Ranjani Fine Arts takes world-class tunes beyond the city centre
Founded by Arvind Brahmakal to transform the ‘cultural desert’ he encountered after moving to the east of the city, Ranjani Fine Arts gears up for ‘the crescendo of their annual calendar’ — a weekend of the finest Hindustani and Carnatic talent countrywide. The third edition of the annual festival includes vocalists Sanjeev Abhyankar andAbhishek Raghuram, a performance that unites three generations of violinists, as well as a programme specifically for children.
Brahmakal works to make classical Indian music universally accessible in an urban scenario. “Throughout the year, we have workshops, live performances and demos. But the annual festival brings in the most inspiring performers,” he shares. Agreeing, Sangeeta Shankar, who will travel from Mumbai and perform alongside her mother Rangini and daughter Nandini, says, “It’s important to create access to excellent music, whether people are traditionally ‘musical’ or not. In today’s hectic society, that’s a big boom.” Between them, the musicians have performed in the world’s cultural capitals.
Keen to lay foundations for the next generation of classical musicians, there is also a concert aimed directly at young people. “The children’s special Carnatic music concert was devised especially for this festival, and is a new concept. We want kids to get a taste of it.”
Organised by violinist Mysore Manjunath and his brother Mysore Nagaraj, it also includes Jayachandra Rao on the mridangam, Giridhar Udupa on the ghatam and Pramath Kiran on tabla. “We’ve played everywhere – from local schools to the Sydney Opera House, so we’re in a unique position to be able to do this,” says Manjunath. “As a community, we’re not focusing enough on the next generation who will take this music forward,” he adds. In order to go beyond the misconception that classical music is not for children, the group will hone in on rhythmic-centred compositions that the audience can participate in. They will also devise improv sessions where the children can repeat simple melody lines. “We’d encourage people to take a step out of their everyday existence and join us. With the strength of the performers, people are now even coming out of the city to us.” Brahmakal concludes.
February 14-15. At New Horizon College of Engineering Auditorium, Outer Ring Road. Tickets (`300 upwards) on
— Maegan Dobson Sippy