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Carnatic melodies with a Mozart flavour

A Chennai-based NGO has launched an album that blends Carnatic melodies with western classical music, as a tribute to the musical prodigy.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 13:09 IST

Mozart Meets India, an album that blends Carnatic melodies with western classical music, has been launched here as a tribute to musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, on his 250th birth anniversary.

The album has been produced by Tamil Maiyam, a city-based non-profit trust set up to promote art, literature and culture. The NGO came out with its maiden venture 'Thiruvasagam in Symphonic Oratorio' by maestro Ilayaraja last year.

Six carnatic ragas -- Kapi, Panthuvarali, Sindhubhairavi, Bilahari, Sankarabharanam and Hamsanandi -- were chosen for the project for their compatibility with symphonic music.

Eminent musicians including vocalists Bombay Jayashri and O S Arun, violinist Embar Kannan, saxophone artiste Kadri Gopalnath and guitarist Arun Pandian were among those associated with the making of the album.

A live performance was held at the launch function here on Friday night in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and Union Ministers Ambika Soni and Dayanidhi Maran.

The music for the album was composed and orchestrated by Nellai Jesuraj, a young and unknown musician from rural Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.

A theme song for world peace, composed by Mr Karunanidhi's daughter and poetess Kanimozhi was sung by a 70-member choir during the function.

Tamil Maiyam Managing Director Rev Jegath Gasper Raj said the album was an attempt to explore and create music that would transcend genre and culture, and make Indian classical music inclusive and relevant to the modern generations.

Stating that the title Mozart Meets India was more allegoric and there were no Mozart compositions in the album, he said this could be an orchestral tribute to the music genius from India.

The final sound mixing for the album was done in the United States by Ian Cross, who works for Jimmy and Terry Lewis and have done mixing for big names like Janet Jackson, Jessica Simpson, Night Shyamalan and Arun Pandian.

The launch day proceeds from the project went to a charitable Trust 'Give Life,' which provides scholarships and career guidance to poor students.

First Published: Aug 28, 2006 12:21 IST