Anil Srinivasan takes his grand piano to the Madras Riding School
We have heard of concerts in bizarre places, like gigs in the Thames Tunnel Shaft, the Cinema Museum in Kennington, and Sofar Sounds—secret concerts held in the living rooms of London musicians. Our city joins the bandwagon this weekend with Hisham Osman, of Silkworm Boutique, organising an unusual piano performance. The Madras Riding School, which has been around for more than 45 years, sees around 200 people every day at 5.30 am, but this Sunday there will be more, as Anil Srinivasan will be playing the grand piano in the stables. “I’ve been organising cultural events for the past two years. The first was with pianist Anil Srinivasan at Spaces (in Besant Nagar) and the second was a dance performance by Dhriti Vaidyanathan from Singapore and Kiran Rajagopalan from New York, again at Spaces. This time I wanted to do something different and, since I’ve been riding for five years, I thought I’d collaborate with the riding school,” says Osman, who owns a horse named Elite Empire.
Though Osman is not a musician, he enjoys organising cultural events. “I have no background in music. I met Srinivasan in 2011 through a friend and we started working together on events,” says the retailer who is supported by Shaun D’Sa for design, Venu Srinivasan from Leo Coffee and Vikram Umapathi of Vurn, who is into sustainable dinner sets. The event will include breakfast. “There will be dosa, rava khichdi, pineapple kesari and vada. I get the food from Sangeetha, a restaurant I’ve been visiting since college.”
Spark of crazy
According to Srinivasan, the entire idea was crazy, initially. “I thought Osman must be crazy asking me to perform in a stable. But when I went there, it was beautiful. There are around 150 horses and the place is classy with an old-world look,” says the musician, who will be performing for an hour. “Expect Indian and Western music in a new repertoire. I am doing this concert out of curiosity, to find out how this will go. As a pianist, I have the constant need to present uniquely and this will be perfect,” says Srinivasan who, incidentally, is petrified of horses.
At The Madras Riding School, on Sunday, from 7.30 am. Passes available at Silkworm. Details: 9841018191
— Mrinalini Sundar