'A piece is complex if you think it is'

Ramon Magsaysay awardee and Carnatic music exponent T M Krishna is known for speaking his mind and going beyond the set concert formats during his performances.

Most of his renditions are an eye-opener because of his pluralistic approach to music in particular and art in general. And he blends the two perfectly well. There’s something new for people to think about after every one of his concerts. Krishna, who was in the city recently, takes time off to chat with Nina C George, about his love for Carnatic music and his association with Bengaluru.

How is it to perform Bengaluru?

It’s always a wonderful experience to sing in Bengaluru. I come here at least twice or thrice a month.

How do you render complicated pieces with such ease?

A piece is complex if you think it is. Exploring the technical complexity of the music is one thing and getting to its heart and soul is another thing. I treat every piece that I perform with the same amount of intrinsic depth.

What is your take What is your take on collaborative music and the current pool of young musicians?

Collaborative music of any kind has always existed in every society. I always wonder why people talk about pure music because the idea of pure music doesn’t really exist. Honesty and integrity is what should go into making good music. I wish the young musicians of today spend time a little more time in understanding the idea of collaboration. Most of the music that I hear, which fall under the category of collaborative music, is just surface level jamming.

What is the best way to learn Carnatic music?

The one way to learn the music of any form is to do so with complete dedication and face all challenges head on.

Are your children following in your footsteps...

Our children aren’t under any kind of compulsion to be musicians. What we have inculcated in them is the love and interest to assimilate all kinds of art.

How do you always manage to stay outspoken?

My home and school were very open environments. We could speak our mind and discuss the most uncomfortable subjects , without being worried about hierarchy or any kind of power structure. This is why, I don’t feel inhibited to express my thoughts.

How do you handle criticism?

It depends on what the criticism is. If it is just attacks, then I don’t give much importance to them. But if it is constructive, then I am open to them.

What keeps you going…

Music. Only after music comes everything else.

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