ay Wom spe en’ cia s l
ISSN 0974 – 9128
Vol 07 Issue 03 - March 2014
India's National Pan-Genre Music MagazinE
Empowered Female Musicians You Need to Know Guitars Suitable For Female Musicians
Team Score Speaks: Women who inspire Us
Yamaha Powers BAND OF THE MONTH
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Tati.
Pioneer of Women’s Rights. Global Ambassador of Indian Classical Music.
Also Inside: Shraddha Sharma, Jonita Gandhi, Fashion segment and more.
the edit PAD Happy Women’s Day to all you wonderful women out there! Times have surely changed for our kind from the olden days when we weren’t considered at par with men. Things are looking up for us: be it equal opportunities or equal compensation or equal dividends.
Strategy and Planning Ajay Prabhakar Director, Business Development Pragash VM Editorial Advisor Nikila Srinivasan Associate Editor Kanika Mishra Honorary Editor Sidharth Vipin Head - Marketing & Operations Sneha Ramesh Head - Sales & Events Sai Adithya Creative Director George Vedamanickam Lead Designer Nipun Garodia Social Media Coordinator Vishakh Iyer WebMaster Daanish Millwalla Cover Image Yuval Hen Deutsche Grammophon
Take the music industry, for instance: right from singing to owning music related companies to setting up studios to indulging in Sales and PR for artists, women are getting involved in all aspects of the industry. They are becoming risk takers and are out there releasing and promoting their own music and album. They’re backstage at gigs and at festivals, on the sound engineering deck, on the internet blogging about music, becoming music journalists, teaching music, diving into its nuances and technicalities. Look around you: women are now everywhere men are. It is so heartening to note that despite the high levels of competition, women today are able to make their living out of music. The ultimate goal of equalization of men and women is being achieved because society finally recognizes talent beyond genders. It’s only a matter of time before women are at par with men not just in the music industry, but also everywhere across the world.
Head - Marketing & Operations
I’ve always viewed women as bubbling brooks confined within the cramped walls of a dam – only so their unparalleled energy can be tamed, sold, violated. Just as the brook overflows from and eventually breaks across the dam, so have the women of this country broken across the walls that confined them thus far. Take this month’s Cover Story – Anoushka Shankar – with her fearless confession and forthright activism; or Shraddha Sharma, the schoolgirl from Dehradun who caused Internet mayhem; or any other artist featured in this issue; or the women across professions mentioned by Team Score. The theme for the month is not merely Women’s Day: it’s an adaptation of the theme adopted by women the world over – empowerment. This issue has been woven together with the intent to give these inspirational women the limelight they deserve, and to urge others to go out and achieve their dreams. Let’s wait no more. Let’s spill over beyond the barrage…“and out again (let’s) curve and flow to join the brimming river, for men may come and men may go, but (we) go on forever” [The Brook, Alfred Lord Tennyson]. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did creating it.
subscribe to us at http://scorem.ag/buy-subscribe
brand partners DISCLAIMER: Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and illustrations. Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publication and accordingly no liability is assumed by the publisher thereof. Advertising copy and artworks are the sole responsibility of the advertisers. http://www.motherteresafoundation.org.in
For Advertisements and Feedback email@example.com
The Score Magazine is proud to support the Mother Teresa Foundation and urge our readers to join us in giving back a fraction of what we have been given.
i nside Band of the Month POWERED BY YAMAHA
With her Swan-like grace and Mama-Bear-like fierceness, larger-thanlife-talent and simple nature, motherly instinct and fearless activism, Anoushka Shankar is but the most delightful oxymoron.
The cultural ambassadors of Nagaland and a sight as beautiful to behold as their music rings to the soul, we bring to you the Tetseo Sisters.
Cut Time: The Comic Segment
cover story Anoushka Shankar
Quirks and Queries Jonita Gandhi 18
This month’s comic illustrates, quite literally, how music can truly empower even the most underprivileged of women.
A detailed, illuminating feature on the rise of the female Carnatic Musician brought to you by our in-house female Carnatic musician.
Jonita Gandhi’s on the Highway to success. Here’s shedding some taillight on her journey so far.
STAR OF THE MONTH Shraddha Sharma
Three super gorgeous, super trendy female musicians in one place. You’ll regret not checking this one out.
As one of the first steps towards a successful career in music production, find out all about DAWs from Siddharth Vipin.
Self-explanatory much. But really, there’s a little something for lovers of all genres this time.
Small town girl making it big in the city of dreams, YouTube sensation, and a genuine sweetheart: Shraddha’s one to watch out for!
shankar Daughter to the late Pt. Ravi Shankar; Youngest and first Indian Grammy nominee; First Indian Grammy performer; Wife to Joe Wright; Sister to Norah Jones; The global face of Indian Classical music â€“ all these and then some were the labels that defined her. Until 2013 â€“ when she opened up to the tabloids, and consequently the world, about the horrors she had seen at a very early age. Last year, people saw Anoushka Shankar for what she was underneath the grandeur of her lineage and her talents: a woman. Mere years after her brush with tragedy, she emerged not only as a celebrated musician, but also as the very personification of an empowered woman. What better a Cover Story for this particularly special issue, than this firehearted renderer of heart-wrenching melodies and possessor of swan-like grace?
Your revelation last year not only caused tabloid frenzy, it also made you a beacon of inspiration for many women across the world. What’s your advice for women undergoing similar travesties? How do they buck up the abundant courage that you did, and how do they start the healing process? It’s a great question, but very hard to answer. Sharing my news wasn’t about my own healing; it was about connecting to other people who may’ve gone through the same thing, and to share in the rage we all collectively felt at the time, and still do, about violence against women. I’m very grateful that my sharing a bit of my story was helpful to some people. But I wouldn’t presume to give advice. In our country it’s very hard for women to seek help and receive it, and that is more of where my focus is than on “advising” the victims. We need better legal, psychological, cultural and political support for victims of abuse and sexual violence. And more importantly we need better education for children and adults across strata about sex, consent, equality and violence. If that were in place then women would automatically have the support in place to heal, and eventually, we would be able to lessen the amount of sexual violence happening in the first place.
You’ve lived extensively in India, the US, and the UK. Is it true that women receive more respect and equality abroad than in India, or is the perception ill placed? Again, a tough but great question! I can only speak from my own experience and understanding. In my experience, the position of women is still not equal anywhere in the world, the portrayal of women in media is still hyper-sexualized and dehumanizing, women overall earn less than men for the same jobs, and carry more of theworkload at home. However, having said all that, in my experience, it’s still much, much worse in India than the other
Photo credit: Yuval Hen/Deutsche Grammophon
countries I have spent my time in. The GoddessWhore complex still casts a great shadow, and we can’t speak of “progress” in urban areas, which is still frightfully far from true equality, without considering the greater numbers that live without basic human rights around the rest of India.
Life for a woman wronged is not easy in society. What’s life for a celebrity woman wronged? Was society easier on you than it is on the faceless? Or does the media glare make things worse? The only time my so-called celebrity has had an impact was when I chose to share my story last year, when as mentioned, that had a positive impact, and I was happy to share my own past for that reason. As women we’re all the same; sexual violence makes no distinction based on race, wealth, looks, or religion. It affects us all.
What do you think are the primary reasons – and consequent solutions – behind the increasingly prominent rape culture across India? Women like us, everyday women, undergo public molestation, harassment and torment every day, with nobody but a patriarchal judiciary to turn to. How does one eradicate these problems? As touched on earlier, I’m a firm believer that we can’t just focus on surface solutions that deal with the aftermath of the problem. The solution lies much deeper at the heart of the problem itself. Why do certain men believe they can rape women, or molest children? Why is sex so integrated, in their minds, with violence? Are disempowered men seeking to assert themselves through sexual power? What makes women’s bodies commodities? The answers lie in in education about sex and consent at schools and within families, in learning to be discerning about certain religious beliefs that hamper the progress towards equality, and in the homes, where young boys learn daily through watchful eyes, how to behave as a man, and how to treat the women around them. There is no quick-fix solution, and we need the resolve and stamina to implement generational cures.
Your relationship with Norah Jones is the stuff of movies: Two celebrity halfsisters, estranged for long, eventually meet and get along like fireworks and make wonderful music together. What has your relationship with her been like? Outside of the fact that we have a pretty crazy backstory, we really are simply sisters in a normal sense. By that I mean, certainly we support each other, both in personal and professional situations, by listening to each other, being there for each other and loving each other. There’s nothing so extraordinary there! But I do feel very grateful to have that, as it easily could have gone a different way. I think right from the beginning we both really cared to make the relationship work and invested the time and energy into that.
In spite of being married to and having a son with Joe Wright, a celebrated Hollywood director unto himself, you haven’t been relegated to living in his shadow, post-nuptials, proving the general notion wrong. What does it take for a woman to retain her identity and further her career even after marriage – even a career as demanding as yours? In many ways we are still new to the art of marriage, but in the three and a half years we’ve been married we have learned a few things! One of them is to view our relationship as having three aspects to it: Joe, the couple itself, and me. It helps us to remember that our couple-ship is an entity that requires time and care, but that we are also two separate individuals who need to be strong and happy in order to take care of the couple. We also really do support each other and love each other’s art, so we value it and help each other to realize our goals. I hope we’re lucky enough to continue this way!
Your solidarity for Nirbhaya has continued way past its expiry date in the media. It is easy to see your heart going out to her family, each time you speak of her. What, then, is your take on the punishment meted out to her juvenile culprit? What is a fitting punishment for such a crime in your opinion? I try not to voice too many opinions in areas where I’m not an expert, and I’m certainly no legal expert. However, I know of many varied cases in the States, where people so close to legal adulthood are tried as adults, based on the nature of the case. In my opinion this case certainly warranted the same.
anoushka thinks about: Music degrees: I think formal degrees are a strange way to give value to a musician’s abilities.
Women’s Day: Not much, to be honest. I think it has a good intention, but that overall it turns into a trite event where media waxes lyrical about women and their virtues. We should reach a point where we don’t need a “Women’s Day” and we are all simply equal human beings in the eyes of the law and each other.
Being taught by her father, the Late Pt. Ravi Shankar: It was a blessing I can’t overestimate. He was an incredible man and the most amazing musician. I was fortunate to grow and learn with him.
Kanika Mishra Your fans are forever keen to be treated to collaborations between you and Norah. It must be said, “Traces of You” was worth every minute of the wait. How was the experience for both of you? We had a great time! It was fairly intense in some ways, as two of the three songs were about our father, and we recorded just a few weeks after he passed away. But that was, at least for me, a very cathartic experience. She’s a great musician and I really enjoyed getting to work more intensively with her, and of course I’m more than pleased with her contribution to my record.
From being signed on at the age of 16, to being the firstever and youngest female Grammy nominee for World Music to being the first Indian to play at the Grammy awards, you’ve been something of an early-bloomer. What do you attribute these premature achievements to? Most importantly, I was fortunate to have opportunities. Starting with the most amazing teacher, there were a host of opportunities for me to work with, and along with those opportunities, I have always worked very, very hard. I started very young and there are dangers with that, but I had the support of my parents and a wealth of collective experience to learn from. As an adult I continued to work hard, but have become very judicious about the things I choose to do. I don’t say yes to everything and am very selective. I think that helps to create a niche and sound that I’m associated with, and also helps protect my family life and sanity!
You’ve collaborated with artists of notable talent and fame, aside from your father and sister – artists such as Eric Clapton, Karsh Kale, Sting, Joshua Bell, Herbie Hancock, Lenny Kravitz, etc. Which of these has been most memorable for you? I genuinely can’t pick one person. I learned a lot when working with Sting and Herbie Hancock and had a great time working with people like Lenny Kravitz or Joshua Bell, as we were friends first. My experiences with Karsh were very different as it was a more intensive collaboration as opposed to one song, and that was very rewarding. When I was a teenager I got to work with numerous classical legends from both East and West and that was a huge learning experience, albeit rather intimidating.
You’ve taken Indian Classical music far beyond the boundaries of this nation, out into the global horizon, much like your father. How receptive has your international audience been of this art form? I feel very lucky when I think of this, but I do – touch wood – have great audiences that come to my shows worldwide. There are certainly crowds who are very receptive to my crossover work, wherever I go, but it gives me great satisfaction to see the love people have for our classical music. Perhaps the various genres I work in have helped create a situation where people end up exposed to new sounds; for example my work in flamenco, electronica or jazz reaches very specific audiences who may not know our classical music, and a percentage of them will naturally end up coming to the classical world, so that’s a brilliant thing.
Given that you’ve been playing the Sitar since you were a child, have you ever felt the urge to learn and excel at another instrument? If yes, which, and why?
Anoushka the musician vs. Anoushka the woman I think my music is a fair reflection of who I am as a person. As would be expected, when I write or perform music I’m drawing on my own emotions and experiences so that comes into the music. If there’s any difference, it’s probably that as a person I also have a very silly, goofy, funny side, which doesn’t show in my music much. Maybe it should!
Fun Anoushka Shankar Fact: I’m very OCD with where things belong in my house, and am an obsessive list-writer.
On a lazy Sunday morning you’ll find her listening to: It varies and evolves. At the moment: a lovely reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by composer Max Richter, my dad, Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Bill Callahan, and Olafur Arnalds.
How would you describe the following in one line each: Anoushka Shankar Sincere, loyal, passionate, strong
Mrs. Sukanya Shankar (mother) Honest, brave, loving, selfless, hilarious.
Late Pt. Ravi Shankar (father) Creativity personified, dignified, childlike, magnanimous.
Shubhendra Shankar (brother) I wish I’d known him better. It’s tragic he died so young.
Norah Jones (sister) A great sister and friend.
Joe Wright (husband) Giving, generous, loving, creative, open-minded, and curious.
Zubin Shankar Wright (son) Bright, loving, funny, open, amazing.
I used to learn piano and loved it, but eventually found it difficult to maintain a high level on both instruments. I miss it though, and keep thinking about taking it up again. Photo credit: Harper Smith/Deutsche Grammophon
Find of the Month
Empowered Female Musicians everyone needs to know
For a woman, to be a musician already requires a fair measure of mettle. The women we speak about in this article, however, take it a notch higher with their titanium wills and untamable spirits. With this segment, we focus your attention towards some such empowered female musicians that everyone should know about…Just because. Taking on the avatar of the elements of nature, Vivienne, Merlin, Hamsika and Shruti make Indiva, a multi-lingual, all-diva band representing the fierce and quintessential Indian Naari.
Watching them live, it’s easy to guess which element embodied who: Vivienne on the Guitar and Vocals was the warm timbre of Earth, rising and settling with the gusts and gales of Hamsika’s melodic undulations and array of world instruments; Shruti’s violin wound its way through, at once a rippling brook and a gushing waterfall sizzling and hissing into an unseen pulsating vein of lava that’s Merlin, on the keys, fanning the flames of Indiva. Indiva’s first song ‘Suno’ implores you to listen to the sound of a woman’s heart and soul inspired by the infamous Nirbhaya case and is dedicated to the women who have lost their souls to the unfair perversions of the world. Upon being asked if they think their career would be any different if they were men, they replied, “There’s no angst or comparison being made between the 2 sexes, it’s not difficult for a woman to carve a niche for herself in this industry, we’re making it on our own just fine.” And how! As for what makes them divas, they proclaim, “Each of us comes from a background where we’ve done a body of work, we’re not a manufactured band, we’re each divas in our own right and Indiva is a celebration of that.” The band has released their debut album, self-titled Indiva and produced in Merlin’s studio and have been on tour since last year. They manage their delicate balancing act of responsibilities, which in their words is “an intrinsic nature in women to multi-task and burn the candle on 5 ends if necessary”.
A British singer with Indian origins, Susheela Raman has successfully and remarkably bridged the gap between 60’s rock and Carnatic soul. Her music has evolved from a jazz-folk idea to a more ballsy, underground sound reminiscent of the later years of The Doors.
Her latest project “Queen Between”, which in Susheela’s words is a “Psychedelic post-rock sound scorched in the deserts of Rajasthan and fueled by the spiritual furnace of Pakistani qawwals” is a product of a 2 year long collaboration with Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali in Pakistan. “Rizwan and Muazzam, who are the nephews of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, one of my biggest heroes, have delivered the most extraordinary performances on the new album.” We saw a glimpse of the mood of Queen Between at her performance in Storm Festival 2014, including the eclectic titular track and ending with a rousing rendition of Main Sharaabi. To watch Susheela Raman perform live is like drinking a glass of good wine, it is a heady, electric mixture of velvet whispers and full-bodied tones of a ripe plum. Did I just venture into poetry? That’s what Susheela Raman’s music inspires. We asked her if it’s difficult for women to carve a niche for themselves in the music industry, to which she replied, “I think it’s very difficult. In England for example, we don’t see that many amazingly strong women in music. I think women really have to fight harder and work harder to have their voice heard.” As a female musician, Susheela Raman is a symbol of gutsy experimentation and a quest to explore unchartered territories of fusion music. Her latest venture has been to employ the concept of crowd funding to produce her new album Queen Between, which Photo credit: comes out in India at the end of March. The Big Beat
If there were ever to be an award for the best allrounder in the music industry, its recipient would be Vasundhara Das. What with singing, acting, composing, entrepreneurship and environmental activism on her proverbial plate, Vasundhara is a proven Jane of all trades. Commencing her journey with classical training and informal college performances, her career took a launch off Hey Ram where she first dabbled in acting. After being picked up by A.R. Rahman for her famous Shakalaka Baby, Vasundhara Das has since become a trade favorite for playback. We asked her if she had a hard time gaining a foothold in the industry as a woman, to which she said, “It depends on where you are at that moment and time. It’s different for different women. I wanted to be a singer/songwriter and perform originals and all that but then different doors opened at different times. One door said, come be a playback singer and I said “why not”? Another told me to be an actor and again, I said why not. One thing led to another.”
Drawing inspiration from Ani DiFranco, Estrella Morente, Ella Fitzgerald and Shubha Mudgal to name a few, her latest plunge into original music was with The Shah Hussain Project, a Sufi-influenced independent album. When she isn’t busy running DrumJam and exercising her entrepreneur muscle, she’s sowing seeds of creativity at her Bangalore-based studio ‘The Active’ where she self-produced her last album.
Indian Idol finalist, corporate diva and a captivating voice from the hills of Kashmir, Aabha Hanjura is the woman behind ‘Sufistication’ – a celebration of the timeless elegance that is Sufi music.
In our conversation with Aabha, she tells us about her efforts to balance work and music. “Everything outside of my 6 hours of sleep is dedicated to my music. I am working on my debut album, Aabha and the sound of Kashmir. Right now, I find that I can strike that balance and I’m sure when the time is right, I’ll pave my way out.” At only 17, Aabha had broken into the Indian music industry by making it to the final 14 of Indian Idol Season 2 and has since then evolved musically to find her own sound.
“I have always said that music chooses you, you don’t choose music. So even back then I knew that music was my calling and everyone pushed me. I was surprised that I got through [Indian Idol], because the first few rounds are exhaustive and you’re competing not with hundreds, but thousands of people across the country. When you get to the final few, you think, okay…maybe I can. I have not yet felt that I have arrived, because I guess that’s where music ends and I still have a long way to go.” Her infectious enthusiasm and love for Sufi music bears fruit as she frontends Sufistication, which she founded with Midhun Mukundaan, who plays the keys and arranges the music. “Midhun and I have worked very closely for this album and we have released a single Kithe Nain. It was my first single, and I got great feedback and was very glad that people liked my music. Folk music is what makes me happy, it’s what I’m really into and I’m happy with this discovery.” The
Tricks of the Trade with
Vivek Ponnusamy As a continuation to our tour of SAE, we had a conversation with Mr. Vivek Ponnusamy, Market Manager/ BDM – South Asia, SAE Institute – India office. Read on for the whole scoop!
How do you think the creative education market is in India? India has the best talented personnel in creative media industries especially in Audio engineering, Film making and Animation areas. There are huge untapped areas in India where there is raw talent available but unfortunately there is no access to the latest technologies to enhance and sharpen their skills. I feel there are plenty of prospects in an industry which is growing massively and which is in great demand right now. Plenty of job opportunities exist in creative fields and we recommend that students do their research before they decide on other programs
What year on year growth do you expect in terms of number of students in India? As indicated earlier, we expect at least 250% growth every year in student intake. We had an excellent growth in student numbers last year when compared to previous years and expect that this year the numbers will be even more. It’s so encouraging to see prospective Indian students selecting creative media as their first choice, which was not there a few years ago. We also indicate to students to apply earlier so that they don’t get disappointed at the last minute.
Is the infrastructure in India comparable to that of the other campuses in Australia and around the world? Good that you asked for comparison. This is one area where we are proud to say that we
Harsh Kumar have the best and latest technologies at all our campuses. This has been the policy of our institution and we always make sure we have the best in the business for the students. Even though we see the technologies are updated in India, we still believe there is a long way to go. Even professionals are still catching up with the improvement, let alone the student community.
The song ‘PISTAH!’ by Neram is now quite popular, with 4.8 million hits; are there any other famous alumni from SAE who have contributed to the entertainment industry? There are plenty of SAE Alumni who have won the best laurels around the world like a. Grammy awards b. Oscar awards c. Bafta awards For example: In 2013, our alumnus Mark Paterson won Oscar, BAFTA, CAS and MPSE awards for his sound mixing on Les Miserables; another alumnus, Florian Lagatta, won a Grammy Award for his work on Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’.
What career prospects do you see for a student pursuing a course in electronic music production? EMP is the most sought after program for the beginners and for students who do not want to study full time. The interesting factor is that once the students finish EMP the natural progression is to go all the way to finish the bachelor’s degree program. As you are aware, there are so many clubs, bands and music festivals coming up and having finished EMP the students can work as DJ’s, EMP engineers and in live sound.
How much does it cost to get a degree/certification from SAE? As we are present in 26 countries, the cost varies for each country. For example, it costs around AUD 52,000 in Australia for a 2-year degree and 24,000 pounds in UK. It is a bit cheaper in Singapore and Dubai.
Is there a placement program for the students enrolled? Absolutely. Most of our programs have a three-month long internship built in the course. So that’s the first step for students to finish the internship, impress the companies where they work during studies. We have dedicated career counselors in our campuses that guide students to apply for jobs. Most of the interested companies send their requirement to the counselors who in turn inform the students. I personally advice students to keep checking their emails, and be in constant touch with counselors and also the academic staff to look out for opportunities. Networking with alumni students also helps students get job opportunities.
If the students are interested in studying at SAE International campuses, where can they find more information? The students who are willing to study at various SAE campuses around the world can approach me here in India, where I am responsible for guiding students right from initial counseling, admissions, scholarships, enrolment and many more. Interested students can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Having a local support helps students in taking the right decisions.
Do you have any message for our readers? My message to students is to be proactive, select the right program and the country where they want to study and also talk to us to clarify their doubts and make the right choice. The industry is booming right now and there are a lot of opportunities. So, be smart and be the first to finish the right degree and pick up the right jobs in the industry. Students will have a great experience at SAE, that’s for sure.
Social Media has been instrumental in helping women bring their talent to the fore. Especially in the music industry, where the world is but one giant amalgamated stage, its presence has made many an illustrious career. One such example is Jonita Gandhi’s musical journey. Born in India and brought up in Canada, this present-day stealer of many an internet-surfing heart has a degree in Business Administration. She started singing in her father’s band at a very young age, but her covers of popular Hindi songs along with her brother, Aakash Gandhi, and a potpourri of emerging musicians and her opening for a Sonu Nigam concert are what brought her straight into the limelight…in Vishal Dadlani’s studios, where she recorded her debut song for Chennai Express. She has often touted Sonu Nigam as the reason behind her coming to India to find her musical self. Jonita has, since, been a part of Season 3 of Coke Studio, where she worked with Clinton Cerejo. She has also released her second song for the movie Highway, under the guidance of the legendary A.R. Rahman. Stay with us as we pry into the life, beliefs, and journey of Bollywood’s newfound girlcrush with honey for a voice.
I’ve been singing and dancing since I was a little kid. I started performing at 4 years old and I have been doing it ever since!
Music is a form of expression, and I don’t think that it is necessary to have classical training to be able to express yourself. I appreciate the value of classical training, but I don’t see it as overly important, unless you want to be a classical singer. It all depends on what you sing.
Happy by Pharrell, and Treasure by Bruno Mars are two of the songs that I’m currently hooked to.
Sai Adithya Social Media has been instrumental in my success as a singer till date. It is my method of marketing my work and connecting with my fans. In addition, social media is an excellent tool for networking. I’ve used YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with a lot of people within the music industry. Thanks to these sites, I’m able to showcase my work freely, from anywhere in the world. I actually spend a lot of time on the social media network and think it is crucial for artists to get and put themselves out there. It’s free and user-friendly, so there’s no reason not to, really! Regardless of how prepared you might be, it all comes down to how you perform on the specific day and moment that you’re at the microphone in the studio. I was extremely nervous but excited before recording Chennai Express. I didn’t want to have any expectations and I just went with the flow. When it was over, I was really happy that it went well. I felt relieved that I was able to deliver and that Vishal Dadlani was happy with my work. I was actually a little star-struck when I met A.R. Rahman. I have always wanted to work with him and when I met him at his studio in Chennai it was a bit surreal. A. R. Rahman is incredible to work with. He made me feel very comfortable and by the time I was recording I wasn’t nervous anymore. I feel he brought out my best and I learned a lot from the whole experience. My mom has definitely been the biggest influence in my life. She has taught me so much; she’s my best friend, my pillar and the biggest part of my support system. From a career perspective, I admire the full package that Beyonce brings to the table... She’s not just a great singer, but her stage presence, ability to dance and act, and her versatility are commendable. Sonu Nigam is an incredible all round performer. Both in the studio and live on stage, he is amazingly consistent. He has impeccable pitching and an energetic stage presence. I’ve learned a lot from sharing the stage with him, and working with him has definitely been encouragement for me to explore opportunities in India. Reality shows are a great platform for singers to get exposure among the Indian masses. Lots of singers have become famous and are doing well after taking part in reality shows. However, I don’t think the reality show format is something that suits me. Since these shows are driven entirely by ratings, artistic freedom gets compromised.
I love Coke Studio! I was thrilled when I was called to be part of Clinton Cerejo’s episode on season 3, since I really loved his work on the previous season. Shows like Coke Studio are a great platform for non-film music to be heard and appreciated. I’m generally the type of person who chooses comfort over style. But that having been said, I think I do a decent job at doing both at the same time! I like to keep it simple when it comes to personal style.
The modern day Indian woman represents grace and strength. I’m a proud Indo-Canadian woman and I love to see women excel in a male-driven music Industry. Being a woman in this industry has its fair share of difficulties, but I think times are definitely better now than ever before for ambitious women. Moving forward, I hope to see more and more opportunities open up for women to shine and be given as much respect as their male counterparts. My own album is definitely something I see in my future. My dream project would be to work on pieces that showcase my versatility and give me a chance to really show my unique style. I feel like that would be most possible in mainstream music, but let’s see where things go! Unfortunately, at the moment, all I can say is that I have some tracks that are pending for release. In the coming year I will have lots to share! For information about me, and to keep up with my latest releases and news, my fans can follow me on Facebook and Twitter!
Photo credit: Alvin Collantes The
th n o m e th f o r a t S
a h d d a r h S a m r a h S
rveling, a m e n o person s a e v g a n i e l r b y r d o l rma’s st ube cou T a u h o S Y a t h a d h t d , it’s hard t e c h i g o Shra u v o r h e t h ld have weet as lmost 1.5 a s “Who wou h a personality as s a h o h Wit ebody w overs on c m o r s e s h i r a o this far?” f h at Shradd st 10 million views h t entally, e d v i e c i l n i e , o s i m to b l h in’- whic ers and a k b c i r o c r s a b h u d s y. She’s a d r t a r n h u lakh s ‘ o c , l e e h n nels in t be chan lues and n a a v h c y l i d e m b a i her YouTu f ost subscr et fame erode her m e e her far. h v i t r f d o s l t m ’ a n one l who has r music and big dre ere is one r i g d e d n grou hed, if th assion fo c p n r u e a h l t e e l b soon to ollowing f who has m n u a f b l h a g o u l eno w so With a ne urrently has a large ndent Indian oc epe person wh on the difficult ind l with the sweet big This gir . a h d to make it d a r es of h d S a s h ’ t s i n – e t e s n music sce an angel i n to find out f o e c i o v the do smile and nd then some. Rea da empowere so. ink why we th On being India’s first YouTube sensation: It feels great to be one of the most subscribed YouTube channels in India. When I started, YouTube wasn’t a popular platform in the country. It feels fantastic to be “the first YouTuber of India”.
Shrishti Ambani The music industry in India is very competitive, and you’ve made it all by yourself at a very young age. One would presume the journey has been one with many hurdles. How hard was it, making it the entire way here all by your lonesome? My scene was different. I didn’t have to struggle for fame. I uploaded videos and just kept getting more and more views. I’m lucky that I’ve never had to struggle. I did go for auditions and wait in those lines but ultimately I was rejected and I made my own way through YouTube. It’s the mean comments you get on the Internet that demotivate you, though. Some of the comments are really hurtful and they can really get you down sometimes.
You’ve made it this far solely by merit, and have yet to venture into the mainstream scene. Keeping all the parameters in mind, where do you place yourself in the larger picture of the music industry? It’s all music in the end. Either it’s playback singing or independent bands, but other than a few people everybody’s doing their best. Everybody is putting the maximum effort in. The main Indian music industry is playback singing. I’ve never portrayed myself as a playback singer. I’ve always seen myself as a stage performer. I’m not behind a curtain or an actor. I’d like to think of myself as a Rockstar.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? In 5 years, I see myself on a stage performing in front of a crowd of fifty thousand. I have a black dress on and my guitar. The crowd is screaming, ‘Shraddha! Shraddha!’ Hopefully I’ll have a better stage name by then. If I get a few playback singing offers, I might accept them.
On fashion: I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘fashionista’. I don’t even know how to dress for parties. I always have somebody sent over, telling me what to wear for an event, or for dressing me. I’m actually kind of a tomboy.
From a small town girl to the YouTube music sensation that you are today, what was the one thing that kept you motivated throughout? My mother is who kept me motivated throughout my journey. Dehra Dun is a very peaceful place compared to Mumbai. If I wanted to advance in my music career I had to come to Mumbai. It’s difficult to be based out of Delhi or Dehra Dun; you get fewer offers because organizers have to fly you over and pay for your hotels costs and everything else. My mother has struggled a lot for me to come here. On being She’s always been there for me. dubbed India’s
You seem to be a very down-to-earth person, but has there ever been a time when all this sudden fame has threatened to change you? I’m from a middle class family; my father earns an average salary so I’ve always known the value of money. I’ll always think twice before spending. I don’t On her TV think fame has ever sidetracked me or appearances: struck me negatively. I’ve been in TV ads before. I My mother has was also approached for Ashley always told me to be Tisdale’s character in the Indian constant. I know what version of The Suite Life of I’m here for. Zack and Cody before. But I What can your couldn’t take it because of my 12th board exams. fans look forward to,
from you, next? Any surprises that you’d like to reveal here? I’m currently working with on my solo album called ‘Raasteyn’. The Indian music industry is majorly playback singing, unlike in the West. So this is my collaboration with Universal Music to promote independent music in India. Ankur Tiwari has done the lyrics on this album and Jim BEANZ (an international producer who has worked with the likes of Britney Spears and Shakira) is producing it along with Leslie Lewis (the famed composer). The dates will be released soon. The album is full of my original compositions. The title song, ‘Raasteyn’, is about my journey from Dehra Dun to Mumbai and we recently completed shooting for the video in Goa.
What empowers you as a woman today to keep moving forward? I’ve always been dependent on someone. When the YouTube thing happened, I realized I wanted to become more independent. I guess my music and my guitar empowers me to keep moving forward.
What advice would you give to young girls with big dreams like you? For all the young girls – it’s a bad world out there. You shouldn’t let your guard down even for a minute. Make your own way. Be more creative. On her favorite Look out for different ways female Indian musician: to achieve your dreams. Anoushka Shankar is my role model out of all the women in the Indian music industry. I don’t really like anybody else right now. I’ve followed her for a long time and am inspired by her. She’s so independent and confident. I love the way she portrays herself.
A lot of people don’t like him, but I guess it’s not bad.
The unique thing about Meinl cymbals is their ability to be versatile. Their steadiness is amazing and the cymbal response is unimaginably good.
Srikrishna Natesan (Blind Image)
All the sounds I hear in my head I have found in Meinl Cymbals. You know the team at Meinl they are serious, they mean well and you would like to be at your best, earning their beauties by getting strength to strength through your playing.
(Retronome / Vital Signs)
I found a very distinctive sound with Meinl which gave me that vibe that you feel when you are at your ease.
Sachin Banandur (Parvaaz)
Ever since I was introduced to drums I wanted to have my very own set of Meinl Cymbals. It gives me everything I need and a bit more.
MEINL cymbals imported and distributed by Bhargava’s Musik. Available in all leading stores across the country.
MEINL cymbals are very tastefully crafted and sound true, very genuine. The sound of these cymbals, it touches my heart.
I like my cymbals to be warm, washy and for lack of a better word ‘sparkly’, apart from being durable. I found all those qualities in the Meinl’s that I chose, especially the SoundCaster Custom series.
Srijan Mahajan (Parikrama, Half Step Down, FuzzCulture, Shubha Mudgal, Cyanide)
Band of the Month
Meet Mütsevelü (Mercy), Azine (Azi), Kuvelü (Kuku) and Alüne (Lulu), four sisters belonging to the Chakesang Naga tribe of Kohima, Nagaland. They sing Li, the traditional songs of their home region. We are proud to feature their band, Tetseo Sisters (currently one of the most popular girl bands in the country), as our Women’s Day special Band of the Month. Follow our writer as he digs deeper into the lives of these lovely, chirpy, and supremely talented women.
On what’s cooking in the TS kitchen lately: We’ve finished recording for an EP titled Li: Chapter 2. We’d also like to plan a festival of sorts to bring more northeast music, fashion and writing to the mainland.
On what they love most about being women: Dressing up! Being able to get away with a LOT of things. Chivalry.
When they showed up delayed by an hour and a half for the gig, they were flustered and running to make the green room. You wouldn’t think creatures as elegant as the Tetseo Sisters could run like hell, but the first time I saw them, that’s exactly what they were doing. When they finally started, the auditorium was only half full. They took the stage amidst suddenly held breaths and nervous shutter flashes, lovely in their Chakesang skirts and porcupine quill headdresses. Their mother had made the dresses, and they had designed all the jewelry themselves. “Without killing the poor porcupine,” Lulu Tetseo was quick to clarify. Over the years they have, through their music, become ambassadors of their culture – taking it places it hasn’t been before.
Was that the motivation all along, or is it just an added benefit? We think it’s fifty-fifty, because Nagaland also has a lot of western music, and we listen to a lot of that and perform some as well. But we get invited to perform our folk music. We look at it as an opportunity to showcase our culture, because that’s what makes us who we are, right? We are…well, let’s call us progressive young people who are educated, who know about the world outside, but who are comfortable in their own cultural identity as well. We’ve also got something to share in terms of bridging the gap between old and new generations. We show how it was and how it continues, and we’re interpreting it in our way.
Nilankur Dutta Gently – almost carelessly – strumming their Tati, they sang about quaint courtship rituals, of love being lost in translation, of beautiful maidens tending to communal herds, of cherry blossoms, and of loves lost. One of them would walk us through what the song was about before they started singing, and over the next few minutes the audience would be enraptured by an ancient music whose words we didn’t understand.
Your music – Li – has been derived from the traditional sounds of Nagaland. Have you also added your own elements to it? The instrumentation is all ours; and if you sit through a concert, you’ll see that there’s a progression. We start with purely traditional music and then we move on to our interpretations. We rewrite the lyrics and rearrange them too. We use folk medleys that we shorten. We play around with it.
And do you believe that singing in a language unknown to a large part of the country has limited you as musicians? No! We listen to a lot of music we don’t understand either, right? Even Li’s like that; even if you don’t get what the words are, it’s the feel that counts. Music doesn’t really need a language, and in our interactions with our audiences, language has never been a problem. Our performances are also really interactive because we want our audience to understand what we’re singing about. So there’s a lot of translation and story telling. They were crisscrossing the country with their music for most of last year, wearing all that heavy jewelry in flight (“They keep asking for our passport and asking us which country we’re from!”), but their favorite story from the road is from their time in Bangalore last year, where they were abruptly called out by a couple who told them that their kid was a huge fan of ‘Oh Rhosi’. “It is such a pleasure”, they exclaimed, “when it just pops out of the blue that somebody’s been following and appreciating your music!” As they gently bobbed up and down through their songs, the
applause kept growing. I turned my head around and realized that unbeknownst of me, a lot of people had trickled into the auditorium to hear them. Seeing their confidence and excitement on-stage got me thinking…
Do you believe being from the northeast, where societal norms are more relaxed for women, has given you more liberty to follow your dreams? I think we’re lucky because the culture of northeast encourages a lot of music and a lot of independent and strong women. Compared to the rest of the country, I think there’s less gender inequality and we get equal opportunities to choose whatever we feel like. There have even been matriarchal practices there. Although, while on the surface it looks really nice, deep down we also face the issues women across the country do.
What change, as women of some influence, would you like to bring about for the betterment of Indian women, then? Everyone talks of woman empowerment, but look at the limited options women are given. We’re living in such a way that we have to fight for whatever we want to do. If we could banish that kind of a setting, that’d be awesome. Oh also, we’d like for women to receive more respect.
And how do more women like you set out to being where you are today? It’s very clichéd, but listen to your heart. Listen to a lot of people too, but don’t let them change your mind. Know what you’re good at, and stick to it. And don’t give up. Really, don’t give up. It’s taken us a lot a work to get here, and we’re not really anywhere yet. They finished their set that night with their version of ‘What It feels Like For A Girl’, where they weaved an anachronistic Chokri song of lamentation through Madonna’s lyrics. Long after that fateful day in a Pune auditorium, an ageless, aching yearning has stayed with me, even though time has long eroded my memory of all else.
On their quirks: Kuku can’t be silent for more than five minutes. Lulu has a lot of questions, and really weird ones. Must be all the Japanese manga. Mood swings like the Kohima weather: Windy one second, sunny the next. Mercy keeps buying stuff from EVERY weird store that we visit. She’s also a perfectionist to the point of OCD.
On their instruments: They’re called Tati, and are traditionally made out of Mithun horns. They’re single string instruments used by the Chakesang Nagas.
String Temple is a visionary music label striving to create a unique World music catalogue consisting of innovative musical works. Established in the year 2008, we have worked with renowned artists who have significant knowledge in multiple music disciplines and are able to connect those disciplines and break away from traditional boundaries through their respective musical art forms. Our Mission Identify and cultivate artists with multi-disciplinary musical backgrounds and a passion for bridging those backgrounds together through unique musical projects. Develop music projects in conjunction with our artists, which best allows them to showcase their mastery over their art forms while offering something new and unique to the World Music landscape. Some of our most notable works feature artists who have connected Eastern and Western music systems by seamlessly incorporating elements of each through innovative means. Promote our artists and their works through partnerships with retailers, online and offline marketing efforts, digital distribution, film/soundtrack opportunities, music seminars, and live performances all over the world. Our artists have performed in the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, India, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany and throughout the U.K.
Our vision To facilitate a cross cultural exchange of musical ideas in order to promote innovation and push past traditional boundaries. We want our works to inspire the younger generation to explore different music systems and music genres.
String Temple, in its endeavour to uphold the classical music tradition, was the pioneer in publishing the recordings of renowned Violinist Mr. V.S.Narasimhan. He is well known throughout India as a violinist who has worked with legendary Indian film music directors such as A.R. Rahman and Ilaiyaraja. However, his passion for classical music has led him down to a different path culminating in the development of a new musical art form. He melded together Indian tradition and Western form to create something beautiful which resulted in the outcome of Raga Saga, Portrait of Raga (with Madras String Quartet) and Seamless Strings. He is uniquely equipped to produce a work of this kind because of his knowledge of and ability to play, perform, and compose in both Western classical and in Indian classical music styles. Hailed by numerous diverse, world-renowned musicians for his dynamic musicality, seamless improvisation and thoughtful artistry, V.S. Narasimhan has permanently altered the way in which we think about the Carnatic and Western music systems. The added flair in the recording comes from his use of electric instruments. By using this approach, he was able to record all the parts (Violin I, Violin II & Viola) himself except for cello (played by the immensely talented V.R. Sekar).
What some world renowned musicians had to say about our music:
What my String Quartet plays is predominantly South Indian Classical Music, a music system fundamentally based on lyrics, which function as the ‘Heart’ of the music (in contrast to Western String Quartet music which is mostly instrumental with no lyrics). I therefore keep the original music in its purest form in the ‘Main Voice’— that is the 1st Violin—and then add colours from Western harmonic principles. I then introduce the percussive material as and when necessary with my imagination with the other three voices.
The manner in which they blend Western style harmony on traditional Carnatic pieces is very distinctive (from my concept of Melharmony) and is directly attributable to Mr V S Narasimhan’s high-level familiarity and command over both systems, not to mention the team’s commitment to performing excellence. Not many people may have heard Mr Narasimhan’s pure Carnatic playing but I have been witness to his refined style at close quarters for many years and definitely, his Carnatic background has helped him immensely in his journey to other musical worlds. I have personally been moved by some of their arrangements and execution.
We have already seen their impact on Indian listeners and I’m sure that this will only grow even more!
on his String Quartet and its music
Raga Saga Raga Saga is a widely hailed, ground-breaking work which captures V.S. Narasimhan’s original integration of the Indian and Western classical music systems. Mr. Narasimhan uses a delicate, intricate, thoughtful approach in his artistic touch replete with an enduring blend of Western harmonies, counterpoint, and pulsating rhythmic structures.
Seamless Strings Seamless Strings is yet another momentous effort in V.S. Narasimhan’s on-going journey to connect the Indian and Western Classical music systems through works for string quartet. In his efforts to connect these music systems, Narasimhan has taken a distinct approach to do so with some set principles in his mind.
Chitravina Ravikiran I think that the initiative of the Madras String Quartet is a brilliant one and the fact that they have won a respectable following not only among Western Classical aficionados but also among hardcore Carnatic listeners is a testimony to their quality as well as the openmindedness of Indian listeners as a whole.
David Balakrishnan, Violinist/Composer, Turtle Island Quartet (Winner of Grammy), United States In speaking to the quality of this evocative and brilliant new recording, I can make no claims of objectivity, having devoted my life’s work to creating cross-genre music with my group, the Turtle Island Quartet, as well as having a South Indian father. I will say that when I listen to this music, my heart erupts with joyous elation, then my professional curiosity kicks in, and I am filled with wonder and deep respect for the level of craft that went into producing this excellent CD. What I hear in these tracks is a voice on the other side of the world, seemingly entirely divergent yet at the same time oddly familiar, using the same classic instrumentation to provide yet another compelling new musical paradigm in the continuing evolution of the string quartet form. One can only wonder what Papa Haydn would have thought if somehow by a miracle of time travel he were to hear this music!
Legendary American Cellist YoYoMa in his personal note to Mr.V.S.Narasimhan Dear Narasimhan, I am so glad to know about you and your music. Not only that, the suspense came in the form of your RESONANCE, which is a worthy addition to my collection. I feel the greatness of my tradition should stand behind your beautiful classical tradition. www.stringtemple.com The
U-Live is a one stop destination for all singers to be taken in for live shows all over the world; itâ€™s a hub where Live shows are provided artists from this port and music lovers can come watch their favorite artists live.
In the limelight
We have often decried, on our pages, the absurd amount of difficulty there is for an independent artist to actually make it in the modern Indian market. Well, thereâ€™s now reason for some hope, all credits to Universal Music, which now has a dedicated department for nurturing and promoting music talent: U-Live. It seems that this arm is a natural extension in terms of their plans, which include having bigticket shows from overseas, as part of having a global footprint. 32
We had a detailed conversation with Mr. R. H. Chhatrapati (Vice President, UMG South Asia) who is heading the U-Live division based in Mumbai about U-Live and what it means for the Indian music scene. Read on for the whole scoop on this exciting new venture! First off, for the uninitiated, please tell us a little bit about what you intend to achieve with U-Live, and what it means for all the music-lovers in India? U-Live is the live division of the world’s leading music company - UMG (Universal Music Group). U-Live is a one stop destination for all singers to be taken in for live shows all over the world; it’s a hub where Live shows are provided artists from this port and music lovers can come watch their favorite artists live.
We understand that U-Live are a talent-agencyof-sorts pertaining to music and musicians. Would you agree with that? What more does U-live entail? U-Live is an all rounder for a live performer. From grooming, publicity, styling, body language, diction, and performance skills to placing them with the right gurus to polish their singing skills, we take care of the all the aspects involved.
Universal has set up a very impressive roster of offices and logistics in India and internationally. What realities does this actually translate to, for the musicians and the audience? The reality here lies in placing these artists all over the world, well coordinated and taken care of. We want to reach out to all the audiences who wish to attend such shows to see their favorite singers and musicians performing live. We package the artist with the musicians to deliver the best output that is worthy of audiences from all over the world wanting to come and witness.
You once mentioned in an interview that you wish to expand Universal’s reach in the southern parts of the country. Is U-live one way of achieving that? What other measures do you have in mind? We do have southern singers and we are also in talks with singers and musicians in the southern part of country as part of our expansion plan. We would like to sign young upcoming artists, and musicians whom we can take abroad for live performances.
You’ve signed a lot of highly billed stars like Sonu Nigam and Adnan Sami. But these artists are already quite famous. What’s new under the aegis of U-Live? We believe in breaking new acts that will be our future. Some examples being: Armaan Mallik, who recently sang 3 songs in the Bollywood film Jai Ho and is releasing his album this month. We have placed him for a variety of festivals and fashion shows; Shraddha Sharma, who is one of the biggest YouTube sensations, just turned 18 years old. She has 2.2 million fans on Facebook and has received the most hits on YouTube that any non-celebrity has received. She is also the brand ambassador of
MTS and Hair and Care and is soon to release her album with the international music arranger Jimbean.
With the current state of the market, independent artists are struggling under the tyranny of record labels and stingy event organizers. What are your plans to bring unknown artists to the limelight? The key to getting the not-so-famous artists in the limelight is placing them at the right places at the right time. Because of our huge network of event organizers and our operation in 77 countries, we can integrate our artists with fiction shows on leading TV and Radio channels…place them in Page 3 events, fashion shows, also on big festivals across the globe to showcase all genres of music and increase their popularity. We also work on collaborations with international/cross genre artists to add value to their association to non-film music.
Tell us about the other musicians who are on the cards? What different genres are we talking about? We have exclusively signed over 30 artists like the top 4 contenders of Indian Idol season 6, Indian Idol Juniors, Shraddha Sharma, Armaan Malik, Jal the band, Aditya Jassi, Mustafa Zahid, Farhan Saeed, QB, DJ AkS, Sifar, Boomarang, Coshish and many more. We also have nonexclusive deals with legends like Sonu Nigam, Adnan Sami, Kavita Seth etc... U-Live has a variety of musicians to cater to fans of all genres like Bollywood, Sufi, EDM, Sufi Rock, Indie POP, UK Bhangra, Indie Rock, Bollywood DJ, etc.
What is most exciting to us is the prospect of live shows and festivals that you’ve promised. We’d love to know more about these from you. Also, when can we expect them to materialize? U-Live has city based music festivals among their other intellectual properties. We have already placed our artist festivals, for example: in January/ February we had India fashion week, Worli Festival, Kala Ghoda, Ragasthan etc.
Finally, where is U-Live headed in the future? What are the long-term and short-term plans in India? U-Live is headed towards being one of the biggest hubs for all National and International artists in the near future and the full and final stop for all musicians in this industry. U-Live has already handled over 30 artists and hosted 200 shows in over 25 countries. It has a regional team in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata. It also has representatives in US, UK, Canada, MENA, ASEAN and Africa. We have shown double digit growth every month, and can see this becoming one of the most valuable strategic business units within the nontraditional music revenues for the group.
Rise of the Female Carnatic Musician For most women of the early 20th century, music never went beyond a hobby/pastime. Too often, one hears of how the wives of that generation, although encouraged to sing at home to their husbands or to guests, were never allowed to ‘perform’. It was a nice addition to the skills of a good housewife. However, giving concerts was a male pursuit and career path. With this segment, we illustrate the lives, struggles and conquests of some of the brave women who were instrumental in breaking this very gender bias. Nagarathnamma Nagarathnamma, the devadasi from Bangalore, funded and built the famous Thyagaraja Sannidhi in Tiruvayar in 1925, a place that comes to life every year with the grand Thyagaraja Aradhana. Losing all of her legendary wealth towards building this temple, she never regretted investing in the project. However, she soon discovered she along with other women weren’t allowed to participate in the Aradhana. An equality battle ensued thereafter, and it wasn’t until 1940 that this barrier was broken. Meanwhile, musicians such as MS Subbalakshmi, ML Vasanthakumari, DK Pattamal, and T Brinda were making a mark in this seemingly male dominated field.
M.S Subbulakshmi M.S Subbulakshmi, a name that is synonymous with the world of Carnatic music was a flawless singer whose voice had a divine power. She was the first singer in India to be presented with the Bharat Ratna, the highest award given to any civilian. Born on 16th, September 1916 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu this
singer came from a musical background. Shanmukhavadivu, her mother was an excellent vainika who was highly respected among fellow musicians. At a young age, MS was introduced to Carnatic music. Upon seeing her gift for music, her mother made it a point to have her sing in public, in front of senior vidwans of that day. She gave her first public performance at Kumbakonam during Mahamaham festival and that was the start of what would be a glorious career. A versatile artist, she acted in memorable films such as Bhakta Meera (1945). The versatile singer sang all famous Meera bhajans in her melodious voice and was an instant hit with music rasikas and film critics alike. She eventually quit films and continued to give public performances and concerts. In the year 1936, she met her husband, Sadasivam, who was a freedom fighter. They got married after four years in 1940. Sadasivam became a pillar of support for the artist and her career.
Of the last 87 years, if the music academy has chosen me, it makes me only the 12th woman to receive it. It is a prestigious award and I’m grateful that the academy has thought out of the box. But I think today’s world has opened up to women artists and if there is a person who has accomplished as much, proven her or his mettle in more ways than one then recognition to them should be there. Sudha Ragunathan
D.K. Pattamal D.K. Pattamal, another legend in the field of Carnatic Music was a musician blessed with a rich voice and immense support within her family. After giving her first performance at age thirteen, news of her success reached her town, which shook the foundations of the chauvinistic community and invited much gossip. She was an unmarried Brahmin girl who was rising to fame, appearing in magazines, and other public forums. Here was an unmarried, 19 year old Brahmin girl who was being featured in magazines and invited to sing on public platforms. Many speculated about her possible marriage, and eventually her marriage to P.S Srinivasan’s (a freedom fighter) nephew, R. Iswaran was fixed. A qualified electrical engineer, R. Iswaran was brought up by Srinivasan with a progressive outlook. Pattammal would learn compositions by sitting through concerts and then jotting down the notations and key phrases of the song by committing from memory. Their marriage soon became the stuff of legends, for at a time when men ruled not only the society but the family as well, Iswaran left his work to support his wife’s flourishing career. He soon became instrumental in her progress as an extraordinary musician and performing artist. Any connoisseur would be quick to point out the quality of D.K. Pattammal’s music. Unlike most musicians, her aalapna was deceptive in its brevity. Enriched with the soul of the Ragam, she would capture its essence and bring out the identity of the Ragam, setting her apart from most musicians. Pattammal’s greatest contribution to the future of Carnatic music was through her work in Ragam Thanam Pallavi. The very pinnacle of Manodharmam, Ragam Thanam Pallavi was considered
to be the male singer’s forte alone owing to the complexities in the rhythmic patterns and high degree of skill that was required to sing this concert item, which they believed to be beyond the ken of women. Pattammal became the first female musician to sing Ragam Thanam Pallavi, which she set to intricate and immensely complicated rhythmic patterns. With this, she impressed and won accolades from the critics, male peers and audience alike by literally storming the male bastion. Her prowess as a singer was soon acquiesced even by the hardest of skeptics. Palaghat Mani Iyer, a veteran Mridangist, was one of the many who acknowledge her prodigious talent. Although he never accompanied female artists, he made an exception with D.K. Pattammal: a truly historical moment.
ML Vasanthakumari MLV, another great musician of her generation, was a prime disciple of the legend, G. N. Balasubramaniam. She was the youngest among the established musicians of that era, and was the youngest female awardee of the Sangita Kalanidhi award. As well as being a much sought-after playback singer for films, MLV popularized unfamiliar ragas. She, like Pattamal, also sang intricate Ragam Thanam Pallavis. Additionally, she popularized the compositions of Purandara Dasa (and other Dasas), and was responsible for popularizing his compositions Baarokrishnayya, Innu daya barade, among others.
T Brinda Another legendary vidushi one cannot go without mentioning is T Brinda. She received much of her initial training from her mother Kamakshi. This training was in the Veenai Dhanammal style, a style of Carnatic Music known for its unhurried, alluring movements, as also for its use of intricate gamakas (graces) in the handling of ragas (modes). After training under Naina Pillai, Brinda learnt from her aunt Lakshmiratnam. Veenai Dhanammal (legendary vainika), who was also Brinda’s grandmother, herself taught her some compositions. Brinda absorbed both the sublime and intricate Dhanammal style and Naina Pillai’s fast paced masculine music and blended them seamlessly into her singing. Her peers and music connoisseurs regarded her as a person of superlative musical knowledge. She was a repository of Kshetrayya padams and javalis (romantic compositions rich in musical content) and many rare compositions of the Trinity of Carnatic Music and Patnam Subramania Iyer.
Aftermath Today, the state of affairs is very different from the olden time. Padma Shri and Sangita Kalanidhi awardee Sudha Ragunathan says, “Of the last 87 years, if the music academy has chosen me, it makes me only the 12th woman to receive it. It is a prestigious award and I’m grateful that the academy has thought out of the box. But I think today’s world has opened up to women artists and if there is a person who has accomplished as much, proven her or his mettle in more ways than one then recognition to them should be there.” Among the top Carnatic singers are Aruna Sairam, Bombay Jayashri, Nithyashri Mahadevan and several others. Women instrumentalists such as Veenai Gayatri, Jayanthi Kumaresh, Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, Sikkil Mala, and many more are all making a mark in the field of music today, although, it has not been easy for them to go up the ladder in the same uninterrupted way as their male contemporaries.
Guitar reviews f or
female musicians Everyone wants to learn how to play the guitar. It’s one of the most coveted musical instruments that exist, preferred by many the world over for various reasons: to express oneself, to impress someone or just to pass some time floating in the land of music trying to figure out how the legends do it. Even though there are only a handful of female guitar legends, things are changing for the good at their own pace. To aid this change The Score Magazine would like to help its female readers pick up their first guitar and become legendary guitarists in time. Maybe this Women’s Day, you can show him how it’s done!
Some great Nylon string Classical guitars for beginners are the Yamaha C40, Cort AC-11M, Cort AC-11R. Some popular tunes on the classical guitar would be La Catedral - Augustin Barrios Mangoré, Recuerdos de la Alhambra - Francisco Tarrega. However, if you want the more popular sound of a steel string guitar to play rock classics or have sing-alongs at a campfire, the Yamaha F310 is one of the highest selling symmetrical steel string acoustic guitars, and is almost always out of stock.
The first thing that one needs to know is that there are two kinds of acoustic guitars (very broadly classifying): steel strings and nylon strings. Nylon strings are easier on the hands and easier to learn on. They have a wider fretboard so your fingers would have to stretch a little more than normal. It is the classical way of learning guitar and sounds very rich even when you are a beginner. Changing strings and tuning can be a challenge and should be done by your instructor/ dealer.
Classical Guitars (Nylon Strings)
Acoustic Guitars (Steel Strings)
Nylon strings are easier on the fingers
Good for most kinds of music
Sounds good with average accuracy It is the traditional way of learning guitar
A lot of options are available to choose from Better for sing-alongs and playing pretty much any song
The first step to learning a guitar is buying one. While most beginners are skeptical about buying a new guitar, buying a good one can change one’s life, and there are plenty of options available within everyone’s budget.
String changing is not easy
Good for Spanish and western classical music
Fingers will pain with continuous practice Mistakes while playing are reflected clearly
So you have been playing for some time now and have developed finer playing and listening skills. The guitar that has been there with you all this while is great, but it has started to limit you. You feel that your first guitar is just not letting you express yourself in the beatific manner you’d like. Well, its time for a new guitar.
This is going to be a major upgrade for any musician. Presence of a truss rod, relief angle, string gauge; everything makes a difference. The key things that you need to look out for are action, intonation and tuning machines. There can simply be no compromise on these, whereas things like wood type, shapes/cuts, headstocks, inlays etc. are some things that you will learn to appreciate with time and know what is best for you as you mature as a musician. Be sure to check out the various types out there and if you are unfamiliar with any of the terms used, a quick search will tell you about them in as much/as little detail as you want. Now the budget would vary widely for the second guitar, but to cover a wide range we will review 3 guitars in the under 10k, 10k - 20k and 20k - 30k range.
Ibanez PF15C Natural Rs. 11,500 (Approx.) Ibanez is a well-known brand with some very famous guitarists using Ibanez guitars. They have not forgotten about the new learners. The PF15C corroborates the fact that Ibanez cares. With PF standing for performance, you get quality, professional features and great sound. The guitar also has a cutaway, so that makes reaching those high frets possible with average sized fingers. The standard cutaway Dreadnought body will feel natural in your arms and holds well on your lap. Mahogany adds a lot of class to the guitar. It is something that you can take pride in while going on stage. Ibanez guitars are well setup so you can expect low action (good) and well-intonated guitars straight from the box. With die-cast chrome tuners there to hold your tuning for long Ibanez also decided to throw in D’Addario® EXP™ strings. All in all, the guitar is a great buy, but in our opinion should be bought from a store rather than online so you can get a feel of it first.
Washburn WD20S Rs. 18,600 (approx) Solid Alaskan Sitka spruce makes the Washburn WD 20S. With rosewood on the back and sides, this guitar is a work of art. The WD20S has excellent build quality and has features like scalloped bracing, rosewood bridge and chrome die-cast tuners. Handcrafted guitars with premium woods are always a big win anytime and for everyone. There are no electronics embedded in it, so buying a sound holeplug is advisable if you plan on using it on stage. The WD20S is not just gorgeous but also sounds as good as it looks and feels. The mother of pearl Washburn logo on top accents the guitar and looks great on stage. In our opinion it compares very well to guitars that cost twice as much. Guitars come well set up and buying them online is a safe bet. Washburn is known for its superior tonal quality and has been around since 1883, so they really know what they are doing. Recently they have come back into the limelight for producing great guitars at affordable prices. It is one of the best guitars in the under 20k category.
Fender Acoustic Electric Guitar CD-140SCE Rs. 24,000 (approx) The Fender CD-140SCE draws out amazing tone. The spruce top really brings out the color of the sound. The mahogany on the back and sides adds a dash of sweetness to it. The onboard Fishman electronics giving a 3 band equalizer give the player great control on the sound and make for quick adjustments while playing at a new venue or different temperature. The onboard tuner is a big plus as well. The tortoiseshell pick guard, rosewood fingerboard and bridge combined with black body binding give the guitar a very contemporary yet classy feel. With rock solid specs and the Fender name backing it up, one cannot go wrong with this guitar.
Style Check Sonu Kakkar Sonu is the quintessential diva. With her glittery, dazzling outfits, and an impeccable fashion sense, she’s not only the heartthrob of many an Indian male, but also the style guru for many an Indian girl. Her outfits truly are a reflection of her songs: they’re bold, they’re modern, and you couldn’t imagine ignoring them. Big ups for all the self-expression, and for never failing to keep us on our toes waiting for what she’s going to wear next. This particular outfit is one of her favorites, and for good reason. The gold-accented sequins are almost always in, and no one pulls off a glittery little gold dress like this star does!
Monali Thakur Her of the sweet smile and the doe eyes, Monali is one artist whose personal fashion sense has taken giant leaps over the year. While she is often found rocking ethnic outfits, we are very impressed with the edgy look sheâ€™s edging towards, in this picture. Two thumbs up each for the booties, frayed-hem shorts, off-the shoulder oversized tee and the sultry look. How very rebelliously tasteful! And in good time too: with all the awards sheâ€™s been accepting lately, her outfits have been getting their fair share of limelight.
Rita is no plain Jane. Her fashion sense is elaborate, out there and very well-put-together. For the fashionforward Rita, mere glamorous is commonplace. This outfit is the perfect blend of feminine and modern, with the oversized ear-hoops, fitted trousers, simple printed top and layered statement necklace. Our favorite thing about this ensemble would be the scarf tied around her head. Oh-so-chic!
Photo credit: Srii Rama Santhosh (Hi Lights)
A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic system designed solely or primarily for recording, editing and playing back digital audio. A DAW is probably the first thing that an aspiring composer needs. There are many types of DAWs available in the market. Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Pro Tools, Fruity Loops and Ableton Live are a few common names. Most DAWs have their strengths and weaknesses, but are always up to the task of making good music. These DAWs usually have a core application through which recording, cutting, pasting, syncing, tempo control, etc. can be done. You can then add plugins for whatever tweaks and additional tech you want, just like getting more hardware in your studio. There are a variety of plugins available, like Synthesizers, Flangers, Distortions, Reverb, Delay et al. Compressors are used to manipulate sound in many ways. Some plugins emulate old analog hardware, which many people are partial towards. For a distinctive sound, we make multiple layers and then mold them into a completely new sound. All DAWs have one common vital feature: they all work non-destructively, which means your original files are never modified; instead, new ones are created. All DAWs can produce extremely high quality sound depending on your medium: CDs, Cinema, T.V. or another. For starters, choose a DAW for what it is worth and keeping in mind your comfort with it. It is the heartbeat of the sound. You want to make sure that the DAW you buy is compatible with your system in terms of hardware. You can then buy the plugin you need…not the other way round! Then, you look at the prospect of hardware integration. There is certain software that provides dedicated hardware, like control surfaces. These control surfaces, as the name suggests, are a tool to control the software using mixing desks, rather than mouse and keyboard which many may find cumbersome. Avid, Cubase
and Sonar are a few examples of Such DAWs. One other thing you should note is the common myth that each DAW has a different sound. This is not true. Every DAW has a similar base engine. It’s the small things like the plugins and effects you use that make the difference. In the modern day DAW multiple track recording is possible. Each track has controls where you can alter its effects and work on it by using VST’s. Now that you know all you need to about DAWs, listed below are some of the most common and popular ones available in the market. Depending on your requirement and level of expertise, you can opt for the one that suits you best.
Pro Tools Pro Tools became a rage when it was launched in the market due to its neat recording and mixing features and simple popular interface. It runs on both the PC and MAC, and requires a compatible audio interface for it to run. This is a commonly used studio tool. They use their own plug-in format RTAS so you’ll need to check if what you want comes in the RTAS format.
Are you an upcoming or aspiring musician who has been wondering how Pro music is made these days? Sure, we all know it’s recorded in the studio. Sure, tapes and vinyl were an essential part of it back in the day. Of late, though, things have become completely digital…In fact, they’ve been digital for about 20 years now! Any sound that comes through the microphone is transformed from an electric signal to digital 1s and 0s, and then recorded like normal data on digital storage devices like CDs, Hard drives etc. With this month’s In Studio segment, our honorary editor, Siddharth Vipin aims to shed some light on how all this and more can be achieved with the help of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Here’s learning how to convert that tune in your head to music such as Siddharth’s!
Cubase / Nuendo A very commonly used multi-platform DAW, The Steinberg’s CUBASE is very popular. The inbuilt pitch and time editing tool is mighty neat and will help avoid your expenses on an auto-tune. The only slight draw back might be its multiple window hassle, which can be avoided by using another monitor. It has a great variety of plug-ins. Although the Steinberg’s Nuendo is a different software, the files in the .Npr format will open on a Cubase and vice versa.
Ableton Live This is a very what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of DAW. As the name suggests, it is brilliant for live shows. It is very flexible and you can control whatever you see pretty smoothly. You can record the entire show on separate tracks, which leaves room for a lot of tweaking after the show. Now don’t get confused, Ableton is great studio software while at the same time being favored by EDM composers too.
This MAC-only application logic is a very MAC-friendly DAW. Logic X, the latest model has quickly become extremely popular with incredible upgrades in compatibility and interface. Logic is very popular for recording and composing rough tracks via their synths or a MIDI before going to the studio.
The Fruity Loops is considered a beginner’s software. Well, to an extent that is true. This is great software to start with. There are very few plugins available, but it is great for samples and loops (quite obviously for the latter). Some big producers like Alex Da Kid made their claim to fame starting with Fruity Loops.
Hopefully, you are now equipped with all the knowledge you need for buying your first DAW and beginning your music production career.
In this segment next month, we will be bringing to you a detailed insight into Soundcards straight from the man himself. The
Hands-On Access to
A World of Great Tones Mobile, battery powered, and filled with a diverse selection of flagshipquality BOSS amps and effects, the ME-80 is the ideal compact tone processor for performing guitarists. A friendly knob-based interface makes it simple to dial in great sounds in seconds, while easily selectable operation modes offer the flexibility of individual stompbox-style on/off or instant recall of complex multi-effects setups. Unique new footswitches deliver twice the control of previous designs for efficient and intuitive effects switching, patch selection, and real-time sound shaping while playing on stage. The free BOSS TONE STUDIO software unlocks even more tonal possibilities, providing a cool graphical interface for tweaking and organizing sounds on your computer, plus a web connection to BOSS TONE CENTRAL for direct access to free gig-ready patches created by top pro guitarists and much more.
Compact and powerful floor multi-effects with a simple knobbased interface Eight simultaneous effects categories, each with multiple effects types Dial up tones with the ease of using your favorite stompboxes Includes a massive selection of top-quality effects, from classic BOSS stomps to the latest MDP effects Updated flagship-level COSM amps derived from the GT-100 Eight multifunction footswitches and expression pedal Manual mode for stompbox-style on/off; Memory mode for switching complete patch setups Delay section includes Phrase Loop function with 38 seconds of recording Runs on six AA batteries or optional PSA-series AC adapter USB audio/MIDI interface built in Free BOSS TONE STUDIO software allows you to edit and organize tones on your computer, and also preview and download free patches directly from the BOSS TONE CENTRAL website
A Huge Selection of BOSS Effects in One Pedal No matter what style you play, it’s easy to craft your own personal sound with the ME-80’s wide range of built-in effects. A complete history of gig-ready BOSS tone processing is at your command, from multiple overdrives and distortions to wahs, mod effects, pitch shifters, delays, and beyond. BOSS’ groundbreaking Multi Dimensional Processing (MDP) technology is represented with the unique, spacious ambience of Tera Echo and the distinctive tone-shaping possibilities of Overtone. Updated COSM preamps include new additions such as Crunch and Metal, plus an AC preamp designed for acoustic/ electric guitar. The onboard expression pedal can be used for foot volume and pedal effects like wah, octave shift, and Freeze, and it’s also possible to control effects parameters such as mod rate, delay oscillation, and more for expressive real-time sound shaping.
Instant Gratification with Dedicated Knobs Unlike typical menu-driven multi-effects processors that are complicated and unintuitive, using the ME-80 is as easy as using a stompbox. Effects are organized into eight logical categories that can all be active at the same time.
Stompbox Immediacy or Multi-FX Power: You Decide The hands-on experience that stompbox control provides is perfect for tweaking tones as you go. However, there are times when switching among an entire group of preset effects is more efficient, such as when you’ve set up complex tones for different songs. The flexible ME-80 supports either approach, giving you the best of worlds. In Manual mode, the categories function like individual stomp effects, with instant adjustment via the panel knobs and on/off control with dedicated footswitches. By entering Memory mode, seven footswitches are automatically reconfigured to select user or preset patches and patch banks, letting you recall complete multi-effects setups directly.
New Footswitch Design Delivers Twice the Control The ME-80 offers easy usability while performing, with eight multifunction footswitches for direct control of effects on/ off, bank/patch selection, and mode switching, plus convenient access to alternate functions such as tap tempo, tuner, looper control, and more. A special control (CTL) function is also assignable in each patch, letting you toggle grouped effects on/off or adjust a specified parameter in real time. The newly developed footswitch style provides two switches in the space occupied by one in previous designs, allowing BOSS to equip the ME-80 with a generous array of foot-operated controls while keeping the unit extremely compact and mobile. In addition to the eight main footswitches, the expression pedal is equipped with an integrated toe switch that toggles between foot volume and the current Pedal FX setting.
Team Score speaks:
Women Inspire us
First woman IPS officer (now retired), Author, Social Activist, UN Police Advisor
Padma Shri award winner, Journalist, and Author
Kiran Bedi is India’s first and highest ranking (female) officer to have joined the Indian Police Service. She’s the first person who came to my mind, when I was asked to write for this segment. Since her joining in 1972, she has served in a number of tough assignments. She served as a Police Advisor in United Nations peacekeeping operations and was awarded a UN medal; towed Indira Gandhi’s car for a parking violation, the fact that Gandhi was then Prime Minister notwithstanding; instituted a number of reforms like yoga, vipassana meditation, and literacy programs during her stint as the Inspector General of Prisons in Tihar Jail between 1993 to1995, for which she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award. In spite of all the respect she had gained, she faced stark criticism for her daring role in the lathi-charge on lawyers protesting against a colleague’s arrest outside Bedi’s office, which failed to deter her spirit.
Sucheta Dalal is deeply inspiring. She yearns to truly educate the money duffers by being the managing editor at MoneyLife. She showed us that customer paid news has a market especially if you are able to convince the readers that you are neutral despite where your advertisement moolah comes from. If more people like Sucheta stood up to create independent media, then there would be many an honest debate on corruption, economics and policy. Outspoken on political issues, never holds back the tough questions and doesn’t mind taking on the biggies when it comes to blows. From exposing Harshad Mehta to QuestNet, she has done it all. Padma Shri award winner, Journalist, and Author, Sucheta Dalal is an inspiration to women everywhere.
ajay prabhakar Strategy and Planning
Kiran Bedi is a former cop, Asian tennis Champion, Author, and Social Activist who makes a lot of sense. She is well learned, daring, and the kind of person who stops at nothing to do what she thinks is right. A true inspiration to many indeed!
PRAGASH V M
Co-Founder & Director Business Development
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi Chairman & CEO, Pepsi Co Indra Nooyi has been a steady source of inspiration for me. Keeping people like her in mind, and reading success stories about such people stimulates the motivational enzyme within one and takes one along the path of success. Having come from a humble South Indian family, she really has moved her way to the top – adorned in a saree, bindi well in place, retaining her Indian-ness. Indra Nooyi was rated as the 2nd topmost powerful woman by Fortune in the year 2013. She is a woman who knows exactly how to balance work and life and urges her employees to do the same. She remains a quintessentially Indian woman who has combined the high-octane energy of her job with the calm and patience required to manage the central responsibilities of a mother and a wife. She has been the perfect leader that anyone would want to work under. She is an extremely honest person and this has also paved way for her to go up the ladder. Being a woman aged 57; she is very tech-savvy and believes that women MUST learn the art of blogging and social media even if they are confined at home. Indra Nooyi believes that the future of the world rests with Women and that we represent the buying decision across all borders. I think this is what the young and aspiring women entrepreneurs of today must follow.
Yashodhara Raje Scindia Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Industries & Employment, Public Sector Undertakings, Sports & Youth Welfare, Religious Trusts & Endowment (Madhya Pradesh) Touted by many as the true successor of her mother – the late Rajmata VijayaRaje Scindia – the first thing you notice about Shrimant Yashodhara Raje is this innate, quiet, watchful grace. The illusion is shattered as soon as she starts speaking, though: she’s a regular feisty firebrand. Her inimitable passion for her work, and the ferocity with which she stands her own in a largely patriarchal government, ensured that she was already a woman I looked up to…and then I met her. I am no political expert, but I do know enough about people to be able to tell the good ones apart from the rest – and Yashodhara Raje is nothing short of stellar. Not only has she been doing an exemplary job of filling her mother’s gargantuan shoes, she has also, in spite of all her achievements, managed to retain a purity of heart and a childlike excitement about life in general that is hard not be roped in by. Meeting her rekindled my faith in the country’s politics – one that I did not remember having. Good politicians do exist. Princesses don’t always choose to lead lives of comfort and privilege (and are NOT snooty!). Some politicians are nice even BEYOND the vote appeal. Men don’t get to be the only ones running our nation. This Maratha princess with all the grace of a resting tigress has inspired women across the country to take the state of their affairs in their own hands, to face men as their equals, to go out and make a difference. She has also, with the kindness of her heart, found an eternal admirer in a 23-year old girl…whom she helped heal just because.
Kanika Mishra Associate Editor
Head - Marketing & Operations The
First Indian-American astronaut, First Indian woman in space
Roman Catholic Religious Sister & Missionary
It doesn’t take much to dream, it does take everything to see it through. When I was 8, I wanted to be a doctor. When I was 10, I wanted to be an astronaut (didn’t we all?). When I was 15 and it was time for me to choose a major in high school, I realized I wanted to be an engineer. It wasn’t until Kalpana Chawla came along that I realized I really wanted to just be her (luckily for me, she was an engineer). As a twenty-something, I’ve had many idols I looked up to while growing up, several of whom have since fallen from grace. When it was time to write a few words about a woman who inspired me, Kalpana Chawla stood out as someone I continue to look up to. I no longer aspire to be an astronaut (well, never say never, but not anytime soon), but it gives me great pride and confidence to see how far a strong woman of color and my nationality could go. For the idealists in us who want to change the world, it doesn’t seem so utopian to dream big, after all. It’s been a decade since Space Shuttle Columbia exploded, killing the Indian-born mission specialist aboard, but my admiration for Kalpana Chawla has only grown stronger. She was a living, breathing Indian version of Sandra Bullock’s Dr. Ryan Stone from Gravity. Now if that’s not inspiring and cool, I can’t think of anything else that is!
There are those who call her a fraud, there are those who deem her a non-model Catholic because she floundered in her faith towards the end. But her actions and influences are what I choose to see. Mother Teresa’s actions led to a following, a following so big that it broke religious boundaries and overcame all the hatred that came with them. I doubt there are many Indians who have never heard her name. Her influence extended all over the world and led to her becoming a symbol of hope for the destitute. Her life inspired my family to such a great extent that we started a foundation in her name, The Mother Teresa Foundation, and we try in our own small way to help those in need. I have a first-hand view of the influence she has had on people worldwide. We receive innumerable messages daily, asking for an opportunity to volunteer at the foundation. That is very humbling, and speaks volumes about why she is my inspiration.
George Vedamanickam Creative Director
Nikila Srinivasan Editorial Advisor
Neha Kirpal Founding Director of the India Art Fair
Tarla Dalal Chef, Author, Cooking Show Host Tarla Dalal was the woman who made me discover the true meaning of life – i.e., FOOD. Her cookbooks and website have struck such a high note with me. In my days away from my family, I filled the void (or rather, my stomach) by logging on to her site and blindly following her instructions. I think feeding people directly or indirectly is a very noble deed and Tarla Dalal has taught people across the world the joy of food. From taking cooking classes to launching a website to winning the Indian Merchants Chamber’s Woman of the Year award, Tarla Dalal has widened the joy she’s been spreading. When she passed away last year, many Indians felt like a close relative or a neighbor had departed. What Tarla had taught me was the joy of food. In the end, that is one of the main things that we live and work for.
Head - Sales & Events
“I don’t know much about the art world. When I was a young girl, I used to feel intimidated walking to art galleries. India Art Fair is created for people like me. Our aim is to take art into every layperson’s life. I feel I am that layperson. Art entered my life, and it changed me. I want everyone to have that access and experience too.” – Neha Kirpal Much has been written about the ‘Art market’ of the 21st century; but at the same time that ‘Art Basel’ and ‘Frieze Art Fair’ were revolutionizing the way art was perceived in America and Europe, a parallel galaxy of Managers and Curators gave birth to the ‘Art Scene’ in india. Neha Kirpal started out in 2008 with a humble loan of 60lakh. In just a couple of years, she succeeded in establishing the Indian Art Fair as a one-stop destination for Indian art globally. The footfall of the fair has grown in six years from 10,000 to over 5 lakh. What I find remarkable about her is that she did all of it without question or hesitation. With no exposure to art while growing up, she came from nowhere and conquered all. In 2008, she was merely an outsider looking in; in 2014, she is at the center of it all.
Nipun Garodia Lead Designer
Bring out the Entertainer in you
An aggregation of cutting edge technology, this is the digital piano to refurbish your music life. Perfect Debut as a Pianist
You’ll find many masterpieces.
You can identify where in the score you play. Red ball jumps along with your play.
You don’t need to care about score. Guide lamp tells you the next key.
You can practice till you are satisfied by playing back right hand part and left hand part separately.
The Yamaha Digital Piano – New Clavinova 600 Series has a rich, subtle sound and exceptional dynamics from the gentle pianissimo to the powerful fortissimo. Models range from 10 voices (including harpsichord and organ) to hundreds of MIDI instruments, Many include effects, large full-color display screen, and even built-in karaoke. Internet Direct Connection (IDC) functions expands music enjoyment. The built-in Styles give you access to hundreds of bands and musical ensembles. Rich accompaniment brings out your solo performance. Have a rhythm in your head? Let get the Style Recommender to suggest the closest match! If it is too difficult for you to find one for the song you want to perform from a large amount of styles, Style Recommender function helps you. This makes style selection easy for everyone, no matter what song you are playing.
Touch Panel : New UI
Linear Graded Hammers
RGE Sound Engine
TFT Color Wide VGA LCD (7inch)
SA2 Voice & Style
SA/Mega Voice & Style
MP3 Recording & Playback
GP Response Damper Pedal
Cabinet w/front leg
Audio Time Stretch/Pitch Shift/Vocal Cancel
USB Audio Recorder (.wav)
TFT Color Wide VGA LCD (8.5inch)
iPhone/iPad connectivity (*i-MX1 is required)
USB Wi-Fi Adapter for connecting w/iPhone iPad (*be only included EU/NA/JP)
Sub Woofer(20cm×1), Tweeter x 2
Speaker Box and Monitor/45W x 2
For more information log on to : in.yamaha.com
Indie Reviews From the heavy rush of doom to the quiet journey jazz takes you along; from the subtle rebellion of Rock to everything alternative…this month’s Indie Reviews are a potpourri of the best and the latest in a variety of genres and their amalgamations. Check it out, there’s a little something for every one of you! «««««
Gumbal: A for GENRE: Alternative/ Electronic The current indie music scene in India is flooded with random numerous electronic acts. The reason may vary; first of all creating samples can be a much simpler task than it is while collaborating with a bunch of musicians, and secondly it might just be a sudden boom like any other trend. Whatever it is, the electronic up rise has been creating quite an impact in the indie scene. Gumbal comes with a fresh set of miniature tracks with ‘A For’, an EP that lasts for only 12 minutes! The EP starts with a short dreamy intro called ‘A For’ and proceeds with ‘Albino’, which I felt was the continuation of the same song. If you are a listener and if the word electronic scares you, then let me tell you that as the duration defines, the album is filled with simpler samples, very groovy bass lines, simple guitar lines and very dreamy vocals. I personally
detected influences from the house of Radiohead, Massive Attack… Progressive Rock, Dream Pop and what not! So I decided not to define it as very genre-specific. It is a decent effort to blend many genres together. The result is not bad! Go give it a listen, rather support the local artist and buy it.
TOP PICKS: Albino, Applause Available at: http://gumbal.bandcamp.com/album/a-for
Vijay Iyer: Mutations GENRE: Instrumental Jazz I will stay away from discussing Vijay Iyer with those who already know about him, but for those who don’t, I’ll try doing justice to your first introduction to him. He is one of the most celebrated Jazz pianists in the world today. He was nominated for a Grammy for his collaboration with Marcus Gilmore (Drums) and Stephan Crump (Bass), which is known as the Vijay Iyer Trio. Talking about his collaborations, achievements and musical prowess will take a long time; so let me take you straight to the review. Mutation is his seventeenth studio album, which is going to be released in USA on March 04, 2014. As the name suggests, the album speaks about evolution, rather progression, through music. If you go through the titles of the songs you can get a feel of what I am talking about. It starts with a track titled ‘Air’ and ends with a track called ‘When You Are Gone’. From my understanding, the album speaks our progression through life, from the first air we breathe, to getting chained by all the hurdles we face, to becoming strong enough to
bear them, to feeling relaxed as we see the brightness at the end of the tunnel and finally finding a release. This is the kind of album where the music can be interpreted in various different ways, so I leave it up to you to decide which interpretation you want to derive. The album has more integrity than I can put in words. I am personally looking forward to deciphering more of its meanings. Absolute genius! Don’t miss this.
TOP PICKS: Chain, Kernel (Actually everything) Releasing on March 4th
The F16’s: Kaleidoscope GENRE: Electronic Rock Before I start reviewing their music, let me tell you that they are excellent! These Chennai lads have proved the fact that they got into the nerves of electro rock and know how to pull them right! ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a 7 song EP and each and every song is worth it. I have heard about their powerhouse live performances and am waiting to witness one. Their sound is very post 90’s and very modern; I can see a lot of Radiohead and Daft Punk influences! Yeah, Daft Punk, you read it right! Groovy samples, catchy guitar notes and very happy song writing – these are a few of the most prominent elements of this EP. Their riff structures resemble 90’s iconic stoner rock act ‘Queens of the Stone Age’ quite a lot. I am overwhelmed by this effort and can definitely say that the F16’s are
way ahead of others in what they are doing in India.
TOP PICKS: King’s Dream, Light
Bulbs and everything actually!
Available at: http://www.oklisten.com/album/kaleidoscope Physical copies are available
DEFYD: Self-Titled GENRE: Alternative Modern Metal/ Rock DEFYD – Being from Bangalore, I have not heard much about the band. May be I have been missing out too many gigs recently. Frankly, when I did research on them, I got very interested, as their logo resembles that of one of the iconic doom metal bands called ‘Down’. And as their profile says that doom is one of their influences, I got curious to know about them, doom being one of my favorite genres of music. The self-titled EP contains five songs. I find heavy influences of 90’s post grunge metal bands in their sound. ‘Faithless’ kick-starts with a heavy ‘Karnivool’ inspired sound. Their music is original but after a few listens I found it repetitive. Riff structures are predictable but they do have some amazing solos. Vocalist Suhas has done a decent job but he needs to control his pitch when he goes high. I hope they will take care of these elements
in their upcoming full length. My final verdict on them would be that they are a good bunch of young rockers who will mature over time. Fans of modern metal: Go pick up their EP or if you have the same assumption as me, wait for their full length to barge in!
TOP PICKS: Abandoned and End This Illusion Available at: Physical copies are available
Shaa’ir and Func: Re:cover GENRE: Funk/Electronic This duo needs no introduction in India. People who are familiar with their blend of music and have seen them live in festivals know what I am talking about. Apart from a growing fan base of their absolutely stunning vocalist, they have been offering a lot musically as well. After successfully pulling out three albums from their pockets, they have come up with this album to give a little extra direction to a few of their older songs. No wonder the duo has been earning the love of indie fans more than any other bands in their territory, and they deserve it without any speculation. ‘Re:cover’ is minimalistic, designed with down-tempo electronic samples and acoustic guitar tones. One factor that attracts me towards them is Monica’s vocal! In my perception she has this magical voice that can take you back to the psychedelic 70’s. The other factor is their perfection in blending modern electronic music with various other
genres while still keeping an Indian touch to it. So word of advice for fans of experimental music, Monica Dogra and Shaa’ir and Func, of course: Go buy it and chill out with a bottle of beer – totally worth it!
TOP PICKS: Freedom, Swirl Available on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/in/album/re-cover/id802840994
Published on Feb 28, 2014
Published on Feb 28, 2014
This month's edition is our first themed issue - and what better theme to start with than Women's Day? With the very inspiring Anoushka Shan...