10 May 2005

Concert success

I was thinking about what makes a successful Carnatic concert and came up with this list:

  • Good calibre main artiste.
  • Good health of artiste. Most of the top artistes are capable of producing excellent concerts on their day but sometimes due to ill health or tiredness, voices sound strained.
  • Quality accompanying artistes. There needs to be a good match between the main artiste and accomapnists. If you have a vocalist who is good at kannuku (mathematical) swaras, then the violinist has to be adept at this as well.
  • A rapport between the artistes. Ego clashes will result in poor concerts and a sense of uneasiness on stage.
  • A venue with comfortable seating and good visibility of the stage.
  • A good sound system with quality microphones and fallback monitors on stage.
  • An appreciative and knowledgeable audience.
  • Minimal or no speeches
  • Good concert planning. Getting the right selection that can satisfy the audience. Planning which ragas fit in well, the balance of alapanas and kalpana swaras, etc. Stalwarts such as GNB and Semmangudi were excellent at this. Of course, Ariyakudi Ramaunja Iyengar is creditted with establishing the present concert format.

What have I missed?