Saregama, HMV's new avatar, has many
new ideas and surprises
in store. An interview with Chandrika Raman, who manages these new initiatives
India, the Indianised avatar of the grand old music house HMV, has
stepped up its efforts to popularise and market Karnatak
There is currently a
revival of interest in Karnatak music, with the number of rasikas
and those learning the art increasing. Lovers of this art,
including foreigners, non-resident Indians or youth, form
a strong constituency that is encouragement for all those connected
the '80s, Karnatak music suffered a set-back, but now
there is renewed interest and the whole scene has changed", says
Chandrika Raman, Manager, Product/Public Relations, Gramophone
Company of India.
interview with www.themusicmagazine.com
, Chandrika spoke of the new ideas her company is
Saregama is engaged in many projects, ranging from archiving to
appreciation, in collaboration with the Music Academy, Chennai's premier
For starters, Saregama India has taken possession of live concerts
in the Academy. The sabha has agreed to offer first rights to the
audio company for all concerts. Of course, HMV will also have
to negotiate with the individual artiste, but the step is commendable as live recordings
often suffer from poor sound. This is something HMV should
be able to overcome with its experience and
agreement does not cover concerts organised by other sabhas or
institutions in the Music Academy premises.
major initiative is to tap the rich archives of music available with
the Music Academy. Under a memorandum of understanding signed
recently, the company will acquire the rights to the spool
tapes available with the academy, convert them into CDs and then
While other companies have already launched similar projects, the advantage
for HMV lies in the huge repertoire of the Music Academy.
Chandrika says the effort will involve anything from 800 to 1,000
has its own clean-up equipment and does not have to go outside for
Appreciation of Karnatak music is
another priority area. Vedavalli's Manodharma Sangeetham series and
other such titles, aimed at the music student, are doing very well
in the market, says Chandrika.
packs are another new idea. These bring together artistes
belonging to different generations. A five CD pack on Shyama Sastry
compositions is already out. M S Subbulakshmi, Semmangudi Srinivasa
Iyer, D K Jayaraman, D K Pattammal, Balamurali -- the list of singers reads
like a "who's who" in Karnatak music. Younger musicians too are
such pack presents flute recitals, while the mridangam is
featured in yet another.
Chandrika senses other needs.
Sometimes when people listen to a short Todi by a particular
artiste, they want to listen to the whole raga alapana. They call
her up and ask if the unedited version is available. She now
plans to explore this idea and see if such cassettes can be brought
out for the connoisseur. "I have to work on this idea still", she
cautions with a smile!
has also started publishing booklets on various artistes, listing
out their songs brought out by the company. Instead of scanning rows
and rows of cassettes to look for what they want, listeners can now
check out these booklets to identify cassettes and CDs they want to
the dynamic Chandrika and her team of classical music
experts plan to keep the excitement high!