no muzzeeeq; no sports; no life

Friday, December 30, 2005

"The year gone by ; The one ahead.."

The bustling traffic at 11-45 , the crowd on beach road , restaurants running big business , parties on the beach house , the happening pubs n discs , the parties at the friends place , and not to forget the police mama checking you in the middle of the night .. that would be the scene in our singara chennai tonight .. never can be the same right? ..

And everyone must be making big plans for the day .. err .. night rather, as to where to go , what to do ( hav fun wat els?), whom to meet , and what not .. As you do this, it doesnt take a lot to look back at the good times 2005 had to offer to us .. and plan for the new year ahead ..

Well 2005 sadly, would be remembered for all the wrong reasons and calamities as it begun with the tsunami , the london blasts which were not comparable to the innumerable blasts in india, the hurricanes , katrina , rita and then our own cyclonic versions the baaz , fanoos , who can forget the mumbai floods .. or the earthquakes that wrecked havoc right from sumatra to northern asia .. and the list would go on ..

But we have to give something to 2005 which did give us a lot to smile about ..

personally it was a year full of interesting happenings ..

It started of with my new guitar that got in for christmas and my first guitar performance came its way.. though the saarang experience was not lucky .. Then followed a series of shows and culturals with playing in several competitions .. winning a few .. not to forget the trip to calicut which was loads of fun .. thanks to our college ..

At the same time there was lots of things happening on the cricket front with winning the trophy at RMK after a long time and some good wins in the college side .. not to forget my knock at chepauk for my club .. i just missed my century by a whisker ..

Then came the mandolin concert on the night of Shiva ratri .. never before had i played a concert at 2 AM in the morning .. groovy huh? And then the usual summer time with the ever forgettable semester exams .. followed by a month long holidays which was nothing like before , making trips to bangalore , mumbai , goa , karnataka enroute guruvayoor to the smell of jackfruits and kozha puttu .. the longest drive we had in a long time ; goa to coimbatore .. phew reall long ..

Amidst all this ,before my summer holiday trip .. i had done something which was the best part of 2005 .. i got my new mandolin which was designed by yours truly, with the help of Tulsi and it was simply a great feeling to play an instrument which had been made with a lot of care and personally designed as well ..

Back home it was time for final year .. and well 2nd day of college ,CTS gives me a job .. hmm not a bad start to the academic year huh .. As final year began, we were having a hilarious time in the lectures with funnier lecturers in college .. The meetings with HOD quite often saying attendance low , no OD .. and his ethics lessons .. experiences of a lifetime ..

And the arrival of BOSS gt-6 not to forget .. (previous posts)

That followed by the offers from mumbai to perform , which unfortunately got postponed due to the rains .. still cant forget the rains bringing the house down with water all over , inside , outside , everywhere and worst of all going to college that day for the practicals .. The last few months were not that great though due to other reasons .. and then came the series of rains ..

I think it was the first time we ever had exams spread over three months .. its still not over with 1 more left .. damn .. however thanks to the rains another trip to mumbai , goa and bangalore came its way .. it was even better this time ..

As the new year dawns .. there is lot more that has happened this year and its a great feeling to look back at the good times you have had ..

And as u make your resolution for the new year .. i would rather ask some one to make a resolution 'to keep their resolution' .. as 9 out of 10 times .. by the end of january people dunt remember their resolution ..

Im sure 2006 is going to be a great year for everyone of us .. my plans for the new year are simple .. final sem .. one gets all the time in the world to do what one wants to do .. So im sure i would be into atending a lot of concerts , the chennai open .. to start off .. the final year project warrants some effort .. and then the daily yoga (wat say arun?), more time with my mandolin, working on new projects and recordings, work on the classical guitaring , more jazz music and overall enjoy the new year ..

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new 2006 ..

cheers pk

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A small part of Western india ..

The golden sandy beaches , the cocunut trees , the deep blue seas , the authentic cuisine ( nothing like fish) , the festive fervour , unmatched hospitality , and the goan fenni .. Now thats goa in a nutshell ..

This small state, half way down India’s west coast, was a Portuguese colony until 1961. This goes some way to explaining the alternative atmosphere here. Cut off from British India by a wall of mountains and vast alluvial plains. Goa relied on trade with a declining Portuguese Empire, but what was lost in British trade it made up for in Portuguese attitude and it retains a distinctly laid-back feel today.

Goa was discovered by travellers in the late 60s who were relieved to have found somewhere away from the mainstream, where holidaying meant simply hanging out, smoking weed and partying on the beach, particularly at full moon. The state quickly grew a reputation for its hedonism and liberal attitude under a hot sun that sets in splendour every evening over the Arabian Sea.

Now with a quick rail link to Mumbai and charter flights from the UK, thousands of tourists flock here each winter to relax and enjoy the Goan cuisine - a blend of exotic Indian spices with the Latin love of meat and fish. Many hotels and resorts have popped up over the last few years to cater for this ever-popular destination, but with more than 25 miles of beautiful sandy beaches there is still plenty of tranquillity to be found.

For more on the wonderland .. keep clicking

My Dear BOSS ..

I had been thinking about it for months .. and finally the day arrived .. yeah .. my dear BOSS arrived .. direct from sunnyvale , out of the aircraft into the taxi and she got home safely ..

thats rite i had my hands on the BOSS GT -6 which i was planning to possess for months ..
Its truly amazing the sound , the variety , the effects , it really was and still is the best processor ( GT - 8 has taken over now) ..

It adds a new dimension to my music , be it the mandolin or the guitar there is always something new when i plug it into the GT-6. Its had me hooked onto it right from the time i got it and ive been learning something or the other on how to use it ..

Everday there is something which i have not seen before, its just an ocean inside.

Soon i would be on stage accompanied by the Boss and im sure its going to be great fun ..

BOSS Rulez!!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Grey phase

Fears over making it to Germany loomed large ..

Sven-Goran Eriksson said he feared England would fail to qualify for the World Cup following their humiliating defeat to Denmark.
England lost 4-1 in the friendly in Copenhagen in August and the manager admits he was worried the team might not make the trip to Germany if they did not improve.
Eriksson told Sky Sports News: "We had too many players out of form and I stuck with them anyhow - right or wrong I don't know.
"We were worried as well that going on playing like this we would not qualify for the World Cup."
However, Eriksson felt some valuable lessons were learned during the difficult days of the campaign, which included defeat by Northern Ireland.
"We learned that if we don't stick together, if we don't show up as a unit, a team, we are not that good," added Eriksson.
England eventually topped their group - despite the 1-0 defeat in Belfast - and travel to Germany as one of the favourites for the tournament and Eriksson believes he is "very lucky" to be the team's manager.
The 57-year-old will lead England at their third major tournament since his appointment in October 2000 after reaching the quarter-finals at both the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 - before being knocked out by Brazil and Portugal respectively
Eriksson told the Football Association's official website, "I know I am very lucky with the job I have. I have been extremely lucky in my life.
"When I was a young guy, football was my hobby. I tried very hard to be a professional without any success at all.
"But today, what was once a hobby is now my work. So, when I wake up in the morning I never complain about the job I have."
The Swede claims England have a strong team spirit which is based on mutual respect that pervades the entire international set-up.
"Whoever you are dealing with, whether it be a player, a kit man, an administrator, a masseur or a doctor, you must treat people in the same way.
"You don't treat people according to their salary, you treat people because they are people and you want to have a good atmosphere.
"The team spirit is excellent, it couldn't be better. The key is that everyone has to agree that respect for each other is important.
"That goes for everyone, whether it be between me and the players, the players themselves or between the players and the staff.
"`But we have a very good group of players. They are very good young men."

Sources -

Ilayaraja the Maestro

excerpts from an article in which Chennai - based Jazz and carnatic Guitarist Prasanna talks about the genius of his favourite music director .. none other than the Raaja himself ..

“Have you written invertible counterpoint up a tenth?” Raaja (I am taking the liberty to call him affectionately as “Raaja” since he is after all, a “Raaja” in what he does!) has asked me this question a few times– a question I don’t encounter much, at least in India. In an age where most musicians (of course only in India!) spend their time reading the latest software manuals rather than reading books on harmony, counterpoint, orchestration or Carnatic ragas or whatever, Raaja is and has always been an anachronism. I have had several intellectually stimulating musical conversations with Raaja on principles of counterpoint, Bach, Tyagaraja, jazz harmony and much more. (Raaja has often asked me about jazz and I remember how excited Raaja was when I played him great jazz like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’). Raaja’s vast knowledge extends far beyond music. For instance, I have seen him quote passages from “Tirukkural” effortlessly in casual conversation.
In every field of activity, there are a chosen few that transcend their idiom. Let’s face it! Film music is not classical music. By itself, film music as a medium does not have the spiritual depth or artistic dimensions of say, a Tyagaraja pancharatna kriti or a Bach “Musical Offering”. It’s a medium of popular entertainment just the same way pop music is in the west. That DOES NOT however mean that it CANNOT be artistic. (I think readers will get this ‘distinction’ that I am making), it’s just that its scope and purpose is a little different. Raaja has transcended the idiom and brought elements of ‘higher art’ into it while still maintaining the ‘immediate appeal’ that characterizes (and should characterize) a mass medium like film music. It is doubtful if any musician in the world dealing with a popular musical medium (like pop, rock, film music etc) has ever brought in such an immense and breathtaking array of musical vocabulary and has internalized and reflected it in so personal a way. (What can we call Raaja’s music? – Tamil folk melodies meets Carnatic music meets Hindustani music meets 70’s disco music meets Bach meets electronic music meets ……….) What is amazing is that finally it bears a patent/trademark of homegrown Raaja. (It is not Bach, it is not Earth, Wind and Fire, it is not Carnatic music, it is Ilayaraaja.) In my personal opinion, Steely Dan and the later albums of Sting come closest to standing rock solid on musical and artistic sophistication, while still being couched in a ‘commercial’ medium.
I grew up with Raaja’s music and I can clearly see how I can revisit his old songs and find such technical virtuosity in his writing – his unmatched use of chormaticism in ‘Indianish’ melodies, his extensive use of intricate counterpoint, his vast knowledge of Carnatic music, the ‘correctness’ of every chord in his songs and above all the speed with which he composes clearly show that the man is secure, knows exactly what he wants and delivers. Raaja has raised the standards of us, South Indian listeners so much, that there are many of us who never bothered to listen to Hindi songs for e.g.. (we never needed to, right?). He has raised the standards of musicianship to such a high level among studio musicians in Chennai (I realized the huge gulf, when I worked with string players in Bombay for e.g.) that many times I wonder how the musicians even played some of the parts that are there in his music.
I have never heard a guitar even remotely out of tune in Raaja’s songs for example (believe me, that’s very rare in general). I have to make a special mention of Raaja’s use of the electric bass guitar. I have never heard such meticulous written bass parts (its clearly written carefully), as it is in Raaja’s - song after song after song. Mention also to some brilliant acoustic drum work (a lost and ancient art in India) on Raaja’s songs.
I would like to end this article with what Raaja himself told me once (about the limitations of being in the film medium) “Enakku innum niraya ideas irukku. Ithule ellam panna mudiyathu. Ithu Mint Streetille okkanthu Jabam panra mathiri!” (translated as “I have lot more ideas. I may not be able to do all of them in this. It’s like sitting in the middle of Mint Street and meditating”). I am sure we’ll agree that he has meditated exceptionally well on Mint street!

- guitar Prasanna ( )