Facebook Live Chat with Bhai Baldeep Singh

A few days ago I had a conversation with Bhai Baldeep Singh, live on Facebook. It was for an episode of YaarAnād Virtual Baithak Series which is an extension of the World Music Heritage Series of his. The aim of this series is to celebrate excellence in the field of music, arts, dance, theatre, and literature.

Bhai Baldeep Singh has been inviting a number of talented and accomplished artists from various genres to his show for a really informative and entertaining conversation on various art forms. I feel it’s a very important service that he is providing to all art lovers around the world – especially at this current time of uncertainty and crisis – when art is the only thing that can give us hope and calm our minds.

During our conversation that went on for almost 3 hours (as they say, ‘time flies when you are having fun’), we spoke on myriad topics starting from the collective evolution of music over the years to gamakas and alankaras – punctuated by songs sung by me and Bhai Baldeep Singh. It was a treat to listen to him sing a Gurbani. We discussed in detail the confluence of music from various parts of our diverse and culturally rich country that resulted in the current flavours in our music as we see it today.

You can watch our video below:
Any enthusiast of Indian classical music will find our conversation interesting. Hope you enjoy listening to our session.
A huge thank you to everyone who watched our session live and commented with such kind compliments.

YaarAnād Virtual Baithak Series — Padma Shree Awardee, Aruna Sairam

Season 1, Episode 14Rāñgalī Satth (Virtual) Mēlā 14 with classical Karnātak Saṅgīta, Padma Shree Awardee Aruna Sairam, hosted by Bhai Baldeep Singh.About the series:As an extension of the World Music Heritage Series conceived and produced by maestro Bhai Baldeep Singh for Anād Records, the YaarAnād Virtual Baithak Series aims to celebrate excellence in the field of music, arts, dance, theatre, and literature.Il Maestro: Profile of Padma Shri Awardee Ms. Aruna SairamAruna Sairam is acknowledged by chaste connoisseurs all over classical music audiences, as the reigning queen of classical music in the tradition of South India. She is the authentic representative of a long lineage of women singers from Tanjore, South India, and her repertoire includes rare gems of the Carnatic Trinity of Composers. Along with them, the lay listener too finds 'deep, pure emotion and a soulful connect' with her Abhangs (Spirituals from Central India) and Viruthams (philosophical poems), transporting them to a sense of unity with the universe. Drawing from her vast knowledge of the pan Indian Traditions, Aruna Sairam is today one of the most important figures in the classical world of Indian music. Arunaji is an esteemed composer, collaborator, humanitarian, and speaker.Ms. Sairam has recently awarded the Sangita Kalanidhi by the Music Academy, Chennai one of the most prestigious institutions for Carnatic Music in India. Ms. Sairam has been decorated with the Padma Shri, one of India’s prestigious civilian awards in the year 2009 for distinguished contributions to Indian culture and society. She is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, from India’s premier institution for Music and dance in 2013 from the President of India. The ‘Kalaimamani’ from the Tamilnadu State Government in the year 2007. Aruna Sairam has been awarded the ‘US Proclamation of Excellence’ wherein the US House of Representatives recognized her musical contribution with a proclamation and a presentation of the US National Flag flown over the Capitol building. She was appointed by the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu as Advisor to the Department of Culture, Tamilnadu on Musical Education.Aruna Sairam has appeared at prestigious festivals and venues around the world. The BBC Proms invited her to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 as the first South Indian Classical musician in the Proms’ history of 117 years. The other venues where she has performed include The Royal Festival Hall (London) The Carnegie Hall (New York), Le Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Opera National (Lyons), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music (Morocco), and the Music Academy (Chennai). She has had the rare distinction of performing at the Indian President's official residence – Rashtrapati Bhavan, at the memorials of former Prime Ministers. She has performed at the Darbar Festival in London and Ojai Festival in California, USA, in 2016 and 2017, being the only Carnatic musician to do so in its 70-year history.Aruna Sairam has also collaborated with leading musicians nationally and internationally and presented Carnatic music with Dominique Vellard, France (classical liturgical, medieval and Gregorian chants), Noureddine Tahiri, Morocco (Arabo-Andalusian Music), Flamenco, Christian Bollmann, Germany (Neo-classical music), Bollywood Singer Shankar Mahadevan, Mandolin Virtuoso U. Srinivas, Dancer Chandralekha, Multi-Instrumentalist Ranjit Barot and Eminent Tabla Virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain.After her initial learning from her mother, Rajalakshmi Sethuraman, who was a classical singer, Aruna, at the age of ten, became a disciple of the legendary T. Brinda. Brinda was the sixth-generation torchbearer of a family of renowned musicians of the Tanjore court.Aruna’s scholarship has led her to undertake various worldwide mentoring programs, including the recent BBC World Routes Academy Project. She has lectured at various prestigious universities across Europe and the US, including Harvard, and was invited by the Indo-French Cultural Exchange Programme as a ‘Guru.’ Her foundation – the Aruna Sairam Foundation – is dedicated to imparting the knowledge of music to young aspiring musicians, creating opportunities for budding artists to perform, and rewarding senior music gurus in the community. Aruna works towards the musical education of underprivileged students, through the Nadayogam Trust, which she founded in 2011. She has performed extensively to collect funds for cancer care and has created trust funds for families of deceased musicians. She has donated proceeds from her concerts for building the Guruji Medical Centre, providing medical facilities to 150 villages in Tamil Nadu.Aruna Sairam has also donated proceeds from her concerts and sale of her records to cancer hospitals and to rehabilitating families of musicians who have passed away in their prime.In June 2015, Aruna was appointed Vice Chairperson of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, which rewards excellence in music, dance, and drama. The academy honors are conferred by a Board of specialists in different fields of performing arts and by representatives from different Indian states and Union territories. The Academy works closely with the President of India in all matters regarding the performing arts of the country.

Posted by Bhai Baldeep Singh on Saturday, May 2, 2020

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