Monday, December 26, 2011

2011: Music and me

Just thought I'd share some quick notes on how this year has been for me, musically. Not that I do this customarily every year and not that I have any tremendous accomplishments to report this time; but 2011 has been fulfilling in many ways and I just felt like jotting down some thoughts here. I had my first article on music published (in Sruti). Gruhabhedam having been a pet subject for many years whereas cognitive science being a whole new ball game, it was exciting and intimidating at the same time. It seems like the article was well received overall and I hope I did some justice to the subject.

In October last year I mustered some guts and started to write some elaborate concert reviews on (unfortunately haven't been able to keep up with it much post May 2011 as I haven't attended many concerts since - hopefully 2012 is better). It's been a great learning experience to say the least (a small digression: the mere fact that SO much debate and discussion happens around it with such fervour makes me very proud to be part of this Carnatic tradition - not many traditional art forms can boast of such strong, academic involvement from connoisseurs). One of my reviews is leading to a larger project in the pipeline about which hopefully I'll soon be able to write here. Moving on... I got involved in an interesting movie project in the summer. Wish I could write more about it but again, will have to wait until it sees the light of the day. Hmm.

Ha, and a random post on my synesthesia resulted in some pleasantly surprising responses. First, I didn't expect the post to resonate with that many people and second, it led to getting acquainted with a talented filmmaker interested in the subject! It's a strangely satisfying feeling to talk in detail about something (especially as surreal as synesthesia) you've experienced all your life, for the first time - with someone you've never met/ talked to before. Thank god for blogging.

It's always a nice feeling to perform on stage a blockbuster number that you've grown up listening to - I sang Chandralekha at a Tamil New Years event in San Diego. I don't care how it came out but I thoroughly enjoyed myself :P Talking of performances, a more serious one happened a few months later, in October - with the blessings of my guru, I did my first full length Carnatic concert in the US at Shri Mandir, San Diego. I'm nitpicking my performance to this day- nevertheless, it was an eyeopener and a very valuable learning experience in many ways; many thanks to the accompanists.

One of the most exciting things this year has been a song I've composed - it's exciting because it's my first non-Carnatic: a ghazal. I'm usually extremely hard on myself but I must say I'm quite pleased with this one. With all the encouraging feedback it got from friends and family, I'm hopeful that it will soon be completed and up here. The fact that I'm handing it over to someone else to sing is even more exciting. More, soon!

Last but surely not the least, thanks to an eight year old bundle of incessant energy and talent, I discovered the teacher in me and I can only say that it has been an immensely gratifying experience!

Octaves hasn't seen a lot of audio posts from me this year (and I'm beginning to think it's going to continue to be like this) but I've enjoyed writing here and hope you've enjoyed reading as well.

Okay, time to get back to whining about not being at the Madras music season now. Signing off, and wishing you a fulfilling and fruitful 2012.