The Score Magazine June 2017 issue - Page 38

Pot-pourri Renowned classical musician Ghatam Giridhar Udupa talks all about his journey with the humble pot. Synonymous with the ghatam, world- renowned percussionist Giridhar Udupa is one the most loved names in the music industry. After being in the industry for over three decades, collaborating with eminent artists across the globe, having toured close to fifty countries, and receiving numerous awards and recognitions, Udupa today stands as a true global icon, a pioneer of Carnatic classical music, and one of the most prominent names in the industry. 36 The Score Magazine Pihoto Courtesy : Prithvi Krishna His journey started at the age of 4, under his father Vid. Ullur Nagendra Udupa and later under Vid. Sukanya Ramgopal and Vid. V Suresh. He has since then continued to practice and teach the Vikku baani of ghatam playing alongside adapting nuances from all schools of music. Primarily a Carnatic musician, Udupa has extensively widened the boundaries of his repertoire owing the diversity of his collaborations. Besides his long list of being an accompanist to most of the big names in the Classical circuit, Udupa is also part of his own Carnatic-fusion band “Layatharanga”, Flamenco band “Indialucia”, Carnatic-Jazz cross over band “Saagara”, and Celtic band “Bamboo and Clay”. What accentuates his versatility as a percussionist is his ability to not only accompany orthodox classical concerts but also be able to fluently adapt himself to contemporary and world genres of music. Unlike any usual ghatam artist, Udupa has accompanied various Hindustani artists on the ghatam besides accompanying a host of prominent Carnatic artists. His repertoire as an artist is diverse and intriguing! Speaking of ghatam and how he stumbled upon it, “ghatam means ‘pot’ in Sanskrit. Having found enough evidence and references to a “distinct sound emanating from the pot” in various ancient texts, the ghatam is an ancient instrument just like its brothers the mridangam, khanjira, morsing, etc. I started my journey as a percussionist playing the mridangam and later took to the ghatam,” he said. What is essentially a confluence of the five elements of nature - earth (prithvi), water