Fusion goes full throttle

Had been to My Best Friend’s Wedding at Hotel Palmgrove. Not the movie, a true wedding. While the Palmgrove at Nungambakkam is the toughest place to reach given the traffic that surrounds the place, it is a place for a good decent wedding. The only crib I have is that you may get lost among the many weddings that happen in the many wedding halls of Palmgrove.

During the wedding reception, three guys on the stage who called themselves a band, pulled up a great carnatic fusion instrumental show. While it was surprising to see a three member band, their quality of music was completely devastating. One was with a violin, one on a electronical pad that gave out drum sounds and the other with the synthesizer. Though its been couple of years since I started getting bored over the synthesized music, this one was a true experience. And the quaint manner they played Kurai ondrum illai was mind blowing. As a breath of fresh breeze, I think one should also listen to such nice fusion music to understand the spectrum of carnatic music, that is. I know understand why people outside India celebrate artists like Violinist L. Subramaniam and Guitarist Prasanna[Am a great fan of Prasanna]. The foreigners probably understand their musical notes and when carnatic gets transformed to western style, they appreciate the amazing notes of carnatic. In Indian carnatic circles, fusion is a sin. I vouch it isn’t. Any takers ?

On the way back, we had pull up a cab to return home and the cab driver seemed to be full of josh today. The reason, Super Star had travelled in the same cab today. He said that Rajinikanth’s Chandramukhi shooting is on at the MGM resort and for the shooting 50 of his company’s cab were hired. Luckily, the car he drove was the one Rajini was travelling in the movie. And you know why he was full kush. He may probably not sleep today and tomorrow. It was the last place someone would look for such a gossipy news. So here you go journos, Rajini shoots Chandramukhi at MGM resorts with 50 cars. A saleable headline for tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “Fusion goes full throttle

  1. Lazy and the other ppl as well,

    I recently took this ‘Da vinci code’ by Dan Brown.Haven’t started it yet.But going by the opinion in the internet,ppl say that it requires some knowledge about Da vinci and the ancient history stuff to read that..is it so? am really sick of preparing myself to read a novel.What’s ur comment…

    Sorry for the digressive post anyway..

  2. Absolutely nothing. Infact, only after reading the Code you might be pushed to read more about history. All you need to know to read the book is, man evolved.

  3. Geek,
    I am an ardent fan of carnatic music and I think Fusion is not a sin. We must welcome innovations.
    There are things that keep carnatic music alive and flourishing ( for ex thyagaraja aradhanai in thiruvaiyaaru ) so there is nothing wrong in trying out different things.

    Thatz my 2 cent !!

    And yeah Prasanna is great.. the gamgams he produces in his acoustic guitar are on par with what MS Subbulakshmi or Maharajapuram Santhanam would produce..there is an awesome collection of Prasanna’s Classical stuff in http://www.musicindiaonline.com !!

    oopps i guess i wrote too long.. lemme save space for others 🙂 !

  4. Fusion is not a bad idea until they dont kill the song. During my recent visit to Chennai I happened to buy “Dream Journey” collections of Kadri and his son. Very pleasant. Also some albums of Selvaganesh like “beat it”. But the ones of Rajesh Vaidhya(dont remember the title) were horrible, he has made all carnatic songs like a cini song.

    BTW, happy to get the taste of Chennai thru your blogs.

  5. Carnatic music, by itself was a fusion ever since it started adding instruments to it..We are just putting more instruments and make the same synthesis of a great Kirthi.. We have almost accepted Saxaphone as a carnatic music instrument..

    Prabhu Venkatramani is right.. “As long as the music is not killed…”.

    Remember Kadhal Desam’s “Ennai Kaana villaye ..” song, where a Flute pierces our ear drums.. and still we liked it. Experimentations have to be done on music to keep it going.

    But we cant keep doing Fushion all the time. Few people tend to do it. They always try to Remix a Telugu Keerthana.. Fusion is not Remixing.

    Despite other opinions that the Saga of Carnatic music is dying.. i feel the interest for Carnatic music remains the same..

  6. You know Lazy, you are a great expert in fusion blogging. Seriously. Take it as a compliment. You start with wedding halls in palmgrove, then off to fusion music and end up with super star. Kalakeeta thaleeva 🙂

  7. Fusion is not Remixing.

    Keerthivasan, Interesting point you had given here. I am for it. Fusion is not about remixes. If Aathithyan remixes, Chinna Mani Kuyiley and calls it a remix, I accept that. If he tries to play the same carnatic Alai Payuthey number aalong with drum beats its a remix and not fusion.

    Fusion is about taking a particular style of music[carnatic in this case] and merging it with other styles of music forms. You can easily merge the notes of carnatic with jazz. Jazz is regarded as the best form of music that can merge so easily with other styles. Attribute it to the notes and the instruments that are used to play jazz.

    Guitarist Prasanna himself had performed fusion with a group of Miles Davis. Miles Davis was famous jazz composer who is regarded as the most innovative jazz composer of the last century. Prasanna played with the group Davis left behind.

    Keerthivasan, thanks for bringing this up.

  8. Morpheus, Thanks for that and appreciate that you like prasanna too. I probably think he needs to perform more in India for him to known widely. I hope he performs in this years IIT Saarang.

    Venkatramani, Thanks for the note and as others I agree fusion shouldn’t kill carnatic music. To be frank we have many star performers who don’t do fusion but yet manage to kill it. What do we tell them ?

  9. Hey,
    I believe in carnatic music’s “class”. Fusion / Remixes are OK till they maintain the original class/essence of carnatic music.

    You cant spoil the true essence of carnatic music trying to commercialize it. Thats one reason why I personally dont like Kunnakudi (No offense meant). He can be a genius, or considered a great coz he helped carnatic music reach the masses.
    Thyagaraja’s music is like a pot of clay, which other people can use to create beautiful sculptures..but I think kunnakudi has gone one step too far. Iam sure Thyagaraja will be an unhappy man when he listens to kunnakudi’s violin.

    Sorry for digressing …

    Read Da Vinci code..a must read!

    -Prabhuram

  10. I think fusion takes carnatic music a step ahead. Every kind of music has its own uniqueness and it is important to preserve it. But it should not stop us from testing out different varieties and mixes, unless they become offensive to our ears.

  11. Hey but I like rajesh vaidya though have to agree his recordings sound funny as there’s too much usage of the thalam – plays it like a guitar. But his concert performances are exuberant, and here we refer to him as the ravana on the veena – he plays scary beautiful music.

  12. Fusion music is good, but takes away the individual beauty of the 2 streams. It brings to my mind the following comments that appeared in ” Folio”-The Hindu : The main reason for our developing further and further in our own idiom of music is that we never try to mix the one with the other. I would be like mixing good rice and sambar with . . . um . . .good coffee” (http://www.hinduonnet.com/folio/fo9912/99120280.htm).
    Shakti was a group that made good fusion music without violating the rules of the game. But in recent times I attended a concert by TVG titled Indian jazz in the US and I tell u it was a mess. It made me sceptical about fusion.

  13. Ramya – Welcome back. Looks like you haven’t been around for sometime.

    Balaji Shankar, Thanks a ton for the worthy link. Nice to know that people still remember Shakti.

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