The Score Magazine June 2017 issue - Page 16

In the International scene, I have played with Planet Drum by Mickey Hart and we got Grammy Award for the same. I got the award to my place here in India as I was not able to go. It was a melody group with artists from seven different countries. We did a tour for the same through different costs of America. I would like to quote an incident here. When we reached the airport, I was caught and asked what the Ghatam was. I tried to explain in different ways but they did not understand. So I decided to play a small tune and they were extremely happy and thrilled to see how much sound a mere pot can make. Usually, during all my concerts I wear a traditional south Indian attire called Panchakajam. I was a bit scared considering I’m in a far away land and hence I prayed to the lord and left it to him. The head of the band made it clear to everyone that each person can wear the traditional and popular outfit from their country and also told others that nobody must wear their shoes and come next to me as a token of respect to what I was wearing. The concert was fun and a grand success. Apart from Music, what are your interests? For me, music is everything! Within music itself, I come up with different concepts. Now I’m working on something new like playing slokams. By doing this, if I have the thalam ready, I can single handedly doing a entire concert with just a couple of accompaniments. My grandson, Swaminathan will say the slokam and I will play it. Your advice to the future percussionists Music is a very blessed talent which not everyone would get easily. There were such great musicians like Mandolin Srinivasan, MS Subbulakshmi and others, who though are no longer present, their music is remembered and listened to. It will never be wiped out! For instance, lord Mahalakshmi will come and go away whereas lord Saraswathi won’t come easily but once she has come, will never leave you. So if you have the talent, you must make the best use of it and never let it go! You need to have an aim and work hard towards giving it your best. Only failures make you go up! What are your future projects? Currently, I am working on the Bhajan Namasankeerthanam in Ghattam. I am also working on a project with Salem Ravi where he tells the story of Kanchipuram mahaan’s Mahimai and I will play the slokam. Having played everything else, including fusion and western, I want to now play something spiritual. 14 The Score Magazine