Eminent Carnatic vocalist Sudha Ragunathan was recently in the city to perform at the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan. Talking about the younger generations and music, she said, “There is a surge amongst the youth to learn and take up music as a full-time career. A decade ago, they would have had the option of a dual profession where music would be a secondary option, after another main profession for living.”
Cautioning the younger generation, who dream to make it big in the field of classical music, she says, “Remember, there is always a lot more remaining to be learnt. Respect everyone you come across in life. Continue to pursue the path of humility and hard work. I always express gratitude to everyone who has received my music with so much love and affection. This includes all my organisers who make an effort in showcasing our music to the world at large. There is no guarantee of success, but one needs to be enthusiastic and passionate. Respect the art and it will take care of the rest. It’s not about the numbers, but the quality of the concerts that you render.”
At the same time, Sudha feels that change is imminent in present times. “It’s a bit sad that most of the concerts are abridged to a duration of about two hours. I recall my Guru M. L. Vasanthakumari singing at a concert for at least three hours, if not more. I would always closely observe the finer nuances of her singing. She was a loving and giving person. Innovation is definitely the order of the day with concerts getting into thematic mode, jugal-bandi, fusion or world music collaborations. I performed at a global vocal meeting with singers from Mali, Madagascar, Switzerland, Hungary and USA. This needs a lot of backstage work and all musicians generally meet few days in advance to identify the commonality of music and work together. I have seen lot of care and respect for musicians in Europe. They plan everything to the smallest of detail, which includes taking care of creating a fragrant green room and arranging good acoustics. We, in India, need to gear up in such matters.”
Sudha concludes by saying that Carnatic music is a therapeutic offering to mankind. “It’s a science which cannot have a mass appeal. One needs patience and certain understanding of the basics to be able to connect and get the benefit of this form of music,” she explains....