Carnatic music, one of the forms of the Indian classical music, which is associated with the southern part of the sub-continent. City-based artists B K Anantharam and Amith Nadig, the father and son duo shares with City Express about the music, experiences and collaboration with the other artistes from Europe and America.
Ananthram who developed interest at the age of six years was supported by his parents Rajamma Keshavamurthy and a vocalist B M Kehsavamurthy. Speaking about his initial stages in his career, he said, “I started learning Carnatic vocal from my mother for few years. Though I was much inclined towards learning Carnatic flute there were not many flute teachers to teach. With great difficulty I found my guru late C M Madhuranath a senior disciple of flautist TR Mahalingam to teach me the learning of flute with nuances of the instrument like powerful and sweet blowing. To gain more technicalities I underwent training with flautists like B N Suresh, M R Doraiswamy, Anoor S Ramakrishna and I am undergoing training with veteran vocalists Dr. R K Srikantan and his son R K Ramakantha to adopt the gayaki style of playing the instrument even now.”
Amith Nadig, son of Ananthram, said that he could hear only sounds of flute at his tender age.
He said, “My father practised music religiously every morning and it had a permanent bearing on my musical ear.” Amith gave prominence to music and showed interest towards learning it. He started his career by learning vocal music from Anantharam and gradually shifted to flute.
He shared, “In my initial days, my father made me attend concerts of great musicians which helped me to develop a style by imbib all the good qualities of different schools.”
Ananthram believes that the beauty of Carnatic music is eternal. He opined, “You can learn any form of music easily if you know Carnatic music but vice versa is not easy since the music has got different dimensions like the melody or raaga system, variety of taala or rhythm patterns besides the beautiful lyric part. Carnatic music can be presented to all types of audience with lot of emotions filled with it whether it is vocal or instrumental music."
Recalling his memorable concert, Ananthram said, “We played for about five hours at Philadelphia in USA recently. Organisers informed us that they have a dedicated audience and the responsibility was on us to fulfil their expectation.”
Speaking about the novel initiative by Vamshi Academy run by Ananthram, he concluded, “We organise a programme called ‘Maneyangaladalli Sangeeta Satsang’. It is designed to create knowledgeable audience base and awareness in the city by going to the residences, schools and colleges. This imitative undertaken not only includes concert but includes seminars on music.”
Amith who loves listening to Jazz music has collaborated with western musicians. He said, “I think classical music in India is doing great. The only concern we need to be wary of is that, in the name of fusion, classical music should not be diluted or compromised. Collaborating with musician from different genres widens one’s perspective of music starting from USA to Europe. One will be in a position to appreciate music as a global art form, not just as cluster of regional interests.”
Both flautists believe that Carnatic classical music is not a dying art as there are many youngsters taking music as a profession, even to the extent of quitting their lucrative job.
Speaking about the competition from other young musicians in the arena, Amith said, “Lots of youngsters who get into music have passion, performance and perseverance, and are molding themselves into fantastic musicians. Obviously with such a high rate of growth and factors involving media growth. Obviously with such a high rate of growth competition is fierce.”