Sivamani: In a Delhi hotel, I once asked for a copper vase to play at my concert | music | Hindustan Times
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Sivamani: In a Delhi hotel, I once asked for a copper vase to play at my concert

Percussionist Sivamani says he wants to play at more open places in Delhi, and is even open to performing at college festivals.

music Updated: Dec 22, 2017 22:10 IST
Henna Rakheja
Sivamani, renowned percussionist, says he’s happy to come to Delhi and perform in open places.
Sivamani, renowned percussionist, says he’s happy to come to Delhi and perform in open places.

Anger sure makes you bang things, but how often do you heed the sound — effectively, the music — that it creates. Because that’s what ace percussionist Anandan Sivamani did, as a child. “When I was just 9 years old, vessels were my first instrument. My father [SM Anandan — a well known percussionist from Chennai] didn’t allow me to touch [his] drum kit. Angry, I went to the kitchen and started banging all the vessels. That’s the way I heard some good music. So, my homework was done [in the kitchen] when I studied which sound is created by metals like brass, steel, and all others,” he says.

In between making music and doing live shows, Sivamani once struck gold with a biryani kadai (deep-cooking pot)! “It was the 1990s, and I was in Park Hotel in Kolkata. Louis Banks and I had to perform there. From the hotel balcony I saw a beautiful shop. When I went there, along with lots of gift items there were vessels. When I played them, the sound was awesome! I asked the shopkeeper to bring all the biryani kadais. He brought 10-15 small ones. I tuned them with my tuning pipe, and only in four I could get the perfect pitch. So, that evening I started playing something that gave a different sound.”

Fast forward to the present, the world-renowned musician is looking forward to performing in Delhi, on December 23, at an event being organised by the NGO Le Rythme, for underprivileged children and the girl child. “The first time I visited Delhi [was] in late 80s when Zakir (Hussain) bhai had performed. Delhi was great when I played for the first time in the jazz festival. That’s the place I got recognised by the audience, and thought there definitely are fans who enjoy [my music].”

“Once, I was in Ashoka hotel, and saw a beautiful vase in copper. I asked the general manager ‘I want to use it for my concert’ and he readily gave it.”

From among his many trips to Delhi, one particularly stands out in his memory. “Once, I was in Ashoka hotel, and saw a beautiful vase in copper. I asked the general manager ‘I want to use it for my concert’ and he readily gave it,” he recalls.

“But I do limited concerts in Delhi. If I come, it’s with AR Rahman, and usually in open places like Siri Fort [Auditorium]. Public, open places are very few (in Delhi). I think I need to start my school in Delhi so I can do some open concerts for kids,” says Sivamani adding, “I’m really looking forward to play in Delhi this time as it’s [the venue is] an open area. I love to come and play in open places. I also like to perform for youngsters, because they are the ones who are going to follow.”

And is he up for performances at college fests, too? “Yes, definitely, why not!”

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