Chennai: The unbroken tradition of Indian classical music and dance, particularly Carnatic music, has seen multiple chroniclers in the mass media spectrum for several decades now. However, the Chennai-based 'Sruti' magazine, founded by the late aesthete, scholar and connoisseur of classical music, N Pattabhi Raman, has since its inception carved a niche for itself in chronicling, documenting and creatively re-articulating various facets of the performing arts in the country and abroad.
While mainly devoted to Indian classical music, dance and theatre, the exceptional devotion and care not to imitate the ‘idols of the market place’, to be a classic avant garde in its own way, meticulously researching, theorising and stylising its own path in preserving tradition and encouraging innovation, mark out ‘Sruti’ magazine as a unique publication, reflective of the South Indian genius ever since the self-effacing Pattabhi Raman's times.
Sruti's several profiles of “leading exponents of music and dance have not only been path-breaking in the annals of Indian journalism,”but they have provided insights into the person who makes the creative art. This is a key attribute that has made the magazine, with its adherence to high standards of authenticity, objectivity and sophisticated writing, “a veritable treasure house of in-depth knowledge of the many centres of excellence which have served to propagate the classical arts of India”. Young artistes too always have something to learn and relish from ‘Sruti’s interviews with leading personalities in performing arts and its exhaustive cover stories on several geniuses of music and dance.
The 400th edition of such a coveted publication was launched in Chennai on Thursday (January 4, 2018), with the volume formally released by Mr. R. Seshasayee, Chairman, Indusind Bank and Vice President, The Music Academy, in the presence of ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ designate this year, Chitravina N Ravikaran and ‘Natya Kalanidhis’, Shanta and V.P. Dhanjayan.
This latest volume, a special issue, with thought-provoking articles on the present and future of Carnatic music, Hindustani and Western music, besides folk arts, theatre and classical dances of India, by a host of eminent writers and artistes like Deepak Raja, Sunil Kothari, Leela Samson, V. R. Devika, Leela Venkatraman, Nandini Ramani, Jayant Kastuar, Anita Ratnam, R K Gopalakrishnan and Gowri Ramnarayan, is yet another collector's item for all lovers of music and dance.