Morning Raga brings an evening full of bliss to New Jersey fusion lovers
The confluence of two genres Jazz and Carnatic music, can be extremely tricky to pull off.
Morning Raga, a fusion ensemble lead by Padmashri Smt. Sudha Raghunathan along with Amit Heri and 4 others did exactly that. They treated the New Jersey music lovers with a fast paced 3 hrs of East meets West, musical extravaganza. I have heard Sudha many many times performing classical concerts, Jugalbandhi’s and even singing film songs. But, today she certainly showed her flair for fusion too. Ofcourse she admitted that her foray into fusion did raise plenty of eyebrows in the conventional circuit, however judging by the crowd of youngsters, it seems clear that to preserve history, culture and legacy, change is inevitable.
Morning Raga during the evening? Certainly had people talking, but Sudha was quick to start the concert with the reason behind why it was called so. She explained that the concerts are based on the theme of the popular motion picture ’Morning Raga’ where the bollywood star Shabana Azmi gave a beautiful performance with the theme being the fusion of Indian and Western music.
I must complement the entire team of artists, who excelled in every way possible. The artists ensemble included;
– Sri. B V.Raghavendra Rao: Electric Violin
– Sri. Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan: Mridangam
– Sri. Keith Peters: Base Guitar
– Sri. Arun Kumar: Western Drums
– Sri. Guruprasad: Ghatam
The tempo was well maintained by each artist and the tani avartanam by the percussionists was simply electrifying.
Fusion music if not carefully composed can be disastrous, and Amit Heri along with others brought the fine nuances and delicate blends to complement Sudha’s vocal singing. The pieces were chosen carefully and woven very well with the western instruments.
The concert was organized by Jana Seva’s to raise funds for work with orphanages and old age homes in India. The interesting touch by organizers was the post concert dinner, where they had each artist sit in different tables so that music lovers could interact with them. Very good idea indeed.
To add to all this excitement, it was Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan 50th birthday, and a beautiful cake was cut, so that Vaidyanathan could celebrate this loved day with us.
Berlin – Converting history to Charm
I had long been fascinated with Berlin, even though I had never visited the city.
I guess I really don’t have any particular reason for this fascination except maybe because I am more familiar with some history of Berlin then with many other companies.
Also, to me the breaking of The Wall was indeed a historic momemt, reuniting the Germans, which otherwise was once a great undivided nation.
This blog is my voyage of discovery through photography, from architecture and Cold War relics, exploration of buildings, leading to small oddities and unique pictures taken at small towns, it was a memorable trip indeed.
The best way to satisfy my curiosity of Berlin is by experiencing it in the most authentic way possible – walk through the streets of Berlin. So that’s what I did.
As you start the visit at the most famous Alexanderplatz, you cannot fail to spot the Berliner Fernsehturm, the television tower which rises to a height of more than 360 meters. The tower is the tallest structure in Berlin and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
The most historic portion of interest to me was the Berlin Wall.
Most of the Berlin war has been brought down.
The official Berlin Wall Memorial site can be found at Bernauer Straße, which represents the site of many escapes from East to West Berlin and also the place where the official destruction of the Wall started.
Here you can overlook an intact section of the wall, complete with security zone and watchtower, from an observation deck across the street.
The most famous section of the wall that is still standing is the 1316 meter long East Side Gallery.
In 1990 artists were invited to paint this part of the wall, which turned it into one large open-air gallery. A walk along the East side Gallary, brings artists perspectives to life.
From countless graffiti scrawls to the ostentatious protest signs Berlin seems to be a city embracing, commerce, art, freedom and expression.
Below is the picture of the Altes Museum and Lustgarten.
The façade of the Old Museum, is said to be one of the most attractive Neo-Classical museums in Europe, is remarkable for the shiny red marble used in its construction, which is visible behind 18 Ionic columns. Built in 1830 according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, it was at the time one of the first buildings to be created specifically as a museum. Originally it housed the royal collection of paintings, but today it is home to a collection of antiquities and the Egyptian Museum.
In front of the museum, on Museumsinsel, are the gardens designed by Peter Joseph Lenné. Conceived as the king’s herb garden, it is today decorated with a granite bowl by Gottlieb Christian Cantian, weighing 70 tons.
The center piece of Berlins new railway network is claimed to be the most sophisticated station in the world. Berlin’s new Hauptbahnhof (central railway station) was opened in May 2006. A vast multi-level structure, partly in a tunnel, it forms the centrepiece of Berlin’s new railway network, which has been under construction since the city’s reunification.
The station is built on the site of the former Lehrter Bahnhof main line railway station, which was damaged during World War 2 and subsequently demolished.
The Oberbaum bridge that unites the two sections of Berlin, once divided by its historic wall is one of the most beautiful bridges I have seen.
Considered one of the major landmarks of the city, the double-deck bridge built in 1732, remains an outstanding symbol of the city’s unity.After the fall of the wall in 1989, the bridge was restored to its original appearance.
I believe this is one of the 900 or so bridges that can be found in Berlin.
The WYLD show brings about dazzling contemporary entertainment with futuristic costumes and acts.
Friedrichstadt Palace – A beautiful theater.
The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) in Berlin is one of the first landmarks that comes to mind when thinking of Germany. The Brandenburg Gate is the national symbol of the country, and German history was made here – many different times.
The Brandenburg Gate became infamous in the Cold War, when it was the sad symbol for the division of Berlin and Germany: The Gate stood between East and West Germany, becoming part of the impenetrable Berlin Wall.
Look who is going to take you around…
Brandenburg place provides us with unlimited entertainment.
The rare instrument “Hang” being played here by one of the street musicians.
Fun and entertainment greets you all around at the Brandenburger Tor
Fun and entertainment greets you all around at the Brandenburger Tor
Brightly colored Beer Bikes, allow you to drink Beer as you pedal through the streets of Berlin. A very interesting way to explore.
SS Camandant in the Park
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Walking through it was a cold, chilling and a solitary experience. In certain parts the sun gets hidden behind the rows of large grey slabs with varying heights, it is then you begin to feel alone and overwhelmed as you make your way to the underground museum .
The museum underground has handwritten letters of the victims, reading them can move the strongest of all and bring him/her to tears.
I was moved by a 12 year old girl who wrote ” Dear father, I am saying goodbye to you before I die. We would so like to live, but they wont let us, so we will die. I am so scared of this death because small children are thrown into the pit alive. Goodbye forever, I kiss you tenderly.”
Sculptures and Art spawn the streets of Berlin.
This defines the cities character and beauty which combined with its history makes it a unique city.
The relics from the city’s tumultuous history, from Third Reich and Cold War Berlin to the altogether more cheery Beer bycicles trips and lively squares, time simply is never a standstill in this city.