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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Music Season in Chennai - 2007

3rd January 2008

It appears there were more than 4000 concerts in Madras city alone at various auditoriums. More than 300 artistes, of various field i.e vocal, violin, mridangam, Ganjira, morsing, Ghatam, Veena, Flute, Mandolin, Chitraveena, were performing morning 8.00 A.M to 9.30 P.M. People from various walks of life, gathered, enjoyed, discussed Carnatic Music, as though, that is the life.

Out of all cultural organisations, which conducted at various places, Music Academy stands tall in every aspect. Every good artist except, K.J. Yesudoss were performing here. Those who had purchased tickets were having reserved seats of their choice, and there names were displayed in the seats.

Excellent arrangements were made to car parking, with valet parking. You just enter the compound and leave your car and rush to the performance. Your vehicle is taken care of, and delivered to you when you come back at the place where you stand. The funniest problem was, the same people who waited in queue for hours together to purchase the tickets, and waited in the queue to enter into the auditorium, had no patience to wait in the queue to hand over the token and ask the driver to bring their vehicles. There was a mad rush at the token counter. Had not this valet system introduced, it would have been bedlam, while parking and while taking out.

There were enough volunteers, to guide the people to their respective seats, and prevented to talk in between the concerts, and mobiles were not allowed to be used within the auditorium.

The lighting and acoustic system were excellent, and there was pin drop silence from the audience, mostly, during the concerts.

The Music Academy, which arranged the concerts, in such a dignified and decent way for the Artistes as well as to the audience, should also insist on people to occupy their seats before commencement of the concert and prevent the people, entering the auditorium any time they want and disturb those who are immersed in excellent music, by crossing the rows with great difficulty. The Artistes, who are seniors and in demand should dictate their terms in such things. Indifferent, and not bothering for anything and mountain of tolerance are bad of our Artistes. Their are advertisements showing the artist walking out, when even a small shoe noice is created, is well received, but in fact nobody is bothered. Mr. Unnikrishnan pointed this outin Margazhi Mahotsavam organised by Jaya TV, in answer to a question, that in foreign concerts, people once come inside the auditorium will never stir out of their seats, until the programme is completed. Mr. Ganesh of Ganeshkumaresh, had to declare that the "Kutcheri" (concert) is not over, when few people started walking out within one hour, after the performance was started, yet he could not prevent them from doing so. I really do not understand, why people come when they can't spend two hours in the concert when they know pretty well that it is for two hours or two and half hours. If they do this, we can also insist on the artist to keep up the time schedule.

Music Academy was once again, very punctual in commencing and finishing the concerts in time as announced, except in few cases by few minutes, since some artistes exceeded their limits.

The arrangements, for daily ticket booking was excellent. Even though they announced that the booking will start at 10.00 A.M. people, in their anxiety to get the ticket, since only limited seats were available,started gathering from the early morning. I was told, people started gathering for Ms. Aruna Sairam's concert, from 5.30 A.M, when the counter for booking was to be opened at 10.00 A.M. When there were people, than the seats, those who are likely to get tickets were issued tokens, and others were asked to leave or stand in for another queue, for LCD display in the mini hall.
On the day of Mr. Sanjay Subramaniam's concert,chairs were provided for people in the queue and mineral water with coffee was also served.

Our organisers are improving very much in a professional way to conduct the programmes for the comfort of the audience. Only, this professionalism should come to those who attend the programmes and in a more disciplined way.

Music Season in Chennai - 2007

2nd January 2008

We have attended more than 50 carnatic music concerts, in a span of 35 days. There were days, we attended four concerts a day. Even though, I was attending the concerts regularly in all the other days in the year, with a feeling that carnatic music is losing its patronage and people are not interested in listening Carnatic music. In November and December, I was proved wrong. People were thronging at the auditoriums, and all the auditoriums were overflowing. People waited for more than four to five hours in the queue to enter the auditorium to get vantage seats in free concerts. Even in concerts, which were not free, people waited to purchase tickets for limited available seats. For a free concert at Chettinad Vidhyashram, people were waiting from 2.00 P.M for 6.30 P.M concert. At Music academy, people were standing to purchase tickets, from 5.30 A.M onwards at the booking counter which was scheduled to open at 10.00 A.M.

All the leading Artistes were having full house, packed with even people standing and adjusting themselves in stages also. Ms. Aruna Sairam, in lady artistes and Mr. Sanjay Subramanian in male singers were drawing huge crowds beyond the capacity of the auditoriums, and all the other artistes also attracted good crowd. It was real festival with people well dressed, and arriving at the halls from 7.00 A. M onwards and spending the whole day in the auditoriums.

I will be interested to know, whether any where else in the world, a festival of this sort is being conducted for more than two weeks, continuously.

I will write about the other aspects tomorrow