April 12, 2011 > Global Music
By K.N. Ganesh and Mona Shah
Music is a language of emotions, eliciting an innate response whether Western or Eastern in origin. Carnatic music, commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, is one of the oldest systems of music in the world. One of two main sub-genres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions, the other sub-genre being Hindustani music, a typical carnatic music concert features a vocal or instrumental headliner accompanied by percussionists and instrumentalists.
The most outstanding performances, and the greatest concentration of Carnatic musicians are found in the city of Chennai. A six week-long Music Season held in Chennai every December, has been described as the world's largest cultural event.
Locally, Carnatic Chamber Concerts (CCC) encourages young musical talent, providing a venue to perform on stage in front of an audience. The organization hosts monthly concerts the first weekend of the month at various locations in Fremont. At each of these monthly events, performers have an opportunity to showcase their talent, while gaining valuable experience of performing with accompaniments. Such performances provide a catalyst for continued learning increasing their confidence.
The audience at CCC's April concert witnessed excellent rendering of vocal and instrumental music supported by percussion and violin. Performers of the evening were Sowbarnika Kannan, Sanjna Arvind, Shruthi Aravindan, Medha Raman, Rasika Sudarshan and Keerthana Srikanth. Ajai Gopi and Chinmai Raman provided admirable "mridangam" accompaniment with melodious violin support from Divya Mohan and Vignesh Thyagarajan.
Each performer exhibited strict adherence to classical tradition and demonstrated deft handling of the technical aspects of the music. These aspiring musicians have advanced their skills through the benefit of learned and committed gurus, some of whom live abroad. Students learn through a variety of techniques including internet technology - Skype - which allows international instruction.
Founded in 2008, CCC is a non-profit organization and member volunteers enthusiastic about promoting Carnatic music among children run its entire operations. CCC is membership based and anyone committed to fostering the practice of Carnatic music can become a member without a fee.
For more information about CCC, visit www.carnaticchamberconcerts.com.