Isaac Stern no
Isaac Stern was 81 when he died in New York on September 23.
Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome had made playing painful
for the famed violinist, but that didn't stop him from playing
for peace at Jerusalem when the Gulf War broke out in the
1990s. Like with another great violinist Yehudi
Menuhin, but not in the same activist degree, public causes
weren't too distant from music for Stern.
maestro stayed in China for a month in 1979, after
Sino-American relationship was restored. His film Mao to
Mozart won him the Oscar. In the film, he describes what
it takes to "play with the heart".
Stern was known for
his interpretation of the romantic composers. He considered
himself handicapped in not having a strong foundation in the
technique of playing the violin. The instrument, he believed, was an
extension of the voice. But he also held that to interpret a piece
well all one needed was culture and a will.
Born on 21 July 1920 into a Jew family in
Ukraine, from the age of one, he lived in the United States. He
learnt the violin from his mother and gave his first public
performance when he was 13. His parents had fled from the
He recorded over 100 albums, interpreting
over 200 compositions by 63 composers.
Who really wrote 'Tera
A poet from Mumbai says the
film industry has been denying him credit for the songs he
Taabish Romani, in a letter published in the film magazine
Screen, says he wrote the hit song Tera jadoo chal
gaya for the Abhishek Bachan starrer of the same
name, but no credit was given to him in the title cards or on the
tape inlay card. He says another song he wrote for the recent
Ajnabee has been credited to Sameer.
The text of his letter:
"I am a poet-lyricist and I have
worked with most of the music directors in the film industry. To
name a few, with Laxmikanth Pyarelal in K C Bokadia's film
Mohabbat ki Arzoo for which I got a tremendous response
from music lovers. After that I penned the songs for Vashu
Bhagnani's Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya with music director Ismail
Darbar, like the title song Tera jadoo chal gaya and
Chand teri chandni ki kasam. But I have no idea why the
credit for my songs for the film was not given to me.
Once again, the film Ajnabee has one song written by me,
which is being played on different channels while the credit for the
song has been given to Sameer. This time I have lodged a complaint
with Film Writers' Association. The film was released on September
21. I will be grateful if you can make this information available to
the public and make them aware of the truth".
Published on 29 Sep
MIT's free courseware page has music links
Massachussetts Institute of Technology's open courseware page
includes links to pages that talk about courses
on offer, but not much material you can read
MIT's idea of putting online all its
course material has already generated excitement not just among
students but also among those curious about many disciplines but in
no position to take up fulltime courses. Extensive notes on subjects
like architecture, civil engineering and mathematics are already
online, and can be accessed by anyone with an Internet
The music section is combined with MIT's
theatre section, and the courseware page links you
to course outlines and lectures at the premier
Among the courses offered is 'The Music of
India', which teaches ragas and talas through Hindustani
compositions. An introduction to the cultural background of the
music is also part of the course.
The Mellon and Hewlett
Foundations have together granted 11 million dollars to MIT to
launch free course materials on the web.
What is already online is just the first
instalment of free course material, and the institute promies to
upload more material soon.
MIT is clear that it does not want to run correspondence courses. It hopes faculty at colleges and universities around the world will use this material "to develop new curricula and specific courses". Individual learners, MIT says, can use the courseware for "self-study or supplementary use".
Published on 16 Sep
Praise for Sivaji
Tamil News, a site with audio streams, has compiled a
series of homages to Sivaji Ganesan, the 'chevalier' of Tamil cinema
who died last month.
Among the voice streams you can
hear are directors Bharatiraja and Major Sundararajan. Sivaji,
the man who acted out hundreds of hits songs on the Tamil
screen, also got a hero-worshipping homage from Kamala Hasan in
the weekly magazine Outlook . Kamala Hasan wrote the
script for the film Thevar Magan with Sivaji in
mind. Kamal played Sivaji's son in that story about
feudal hostility. Ilaiyaraja's score for Thevar Magan "inspired" a couple of
Hindi tunes later.
Published on 4 Sep
aphorisms in Tamil
is to Karnataka what Thiruvalluvar is to Tamil Nadu. His aphorisms
speak in a language that is simple and direct. Sarvajna
spoke a secular philosophy, offering advice on social
issues, and never praising a sect or deity.
translation of Sarvajna's Kannada work was released in Bangalore on
Sunday, September 2.
Sarvajnar Urraipa is the work
of N Das, who has chosen some 1,000 vachanas of Sarvajna and
rendered them in Tamil. Sarvajna wrote tripadis, a three-line form
that may be loosely compared to the haiku. But while the
haiku thrives on subtle internal rhyme, the tripadi rhymes with
greater force, and is easy to remember and
N Das's book was released by Harnahalli
Ramaswamy, former minister and Congress leader. Prof C Ramaswamy of
Madras University praised the lucidity of the translation. Dharam
Singh, public works minister, promised to help the setting up of a
research institute to promote the work of Sarvajna.
Sarvajna statue is due for unveiling in Chennai, while a
Thiruvalluvar statue is awaiting unveiling in Bangalore. Veerappan,
after kidnapping Rajkumar, had turned the Thiruvalluvar statue
issue into one of his bargaining chips.
cassette of Sarvajna vachanas was released at the book release
ceremony. B V Srinivas is the music composer, and
the singers include Archana Udupa, Badri Prasad and Surekha,
all young and rising talents on the Kannada commercial music
Published on 3 Sep
Khan to act in music video
Alisha Chinai, the Made
in India singer, will get Fardeen Khan for a model in her next
Alisha rose to television fame with Made in
India, a music video full of cliches about the 'Oriental'
charms of India. The queen is looking out for a man. She is unhappy
with men from other countries, and amidst snakes and half-clad
dancers and dowry boxes, chooses a hunk from India! Sanjay F Gupta
is the director of Alisha's video with Fardeen.
Published on 3 Sep
to the editor