Chennai: Carnatic music is a constant interaction between tradition and innovation. Emerging talents seem to have a perfect balance of the two. Sruti Sarathy, a violonist from the Bay Area and a Fullbright scholar, currently doing her research about the ways in which Carnactic violinists are incorporating techniques, concepts and melodies shares her experiences with 'News Today'.
Excerpts of her interview
Q: Who is your Guru?
A: I have trained more than 15 years in Carnatic music with Anuradha Sridhar, who is the niece of renowned muisician Lalgudi Jayaraman. I also learnt Hindustani music under the guidance of Kala Ramnath. And I gave my first concert at the age of 11.
Q: Why did you choose violin?
A: When I was two-and-half years old, I fi rst picked the violin and I felt connected to it immediately. I used to play with a cardboard violin throughout the day.
Q: What are accompaniment concerts?
A: They are the concerts in which musicians accompany lyrical singers. As a musician, it is very interesting because you have to respond to the singer’s mood.
Q: Are you also a vocalist too?
A: Yes. It is very important to know how to sing during accompaniment concerts as it will help you understand the fellow vocalists better.
Q: Tell us about your current research
A: It is related with violin. The research is inclusive of performances and violinist interviews. I am working with VVS Murali and the research is helping me learn new techniques.
Q: Any interesting findings in your research?
A: Many. I got to know up to what extent music can be tweaked and it still remains carnatic.
Q: How has your hard work paid off?
A: I received best violinsit award from Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha and from the music academy’s Spirit of Youth festival. I also got a chance to play for Chitraveena Ravikiran.
Q: Share your memories of Margazhi season
A: It was so much fun during childhood as we used to fly to India for Christmas break. In Chennai, it is a mini world of concerts during that time and I used to enjoy being a part of it. I still do.
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