Violin Concert by Aruna Shivaraman at Tara Mobile Creches Pune’s Kondhwa Centre
On 23 October 2018, 3pm to 4pm
Baithak curated its first Carnatic instrumental music concert at TMCP’s Kondhwa centre on 23rd October. The artists for the concert were Aruna Sivaraman on violin, Vishnu on Flute, and Harsha M.B. accompanying on mridangam and khanjira. The 70-odd children at the centre, all aged 6 to 14, were excited to see so many musical instruments, and scurried to sit as close as possible to the artists.
Aruna, Vishnu, and Harsha, all highly educated in Biology and Physics, are very passionate about music and practise music meticulously for many years. They had performed for Baithak earlier, and hence were very supportive. When they settled for the performance, Aruna and Vishnu broke the ice by interacting with the kids, asking about their hobbies, studies, etc. They introduced their instruments, and demonstrated the playing technique in a simple but interesting manner. To make the children understand the concept of saha-waadan, Aruna took to the analogy of two friends meeting after a long time and sharing their experiences, thus forming a story as their conversation progresses.
Aruna started the performance with a vandana in Adi-tala of 8 beats. After a brisk Alaap, Harsha joined on the mridangam. After the vandana, Vishnu joined in on the Flute for the second piece, a composition in tishra jaati. This was a longer piece, with many antaraa-s Aruna and Vishnu took turns in presenting each variation, and the ‘dialogue between friends’ analogy could be easily witnessed. Harsha alternated between mridangam and khanjira, thus building up on the conversation theme. All the three performed in perfect unison, with challenging tihaayee-s at the end of each antaraa. The third piece was a short, fast and exciting composition, keeping pace with the children’s attention span, and got the children involved in the brisk movements of taan-s. Throughout the 50 minute performance, children sat attentively, and a few participated with much enthusiasm, singing sa-re-ga-ma, as Aruna told them, one swar at a time. The children themselves were in awe that they sounded pretty decent in the first attempt!!
After the performance, the musicians invited the children to take a closer look at the instruments, and try playing them. Vishnu generously kept back on of his flutes at the Centre, telling children to keep experimenting with the instrument. He taught the basic blowing technique and at the same time also told them to handle the instrument with love and care. Seeing the smiling faces of children with their new possession was a satisfying moment for Baithak.