Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year!

The curtains have down on 2008 and the new year dawns yet again.

But do things really change so much? I am just doing what I am doing. Even as I sit down to think back on the season that just almost completed, it is as if another season has already begun. I have already started travelling down south with hardly a couple of days to sit back and breathe easily.

The last year has been quite memorable in so many ways. Here are some of my personal highlights from last year.

1. Back to the net - It was in 1995 that I was introduced to the fascinating world of the internet. The rec.music.indian.classical newsgroup was quite a riot with reviews getting posted. It was probably the first time that carnatic music was being reviewed by all and sundry at a location other than the mainstream press. Then of course the Great Sangeetham.com Affair started and fell in my life and I vowed to take a break as others got in to do what I had tried. Last year with growth of social media and web 2.0 there was a lot going on that it got my interest tickled again. So my blog/podcast/facebook/twitter/friendfeed etc etc are really keeping me going at the moment.

2. Travel - This has been one of the most travelled years in the last decade or so. The US tour was quite a whirlwind affair with 17 concerts in 35 days. 2009 promises to be just more and more of travel.

3. Students - A number of my students have finally started moving along well and had a great season. This is so gratifying for me personally though I know I am guilty of not giving them enough time because of my own travel commitments. But the recent series of concerts that I organised has given me the confidence that they can handle themseves pretty well. So all the best to them!

4. On a personal note I am most thankful to people like my guru Shri SRD Vaidyanathan, Shri N Ramani, Shri Nagai Muralidharan and Shri Guruvayur Dorai who continue to inspire me and guide me through so many difficult periods musically or otherwise in my professional career. These are people with tons of experience and their insights have been invaluable.

5. All my accompanists on stage have been such great people. It is not easy for people to travel with each other and spend days on end. Forget about the times on stage. Afterall that is what we are all paid to do. It is all those days that we spend off it that can get trying. But i have been lucky and am thankful that they continue to be such a comforting influence for me. Afterall they have to put with so much of my idiosyncrasies like playing all these obscure board games that I carry.

6. Finally it all of you who read this blog, post comments, download podcasts, send me emails who are the real motivation for me. Please keep it coming.There are times when I may not reply to everything. But I can assure you that I read everything. My travel schedule can get in the way of my not being regular in my updates but I will try and do my best to better myself this year.

Happy New year!