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Thread: The return of U Srinivas

  1. #26
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    I was wishing that I could remember titles as I was typing that, but none were coming to mind... I'll poke around, and see if I can't get the ol' lightbulb to glimmer a bit. The ones I was thinking of were from the 60's (around the time that all us long-hairs were briefly infatuated with the music for reasons that many Indian musicians found upsetting.)

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    I have traveled to South India a few times, I read these comments with a smile. I would say that the description of the artist and the promoters is "so very south Indian". When I am in India I often spend nights going to her carnatic classical music or hanging out with musicians.

    The cultural differences are not something that can be described easily but I am not surprised to hear that they forgot an extension cord or they neglected the press. I don't think its a matter of disorganization either its really just a different approach to life.

    In India music is a spiritual practice unto itself, as such performing is often secondary. One is always performing in the presence of God. In the case of U. Srinivas his personal diety is Rama (or Ram). Initially this is often reffered to as "selfish" by people, but I would argue the opposite.

    It is also important to keep in mind that U. Srinivas is a Carnatic Classical musian this very different from the Hindustani music of Hariprasad or Ravi Shankar. In theory the music is very similar but in practice very different! They play many of the same Ragas but they will take a very different approach. Listen to any Shankar then Srinivas record and you will see what I mean.

    I will be going back to South India some time within the year and always pick up lots of CDs including U. Srinivas, they usually go for about $2 over there so let me know if I can pick some up for any one.

    MD

  3. #28
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Hi Michael ... I'd certainly be glad to get some Srinivas CDs from you. These cultural differences, of course, are something I had hoped to discuss with Srinivas. Unfortunately, the reticence regarding the press often just increases the misunderstanding ...
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    Sure Mr. Mando,
    I will try to PM you and we can work something out. I just got a few more of his CD from a friend who recently got back from India.
    MD

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    Quote Originally Posted by (michael.denslow @ May 23 2006, 08:33)
    It is also important to keep in mind that U. Srinivas is a Carnatic Classical musian this very different from the Hindustani music of Hariprasad or Ravi Shankar. In theory the music is very similar but in practice very different! They play many of the same Ragas but they will take a very different approach. Listen to any Shankar then Srinivas record and you will see what I mean.
    Could you ellaborate on this? What's Carnatic? What's Hindustani? When i think of what i've heard of Hariprasad or Shankar and what i've heard of Srinivas, i think the music of Srinivas is more relaxed, contrasting with a more stately Hariprasad or Shankar, but i'm not sure this is "it". I don't know enough to put the finger on the difference.
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    Here's some followup on my own question:

    (1) The [Wikipedia article] is readable and "encyclopedic".

    (2) I found a very interesting article by Todd McComb, called [Why Carnatic Music?] that's a good read. Here's a quote from that article:
    Quote Originally Posted by
    I value Carnatic music first for the effectiveness with which it can build positive mental discipline. It helps me to focus and organize my thoughts, and it helps to eliminate negative mental habits. How does it do this? Of course, I do not really know.
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    Hey Glauber,
    I will take a stab at it. One major difference in the two styles is the instrumentation. For example a sitar is almost never found in Carnatic Music. They often use earlier versions of the sitar such as the Veena. If I am not mistaken the Sitar is a much more recently developed instrument, relatively speaking.
    The time is kept by the tabla in Hindustani and usually the Ghatam and Mridangam in Carnatic. Both the Ghatam and Mridangam were originally made of clay. Actually Mrid is the root word for mud in Sanskrit, you can here the similarities. Anyway the Mridangam is now usually wood and if you cut it in half you have the tabla.
    Both styles revolve around the Raga, which can be thought of as a set of rules or guidelines. Both style share some of the same Ragas but approach them differently. For example in Hindustani music the introduction (called Alap) slowly develops the character of the raga. In Carnatic they usually jump right into the raga more quickly.

    The underlying theory of the music is the same but in practice different. Interestingly the violin has become very popular in Carnatic music and one can hear some incredible players (L. Subramanian probably being most famous). So it is really not so surprising that the Mandolin would work so well.

    Anyway I realize that I haven’t really given an exact definition of either style but hopefully I have shed some light. I am really a bigger fan of Carnatic music and fill my suitcase with CDs whenever I go to India.

    MD

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  9. #34
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    I see. So SOMEBODY was allowed to bring a camera to a gig. Whatevah.

    FWIW, that is the same ghatam player I saw him with. Not the same mridangam player. And I feel sorry for the violinists, who seem to be sitting in for the tambura.

    Word is that Srinivas will be back in the States in the fall. I'll see if I get another whack at interviewing him then.



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    Ton of (pirate) Remember Shakti stuff up on YouTube as well. You could get lost in there for a couple hours easy...

    Found this one that clearly shows Srinivas' hands, esp. his right hand and picking motion, for those interested in such things.

    (moved from other thread to this one where we talked about picks)

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    <That very thing has been discussed here before, and I seem to remember someone saying that such rhetoric is quite common in that part of the music universe. I'm inclined to forgive that sort of thing, though, think of all the times you've heard "Jimmy Page is GOD," or a variation on that same theme...>

    Hype is hype. It knows no cultural boundries. At this point in my life, I'm pretty much impervious to it. Hype filter on!

    That said, this is right up my alley. Too bad there are no Canadian dates. I could get to Vancouver.

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    Whoops, sorry mandolirius. This is an old thread; the tour's long gone!

    Here, have another one of these instead. You can practice your "rapture" soloing face. Mando content - Srinivas' emando has different knobs in this one!

  13. #38
    Registered User mandelect's Avatar
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    There's no doubt that U.Srinivas is a masterful musician, and a great improviser - I have many of his CD's. His brother U.Rajesh is no slouch on the mandolin either; I'd recommend his recent "Into The Light" CD which also features classical pianist Anil Srinivasan. Great compositions and some wonderful improv too!

    I loved the Youtube video of U.Srinivas & U.Rajesh playing Ghandi's favourite " Ragupathi Raghava Rajaram". Seeing that encouraged me to track down the "Maestros In Concert" DVD which is very poor quality but worth it for a better (than Youtube) version of that track alone!




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    <Whoops, sorry mandolirius. This is an old thread; the tour's long gone!>

    I didn't click the link, so I missed that. Thanks for making me aware of him. I'll keep an eye out. Vancouver has a large south asian community so a show there would make sense. Maybe next tour.

  15. #40
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    Unfortunately, little about this fine musician's live performance schedule in North America seems to make sense. Here's hoping, though!

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    Wow-- great stuff!
    Does anyone have a good link to his current tour schedule? Anything in the Northeast?
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    WOW is right! Just lately on a trip to Pandora intenet radio I heard some old John McL. stuff and was inspired to pull out all my old Indian/related music records and burn some songs to CD for listening to in the car and at work. Good stuff!
    Dels bro - nice link! That was a fun listen! Anyone know what they call that takataka kind of singing? I'd like to find out more about it.
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    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
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    Thanks John! Maybe I can finally learn to count properly! It's really quite mesmerizing to watch at one of these concerts - everyone's counting with their hands, from 10-year-olds in the audience to the musicians onstage who aren't soloing. It's like magic to the uneducated - everyone except me seems to know when the song's going to end, or when the climax to the pieces occur - because they understand the beat structure.

    I tried to learn this by watching tabla instructional videos, but this DVD looks to be more helpful (plus it has some nice tunes on it). Thanks again.

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    way cool...its way more than singing then...maybe this is what I need too cuz Im lost timing wise and i really dig that kind of music. Thanks John!
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  21. #46
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    Yeah, at least in my tabla video, there is no written notation to what's being played - it's spoken, and remembered as a "phrase." The instructor on the video would say, "Now I'm going to play 'taka...'" and then he'd play the phrase on the tabla. The syllables would stand for different ways to hit the drum head (different fingers, different places on the drum, different methods of attack, etc.).

    Like this (I'm glad this isn't my job, by the way).

    Or, I suppose, like this.

    When you speed it up, it sounds like what is happening in the Shakti clip. I'm not sure if this is a more complex way of applying the basic rhythms of Konokol for percussionists (something I think they allude to at the beginning of that Konokol clip), or if it's something else altogether. If it's any clue, the two "singers" on the clips I posted are Zakir Hussain and V. Selvaganesh, both pretty much living legends of percussion (Haussain is revered even more than Srinivas, I believe). If I'm understanding things correctly, this is how they would "speak" to each other if they didn't have any instruments. Hmm... I wonder if that would be a way to do Dueling Banjos without banjos, LOL.

    If you have a copy of the Concert for George DVD (George Harrison tribute) the behind the scenes clips show a lot of the type of hand-counting I'm talking about (and maybe even some mistakes? Anoushka Shankar seems a little frustrated at times while conducting). I was under the impression none of this stuff was written down, and was surprised to see a lot of the Indian musicians in the rehearsal scenes taking notes.

    That's what made me wonder about how Srinivas' school operates. Is there notation? Tab? Konokol/spoken phrasing? Or just a lot of listening and repeating? I think there are literelly thousands of differnent tunes - how do you remember them all?




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    Can anyone recommend some U Srinivas (preferably available on itunes) that really shows off his speed? #I have tried clicking through a few itunes snippets and they all sound like a drone with 3 slow notes above them. #I know, I'm shallow -- sometimes I like slow stuff too, but I just really like the speed in the 1/4/08 video posted above.

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    OK, got the Konokol DVD and John's right, it's exactly what they're doing on the YouTube clips. Don't know how the tabla stuff relates (it must), but that's not what they're doing. Cool DVD!

  24. #49

    Default Re: The return of U Srinivas

    http://www.kennedy-center.org/explor...&source_type=B

    Mandolin U Shrinivas is performing on March 1, 2011 at 6pm EST at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington DC.

    YOu can watch this concert live on their website
    http://www.kennedy-center.org/explor...&source_type=B

  25. #50
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    Default Re: The return of U Srinivas

    Here's a very good profile of South Indian electric mandolin virtuoso U Srinivas.
    He performs on a 5 string e-mando tuned CGCGC.
    Too cool for words!
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