INTERACTING WITH MAESTROS

LEARNINGS ON TRADITION AND BEYOND
 

Tradition is the accumulated wisdom drawn from the experience of humanity from time immemorial. Traditional wisdom is interwoven into our culture in every sphere of our activities. However, we may, perhaps, become blind to the lasting value it imparts in our lives due to our immediate needs and various demands on us as a societal being. We should remind ourselves constantly about our uniqueness and strength as a cultural world community. For this we need the guidance of the great masters of different facets of our culture and tradition.

Tradition is not merely going back to the past. It is rather a recognition of the wisdom it brings and celebration of the values we continue to represent. For this we need immense discipline and one mindedness to pursue them once we recognize.

One who is strong in one’s own tradition, its beauty, values cherished, never despises other traditions. Such “allowing” traditions are encompassing and universal. Tradition cannot be limited to one’s own benefits. Its value is globally meaningful and needs to be systematically shared for the humanity to progress.

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With his global exposure to music, Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian evolved COMET - system of learning for Carnatic music education. COMET is a direct outcome of his doctoral work: “South Indian Vina - Tradition and Individual Style” at Wesleyan University, USA. The method makes the learner experience the traditional values and the aesthetics in Carnatic music in globally communicable ways.

His approach to teaching Carnatic music got the intellectual and spiritual support of Dr. S. Seetha, formerly Professor and Head of the Department of Music, University of Madras.

His intellectually inspiring associations with the greatest of Carnatic music maestros such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Dr. Pinakapani, TM Thyagarajan, S. Kalyanaraman, T. Viswanathan, , Kanjira Nagarajan, Prof. Trichy Sankaran & Karaikudi Krishnamurthy have enriched the content of the disseminating materials collected in the archives of Brhaddhvani.

The seminar on voice culture organised in 1993 with the greatest luminaries in different fields including film music was greatly enriching. It was a new beginning in exploring approaches to voice training.

Brhaddhvani had brought numerous global interactions through international scholars, professors and famous artistes. But for its impact at the global level through the processes and trends in Ethnomusicology and cross-cultural studies, Professors, David Reck, Eero Hameenniemi, Hans Neuhoff and Richard Wolf are particularly noteworthily.