31 March 2005

Music Season

I have not written for a few days mainly due to being busy with a family function. I would like to return to my musical journey and talk about my trips to Madras during the so called "music season". Whenever I visit Madras, the time of preference is December. Not only is the weather tolerable at this time but there is literally music in the air.

The first 'season' I attended must have been in the late 1980s. That time, and most subsequent times, my family and I have rented an apartment or house in Madras during the season time. We were fortunate to be able to stay in the Mylapore area a number of times, within close proximity to several of the major music sabhas. The usual routine would be to have breakfast and head off to a concert or lecture-demonstration, return home for lunch, have a nap, then go off for another concert or two. Oh! What a life!

In late 2000, I made a trip again to Madras but this time my time was not spent with sangeetham (music) but with Sangeetha. Yes, I met and married Sangeetha in December 2000. Probably the thing which clinched it for me apart from the natural attraction was the fact that we both shared the same favourite raga - Sahana. It is now over four years since we were married and her musical skills have blossommed in Sydney. Whilst previously I had to resort to the internet to find companions to discuss Carnatic music, I now have a life long partner to share this love with. We have performed many times together and have even composed music together.

In 2000, we did attend a few concerts together. I think the first was Sanjay Subrahmanyam's Narada Gana Sabha concert where he sang a RTP in Neethimathi. In December 2002, when we returned to Madras for a visit, we attended around 25 concerts.

The Madras Music season is probably the largest musical event to take place annually - anywhere in the world. It is a pilgrimage that any Carnatic music lover must make. My burning ambition is to perform during the music season in Madras. The main problem I have been facing, however, is the weight of my instrument!