Jan 11, 2012

Finding ragam

After many many years I attended two Carnatic concerts this season. I have been to a few conecrts outside of chennai, but there is something about the december season. Much has been commented about the parallel food festival that goes on, so I am not going to go into the details of the aapams and dosas I ate. Beyond the fantastic performances the audience were interesting to study. The ultimate point of this experience is to be able to find the ragam after all and it was quite intriguing to see who from the audience have the ability to do that and who are pretending to know and who are just there for the emotional appeal. There was a visiting professor from some US university who thought I was a student. Made my day, despite that he was in his eighties with possibly failing eyesight. He shared some of his opinions on the singer as well as the rest of the spectators quite caustically. There was a young man who seemed like he had come in by mistake but wrote down ragas for almost all the pieces. The best was the father and daughter - the father must have been in his eighties and the daughter late fifties. The daughter had to sit in a different row and it was fascinating to see the interchange. She would mouth the name of the raga and he would nod or shake his head and if she had an explanation she would write it on her phone and pass it to him. During the RTP there was considerable speculation and a few others near them also joined in the mime. I couldnt know for sure if they got 'keeravani'. I certainly didn't. What an ultimate pattern matching problem!

January 11, 2012