L Subramaniam says digital space has given artistes a platform sans promoters

For art has to change with the changing times, and amid Covid-19 pandemic, as people enjoy music from the comfort of their homes, violin maestro L Subramaniam welcomes this change. An archival performance of his was screened recently as part of the ongoing Parampara Series — National Festival of Music and Dance by Natya Tarangini and Raja Radha Reddy, in association with United Nations.

There were also performances by Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute), Vidushi Kishori Amonkar (vocals), Vyjayanthimala Bali (Bharatanatyam danseuse-actor), Vikku Vinayakram (percussionist – ghatam), and other maestros, which were telecast on YouTube channels of United Nations India, and Raja Radha Reddy, for the first time since the festival took a digital detour this year.

“Digital platforms have given space to a lot of organisers and artists to do their projects and other projects. Earlier, for a project, we’d have to go to a studio, re-record if a line was not okay, edit etc. The whole production process is happening at everybody’s houses, which we had never thought about earlier. Now concerts are happening while sitting at home! This is a welcome change for a lot of artistes who don’t get a lot of concerts. People have their own websites and YouTube channels now. They [artistes are] no longer exclusively depended on the promoters. That is one of the best things that is happening,” says Subramaniam, adding that organisers must promote young artistes and instrumentalists of next generation.

So, is this a great way to sustain art? “Yes. People will get used to this kind of listening. One year back, everybody wanted a sophisticated system. They’d say ‘If a nice CD player is not there we can’t enjoy’. And said that they can’t enjoy unless the sound is so perfect. Now, people are listening to everything on telephone, and seeing the videos there. That has changed the mindset of audiences as well,” he adds.

The maestro shares that the lockdown had him engaged in several music projects, with popular singers, and even release a Jazz album called Beyond Borders. “We did several different projects featuring great artistes as a video project. Before the lockdown, we were travelling so much so there was a lot of backlog of recordings, video projects, albums, etc. This lockdown, in a way, cleared up all those things. Initially I thought we’d be stuck in a place, but that I assume didn’t really happen,” says the violinist, adding how he’s occupied with the preparations for 30th Laxminarayana Global Music Festival.

Author tweets @Nainaarora8

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