Carnatic vocalist Jayashri strikes a chord with listeners at PEC | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Carnatic vocalist Jayashri strikes a chord with listeners at PEC

chandigarh Updated: Mar 31, 2012 19:24 IST
Vivek Gupta

It is not very often that a Carnatic musician performs in the city. The curiosity is palpable when famous Carnatic music vocalist Bombay Jayashri arrives here. "I have performed in Delhi many a time but a performance in Chandigarh is rare," says Jayashri, who performed at PEC on Friday, courtesy SPICMACAY.

Her sensitivity is rooted in tenderness and also the way she has been carrying forward the glorious heritage of South Indian classical music. Her style and delivery comes with a freshness that offers an exalted experience to the listeners.

"Music flows within me and it is the result of a divine spirit that our musical heritage is full of," says the Chennai-based singer who has been performing for the last 30 years and also has the privilege of being the first Carnatic classical vocalist to perform at the Opera House in Durban and the Russian Opera House in Helsinki, Finland.

"Carnatic music came to me naturally, as I hail from the family of Carnatic music practitioners, but I started pursuing music seriously in my early 20s when I came in contact with the legendary Carnatic violinist and vocalist Lalgudi G Jayaraman, who brought forth in me the essence of music," says Jayashri whose music is as exciting as her name.

She smiles, "In South Indian music there is a tradition of putting the place of your origin before your name, and this is how I got my name."

"Though born in Kolkata, I have been brought up in Mumbai. I later shifted to Chennai since it is the hub of Carnatic music," says the musician who is also a big name in playback singing in South Indian film industry and has also collaborated with western classical musicians.

She says that stretching yourself helps and provides an opportunity to learn something new when you delve deeper into other forms. "But certainly there is no comparison with Indian music. Our heritage is very rich and scientific and that is the reason why western classical musicians are so interested in our musical traditions," says Jayashri who, however, laments that our heritage is still not taught at the school level unlike western countries-the reason why younger generation is not familiar with it.

Down South, there is still a family culture to train children into one or the other performing arts. "One must learn some form of art in the younger years as it helps groom the mind beautifully," says the vocalist.

On the difference between Hindustani and Carnatic music, she says that both are pure forms of music and are a result of the same seed. However, the Muslim influence in north India changed style and structure of Hindustani music whereas Carnatic kept its composition and grammar as per the old structure.