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Carnatica Brothers moot 'culture park'
Carnatica Brothers Shashikiran and Ganesh have suggested the setting up of `Culture parks’ on the lines of technology parks. In an interaction with the readers of Deccan Chronicle here at Rasam Restaurant on the morning of Christmas, Shashikiran said if the country could showcase its human resource skills by setting up software technology parks, it could host similar parks to articulate its dominance in the field of art and music.

Fielding a range of questions with aplomb, Shashikiran said that corporates should look at `sponsoring top artistes’ during a season, so that the concert-holding sabhas could spread their resources to showcase upcoming talents.

Over the last 10 years, Carnatica was able to sustain itself. He admitted that funding was not that easy to find for Carnatica. The venture capitalists’ route to raise funds, he said, was riddled with tough conditions. Carnatica, he said, was conducting programmes such as Bharat Sangeeth Utsav in major cities such as Delhi and Bangalore. He said he would love to tour all over the country to take the music forward.

Shashikiran said there was a need for designing a proper curriculum for Carnatic music. The aspiring young artistes should be trained by top-notch musicians. Western music laid emphasis on the curriculum, he said. The upcoming artistes had to be trained and the best among them should be featured during the season, he added.

Shashikiran claimed that their website was the only one in the field to get the ISO certification. Ten years ago, most musicians were against the idea of using website to teach. "Now, the scenario has changed. Everybody seems to teach on the net and sky scape,’’ he said.

Shashikiran said that they almost did everything for the Carnatica – such as culture promotion, marketing, CD sales and what not. "It is not right to camouflage that we don’t need money and that we do everything as a service,’’ he said. He asserted that an organization should be self-sustaining. Shashikiran felt that there wasn’t enough support coming from the Government organizations and other institutions. "They never supported the arts as much as they supported other fields,’’ he said.

Ganesh said that the Carnatica Brothers had started to sing together from 2000, the millennium year. They first had the idea of having the name `Carnatica Cousins’ since they were cousins but not siblings. But they had to drop that name, since a band comprising singer Hariharan and others had styled themselves as `Colonial Cousins’ and were making waves then. Hence, they opted for the name `Carnatica Brothers,’’ said Shashikiran.

To a query, Shashikiran said that a lot of youngsters nowadays were doing very well on the Carnatic music scene.. “We have to give them time. Perhaps, we have to wait for another 15 to 20 years. Then we can evaluate them,” he added.

On the quality of Carnatic music presented by the upcoming youngsters, he said "their packaging is quite good’’. He drew parallel to the way fresh fruits were packed. "Are they as much as fresh as they look?’’ he asked. Not only the appearance but the quality inside should also be good, he said.

To a question on planning for the concert, Shashikiran said that they never pre-planned a concert .He insisted that they did everything with creativity on stage. "We sing entirely different. Our concerts can’t be called as duel-singing. It can be considered more as a jugalbandhi,’’ he pointed out.

To a question on how to draw more people to sabhas during the concert season, Shashikiran said Carnatica had announced cash prizes for rasikas, who attended more concerts during season. Also, Carnatica was encouraging connoisseurs to write reviews by giving cash awards for best reviews.

To a query on his long-term aim, Shashikiran said his dream was to hear the sound of tampura in each and every house. That was his ideal dream, he added. Carnatica, he said, was also holding "Nerukku ner’’ (face-to-face) in Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, where musicians would teach students free of cost.

To celebrate the dawn of a new year (new decade, in fact), Carnatica, he said, was planning to hold a New Year bash where all musicians would be performing as a team on theme-based music. The audience would be entertained with panakam and masala tea from 10.15 p.m. on December 31 to 2.45 a.m. the next morning. "We have been doing this for the past three years,’’ he pointed out.

Shashikiran said Ganesh had done a non-stop performance on chitra veena for 36 hours. And, the duo had also given 18-hour vocal concert. Asked what had motivated them to do these, they said they did it just like a feat. They wanted to take it up as a challenge. "We want to test how strong are we and how mentally focused we are,’’ they said.
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