Aruna Sairam

Carnatic Musicians

#26  Postby shriroop » 25 Aug 2009 14:34

Aruna Sairam is one of the top singer in the field of carnatic Music today. One perticular album of her by name 'MAA', a collection of songs on Godess Durga in different Indian languages is one of my favorite Albums. This is released by Music Today. I have a collection of a large number of her Albums and according to me it is worth a collection.

I visit December season at Chennai and last year it was really difficult to fetch a ticker for her concert at Music Academy.

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Re: Aruna Sairam

#27  Postby rshankar » 02 Apr 2010 20:25

And let the comments flow: http://www.hindu.com/fr/2010/04/02/stor ... 210200.htm
Don't be shy! ]:)
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#28  Postby bilahari » 02 Apr 2010 20:29

OH GOD.
"The integrity of the music", they say?!
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#29  Postby semmu86 » 03 Apr 2010 11:11

OH NO ..
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#30  Postby VK RAMAN » 04 Apr 2010 01:34

United in diversity - a core principle in Dakshin sampradaya bhajan - has been well represented in this concert.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#31  Postby arasi » 04 Apr 2010 09:21

Ravi,
A tough one for me. I have mixed feelings about this.
Aruna Sairam's singing for a cause--nothing less than for senior care makes me feel that:
She is an artiste who cares about seniors.
Singing in different languages is a good thing. Speaks of national unity.
The more they sell tickets, the more the cause benefits. She is a good draw at the box office and that is great.
Such high-priced tickets? Again, a good thing. Many who could afford them bought them and it was good for the cause. Did all the rich people who bought them attend the concert? Some did not, but they did'nt mind or better still, gave them to those who like her music but could not afford the tickets.
One thing I know for sure is that the organizers could have spent less money on the hoopla (how much of it went for the stage decor alone?)--by which I mean, every penny they saved would have meant, more for the seniors. Then again, 'lavish' is the mantra these days.
As for the review, all those who went to the concert and all those who wanted to but couldn't would have appreciated it.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#32  Postby thenpaanan » 05 Apr 2010 22:04

rshankar wrote:And let the comments flow: http://www.hindu.com/fr/2010/04/02/stor ... 210200.htm
Don't be shy! ]:)


Whatever one may think of the list of songs presented, one has to admit that singing in Italian of all languages requires some intestinal fortitude. Unfortunately the review does not give more details. Was it merely an Italian lyric tuned to an Indian melody or was the song sung to some WCM-based arrangement (as I am assuming it was)? Also the language list made the curious jump -- four South Indian Languages, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, ... Italian! Perhaps the singer explained her choices at the concert that detail was not included in the review.

On an aside, it is interesting how we get only two kinds of reviews most of the time for anything out of the ordinary -- the overly adulatory ones bordering on hagiography of which this review is an example and the downright vicious ones -- perhaps it is the nature of the beast, you have to create an audience for innovation rather than just perform to an existing and trained audience. Of the latter, I have often heard mediocre artists performing "traditional" stuff getting reviews like "who are we to criticize him? After all he was trained by or sings like so and so." It is rare to find a balanced review of new stuff, but I have seen such reviews on this forum off and on.

-Then Paanan
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#33  Postby kmrasika » 08 Apr 2010 08:42

thenpaanan wrote:And let the comments flow: http://www.hindu.com/fr/2010/04/02/stor ... 210200.htm
Don't be shy!:)
Whatever one may think of the list of songs presented, one has to admit that singing in Italian of all languages requires some intestinal fortitude. Unfortunately the review does not give more details. Was it merely an Italian lyric tuned to an Indian melody or was the song sung to some WCM-based arrangement (as I am assuming it was)? Also the language list made the curious jump -- four South Indian Languages, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, ... Italian! Perhaps the singer explained her choices at the concert that detail was not included in the review.

The Italian song is an apocryphal ode to Mary with the starting words, "ave, vergene gaudente, madre del omnipotente...," a very nice poetical composition, with a kalyANi-esque feel. Aruna also occasinally sings the cantigas, "rosas das rosas" by Alphonso El Salbio in Portugese, a nice hymn using the rose as an analogy with Mary.

thenpaanan wrote:On an aside, it is interesting how we get only two kinds of reviews most of the time for anything out of the ordinary -- the overly adulatory ones bordering on hagiography of which this review is an example and the downright vicious ones -- perhaps it is the nature of the beast, you have to create an audience for innovation rather than just perform to an existing and trained audience. Of the latter, I have often heard mediocre artists performing "traditional" stuff getting reviews like "who are we to criticize him? After all he was trained by or sings like so and so." It is rare to find a balanced review of new stuff, but I have seen such reviews on this forum off and on.
-Then Paanan

Viewpoints are rather individual in nature, considering the fact we all have different tastes and perception about the things we like and those we'd eschew. With Carnatic Music it seems a more complex task considering the taste and perception seem to change with many factors. Audiences sometimes have a predilection for innovation, which is sometimes a required element in the fine arts as in CM, which also by the same token resisted in the name of purity and tradition. We're in a a more globalized world today and it would be difficult to disregard the outside world anymore. All in all, music has a universal appeal in itself as well as its ability to move people from different walks of life.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#34  Postby gn.sn42 » 09 Apr 2010 09:34

kmrasika wrote:The Italian song is an apocryphal ode to Mary with the starting words, "ave, vergene gaudente, madre del omnipotente...," a very nice poetical composition, with a kalyANi-esque feel. Aruna also occasinally sings the cantigas, "rosas das rosas" by Alphonso El Salbio in Portugese, a nice hymn using the rose as an analogy with Mary.


Any chance there's an album out there with either of these songs?

(Here's Isabel Palacios singing "Rosa das rosas": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DKC4Hp8GeM )

Update (a couple of hours later): Aruna Sairam's album with Dominique Vellard, Sources, has both these tracks. "Rosa das Rosas" is sung by Vellard; "Ave vergene gaudente" is sung by both. I liked both quite a bit, and they are available at last.fm.
Rosa das Rosas by Dominique Vellard
Ave vergene gaudente by Dominique Vellard and Aruna Sairam
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#35  Postby rajeshnat » 08 Oct 2010 07:53

Aruna's concert with Shankar mahAdevan
http://www.hindu.com/fr/2010/10/08/stor ... 030200.htm
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#36  Postby rshankar » 15 Oct 2010 22:22

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Re: Aruna Sairam

#37  Postby vasanthakokilam » 15 Oct 2010 23:41

When I saw that hindu article title this morning, my first reaction was one of 'Oh another one of these fluff pieces about Aruna Sairam' but I was wrong on that impression. Very well spoken. Whether one likes to go to her concert or not, we have to give credit to her as a good ambassador for the music. She speaks clearly and cogently, and refreshingly in a non-defensive manner.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#38  Postby arasi » 16 Oct 2010 04:55

VK,
You said it! AS is an excellent communicator. I have heard her speak a few times about music and of her own life with music--also on the radio in an hour long interview and on Jaya TV. She is an extremely intelligent woman and is amicable. As you say, if her concert format does not appeal to you, you need not go to her concerts. She is an artiste all the same, even though she does not fit in the mold of a classic CM performer.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#39  Postby rajeshnat » 16 Oct 2010 09:36

I really liked her last para in the interview
" People ask why are you not performing more often. Most of my colleagues do about 16 concerts in the (Chennai) music season between December 15 and January 15. I do only eight. Even that means two a week, and is too much. For the organisers it is also a question of box office. If your tickets sell they want you to perform, but you have to learn to say no without hard feelings. Otherwise you burn out."
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#40  Postby ragam-talam » 16 Oct 2010 12:18

AS is an excellent communicator
Yes, she is a very good speaker. So is Sudha.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#41  Postby thenpaanan » 16 Oct 2010 19:50



Thanks for posting these pointers. I listened to the piece referenced above -- it sounds good but I cannot say that I have any deeper appreciation of the piece than that. Purely on the sound aspect then, AS is certainly on the leading edge of CM singers who have not been afraid of showcasing their voices (Bombay Jayashri and Nityashri are other examples). On this particular record where this pure sound aspect matters more than in traditional CM settings I felt that AS was "pushing" her voice in that her voice does not sound relaxed but somewhat forced. Did anyone else get that feeling? In my humble opinion, the sound of a voice amplified without much effort in a relaxed throat -- MMI (always) or MDR (mostly) or MLV (mostly) or MSS (sometimes) or Unnikrishnan are the more popular examples but one can get fleeting glimpses of it in all seasoned singers. It seems that one gets a more pleasing sound with (slightly?) less volume, let the mic do all the work. Trying to sound strong ('gAtram' is the tamil word used) only serves to rob the voice of its harmonics.

Any thoughts about which contemporary singers sound pleasing to the ear? By this I don't necessarily mean sweet (i.e. one does not have to be a Lata Mangeshkar) but that "well-rounded" sound (perhaps sowkhyam is the word I am looking for?) that seems somewhat common in HM (e.g. Mallikarjun Mansur) but very rare in CM.

-Then Paanan
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#42  Postby thanjavooran » 17 Oct 2010 04:07

"Even when I go to the U.S, there are so many schools teaching classical music and dance..... But neither the teachers nor the students turn up at the concerts. It is part of the teacher's job to encourage students to go to concerts".

This biting criticism of Aruna means two things to me: (1) the attendance at her concerts whenever she visits America is thin and (2) this is because the teachers purposely boycot her along with the students.
The teachers around the place should rebut this trenchant remark of Aruna if it is not genuine
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#43  Postby vasanthakokilam » 17 Oct 2010 05:22

Thanjavooran, that was in the context of the question "On why music classes are full of children but audiences are grey-haired"
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#44  Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 17 Oct 2010 09:25

Dear Thanjavooran: Unfortunately as an NRI in the U.S.A, for over40 yearsI can vouchsafe for the TOTAL APATHY of the teachers especially in the NY area(other cities do not seem to fare any better) when it comes to attending concerts of visiting artistes OR encouraging/commanding their students and parents to attend the concerts.

In fact this has been my sore point. A newly formed organisation called Srutjilaya in the NY area by an enterprising true-music lover unflinching in his dedication despite the heavy odds, has been repeatedly exhorting teachers to encourage the insitution by patronising the concerts to no avail. Recently Sruthilaya boldly arranged a concert by OST's daughter in the Long Island area(where most of the music teachers and their wards live within 10 miles of the concert hall) .

THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE TEACHER OR THEIR STUDENTS IN THIS CONCERT.

THE FATE IS THE SAME--WHETHER YOU ARRANGE AN A GRADE ARTIST OR AN UPCOMING ARTIST!!

I am told in the Bay area in the West Coast,teachers not only insist their students attend--some of them even insist the students take down notes.

I have never been so riled up in these forums as I have been when it comes to this apathy on the part of teachers. To cap it all these teachers prepare their wards for Arangetrams--probably due to pressures from the parents--a canned effort bereft of any soul in the music--it is NOT the students' fault.

Today(Vijayadasami )I visited a prominent respectable teacher of an instrument who incidentally makes it a point to stress to the students the importance of attending concerts .Regrettably there was not a single student coming and paying their respects to the teacher. When I asked him why the students did not come,he smiled saying it is upto the parents to teach their children basic etiquette when it comes to learning any vidya.

I am told things are much better in NJ!!

You may legitimately ask WHAT HAVE I DONE ABOUT IT? I have taunted some of these teachers(some of whom have been friends for over 40 years!!) to no avail!!!
I rest my case!!!
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#45  Postby vasanthakokilam » 17 Oct 2010 10:05

MKR: I see some students in concerts and those who show up, they consistently do so. They are usually very interested in CM ( and music in general ) and not just learning because their parents put them up in the class. Sitting through a full CM concert can be a torture for such students with only marginally interest in CM.

Compare this situation to kids who bug their parents to buy them tickets to a WM artist/group whose album they have just bought and loved it. ( or in their peer group that artist is considered cool ).

Ask kids and teenagers this question: What is on your iPod ? That will tell a lot about what they actually listen to. If CM is there, you have got someone who is really into CM.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#46  Postby rshankar » 17 Oct 2010 20:21

vasanthakokilam wrote:MKR: I see some students in concerts and those who show up, they consistently do so. They are usually very interested in CM ( and music in general ) and not just learning because their parents put them up in the class.
Abhishek from Canada who posts wonderful reviews here is one such teen - may his tribe increase...
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#47  Postby arasi » 17 Oct 2010 22:40

Ramesh,
'paDikiRadu rAmAyaNam, iDikkiRadu perumAL kOil' (reads the rAmAyaNam but brings down the temple of VishNu) story :(
Yes, on the one hand, the kids have many commitments (homework, sports, western classical music, to name a few). Above all, their time with their friends--which means spending time on (peer-minded) music. Still, if they are into CM, they have to at least attend a few concerts. Parents, teachers and peers (the most effective way of all) have to work of this, because listening is very much part of learning.

Ravi,
This is where Abhishek and others mean a lot. Enthusiasm among peers is catching! Nothing, nothing like a live performance as an effective tool in their exposure to CM. I wish that parents emphasize the joy of listening rather than their getting extra lessons by listening. The teachers encouraging their students by being there themselves would help a great deal too.

VK,
Good to know that kids in Chicago area attend concerts.
Of course, those living outside North America, by seeing the super kids in Jaya TV's airing of the Cleveland Festival get the feeling that all the kids learning CM here are that intense.Yet, in a way, it's not very different from how it is in India. Unless the parents themselves frequent the sabhas, teachers encourage it, and above all peers inspire them, it is not easy.
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#48  Postby thenpaanan » 18 Oct 2010 23:57

Ramasubramanian M.K wrote:Dear Thanjavooran: Unfortunately as an NRI in the U.S.A, for over40 yearsI can vouchsafe for the TOTAL APATHY of the teachers especially in the NY area(other cities do not seem to fare any better) when it comes to attending concerts of visiting artistes OR encouraging/commanding their students and parents to attend the concerts.
...

THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE TEACHER OR THEIR STUDENTS IN THIS CONCERT.

THE FATE IS THE SAME--WHETHER YOU ARRANGE AN A GRADE ARTIST OR AN UPCOMING ARTIST!!
...



As for the children in NJ not attending concerts, I would venture that their lives are over-scheduled as it is. Besides their CM classes, they are probably taking a random subset of {BharatanAtyam, western violin, sanskrit/culture class, karate, chess} as well. There are probably other activities for the children on the list but these seem to be the top priorities of their NRI parents. Now tell me what should they drop to attend CM concerts? If you follow this advice they should also attend dance concerts, WM concerts, akhandapAtam, etc. When will they do their homework? Leave the children alone. They do admirably well as it is putting up with their parents' (sometimes insane) desires, sometimes even excelling in CM, and also finding the mental space to be happy children!

Now for the teachers. If you saw the weekend schedule for a typical CM teacher in NJ you would not be asking this question. They have classes from the break of dawn to late hours at night in the weekends, barely stopping for a snack.

Personally whenever I have the choice to attend a concert I find myself asking the question: should I rather dust off my tanpura and spend the time practising (or more accurately, preventing the forgetting of) what I have learned? How would you answer this question?

-Then Paanan
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#49  Postby Nick H » 19 Oct 2010 00:54

You make very good points. I hope these children at least listen to CM at home: I get a mental picture of youngsters learning something without having too much idea what it is they are actually learning!
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Re: Aruna Sairam

#50  Postby ragam-talam » 19 Oct 2010 03:05

Children enjoy a challenge... one way to attract them to carnatic music is to conduct quizzes/competitions etc where they have to identify ragas, composers, etc etc. I find this is a great way for them to get involved in our music, in addition to just learning kritis.
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