Yesterday at the Vinyasa Art Gallery, in Mylapore, Chennai, Charsur Digital Workstation officially launched their new venture, Charsur Arts Foundation. This venture is to primarily focus on organising concerts of a number of young musicians, recording them and putting them up online for downloads. CAF is also in the process of tying up with all musicians to enable them to submit and allow copyrighted and legally downloadable music trough the Charsur website. Of course this will involve a fee and will not be freely available. Listeners will be able to pay and download legal music as opposed to the various 'other' available music. CAF has also entered into agreements with artistes whereby a significant portion of the money will go directly to the artistes as royalty.
Earlier the first concert to be uploaded was my concert sung at the TTD in Chennai in June. A number of people have already evinced interest in this venture and though there have been some hiccups, hopefully things are getting more streamlined. Yesterday's launch of course featured a concert by Swarnarethas a student of mine with V Sanjeev, Srimushnam Raja Rao and EM Subramaniam. I managed to get in an hour of the concert. Of course I am not going to review a concert of my own student, but I thought that it was a lovely gesture on the part of the accompanying artistes to support and encourage a youngster. I personally did benefit so much from many seniors (I continue to benefit!), and I am happy that Charsur has taken the initiative and soon more musicians will benefit.
An important aspect of this venture is a step towards making people feel worthy about spending money. The concert itself was only by invitation, but once it is made available online, it is an opportunity for paying rasikas to support the artistes. For instance it would be difficult to get people to buy tickets and line up at an afternoon slot concert during the music season. But then when the same artistes' music is available online it is a chance for rasikas to legally pay and download and encourage such artistes to take it up as a profession. Afterall unless their art is supported in this manner, how can they think of taking it up as a profession? Also the download system works on a micropayment method whereby people can download just a couple of songs if not the whole concert. The recording quality will also be much better and more in tune with the modern standards set by Charsur through their live releases.