BENGALURU: Chennai-based Carnatic musician T M Krishna says he has a long association with Bengaluru.
“I’m here almost once a month,” he says. This month, however, the musician who has constantly tried to reach Carnatic music beyond stuffy sabhas, has another visit scheduled before the month is up: to perform with the Jogappas. City Express caught up with him in an interview.
Excerpts: Your thoughts on Bengaluru.
I hate the traffic, and I love the audience. I think the audience here are more open to questioning traditions. Just because something has been around for 200 years it doesn’t mean it defies questioning. If it does, then what are we doing?
You have been associated with various projects – working with special children through music, taking Carnatic ragas to the war-ravaged Jaffna, encouraging children from rural areas to foster their musical talent. You are also very vocal about social issues. What do you have to say about the musician – and by extension the artist – community supporting social causes?
Art connects with human sensibilities and human emotions. All human beings, yes, should engage in dialogue about concerns of everyone. It should be a natural outcome of being in the art. If not, there’s something wrong with the art or the artist. That said, it doesn’t mean you have to pick which cause to support. It could be, but its not necessarily, activism.
You are a writer as well as a musician. Comment on writing and literature on music, and how accessible it is.
We have very little variety – we have no fictional, autobiographical, political or sociological writing on music in this country. In my book (The Southern Music – A Karnatik Story) I’ve also tried to include the political and sociological aspect of music.
Akiya – Transforming the Language of Music at Unnati Centre Auditorium on January 21 at 5 pm will bring T M Krishna and the Jogappa singers on the same stage. They will perform as equals, the organisers say. The musical evening, organised by Solidarity Foundation, is supported by ThoughtWorks, Henrich Boll Stiftung and Godrej Properties. Entry is free. For details, call 81977 71372.