articles by Lakshmi Sreeram

Life

An homage to Abbaji: Zakir Hussain's upcoming concert celebrates the legacy of the legendary Ustad Allarakha

Ustad Allarakha (1919-2000) had a brilliant performing career and was a serious teacher; many of his disciples are today’s leading lights in the world of tabla artistry

Life

Notes from Margazhi: Two concerts illuminate the wide spectrum of Carnatic music as practiced today

Carnatic music in all its aspects is on display during Chennai's “December Season”, or “Margazhi” as it is called in Tamil

Life

Battling stage fright: Why the urge to perform in public sometimes triumphs over the 'butterflies'

The urge to communicate what we have, to share our thoughts or expertise or music is so powerful, it overcomes our stage fright

Life

Carnatic music's critiques must transcend limitations of 'emoji style' of writing, engage meaningfully with performances

The point is, we have not evolved meaningful ways of talking about our music, our ragas, our alapanas, our accompaniment, our singer’s voices and timbres of instruments. Not much beyond what emojis convey; not to underrate or dismiss emojis, for where would we be without them? But in writing about music, we should hope to do more.

Life

For Carnatic and Hindustani classical music worlds, mutual appreciation remains elusive, but isn't impossible

How can we build meaningful links between the worlds of Carnatic and Hindustani classical music?

Life

Annapurna Devi's life and #MeToo reflect patriarchy's stranglehold on the world of Indian classical music

If Annapurna Devi's was the story of a musician who turned away from the world of performance, the other event of the week in the sphere of classical music, was the surfacing of a wave of #MeToo stories

Life

Shanti Sutra: A remarkable yet flawed performance by Kalakshetra Foundation raises many questions

Conceptualised and directed by Revathi Ramachandran, Director Kalakshetra, with scholarly inputs from VR Devika, Shanti Sutra seeks to explore the thread (sutra) linking Gandhiji and Rukmini Devi.

Life

Why Meera is loved across India: Her story captures the imagination, while her songs encapsulate the human condition

Meera's songs, unlike those of Surdas or Tulsidas, are simple, straightforward, directly from the heart, not remarkable for any use of poetic devices like alliteration or complex metaphors.

Life

Performance blues: Should artists acknowledge mistakes made on stage, or hope the audience hasn't noticed?

This then is the paradox of performance. One must care about avoiding mistakes but, fearing mistakes is not the way of art

Life

Carnatic artistes targeted for choosing Christian songs: On the difference between art and devotional music

Though most of its compositions are religious in content and in praise of Hindu deities, Carnatic music is not religious music. It has an appeal beyond its religious association

Life

Gurus are venerated in Indian tradition, but Guru Purnima is an occasion to acknowledge dedicated students too

While we celebrate gurus let us acknowledge that students with intensity and commitment are as much to be valued

Life

Kathak's conundrum: Amid appreciation for outward dazzle, is genuine artistry in danger of being overlooked?

In today’s world of many distractions and fast-track achievements, a disciplined, patient learning of the art form such as Kathak becomes rare

Life

Water as metaphor: Notes on Indianostrum's riveting new theatrical production Kunti Karna

Through the play's depiction of Karna's life and state of mind, the viewer understands why the abiding rasa of the Mahabharata is 'Shanta' or quiescence

Life

A neem tree, a Dalit and his song: Notes on Kalai Rani's performance of 'Nandanar Charitram'

Our performing arts have been profoundly impacted by the bhakti tradition, its literature, its orientation, and goal. Kalai Rani’s act is a bold engagement with this repertoire while breathing new life into it, with raw intensity.

Life

Ramakrishnan Murthy's success points to how Carnatic music manages to thrive

Ramakrishnan Murthy, among the most promising young vocalists today, epitomises the South Indian NRI diaspora's continuing support for Carnatic music