TT News Updates,
Team Udayavani, 6 October 2022, 6:15 am IST
Why Udupi? What are cultural events? The whole country and the world were watching in all fields for two or three years. For the first time in recent times, Ganga K. was recently installed in the Rajangana of Sri Krishna Math in Udupi by the grace of Sri Vidyasagartirtha Sripad of Parya Krishnapur Math. Pati M. for the memorial of Rao. Sponsored by Keshav Rao and Sons, renowned Veena player Rajesh Dr. from Chennai to recall Chittibabu’s Veena virtuosity after many years. The audience was crowded in his Veena office.
Rajesh Prakash, who grew up in Chittibabu’s garodi, like Chittibabu, gave the listeners captivating tunes along with the natural sound of the veena. A voice that was once at a low level suddenly rises to a higher level, playing to communicate with the audience, playing at a fast tempo instead of the usual slow playing of the harp, which the doctor finds surprising. That is why he is at the forefront of artists who are progressing at the international level. In an interview with Udayavani, Rajesh Vaidya said, “My veena strings are of my own design. This is a mystery. It cannot be said. Are people happy? Or don’t ask his secret again.’ Here is a transcript of the interview:
Your father Vaidyanathan was a famous mridanga and ghata player. How did you get attracted to Veena?
My mother Vasantha was a singer. With his encouragement I started playing the veena.
Don’t you play traditional and innovative? How was it received by the public?
Can’t you see that people are happy? Under the guidance of my guru Chittibabu, I have made changes according to modernity.
What is your Saraswati Veena Zenkara Tantra? There are many bunnies playing the harp, which ones are you?
I have my own strategy. The harp strings I play are specially made for this. They fit my personality. My chittibabu veena style. My harp strings are electric and amplified. Apart from Chittibabu, I also imbibed the style of L. Shankar. I have also played the harp with Michael Jackson. Participated in the international album “Playing for Change”.
What is your approach to popularize Carnatic music in North India where Carnatic music is rare? What are your plans to popularize Veena among foreigners?
Who says veena is rare in North India? I have been participating in many Jugalbandi programs. Abroad, young men/women of foreign origin besides people of Indian origin are attracted to Veena. Many students of foreign origin (European/American) are taking online or offline lessons whenever they get the chance. Conducting workshops to create awareness about Carnatic music in western countries as well.
You have also ventured into film industry. What is the new movie? Album popularity?
I am the music director of the Tamil film Shot Boot 3. So far 52 albums have been produced which are popular.
A minute song – a record of a thousand days
Rajesh Doctor holds the world record of narrating 1000 days of one minute song in one day.
– Matapadi Kumaraswamy