Udupa competition — A gathering level for artistes

Younger musician Giridhar Udupa’s bi-annual occasion accomodates numerous genres for a richer expertise

Younger musician Giridhar Udupa’s bi-annual occasion accomodates numerous genres for a richer expertise

Girdhar Udupa is an exponent of the ghatam, that’s accorded the standing of an upa pakkavadhyam (secondary accompanying instrument) in Carnatic music concert events, however the bi-annual competition launched by the younger musician 4 years in the past is among the many most interesting within the nation. The three-day occasion often presents Hindustani, Carnatic and fusion performances and sees an enormous turnout regardless of being ticketed.

The fourth version of the competition was held not too long ago on the Chowdiah Corridor, and opened with the percussion ensemble comprising Pt. Yogesh Samsi on the tabla, Mattanur Sankarankutty Marar on the chenda, and Bengaluru Amrit on the kanjira. An uncommon mixture, it was attention-grabbing to see how every instrument conveyed the identical theme otherwise. Percussion has all the time occupied centre stage on the occasion, the place greats reminiscent of Zakir Hussain, Umayalpuram Sivaraman and Karaikudi Mani have carried out earlier.

Subsequent was sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s efficiency. The veteran musician paired up with an previous affiliate, Pt. Kumar Bose, to current a leisurely live performance, that includes his favorite raags together with Durga, Khamach, Rageshwari, and Mian Malhar. A spotlight was his singing, in full, a tarana composed by him in Bahar earlier than enjoying it on the sarod.

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Vocal and veena

The second day featured senior vocalist Bombay Jayashri and veena exponent Jayanthi Kumaresh, a well-liked mixture, each having been educated within the Lalgudi custom. They created magic with their seamless stream of musical ideas. An uncommon, heart-warming piece was the pallavi they each had collectively composed in raag Bihag, Adi taal, with the lyrics ‘Udupa vadana Shri Krishna Gopala Giridhara’, in reward of Giridhar Udupa, who was moved by this gesture.

Certainly, musicians turning curators appear to do a greater job than occasion organisers. Giridhar joins the pretty lengthy checklist of musicians, who’ve organised music festivals. At this version, there have been two such musicians. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties organised the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial competition. It was once held in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata (for an incredible 13 days). Yogesh Samsi for the previous 15 years has been organising the Dinarang Smriti competition in reminiscence of his singer-composer father, Pt. Dinkar Kaikaini, in Mumbai. Whereas festivals organised by musicians are often to commemorate a guru, Giridhar’s motivation is considerably completely different.

Reaching out

Giridhar’s father, Ullur Nagendra Udupa, a Yakshagana artiste, all the time needed to be taught the mridangam however didn’t get the chance at his native village in North coastal Karnataka. So he moved to Bengaluru. His realisation that alternatives to be taught and likewise to take heed to artistes stay was essential made him begin a music faculty in 1975.

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Giridhar took up the duty of widening the attain of music by taking it to previous age properties, colleges, and distant villages of Karnataka. “However I don’t have the cash to attain my dream. My festivals are a method to boost funds. They’re sponsored and completely pushed by ticket gross sales. The tradition of listening to classical music in India ought to change. Why ought to individuals count on free music? I hold the ticket costs excessive since I goal to supply one of the best. Typically organisers and occasion administration firms don’t have a really feel for viewers expectations. Musician-organisers know what the man artistes need, and what chemistry might be created with whom.” For example, the final day’s live performance featured solos by Louis Banks and Sivamani, and a gaggle efficiency (by the way, an addition was the spontaneous jamming on stage by Girdhar and Sivamani).

Udupa Pageant has additionally been carried out in Denmark and Poland. However having editions of the competition in different cities just isn’t straightforward. Giridhar says it takes an excessive amount of time and being a busy musician he can’t cope. He has already booked Chowdiah Corridor for 2024 and is planning the artiste line-up.

The Delhi-based creator writes on classical music.

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