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BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Raaga Reflections floated music in the air this March 13 at the British Academy of Performing Arts. The event organized by CV Subramanian & Gayatri showcased talented local Atlanta musicians who enthralled the audience with vocals accompanied by instruments.
The musicians presented variation of raagas or tunes ranging from Classical to Orchestral. The program began with the classical rendition of raaga in Carnatic style. The Carnatic vocal was rendered by Deepa Sriram, Gayatri Krishnan, Gayatri Vasant, Hema Nagendra, Raman Poyapakkam and Srinithya Krishnan. A few variety songs were next by Gayatri Subramanian on vocal, Kannan Rajappa on vocal, Aparna Bellur on Guitar and Ram Mallappa on Flute. Other artists that accompanied the singers included Sri Guruswami and Santosh Chandru on mridangam.
A new group AICCE (Atlanta Indian Community Choir & Ensemble) made its debut in Atlanta with an orchestral depiction of Raagas. The musical score was written, arranged and recorded by C.V.Subramanian, proficient in Violin and vocal. Gayatri, who is also the Director of Soundarya Natyalaya tells us that AICEE, conceived and directed by C.V.Subramanian, her husband is a group of music teachers and enthusiasts that aims to explore the power of Indian Raagas in a contemporary form, cutting across various genres, ranging from Carnatic/Hindustani to Western. The distinctive feature she adds is that the musical pieces presented by AICCE are original and created from scratch.
Raaga Reflections, the maiden performance of AICCE featured ‘Swagatham Shubha Swagatham’ which was a revival of the popular song from the 1982 AISAD games with vocals, complex harmonies, swaras, percussions and instruments, ‘Melody in Raag Nagaswaravali’, a original musical score exploring the intricacies of this raaga through vocals, violin, flute, guitar and tabla, ‘Reflections in Aberi’ an original score exploring the intricacies of raag ABERI, thorugh choral harmonies, complex note patterns, supported and orchestrated through a wide range of instruments, ‘Alaipayuthe’ an improvisation of the famous song Alaipayuthe in Raag Kaanada, and ‘Rythms’ an score and lyrics depicting a foot tapping South Indian folk with a progressions of two raagas - Ananda Bhairavi & Kaapi. Food was arranged for the audience in between the performance.
The delightful evening transported the audience to a world of music and ended on a high note. Here’s wishing AICCE much success in its goals in the years to come.