Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Notes from The Music Academy

The season at The Music Academy opened on Tuesday, Dec.15 evening. Here are some scrapbook notes -

< LED advertisement boards greet you at The Music Academy campus on the evening of the inauguration of its 88th Conference. Cloth and flex banners are slowly giving way to new technology - adverts that hit you straight and hard. Stalls in the lobby are restricted, with many set up on the first floor - makes it easy for rasikas to move their feet.

< On the dot of 5 p.m. the curtains go up for the formal event. The backdrop is a departure from what we have seen the past years - the skies theme gives it a Christmassy effect. The Academy is stiff and formal about its 'season' events, gliding through the motions. So when Sangita Kalanidhi designate T V Gopalakrishan grabs the mike out of turn, you know that this is not the done thing on this stage!

< Inaugurations at all our sabhas are not packed, rousing ceremonies. The audience at the Academy is moderate. But everybody is dressed for the occasion - especially the women who are in their best Kanjeevarams. 

< The guest of the evening, Prof. K. Radhakrishnan, the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is probably the most impressive speaker at the Academy in recent years. The space scientist, feted recently for the Mangalyaan project which had India put a satellite on Mars in its very first attempt, is also a longtime music and dance student and performer ( last week, he had performed in Bangalore, we are told). He delves into the religious texts, the cultural legacies, Carnatic music and the traditions of Kerala to deliver an impressive speech to an attentive audience. 

< Academy president, N. Murali makes two important mentions in his speech. The men and women the Academy decorated in the past who passed away this past year. He specially talks about Mandolin U Srinivas, welling in emotion - saying that Srinivas had first performed at the Academy when he was just 14 and continued to do so for 30 years, same day, same time. ( this day - Dec.23 - this year has been dedicated to this master). Murali also mentions the many grants made by well-wishers including one by Srinivas' father for 'best instrumentalist'.

< Murali also refers to ongoing development at the Academy, with plans to install modern lighting systems and more additions to the recorded vintage music at the Academy-TAG Centre located at the rear of the Kasturi Srinivasan hall. Architect P T Krishnan has led the renovation and development which has made this performance space a premier one.

< The canteen here hosted its first set of diners after the formal function and when the tiffin demands ran high the stewards took some time to deliver. Pakodas and bondas ran out quickly, dosas were the option and the coffee counter was busy on a mildly chill evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment