Free music is questionable: Carnatic vocalist Sudha Ragunathan

yoshika

Yoshika Sangal | October 13, 2017


#On a Personal Note   #Culture   #Arts   #Music   #Sudha Ragunathan  
Photo Courtesy: Sudha Ragunathan
Photo Courtesy: Sudha Ragunathan

Sudha Ragunathan is a renowned Carnatic vocalist and composer. She has performed across India and abroad. Her guru was Padma Bhushan ML Vasanthakumari, known by many as a musical genius and a doyenne of Carnatic music. Sudha’s most fascinating and memorable performance was Vande Mataram at the central house of parliament during the 50th Republic Day celebrations in 2000. She has also performed at a concert organised by the United Nations. Apart from teaching music, she is the managing trustee of Samudhaaya Foundation that assists victims of national calamities, and works for underprivileged people. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2004 and Padma Bhushan in 2015.


Tell us about your gurus and their role in your musical career.

Music was always present in our family. My mother was my first guru. I have been playing around with notes! It was because of my mother’s perseverance and commitment in pushing me each and every time. My formal training began with Vidwan TV Viswanathan and BV Lakshman. Later, I got an opportunity to learn from the Padma Bhushan ML Vasanthakumari.

How can Carnatic music’s scope and audience be increased?

The scope is already increasing. Younger generation is now choosing it as their profession. Opportunities are plenty now. However, increasing the audience needs to addressed seriously. Though there are plenty of concerts being organised, the audience turnout is lean in most of these. Concerts have to be made more engaging. Gone are the days when concerts were held for three to four hours. Times have changed. Durations are shorter and audience wants essence captured in that short time. We can focus on lecture demonstrations, thematic concerts and singing new kritis and raagas.

Tell us about Samudhaaya Foundation. What are the social causes you are working for?

I was deeply moved by the Kargil war and wanted to do something for the families of war heros. I was already involved in social activities and sang in concerts to raise funds for charities organised by others. I wanted to have the individuality and the independence to do what I wanted and when I wanted, with nobody questioning it. Thus, I started Samudhaaya Foundation in 1999.  After identifying a cause, we organise a concert and raise funds for it. At present, we are funding special wheelchairs and BiPAP ventilators. We are also working on restoration of ponds and sponsoring two ponds in Tamil Nadu where we would be funding for the complete desilting and restoration works.

How was your experience working in films?

I loved it. It is a totally different terrain. All perspectives change and I learnt a lot of good things from the other side – little nuances yet absolutely constructive.

Does music provide equal opportunity and pay to all irrespective of  the gender?

It is improving though there is still gender bias looming large, even if discreetly.

What do you think about free online music sharing?

It is welcome. It gives more visibility and widens your horizon. The spectrum of audience reach also expands. Webcasting and online sharing have quite become the order of the day. Free music is however questionable and debatable. Why should music be given free?

What qualities should music students inculcate?

Humility, respect for the art, music and the audience they sing for. They should diligently practise, be ‘thirsty’ to keep learning and be conscious of what they sing. And finally, patience and persistence.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Hyderabad rape and murder case: four accused killed in police encounter

Amid shock and outrage across the country over the rape and murder of a young woman in Hyderabad, the police on early Friday morning killed all the four accused in the case in Hyderabad. Police had taken the four to Chattapally, where they had allegedly burnt the woman’s body after rap

Climate change is here: India among the most affected

India has been among the countries most affected by climate change, and ranks high on the Climate Risk Index prepared by researchers at NGO Germanwatch. The index for 2019, published this week, takes note of the alarming situation around the world and calls for more steps to mitigate the cr

How children have acquired disaster mitigation skills – and confidence

In the science laboratory of a modest government school, a team of young students give a demonstration of what is called ‘non-structural mitigation’. When earthquake-like jolts are given to a doll’s-house like building model, the beds, the dining table, cupboards, wall hanging make a mess

End of ideology, coalition politics and popular mandate?

On November 29, Uddhav Thackeray, the 19th chief minister of Maharashtra and the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), won the vote of confidence in the 244-member Vidhan Sabha of Maharashtra. With this the month-old drama over the government formation in the state came to an end. The appointment of the M

Maharashtra finally has a govt: now for the difficult part

Maharashtra finally has a government in place that has enough numbers, but its longevity may be tested time and again, given the differing ideological commitments of the three parties that make it up. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Thursday evening took oath as chief minister at Shivaji Pa



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter