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The how and why of music by Vid. Abhishek Raghuram in SwaraLaya Carnatic Music Workshop 2018

Any music connoisseur is delighted when there is a melody around him. In addition, if he is served some food for thought, the result is a pleasant satisfaction. The SwaraLaya Carnatic Music Workshop 2018 was one such experience. Having musical greats Vidwan Abhishek Raghuram and Vidwan Udupi Gopalakrishnan as resource persons, the participants had a truly rare experience, with a one-of-its-kind workshop in Mangalore.

Over fifty students sat attentively listening to the venerated resource persons from morning 9 am to evening 6 pm, absorbing what was being presented before them like a sponge soaking up water. Vidwan Udupi Gopalakrishnan enumerated the many ways in which the very basics of music need to be practiced every day. Voice modulation, practicing basics in 'Akaram’, how to sing with open voice and singing 'Alankara Malika’ were other topics touched upon and practiced under his guidance.




While Vidwan Udupi Gopalakrishnan sir's teachings were specific that is to improve musical skills, Vidwan Abhishek Raghuram's open-ended questions were thought provoking to say the least. He welcomed unlimited answers to as many questions, thus enlivening the learning process. The questions ranged from what is a Ragam, what does 'Arohanam’ and 'Avarohanam’ tell about Ragams, what is the need of compositions, what is the tempo in Talams and so on. He thus took the participants to the very core of music, opening a new window into the way Carnatic music can be learnt. A unique way of practicing Varnam was also presented before the participants, wherein three Varnam are practiced simultaneously in progressive Kalams. To top it all, the campers were asked to improvise on Varnams with Manodharma and creating one's own compositions!! All this made the workshop unique, one to be cherished for a long time.

What was also heartening was the way Vidwan Udupi Gopalakrishnan and Vidwan Abhishek Raghuram interacted with the participants. They pulled down the invisible wall that separates the stalwarts and budding musicians. The warmth could be felt in the way everyone interacted and sincerely tried to internalize what was being said. Within a short span of two days, students learnt three new Kritis - 'Kaumari Gowri’ in Ragam Gowri' Manohari, 'Vandanamu Raghunandana’ in Ragam Shahana, and 'Navanita Chora Namo Namo’ in Ragam Senjuruti. There was lots, participants could take home with them from the workshop. It is interesting to note that participants from Mangaluru, Bengaluru and Chennai participated in the workshop. The participants were blessed to listen to Vidwan Udupi Gopalakrishna sing 'Gopanandana Valaripunuta’ and Vidwan Yathiraj Acharya’s soulful rendition of 'Kelano Hari Talano’. ‘Kalyana Gopalam' sung by Vidwan Abhishek Raghuram was another surprise and his melody lingers on….

While music satiated the soul of learners, food satiated their taste buds. Participants were served mouth-watering food and kashaya at the workshop to match with the melody. The food was sponsored by Mr. Prabhachandra Mayya at his residence. Sweets and spicy curries would have reminded the participants of the myriad bhavams that music evokes.

The workshop was organized to mark the anniversary of SwaraLaya, the full-day violin camp held every month in Mangalore. SwaraLaya is the brainchild of Violinist Vishwas Krishna (CEO & co-founder of Beauty Wall Spot) and Mr. Prabhachandra Mayya, which was conceptualized to help budding violinists strengthen their basic lessons in violin. The camp also features interviews and concerts by local artists.

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Posted by Violinvishwas Krishna on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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