Monday, April 21, 2008

The A R Rahman Changing Notes Concert

Venue : St. George's Ground, Poonamalee
Had the good fortune to be a part of this concert .. Right after the Sharjah concert and the rehearsals happened on 19th night, when everyone had driven down to rehearse straight from the airport. Except for those who were in Chennai, everyone was super tired and sleep deprived.
The concert had Shivamani ji, Hariharan ji, Shankar Mahadevan ji, Blaaze, Nithyashree ji, Sadhna Sargam ji, Madhushree ji, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, Naresh Iyer, Benny Dayal, Karthik, Darshana (who sang her Maduraikku pogadhedee for the first time on stage), Rayhana ji, Ishrath ji, Tanvi, Sayonara, Aslam Khan, Aslam Mohammad, Dr. Narayan and yours truly.
The crowds were one of the best we had seen in recent times and almost about 50,000 strong. Super charged. Only yesterday must have been one of the sultriest in recorded history and the facial tissue business would have had record sales thanks to us.
My first song in the show was Munbe Va, there was a lot of trepidation as long as singing this song was concerned, but it turned out OK. Thank God. It was one of those times that I saw Srinivasamurthy uncle give me a wide smile right after I sang.
Some of the songs that were performed: Jaage Hain, New York Nagaram, Varaha nadhikkarai oram, Dil Se, Pray for me brother, Athiradee, Vaji Vaji, Jashn - E - Bahaara, Girlfriend, Mayya Mayya, Rubaroo, Khwaja mere, Endrendrum Punnagai, In Lamhon Ke, Style, Ellapugazhum, Chaiyya Chaiyya, Barso Re, Madhuraikku Pogadhedee to name a few. Kannodu Kaanbadhellam, in a very special presentation with Nithyashree, Palanivel sir on the Thavil, a Nadaswaram and a mridangam vidwan as well. She presented a short classical intro before going on to Kannodu. Sadhana ji sand Main Vaari Vaari and Udhaya Udhaya as well. Later Sivamani ji and Palanivel sir gave a thaniavarthanam. Steve on the guitars had a solo performance as well which lead to Girlfriend.
Hariharanji taught the audience a thing or two about notes. He sang sa, then ri, traversed the octave, went into bundles of four notes and then goes extempore which has the audience screaming every time.
I absolutely love the way Shankar ji performs. Wish I could have a fraction off his energy.
A lot of people in the audience held up pictures of Rahman sir and one particular (hopefully) hand-painted one drew my attention. The adrenalin, the energy, the reaction that the audience everywhere and anywhere gives out whenever they see Rahman sir enter the stage and just before he sings, and when he hits the notes that no one else can reach. WOW. The best thing is that its infectious. Most of them I was screaming from the backstage only to be reminded, each time by mom that I have to sing and I should not scream all that much. More often than not, the fan in me takes over. No matter how many times I sing for Rahman sir, I am always excited like I am singing for the first time. I know, of the few things that wont change in me, this would find its place on the top of the list. I thank God, count my blessings each time I am singing for Rahman sir. There are lakhs and lakhs and many more all over the world who want to sing for him, nay even be in the same square foot as he stands in. A lot of the fans that come to his concerts I have realized, are worshipers.
I remember the time as a 10 -11 year old that I had decided in my mind I should sing for Rahman sir. It was quite a stubborn will and God was kind enough to fulfill that wish for me. And of course so many more.
Loved being part of this one and I pray for more. What more can I say?
----------
Actually there is one more thing that I can say. I have been noticing that I am probably writing pretty much the same way as long as describing concerts are concerned.
Also I have to add that I am getting some repetitive comments on "Ji".
It is not possible for me to not append "Ji" or "Sir" after the great names that I mention in my blog. Yep, it might be the thing to do when you report about something, but I cannot and will not eschew the very basic mark of respect. There is a certain something that Classical Musicians do. When a musician takes the name of either his/her Guru or other musical stalwarts in public congregation or even in humble company of 3-4 people, they always touch their ear. Its a gesture asking for forgiveness for mentioning their name. Such gestures are going out of practice, some of the beautiful things in our culture. Which is a sad thing. Every musical tradition, especially when that is principally handed down for generations together, along with the notes, the attitude and some behavioral practices that a musician must adhere to are taught, and it must be religiously and respectfully followed no matter how times change. To those of us who hold on to it, me in this case, are subjected to ridicule. Unfortunately, "respect", "strict" "traditional practices" seem to have become bad words. If I touch the feet of an elder, that is not supposed to be cool to do either, but sorry I beg to and proud to differ. I have been brought up to do so in. In my family and in scores of others youngsters are taught to touch the feet of elders whenever we see them. When we were kids the elders gave us one rupee when we did that. Positive reinforcement of good behavior; that is what it is called. The habit sticks on for life.

Also, I have come to realize that a mother like mine is very rare creation. I treasure her, worship her in my heart of hearts and I want her to be part of my good times wherever I go. Be it a movie, the beach, a show. Whatever. I don't know why it is considered unnatural to have my mom with me. I love my mom's company. And thankfully I am in a profession that allows me to have my mom with me wherever I go. She is the architect of my career, my life. She is my guide. And I need and want my guide with me. For the decades that she will be with me. So in this case, even though there are some nitwits who intentionally hurt both my mom and me, saying this and that. I am slowly learning not to care for the opinions of nitwits. Its difficult. But I am learning. I am not Buddha that negative comments have the same effect as water on duck's back. But I intend to cultivate to be dispassionate for compliments and negative comments. I don't want to call such comments criticism because critics make a note of certain minuses that can be converted to pluses. Some things that we might fail to make note of. Thats what genuine critics are. They help us stick to the pursuit of perfection.

Anyway coming back.........
This is not a newspaper report where personal sentiments of the writer don't come into play. I am a singer who writes about things that happen to me and I can't be dispassionate. And I think its impossible for me to be dispassionate in some things in life. I am extremely, madly, passionately in love with singing and music. And how can I just take a reporting tone on it?
That said, I will probably hold back writing about concerts so much henceforth.
Like they say, somethings are better left unsaid. Or in this case, unwritten.

---This post is now over---

47 comments:

Priya Murthi said...

Hi...

I wish I had been there. It sounds great to know so mant artiste have come up at one stage... wow...

Karthik Murali said...

hi chinmayi
the concert totally rocked..
it was amazing ..was dancing continuously for the entire show
u sang very well :)
esp tere bina...

good luck to u and god bless

Priya Murthi said...

Hi chinmayee,

how do you feel if the song gets dropped at the last moment... considering that you could have gone through tough practise and reharsals sessions for the song...

Bit Rocks! said...

HI...
Atleast did u take pics this time.???..If so,please post it!!!!


Bharath,
**always an ARR fan**

Ananth said...

Wow!!
Hey Chinmayi, how about sharing with us your inputs on the efforts that go into each and every concert so that it doesnt sound the same as the previous one, and turns out unique? What efforts from the singers, and what from the Music director?

Regards,
Ananth

பிரியமுடன் பிரேம் said...

முன்பே வா...என் அன்பே வா! நீங்க சொன்னா நம்பமாட்டீங்க...இப்ப...இப்ப....ஒரு நிமிடத்திற்கு முன்புதான் உள்ளூர் வானொலியில் அந்த பாடலை ஒலியேற்றியிருந்தார்கள். அந்த பாடலின் இனிமையை ரசித்தவாரே உங்கள் பிலாக்குக்கு வந்தால், அந்த பாடலை நீங்கள் முன்பே....முதலாக பாடியிருந்தீர்கள் என்று தெரியவரும்போது சந்தோஷமாக இருக்கிறது! ஓயாத இசைக்க ஓய்வு என்பது ஏது! பறந்து பறந்து பாடித்திரியும் இந்த பாடும் பறவைக்கு எங்கள் உள்ளம் கனிந்த உன்னத பாராட்டுகளை அள்ளித்தந்து ஆனந்தம் கொள்கிறோம்! பாடுங்கள் எங்கள் இதயங்கள் வாடும் பொழுதெல்லாம் பாடுங்கள். இதயங்களை உங்கள் இனிய வரிகள் வருடிச் செல்லட்டும்! வாழ்வீர்கள் எல்லோரின் இதயங்களிலும் இசை என்ற ஒன்று இவ்வுலகில் இருக்கும் வரை! தமிழ் இருக்கும் வரை நான் உங்களை பாராட்டிக்கொண்டே இருப்பேன்! தமிழ் இனி சாகாது! கடவுள் அமைத்து வைத்த மேடையில் கலக்குங்கள்! அந்த கடவுள் உங்களை என்றும் காத்து நிற்பார்! நன்றி!

Venkat said...

I was there at the concert too.. It was just amazing and I was completely enthralled..I'm still wondering whether it was a dream or was I really there.. Everything from the stage to the lighting rocked... and as per the performance, I don't think I'll have to comment... Everyone of you rocked.. Keep Rockin'..

Vasanthan said...

i guess songs gets added and dropped in a life show. must have been really hectic when the changes are made and to accomodate the changes.

Amjath said...

the concert was great..........

vishesh said...

super concert thank you ;) enjoyed it...:)

Ranisha said...

HI Chin

I got the tickets but unfortunately due to unavoidable situation I couldn't come. Really I missed the concert and missed the chance of seeing u in person.
:((

Lakshmichandrakanth said...

Hi chinmayee,
Yesterday i relay loved your "Munbe Va" song. You only play the very good melody. I relay loved it. All the best.

Chinmayi said...

Priya: absolutely nothing wrong. Even on concerts in which I perform individually changes are always made on stage. Some songs are added some dropped depending on the evening :)
Bit: I did. But those were taken during the sound check when we were all sweating it out.
ananth: That would require a detailed analysis and an expert's view. I am neither an analyst nor an expert :)
vasanthan: and that gets our adrenalin up and the end result is there for all to se :)
amjath, visesh, priya murthy, karthik: thank you!

Chinmayi said...

wellwisher: I don't think I can place your identity. Well I could mail you an explanation if you really want one. Send me a mail:to.

bala said...

Hi..Chinmayi..one of my dream comes true last night.Thank u all for that excellent evening.I think Rahmanji comes in front side of the stage and dances with shankarji and blaze (song:hamma..hamma)for the first time ever..am i right? Sivamani,Blaze,Neeti are the rockers.Neeti's dance was fabulous.U sing really well too.The lighting of the stage was excellent.if u have photos pls post it or pls sent it to balamurugans2000@gmail.com
Thanks all.

Chitra said...

Wish i was there to witness the funfare. Good wishes :)

Anonymous said...

You must have sang Tere Bina about a million times by now! Isn't it!!

venkat said...

I was very unfortunate to miss this Concert...I am put up in a Singapore for a stupid project which does not need me at all!! All thanx to the Rahamaniacs in the Orkut community (and ofcourse your Blog)helpmed me get the picture how the concert was. Do you by any chance know when the next concert in Chennai (Even if it is in years!!) will be?!

Chinmayi said...

not the first time Bala.. definitely not the first time :)
chitra: God willing next time lady
anonymous: no just about 20 times, and when you get a song like tere bina, I dont mind singing it a 100 million times
venkat: no idea boss :)

Chinmayi said...

arvind: in sync with the cd version meaning?

maruthu said...

chinmayi..akka ..in which channel the concert will telecast...the rocking concert

Guru said...

I was at the concert with my friends. My first live music concert, and you guys totally rocked.

Rehaana was too good in Chaiyya Chaiyya, Arabic kadaloram and Vande mataaram together at the end was out-of-the-world. Shankar Mahadevan's way of getting the audience in for his 'Varaathe Nathi' was fab.

Waiting for your full post and if possible add some interesting tidbits, like prolly' stuff that happened backstage.

Cheers.

VJ said...

Thanks to everyone of you behind this concert,it was excellent.I had my sem prac exams the next morning,but still never wanted to move an inch from the grounds.You all glued us to the ground sands with your wonderful performance.Thanks again.
Your voice is really good.But please dun't look down upon me for asking this:
where you a bit nervous??

Silicon Sillu said...

changing notes?
hariharan teaches basic notes??

wow interesting... any yeteep(youtube) links pilease?

ILA said...

Which channel will broadcast this?
Same question :)

Pradeepan said...

Music is the clearest proof of God's existence. My sister got the chance to see the Chennai Concert, and she described it as one of the greatest experiences ever.
Thanks to all of you. Keep going on...

Chinmayi said...

Maruthu and Ila: I usually have no idea about all that. I dont ask about most of these things
Guru: I second that!!
Vj: am sure you would have done your pracs much better after having such a great time :) Like they say good music helps!
Silicon: :) Not that I know of..
Pradeepan: :)

Thoughts said...

THE BEST CONCERT EVER in the recent past !!!
Very happy that I witnessed two of his (ARR's) concert within two months of period...
Feeling really lucky to be in Chennai... Jus for one reason the Man ARR :)


My Best Wishes to you !!!
- Anupriya :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chinmayi, Pls do continue using ji & other respectful words & go with your natural flow of writing and do continue writing all your concert reports in ur natural way.
Its really dumb of ppl to keep asking y u do that.
Btw,its a pity that we seem to be losing the habit of respecting our elders. You r really privileged & lucky that ur mom is always there around & helping u. As u said, forget those nitwits and enjoy hanging out with ur mom. I pray that u get to spend more of ur good times with ur mom.

Cheers,
Kaushik

hemanth said...

1)it is magical to relive a moment through another person's eyes ;2) many people dont want something or the other to be said and if so happened then many things would not have been said and what if some people hate the whole blogsite?

Chinmayi said...

anonymous: I will take it as a huge compliment. If I sounded like the CD then I have pretty much mastered Live performances. BTW FYI no singer mimes. NEVER.

SHEETAL AMBAR said...

Hey chinmayi akka ,
Im sure those who have met ur mum will know how much fun it is hanging out with her.. Those who have not will never know of such an amazing and rare mother... Like Heck How many mothers actually bother to get to know her daughters friends ? Trust me aunty's doing an amazing job !!

Anyways , Here I go , Crying again " I wanna come for a ARR concert too!! Its so pathetic being here !! :((((("

Anonymous said...

You r a star :Thats all what my fingers want to leave here. Bless.

Explorer said...

:)

Vasanthan said...

If you didn't say we wouldn't know what goes on behind those curtains. to the audience the show is a well rehearsed one.
then again even the best laid plans fail

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am from the Rehman worshipers grp..Rehman has been my idol frm my college days. His hardwrok, commitment, creativity, down to earth attitude has been motivating me for years. Rembr those days i used to even carry his snap in my purse wenever i wrote exams. He is Supreme. Only after seeing the concert did i realize that it was a dream come true for me. It was a treat to be there. I was juz singing/shouting along with Rehman soo much that my throat has still not come back to its normal pitch...Thx to all of u..

Venu

Ananth said...

You are right in adding that little extra to your blog...
No passion - No life - Nothing to talk/write about...
Dont worry about the anonymous fellows... They aren't passionate enough about commenting..they cant even add their names to their comments...
Like I asked before....I guess writing about your concerts will have more people in awe and shut anonymous mouths up if you can write about how different it was from the previous one...just a suggestion from a fellow blogger and a fan....
Regards,
Ananth

Anonymous said...

Hi Chinmayi,

This is Rohini, residing at Singai maa nagaram :-)
I've been a frequent visitor to your blog, almost everyday, as soon as I log on to my system at office. This is my first reply to you.
Firstly, I hope to attend your concert one day with my music icon Mr.ARR .
You have given, fans like us, a good close update on the recent concert.
Secondly, I always enjoy reading your blog. It is amazing to see your matured way of writing here.
As rightly pointed out, Discipline, Respect & their likes are becoming “Bad words” in today’s society. And our first well-wishers, our parents are always supposed to be “outdated people” by some juvenile minds.
I humbly, request you to continue writing in same way as you are.

Rohini :-)

sathyanarain.com said...

Amazing concert!
Watching God for the first time perform was mesmering!
You were too good on Tere Bina. Simply loved it! :)
Here's a detailed post on the concert.
http://sathyanarain.com/2008/04/21/i-am-ready-to-face-death-now/

Chinmayi said...

sorry moushmi.. I know we sweated it out. And again I cannot act. Its tough to do that BTW :)
And anonymous: Guess you should take a leaf out of that book and do some holdings as well

Arun S said...

I always had this question to ask you, yes, this blog is nice from a fan's viewpoint of following your career, and some important incidents in your life. But this doesn't give us enough info on the person you are(which people would love to find, having the achievements you've amassed in a short time). Views on our state, culture, or something happening around you that you wanted to comment, for example, they banned the famous bull fight game this pongal, an american PETA activist was the one who started it all, but everyone knows America eats beef meat more than any nation (ok, this is controversial, but u get my point). Can we look forward for something like that in future?

Haraniya said...

Hey Chinmayi! It's always awesome to learn about the concerts. Especially with a genius like ARRji, you're really lucky. I just found out that you will be coming to Canada. Can't wait to come and see you in concert. Good luck...Take care.

jinesh said...

wat cn i say tht ur so fortunate 2 b thr....with the god of music....well u dnt hv 2 feel dispassionate bout anything..tis is ur blog...u dnt hv any reason 2 hv any qualms bout it......our parents r our pillars of strength.....we wll b miniscule without them........

Anonymous said...

AND BTW... you were looking cute :D

Moushmi

Bala said...

Hi Chinmayi,
This is bala again :)
What is your next program and next film with ARR?
Onething i forgot to tell u in the last comment is that, Your voice and ur modulation is excellent when u sing (especially TERE BINA). It is one of the best songs by ARR.
Best wishes for ur future..
Cheers...Bye....
Bala

Bala said...

Hi Chinmayi, I'm very glad to know that CNN_IBN chosen TERE BINA as "Song of the year 2007". Congrats to u and my guru ARR.
Friends Look at ARR and Chinmayi's talk in CNN-IBN.
http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/55267/song-of-the-year-tere-bina-the-musical-guru-of-the-yr.html

Cheers,
Bala

Lakshmi said...

Hi chinmayi ,
I had left a comment before and its not to be seen.Is it that i have done something technically wrong while commenting or is it that you havent approved it yet !!