Sound move

Led by popular musician Manasi Prasad, an all-women ensemble performed a classical concert exploring the connection between music and Sanskrit

Published: 23rd August 2021 01:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2021 01:47 AM   |  A+A-

Deepika Sreenivasan

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Classical music transcends boundaries, cultures and communities. And Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages, has a deep connection with classical music that many might have heard about but rarely experienced. To understand the relationship between the two, the Sanskrit Arts Festival, organised by International Arts and Cultural Foundation(IACF), a non-profit organisation, held the Sanskrit Arts Festival on Sunday to mark World Sanskrit Day.

Featuring lead vocalist Manasi Prasad, the concert included an all-women ensemble. Other artistes who performed are Aditi Krishnaprakash (violin), Deepika Sreenivasan (mridangam), Shubha Santosh (veena) and Vijetha Hegde (tabla).

Prasad, who has been a classical artiste for over three decades, says, “The idea of the concert was to highlight the touch points between music and Sanskrit that have existed for ages. Classical music has its roots in the Vedas, especially the Samaveda. There is a misconception that anything related to the Vedas is in part considered to be a male preserve. We thought it would be unique to have an all-women ensemble to interpret this theme.”

She also observes that classical music shows are now transitioning from just being devotional to being context-based performances, that actually grab the attention of new audiences, especially millennials. Although many youngsters are influenced by Western music, Prasad believes there is a sizable section which is pursuing classical music. “The inclination towards classical music has just grown. It is important to reach out to the next gen through online platforms, unique story-telling techniques and present context-based shows that make them more reciprocative,” says Prasad, who is also the museum director of Indian Music Experience (IME). 

Deepika Sreenivasan, who plays the mridangam, believes that there is still a lack of opportunities and exposure for women to perform. “Men have been dominating the mridangam for 100 years now. But I took it up because I loved playing it. I am blessed to have parents who did not think playing the mridangam is associated with masculinity. However, patriarchy and misogyny are still rampant in the music scene. Women are not there yet, but we will get equality soon. Times are changing for the better,” says Sreeni-vasan.


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