were generally knowledgeable and came to the performances fully aware of what to expect. A well-known artiste knew that he (or she) had to live up to expectations. A less well-known performer knew that this concert could be another step forward in his (or her) quest for wider recognition. Fulsome praise or damming criticism — the artiste had to be prepared for both.
There would the occasional misstep or the wrong note which made the performance more memorable.
Continue reading “Know thy audience” →