Aaand 2015 is here! This season has been fantastic as always and I would like to thank so many of you who have turned up in such large numbers. The last year has been very significant musically for me.
Learning up, practicing and singing compositions is a favourite activity of mine. I believe that a large repertoire is very important for me as a Carnatic musician. It gives me a better understanding of the ragas especially when you learn multiple songs in the same raga. In the modern age when technology helps in communicating what one is doing on stage within seconds to any part of the world, the variety in presentation helps to keep one’s music fresh and current. It breaks monotony in presentation and motivates me to look forward to each and every concert.
I have identified a few ‘musical quests’ if you can call it that for the year 2015. Of course every year I used to call them resolutions and promptly never kept them! This year however I would like to call them quests. This word has a slightly different connotation. One is that it is not time bound. After all did not people spend lifetimes chasing impossible quests?? Secondly it has a very exotic and ancient kind of meaning that sounds so much more lofty, much like the jargon that some artists employ to define their music, so that everything else can be dismissed by a term of their own choosing!
Ok so I will let you in on a secret. One of the quests is to sing every one of the 72 melakarthas. I have had this going for a few years now. I have made significant progress and have only about 16 left. This was primarily inspired by the rendition of compositions of various composers by Thanjavur S Kalyanaraman, specially recorded in the US, and finds itself in many a private collection. I have not learnt songs in all the 72, but I did cheat a little by including them s RTPs, Slokam/virutham or Ragamalika Swaram/Tanam/Neraval etc. Now if I were to revise the terms of the quest then it would involve singing and recording and releasing compositions and RTPs in every melakartha. Now that is a quest worth pursuing right? I am sure someone else will have the time, effort and patience to complete it and hats off to anyone who has or will do it. I just thought I’ll commit to this in public so that I will look like an idiot when someone comes up to me and says “Yenna, have you finished your quest?” and it will inspire me to go ahead and complete it!
One of the highlights of 2014 has been the launch of the digital distribution of my music via Gumroad and https://www.sanjaysub.com where the albums are being offered on a “Pay What You Want” pricing model. Essentially it is all free if you choose to pay 0$. I would like to thank each and every one of you who clicked on the links and downloaded the albums. It is a sign of support and encouragement and I hope to continue and release many more such albums during the current year with a few surprises thrown in. Happy New Year!!!