Press coverage: A musical picture book from Kerala

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Vaitari: A musical picture book from Kerala by V.C. Arun with an Introduction for educators and parents by Ludwig Pesch

Making studies as pleasant as music
Review by A. Sangameswaran

Two musicologists of international repute are on an innovative mission to educate music lovers across the world about the intrinsic value of Carnatic music as a potential tool for education and blending cultures.
The Indo-Swiss research project, titled “Sam, reflection, gathering together,” is being executed jointly by Emanuel Wuethrich and Ludwig Pesch, in association with Natana Kairali at Irinjalakuda. (…) Their experiments to use Carnatic music for educating students with varying capabilities across the world have yielded remarkable results too.

They conducted joint programmes in different parts of the State to share their teaching and learning experiences.

They say that there is ample scope for introducing some of the Carnatic music lessons in classrooms, adult education and also rehabilitation programmes for the physically and mentally challenged.

THE HINDU, The Hindu, Kerala edition, Sunday 13 August 2006 (Online edition of India’s National Newspaper)

Preserving a rich cultural tradition
The Indian education system boasts of a past where knowledge was imparted to the next generation by word of mouth. To pass on the teachings of various art forms, the masters devised various techniques.
One among them is rhythmic syllables or phrases called Vaaythaari. These rhythmic phrases, in the case of percussion arts, are construed in such a way that their recitation resembles the sound generated by the instrument, be it the chenda, maddalam, mizhavu, mridangam or edakka. (…)
Professor Immanuel Wuthrich, a musicologist at the Bern University of Arts (Switzerland), and Ludwig Pesch, a musicologist and Indologist, have documented this system. Under the joint auspices of the Bern University of Arts and Natanakairali, Irinjalakuda, a workshop was conducted two years ago at Irinjalakuda on the intangible aspects of oral traditions. (…) In the workshop that followed, a lecture-demonstration by Nirmala Panicker on the incorporation of rhythmic syllables in Mohiniyattam, an oral exercise by Vayali, a class by P. Nandakumar on the rhythmic phrases and patterns used in playing the edakka and the mridangam, a demonstration by Kalanilayam Prakasan on the phrases used in maddalam and a painting class by V. C. Arun were included. (…) The organisers hope that the workshop will help create awareness about Kerala’s rich folk art culture.

THE HINDU, Friday Review Thiruvananthapuram (Online edition of India’s National Newspaper), Friday, Sep 14, 2007

The Small Theatre (Sittrarangam) – Ekagrata Publications

Description

‘The Small Theatre (Tamil Sittrarangam) is a chamber auditorium specially designed for Indian performing arts. Based on rural architecture, it provides a congenial atmosphere for traditional performers of dance, music and folk arts, and their audience alike.’

From the introductory note jointly published by
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
The Government of Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation (TTDC)

Beautifully and very imaginatively conceived. India needs theatres of this kind in every village.
Goverdhan Panchal, Professor of Theatre Architecture at the National School of Drama in New Delhi

Free ebook version for online browsing and downloading >>

A THEATRE FOR ALL
Sittrarangam – the small theatre Madras
by Ludwig Pesch
with a Foreword by Himanshu Burte

ISBN 90 75785 03 8
2nd revised edition

89 pages
3 colour plates (cover photograph, 2 digital graphic representations for the floor plan of the theatre on the back cover)
15 b/w plates
Size: 25,7 cm x 19 cm
Weight: 248 g

Price: 36 EUR
Libraries and the booktrade:
please enquire about customary discount

Contents
1 Introduction
2 A small theatre for Chennai
3 A theatre for all
4 Historical and social aspects of Indian performing arts
5 Access to the living arts
6 Sittrarangam and traditional Indian theatre architecture
7 Sittrarangam: model for a facility serving cultural tourism
8 About the plates and their context
Plate 1 Open-air stage (‘Tiger Cave’) near Mamallapuram
Plate 2 Kuttambalam stage (Irinjalakuda / Kerala)
Plate 3 Interior of Sittrarangam (Island Grounds / Chennai)
Plates 4, 5 and 6 Sittrarangam: phases of construction
Plate 7 A South Indian vocal recital by Mani Krishnaswamy
Plate 8 A leather shadow play by S. Seethalakshmi
Plates 9 and 10 Dance performances by Archita and Satyajit
Plate 11 Living theatre: Terukkuttu and Kattaikkuttu
Plates 12, 13, 14 and 15 The Sittrarangam experience
Appendix 1 A theatre according to the Natya Shastra in the IIT Madras
Appendix 2 Postscript to the IIT project description
Appendix 3 In search of an Indian theatre by Ludwig Pesch
Appendix 4 A Chamber Theatre for the Performing Arts
Appendix 5 Personal comments (Visitors’ Book 1987, 1988)
Acknowledgements
About the author
Bibliography

A reference to Sittrarangam (with photograph) is found in The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre edited by Ananda Lal (New Delhi 2004)

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Vaitari: A musical picture book from Kerala

vaitari_01_cover_boats

by Arun V.C.

More information | preview of pages | Press coverage

Ekagrata Publications, Amsterdam 2006
ISBN-10: 90-75785-04-6
ISBN-13: 978-90-75785-04-3

250.- Indian Rupees (incl. audio-CD and postal charges) within India

€ 22.50 (incl. postal charges) within the Euro-zone by bank transfer; bank details on request

€ 25.00 (incl. postal charges) or equivalent in other currencies outside Europe via PayPal in favour of:

ekagrata@mimemo.net

(currency conversion is made during PayPal payment)

CHF 30,00 (incl. audio-CD and postal charges) within Switzerland by bank transfer; bank details on request

Reviews – Raga Dhana: An Alpha-Numerical Directory of Ragas

ragadhana_2ndedby Ludwig Pesch

“An easy to use reference book for concert, music class and and home” [about the first edition] – Indian Express, Chennai, 29 August 1986

“A neat compilation … ragas mainly used on concert platforms … highly useful as a reference book for listeners in concerts and to students for use in the classroom. …” [about the first edition] – The Hindu, Chennai, 23 December 1986

Students of music, as well as music lovers in general, will find this a very useful reference book. Neatly printed and attractively produced.” – Sruti Magazine, The Indian Classical Music and Dance Magazine, Chennai, January 1994

Unique Directory of Ragas … For 15 years he [Ludwig Pesch] studied with the late Ramachandra Sastri (1906-1992) … Pesch not only became a performing artiste on the Karnatic flute but had access to his mentor’s research material. He received many scholarships and put them to good use for enlarging the horizon of Karnatic music by research, documentation and publications …
His [is an] ingenious and logically consistent scheme for identifying ragas by an alpha-numerical method … almost encyclopedic in its scope … contains 500 north and south Indian ragas … the Hindustani svaras and their Western equivalents have been given and the scales shown in staff notation … The glossary, with all terms and names cross-referred, is an illuminating compilation … which every lover of music should welcome with gratitude.” – T.S. Parthasarathy, Journal of the Music Academy Madras, Vol. LXV, 1994

No library of books on Indian music would be complete without Ludwig Pesch’s Raga Dhana (published by Natana Kairali) and Illustrated Companion to South Indian Music (Oxford University Press). They are among the most widely consulted books on Indian music in English. Pesch’s writing is highly regarded for its accurate scholarship. At the same time he takes pains to write in a style that does not intimidate the lay reader.” – S.R. Ramakrishna, themusicmagazine.com, Bangalore, July 2003

Book reviews: Eloquent Percussion: A Guide to South Indian Rhythm

Cover art: Arun V.C.

by Ludwig Pesch (Introduction and concept) & T.R. Sundaresan (lessons)

The art of vocalization of rhythmic patterns (Konnakkol) … and its importance as a memory aid and a teaching requisite have been duly highlighted … easy to comprehend. … useful for familiarisation with the various rhythmic embellishments used in percussion solo … excellent and free from errors.

The guide to pronunciation is easy to follow. The efforts of the authors to make the techniques of South Indian classical percussion more approachable certainly merit appreciation … will kindle the interest of those who want to know more about the nuances of percussion. – THE HINDU (Book Supplement, 17 December 1996)

AT HOME with Master Musicians of Madras by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy

Madras is one of the most musical cities in the world, where thousands of concerts of South Indian classical music every year. Most Madras musicians begin their training in the nurturing environment of the home. In this series, several top musicians are seen in family settings as they teach their children and students, discuss their views of Karnatak music and its spiritual dimensions, and demonstrate elements of this unique devotional classical tradition.

Volume 1: T.N. Krishnan (violinist)

VOLUME I follows a day in the life of world-famous violinist T.N. Krishnan, beginning in the private space of his home where he teaches his two remarkable children, Viji, age 14, and Sriram, age 8, both now acclaimed violinists. He then delivers an elegant and charming demonstration of Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi, and guides us through his photo album. After interviews with Viji and Sriram, we enter public space to take a drive through the sights of Madras with TNK’s narration. We then arrive at Shastri Hall, where he performs a public concert, with his daughter Viji and the century’s greatest mrdangam drummer, the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer (1915-1981).

Source: AT HOME with Master Musicians of Madras Volume I
http://www.apsara-media.com

Volume IV: South Indian Classical Music House Concert with M. D. RAMANATHAN (vocalist), T.N. Krishnan (violin) and Umayalpuram Sivaraman (mridangam)

Manjapara Devesa Ramanathan (1923-1984), the disciple of “Tiger” Varadachariar, was a gifted vocalist and composer remembered for his uniquely creative, sensitive, and unpredictable style. “MDR” was awarded the Padma Sri by the Government of India in 1974 and the Sangit Natak Akademi Award in 1975.

VOLUME IV Manjapara Devesa Ramanathan appears in rare video footage recorded by Fredric Lieberman and Amy Catlin in 1977. He presents with consummate artistry a one-hour concert of carefully selected gems covering a wide range of materials in Telugu and Sanskrit by the greatest classical Karnatak composers.  Completing the trio are the esteemed accompanists Padma Bhushan T. N. Krishnan, violin, and Padma Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman, mridangam.

Source: At Home Volume IV
Address : http://www.apsara-media.com/At%20Home%20v4.html
Date Visited: Mon Jun 18 2012 23:15:55 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy’s research, writing, teaching, curatorial activities, and multi-media publications often have an applied focus, aimed at community development of minority traditions, especially in diasporic settings. She served as curator and presented the first concert and lecture tour outside India with a group of African-Indian Sidi performers from Gujarat, in September 2002, traveling with them in England and Wales. Her recent publications include Sidi Sufis: African Indian Mystics of Gujarat(Aspara Media 2002: 79-minute CD), the volume co-edited with Indian Ocean historian Edward Alpers, Sidis and Scholars: Essays on African Indians (New Delhi: Rainbow Publications and New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2003) and the DVD, The Sidi Malunga Project (2004). Funding for her research has come from such agencies as NEA, NEH, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Philosophical Society, Fulbright, the Indo-US Subcommission, and the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Her most recent publication is the DVD, Music for a Goddess, a continuing applied ethnomusicology project concerning Dalit (formerly known as Untouchable) Devidasis (women musicians dedicated to the Goddess) of the Deccan (India’s central plateau, where the most severe rural poverty reigns in many regions).

Source: Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy Bio
Address : https://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1135:amy-catlin-jairazbhoy-bio&catid=7&Itemid=226
Date Visited: Mon Jun 18 2012 23:07:25 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Indian music and the west – an account by Sangita Kalanidhi Trichy Sankaran

Mridangam maestro Trichy Sankaran – Photo: courtesy The Hindu

The Hindu, 31 Dec. 2011

Tiruvarur to Texas, Carnatic musicians have transcended global cultures, echoing the seven notes to the West. Trichy Sankaran,to be honoured with the Sangita Kalanidhi today, summarises Carnatic music’s history in America in a chat with critic Veejay Sai

While everyone is aware of how Hindustani music became popular in the West, especially America, with maestros like Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s early overseas concert tours, how and when was Carnatic music an active part of the American culture? “It was Tanjore Viswanathan, the brother of Bharatanatyam legend Balasaraswati, who went on a Fulbright fellowship in 1958 to study Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Veena Balachander went in 1962 with Umayalpuram Sivaraman (mridangam) and Vellore Ramabhadran (kanjira, for this tour),” says mridangam maestro Trichy Sankaran. Balachander and flautist Ramani along with the aforementioned percussionists ideated a project called ‘Sangeetam Madras’ and extensively toured North America. By 1963, mridangam vidwan Palghat Raghu travelled as a member of Ravi Shankar’s ensemble. By then a slow process of institutional interest seeped in amongst the American academia. “It was ethnomusicologist Robert Brown of Wesleyan University who showed great interest in bringing Carnatic music to America. He was a student of T. Ranganathan, the other brother (and a senior student of my guru Palani Subramnia Pillai) of Balasaraswati They were invited as artistes in residence at Wesleyan University and that was the first ever such occasion for Carnatic musicians to go there,” adds Sankaran, in fond remembrance of his guru-bhai. Brown’s interest in Indian music grew from strength to strength and he would think up newer methods of spreading it to American music lovers. “Bob, as we called Robert, started an experimental project called ‘Curry Concerts’ which he would organise. These were a combination of a sumptuous Indian dinner followed by a concert and gained popularity in no time. He was one of the few ethnomusicologists who believed that the study of the art is important with its performing element. He put an emphasis on the performing artistes as well,” recollects Sankaran.

Brown later invited several other musicians like K.V. Narayanaswamy (KVN) and Palghat Raghu to Wesleyan. KVN, as an artiste in residency at the university, went on a coast-to-coast concert tour along with Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan and earned fame at the Hollywood Bowl music festival by 1967. Several vidwans left for American shores to take part in festivals like the Monterey pop festival and Woodstock festival. “Brown went ahead to invite Ramnad Krishnan and Ramnad Raghavan. But Krishnan didn’t stay around for too long as he was very homesick and wanted to return to his family in India. But while in America, he was recorded by a music company with T. Thyagarajan (violin) and T. Ranganathan (mridangam),” says Sankaran, with a chuckle in his voice. “The Western students were also not acquainted with our Indian manners. I had an initial culture shock with students addressing me with a “Hey”, but I slowly got used to it and we taught them Indian manners! Here, we were used to people calling us ‘sir”, “vidwan”, and so on. Ramnad Krishnan was in disbelief when students would walk up to him asking, “Hey Krishna, when is my next lesson man?” and he wasn’t used to being addressed in such a tone!” laughs Sankaran heartily, recollecting how many musicians took the effort to culture Western audiences to guru-shishya traditions. […]

Today, Carnatic musicians rub shoulders with world music greats and collaborate with music practitioners from every other genre. The seductive swaras have showed their triumph once again, reminding how great the power of Indian music is.

Source: The Hindu : Arts / Music : A brief history of star-spangled swaras and raga music
Address : http://www.thehindu.com/arts/music/article2764012.ece?homepage=true
Date Visited: Tue May 01 2012 10:04:11 GMT+0200 (CEST)