A mixed bag of Margazhi magic
CHENNAI: The year has been a rollercoaster that continues to crest and fall, and there is no better way to end it than with the trance of classical music during the music season. Bringing back their first live post-pandemic show are musicians Anil Srinivasan and Rakesh Chaurasia with Aditya Srinivasan on tabla and their married sounds of Indian and Western classical music on December 9.
Bringing up their collaboration with each other of 12 years, Anil shares that there is much excitement brewing in them. “The first time we ever performed together was around 2010 in London, England and the last time in Chennai was four years ago, so it is a good thing to be revisiting it…It (the fusion) is not usual for Margazhi; we don’t always have Hindustani classical music and piano collaborations,” he says. But years of familiarity have not tarnished the joy of working together, says Rakesh, adding that it is always a new experience with the pianist.
As they come together, they also bring with them a familiar format that the duo has been following in their partnership, an effective concoction for a mesmerising show. “We normally take the four seasons as the theme — summer, winter, autumn, spring — and ragas that meet each of them (This year, perhaps, it is the rainy season that gets its chance). We usually explore them through more Hindustani styles but, because of my experience, there is a Carnatic and classical flavour added to it. And since it is a pure, instrumental performance, it follows the general format of alaap or taala,” explains Anil, adding that their concerts are fun and interactive.
This year has been particularly difficult for Anil who has experienced several health concerns, including Covid. And coming through to the safer end has made him more excited for this event, albeit also cautious. Being the first big outing after Covid, this is a triumph for him over his body and (a victory for) his willpower, he shares. As Margazhi opens up, slowly and sporadically, for artistes’ live performances, there is undoubtedly a requirement of responsibility. “I’m happy that we have all been doing so many virtual concerts. I am still a bit cautious about live (performances).
We are taking every precaution so those who can come out and don’t feel vulnerable can do so. As an artiste, I am happy that the live concerts still remain because that is where we derive our maximum energy. However many times you play in front of a screen or camera, it’s not the same as performing in front of people,” exclaims Anil. Rakesh, too, is looking forward to Margazhi, as he always does, he says, “It’s always a pleasure and learning process for me to perform for it (Margazhi). Hope to see all the music lovers there!”
The event will be held at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan at 5 pm. RSVP email@example.com or call 9003015205. Watch it live on bhavanschennai.org