Its been six months since my last post and I am surprised ..again!!Where has the time gone ? Looking back -from a trip to India to Kumbakonam in the intense heat of the summer months of July and August for performances at the Wallajahpet Venkatramana Bhagavadhar Festival,recording for television channel 'Podigai', performing in 'Serene' Coimbatore, a trip up the Blue Mountains 'Nilgiris' with my children Neeraj and Shruthi and my parents to the picturesque Coonoor and Ooty; visiting my dear guru Sri Sitarama Sarma Sir-- Shruthi studying with him --all bringing back memories of my own classes with him feeling excited and then all at once realizing that for sure time has flown by :) Wow! to admiring Subramanya Bharathi at Winona State University in September , to Navarathri and the celebrating of Sri Saraswathi, performing back to back performances at the Vedanta Society in Kansas and the Hindu Temple there in October, to moving onto an entirely new genre of music in November with our expressions in 'Summer Rain' with the wonderful musicians of Zeitgeist and the fantastic Shri Thanjavur Murugaboopathi from India, the Song of Wonder concert with David Harris and the Voices of Sepharad and wrapping up the month with presentations of' Melodies and Rhythms - the Art of Improvisation in Carnatic Music ' at St Cloud Minnesota and Minnetonka Minnesota supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board's FATA. Now bags packed and ready to travel to the world famous Music Festival in Chennai, India. Happy Holidays ! Enjoy the season all its colors and this lovely world we live in. My best wishes always - Until the next time take care-
I cannot believe that two whole seasons have passed since my last update here. Life has been filled with the many splendors of music all through this time. After concerts in Bangalore and Chennai in December and January, wonder in music became a mantra for me as I explored the many facets of it with colleague and vocalist David Harris in the new creation 'Song of Wonder' which premiered in April 2014. I am delighted that we will be able to bring 'Song of Wonder' to various cities and venues over the course of this year and the next. April also saw the Carnatic Star Festival in which I had the good fortune of performing in the presence of legend Dr Balamurali Krishna. It was an evening to cherish as I sat on stage after my performance watching the Maestro sing his concert. The month of May brought another memorable event - the visit of the great Vidwan Padma Bhushan Sangeeta Kalanidhi Shri TV Shankaranayaran to our school the Naadha Rasa Center for Music. My journey continues from the wonder Mantra to the Mantrapushpam from the Taithreeya Aranyakam (1.22) of Yajur Veda. My veena students, and I, will play this most famous Veda mantra to the chanting of the priests at the Hindu Society of Minnesota at the eighth Anniversary celebrations of the Hindu Society of Minnesota on June 7. July and August will bring me to Chennai, Kumbakonam and Coimbatore. I eagerly await the Wallajpet Venkatramana Bhaghavadhar celebrations in Kumbakonan in July. So long until the next time -take care. May your lives be filled with music in all her glory.
It has been a mixed bag these past few months- Returning after the tour of Australia and Singapore organized by Swara Laya Fine Arts Sydney and meeting some wonderful people in that part of the world was most rewarding. International world melody day veena day went off well celebrated by Naadha Rasa -I remember with gratitude and affection my vocal Guru Shri TRS who was part of my life -WHOSE PASSION WILL REMAIN WITH US FOR EVER. His visit to Minnesota in 2004 is an evergreen memory. Aradhana the 18th year event , Diwali at the Plymouth Library and Shruthi and Carnatic Idol season 3 semis and finals in Chicago were all part of these past weeks of musical activity. 'Sangam' a first time collaboration involving 22 musicians Cartnatic and western classical comes together on November 22 followed by the Namaste Slaiche concert. Nov 24 brings us to a historical event -Swami Vivekandanda's visit 150 years ago to the First Unitarian Church on Mount Curve Minneapolis. I am happy to be involved with it all- December in India - looking forward to the International music festival with some of my American friends and students. Hope you can join us. Until the next time stay warm take care
Another summer -the last weeks of August definitely of the Indian variety ---is coming to a close. So much to share- so much to feel blessed about. The visits to Veenalayam, Toronto , Panchatantra workshops at Madison, Wisconsin and the veena and vocal workshops in California came close on the heels of the duet concert with veena/chitra veena, the Flint Hills International Festival and the great honor of performing for Dr.Abdul Kalam in his maiden visit to the State. Before the blink of an eye appeared the Dikshidar day celebrations, the intensive workshops for Naadharasa and the Krishna Akhandam celebration. The once-in-every-few-years performance at the Minnesota State Fair is now over and bags are being packed for the next tour - Sept 7 from Singapore onto to Perth Australia on Sept 8 then for the next few weeks in the great down under.When I began to study veena and Carnatic music at age 6 thanks to my loving parents --I never gave a thought of what it would lead to and what the path would be- I now reflect and share my humble 2 cents - Follow your heart and your dream always - be prepared to work as much as you can with passion and dedication -and above all have faith in the Universe ----As the clocks are reset in the fall season -recharge my friends and go on -and may His Blessings be with you all - Until the next time -Nirmala
The snow is on the ground though very soon we will hear the birds chirping and welcome the buds and the green grass! I cant believe that my last post was in September which seems like a long time back -- Winter was one fast whirlwind of activity. Season 2012 was quite a milestone with a concert at the Aradhana at Thapovanam of Swami Gnanananda, prime time concerts at Chennai Sabhas, a National program of Music concert for Indian Television Doordarshan National in the company of some the best known Indian musicians, it was an absolute treat to wrap up the visit to India with a residency at the American International School New Delhi. I feel very blessed and very glad to have made it through it all - Its only possible because of His Blessings and Grace. Now looking forward to the 'Melodies and Rhythms' project on a mission to take Carnatic music to wherever possible in Minnesota. First stop St.Cloud MN March 5. Am eagerly waiting the double visit to Ohio CCMA ,Columbus OH in early March and Cleveland Aradhana later in the month with a stop in San Diego on March 24. 'Butterfly' travels to St Johns this month and April brings a trip to Houston Texas for the Spring Festival of the Classical Arts Society while it also is the month premiering the new exciting collaboration 'Embracing the Beloved' watch this space for more on this new work :) As always Upcoming Events page has more details -Take care everyone -Until next time -Nirmala
Fall colors in the air -- much to celebrate. A visit to Alabama for a concert, Shruthi Rajasekar's vocal Arangetram on September 1, the Sublime Journey that continued in Houston TX, an International Music series concert in Winona State and the Namaste/ Slainte! collaborative concert have all been wonderful settings to share and explore once again in the universal language of music. It was great to see so many of you these past weeks. Raj and I are especially grateful to Him for giving us such a wonderful community of family and friends who support and encourage us every step of our lives. Thank you ! Looking forward to celebrating International veena day/ Carnatic music day Oct 2 at the Golden valley Library -all of you are welcome time: 5-8 pm - and onto the holidays -Navarathri and Deepavali ---Take care -Nirmala
What a glorious day it is- The sun is shining on a canopy of a blue sky, the birds are chirping and I feel very lucky/thrilled to see and hear His Lovely Creations. The Panchatantra project with St.Paul Civic Symphony and Art Start, the Carnatic Star competition ,CS Finale concert with Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao , Festival of Nations 2012, Hosmer Library concert with Nagai Sri Sriram and Tanjavur Sri Murugaboopathi and the performance with the Naadha Rasa ensemble at the Ordway's Flint Hills International Festival on June 3rd have all been wonderful learning experiences. Thanks to all of you who came to the concerts and performances - Sriram and Balaji, Marcus and Shrini for your support- Kudos to the Naadha Rasa ensemble for your dedication and hard work all through.Your commitment and love for Carnatic music is certainly infectious:) On to Summer -- a summer filled with exciting times --warm weather, performances, workshops and more...Looking forward to it all - Here's to cherishing each moment.. take care !
'Music is a precious gift - a treasure to cherish'
March 2012 has been a 'travel' month with trips to Seattle,Helena,Madison and Boston.
As I get ready to leave for Moorhead today to perform with Gao Hong and Michelle Kinney, I also await the Panchatantra project with collaborator ArtStart and a concert on April 29th at the first ever Carnatic music Festival of Minnesota. 'Urban expedition' performances at the Landmark center last week are being followed up with a performance of the Naadharasa Ensemble at the Fund raiser gala for the HSM on April 21st. Until the next time --Take care-
Chennai music season holds many memories.Not having Kalpakam Teacher's calming physical presence for the first time was certainly hard - though I felt/feel her spirit and blessings and am very grateful for it- As I begin another adventure today ( Friday Feb 2012) at Studio Z with new music ensemble Zietgiest who will perform some of my new compositions on Saxophone,Marimba,Vibes and Piano, I am also looking forward to the mother-daughter piece- 'Summer Rain' / 'Morning Dew' -with my daughter Shruthi. March 2012 will bring a visit to the Northwest -Seattle, Portland and Helena to premiere some new work with Cellist Michelle Kinney and Cyrus K.
May you all have a wonderful 2012!
Its a balmy 70 in Tampa Bay Florida and seems the perfect time to reflect upon these past weeks-. It was indeed a big blessing that the Sublime Journey tour with Shri Gaurav Mazumdar,Thanjavur Shri Murgaboopathi(Trivandrum Shri ,Balaji Shri SV Ramani in some concerts) and Shri Vishal Nagar was received well at all venues -It was wonderful to meet so many lovely people around the US these past weeks -both during the Sublime Journey tour and solo concerts. Looking forward to the concerts Nov 18,Nov 19 (in Tampa) and Nov 20 (in Jax-Jax Raga)-Our music school Naadharasa Center for Music performed as featured performers (sans me of course:)) at University of WI,Stevens Point in October-They are again being featured on Nov 20th 2011 at an interfaith event in Eden Prairie MN -all the very best team-
I have much to be grateful and thankful for. Soon I will leave for Chennai India for the 2011 December music festival -concert dates will be posted in ' Upcoming Events' -As I remember with gratitude my Gurus, my family and many friends who take care of so much for me and help me to continue to do what I love to do,
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving holiday -
Take care- Nirmala
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