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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sounds wonderful!


<p>I’ve been asked a lot of times what I was thinking as I stepped on stage to accept the Grammy. I have never mentioned this before, but I had this thought about this one picture that John (Mclaughlin) ji had previously shared. It dates back to the 1980s. I am holding a soda behind John ji, Shankar (Mahadevan) ji, Zakir (Hussain) bhai, and my dad (Vikku Vinayakram) while they are seated together. “Back then, I could never have imagined that I would one day play with these legendary musicians, be a co-producer for an album, and win a Grammy,” says drummer V Selvaganesh. It is indeed a dream realized.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-499241″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-sounds-wonderful-newindianexpress-2024-03-81252a4c-b76d-4f75-93f0-5a6ee219088b-goo-750×503.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com sounds wonderful newindianexpress 2024 03 81252a4c b76d 4f75 93f0 5a6ee219088b goo” width=”995″ height=”668″ title=”Sounds wonderful! 6″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-sounds-wonderful-newindianexpress-2024-03-81252a4c-b76d-4f75-93f0-5a6ee219088b-goo-750×503.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-sounds-wonderful-newindianexpress-2024-03-81252a4c-b76d-4f75-93f0-5a6ee219088b-goo-1024×686.jpg 1024w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-sounds-wonderful-newindianexpress-2024-03-81252a4c-b76d-4f75-93f0-5a6ee219088b-goo-768×515.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-sounds-wonderful-newindianexpress-2024-03-81252a4c-b76d-4f75-93f0-5a6ee219088b-goo.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 995px) 100vw, 995px” /></p>
<p>As a member of the legendary band Remember Shakti, Selvaganesh’s recent Grammy victory for the album This Moment was the pinnacle of a journey entwined with his own dedication to improving a lowly instrument and his family’s tradition. The 52-year-old was introduced to Carnatic music at a very early age, having been born into a musical family. “My father, myself, and my grandpa, TR Harihara Sarma, were all percussionists. According to him, when I was four or five months old, my grandpa would teach his pupils while holding me on his lap.</p>
<p>But Selvaganesh’s route wasn’t predetermined. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a mridangam player,” he says. However, my grandpa advised learning the kanjira, which was regarded as a secondary instrument in those days. “Take up this instrument (kanjira), as there aren’t many people who play it,” he suggested. It has to be maintained, and my family should do it, he remembers.</p>
<p>His membership with the band Shakti brought the ghatam to a worldwide level and provided him with international visibility. The competition for mridangam players would have been fierce if I had decided to pursue that career path. Since there were so many mridangam players existing, it would have been difficult for me to establish my own style. It was always my uncle’s belief that each artist needed to develop their own style. Someone should be able to identify who’s playing if they shut their eyes and pay attention. It is what I’ve put a lot of effort into,” he declares.</p>
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<p>Concurrently, Selvaganesh is about to fulfill a lifelong ambition of his by creating a ghatam symphony, which will be showcased at the Mahindra Percussion Festival in Bengaluru later this month. “My father had the idea to see if he could have a symphonic-style performance that used just percussion. Although I wouldn’t say it’s unprecedented—after all, the name “symphony” covers a lot of ground—very few have tried anything similar. Our efforts have shown promise, nevertheless. Making something that sounds nice to us is our first priority as it will make it simpler to deliver it in a manner that connects with the audience. In terms of composition, the music has so far surpassed our expectations,” he says.</p>


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