Making waves

Talented duo

Making waves

Srikrishna and Ramkumar Mohan, more commonly known as the ‘Trichur Brothers’,
have carved out a well defined space for themselves in the field of Carnatic music.
Possessing a magnetic appeal that turns their first-time audience into ardent fans, the siblings recently hit the limelight when they composed the official song of the ‘Namami Gange’ project.

Taking time off from concerts and events, the musicians talk to Rajitha Menon about their passion for music and much more.

Tell us about your journey till now.
Srikrishna: For the two of us, our musical journey began as soon as we were born. Our family has been musically inclined for many generations now.
Even though our father, senior mridangam ‘vidhwan’ Trichur R Mohan, is the first generation musician in the family, our grandparents and great grandparents were well-known patrons of the art form. I still remember how, when we were in our teens, one of our gurus, Govindan Namboothiri Sir, used to take music classes at 4 in the morning. There was something really magical about singing in the wee hours of the day and from then onwards, nobody had to compel us to sing.

How would you describe your music?
Ramkumar: We are very proud to belong to a very intimate form of Indian classical music that is Carnatic music. But we also like to experiment and collaborate with world music. Therefore, the best way to describe our music is that while we would remain Carnatic musicians all our lives, we would also like to be associated with the various forms of music across the globe.

One marked change in the global music scene from when you started out.
Srikrishna: We are still quite young lads so nothing has changed drastically so far (laughs).
Ramkumar: The participation of youth, be it as artistes on stage or as the audience, is definitely increasing. This is definitely great to see. And even around ten years back, Carnatic music used to happen mainly in India or the USA. Nowadays, it’s happening across the globe. We recently performed in Kenya for four concerts within a span of a week. Carnatic musicians have also started undertaking full-fledged concert tours across Europe.
Srikrishna: Talking about music in general, the one big change today is the ease of collaborating with other musicians from across the world.

One place you would love to perform at?
Srikrishna: Far too many but I will be a sport and mention one of them. The Esplanade in Singapore. It is known as one of the best concert halls in the world.

Your thoughts on Indian music nowadays.
Srikrishna: The scene is just wonderful. Technology is a huge aid for musicians today. Today, we can carry concerts of some great musicians on our smartphones or iPods. The previous generations did not have this facility. They would have to travel many miles to listen to one concert. And we could see that this ease of access to music is reflecting in the landscape of classical music. One can see various new ‘ragas’ surfacing in concerts today.

What are your hobbies other than music?
Srikrishna: We are ardent fans of cricket and follow the game passionately. In fact, Ramkumar had qualified for the ‘Under 16 South Zone’ team. Other than that, we take a keen interest in current affairs and also love travelling.

If not musicians...?
Srikrishna: I can’t even think of such a possibility. We really don’t have an answer to that.

A few things about both of you that no one knows...
Srikrishna: One thing definitely would be that both of us are married (laughs). Also, the fact that we are quite chilled out and can probably do a bit of standup comedy. We are really funny you know!

(The ‘Trichur Brothers’ will perform on September 2 at MLR Convention Centre.)

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