Notes from the heart

Notes from the heart

Notes from the heart

One celebrates music everyday, consciously or otherwise. Be it in its raw and pristine form, such as the rustle of leaves or the tweet of a bird, to the cleverly engineered and developed ‘sonic’ system.

As we are on the threshold of another World Music Day, the question is if any piece of music can be called authentic these days.

“Not at all,” says Ganesh, the drummer of the progressive rock band ‘Agam’. He explains that this is like pouring old wine into a new bottle. “Music beyond borders is a good trend and this is not a dilution of the original. Authenticity of a track is always questionable. But people gain an insight into a new form. They go back and listen to the original track once they listen to a fusion.” 

Geeth, the guitarist for the band ‘Lagori’, says that fusions and collaborations have only helped artistes grow and promote a healthy music scene in the City. “Other genres find their audience too. Acoustic music — the pure form with guitars and vocals – has its space as many singers and songwriters are becoming popular.

Acoustic has an audience through acoustic rock and acoustic folk. Technology is also a big boon for everybody as it has helped the music community shrink,” he adds. After a recent collaboration of ‘Lagori’ with ‘Above and Beyond’, a popular EDM band, Geeth says that collaborations and fusions help take an artiste’s career forward.  

But it’s not only the West that is doing big rounds; classical music also retains its hold with ease. With the amount of talented youngsters in the City, it is safe to say that the genre is shouldered in safe hands. Apoorva Krishna, an A grade artiste in violin, AIR, has a performance on June 21 at Shankarmutt, Shankar Puram, as part of a series of musical concerts.

“At one time, people used to go away from the City to Chennai as there weren’t many opportunities here to learn. Now, the City has become saturated with ‘sabhas’, teachers and students. The City has seen a growth in vocalists and instrumentalists as well.” However, the artform has deeper questions to explore. Two challenges that musicians have to deal with are lack of payments or delayed payments and bringing out a viable monetisation and market in the industry. Geeth says that capitalisation comes in only through live shows since online sites work as fuelling channels for the growth of an artiste.

Despite the freedom that internet provides, musicians agree that it comes with a certain responsibility. Ganesh says that as the number of avenues have grown manifold to showcase one’s work, musicians now have wider options and a bigger reach as compared to mainstream artistes earlier.

To rejoice the musical streak in the City, Alliance Francaise too is celebrating International Music Day with ‘Fete de la Musique’ — on June 21 and 22 over 16 venues. Fans will drink up a potpourri of genres — from rock, pop rock, hip hop, acoustic rock, blues, electro alt punk groove, jazz experimental, classical fusion, progressive rock and even ‘choiry’ music. Kavya, a trumpet player, posits a different kind of challenge which music now faces.

“While the City can be called a musical one, there is a lack of brass instrumentalists on another side. We need institutes in the country to offer specialised courses in instruments like theses, apart from the mainstream ones, such as guitar and piano. We also have to find international players to come to the City and perform so that there is a growing awareness.”

So for this year, musicians advise youngsters to explore and test their nets into troubled and ‘fishy’ waters with an open mind to figure out innovative business models and marketing techniques. 

Ganesh advises musicians to “stick to their strength and play true to their heart”. This is the only way of figuring out the noise from the music and after all, everyone is aurally inclined.

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