Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home

 

Finding the soul of music Sarva Sree Foundation


"Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.” ~Ludwig van Beethoven

Spiritually drunken by music is a state that cannot be explained by words. It was around 2pm when this writer with his weary soul entered “Sarva Sree Foundation” in Banani, Dhaka. In an intricately furnished room he was welcomed with warm smiles from the students and teachers of Sarva Sree. And what he experienced for the next two hours only can be explained with this phrase “Spiritually drunken by music”.

Meghna Ameen established Sarva Sree Foundation, a nonprofit international organization in August 2004. The desire to share the joys and beauties of Carnatic classical music with the rest of the world is the sole purpose of this institute. But before that let us introduce to you what Sarva Sree represents to us, South Indian Classical Music.

Carnatic music or Karnâtaka sangîtam in Sanskrit is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, including the states Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. It is one of two main sub-genres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions; the other sub-genre being Hindustani music, which emerged as a distinct form due to Persian and Islamic influences in North India. In contrast to Hindustani music, the main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music, as most compositions are written to be sung and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in gâyaki (singing) style.

Though the music of the south is much more vibrant and richer than their northern counterpart in the passage of time the Carnatic music didn't get the exposure it deserved. The maestros of southern music were always happy what little they had and that reflects their modesty. So Carnatic music evolves in a way to praise the Gods in the temple collaborating with Bharata Natyam. And still now there is a very limited group of people devoted with this genre of music. But what is beautiful cannot be confined within and south Indian classical music gradually gained popularity. And behind this Padmavivhushan Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna played an important role. He has enriched the world of south Indian classical music with the creation of many new Ragas and nearly four hundred classical compositions.

In Bangladesh the practice of classical music is based on the northern Indian style. It's been so long that this country was unfamiliar with this rare treasure, which was developing for a thousand years just beyond the southern border. To introduce South Indian Carnatic music in Bangladesh Meghna Ameen, one f the disciples and devotees of Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, established '”Sarva Sree Foundation” in August 2004. The name “Sarva Sree” is in Sanskrit one and it's also one of the rare ragas created by Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna. And since then this Foundation has been working relentlessly to promote Southern Indian Classical music in Bangladesh. And all these things are happening in the 5th floor of Rupsha Tower in Banani, Dhaka.

Organized lessons divided into three predominate structures Sangeetha Sarasa, Sangeeta Koumudi and Sangeeta Viditha the learning process depends about 50-50 creativity and re-creativity as it is a composition based system. After every day's lesson, papers and recorded CDs are given to the students so that they can practice at home. The amazing thing to be noted was how mathematical the learning process of music can be. But it is only a part of the process. Embedded with creativity the music is almost surreal.

When one of the student was asked why he chose this music he said, “It is not just the books and the lessons. It is the trust and craving of the heart that makes you to seek the knowledge. Carnatic classical music is a complete package. Where ever you go, whatever the genre you peruse, Tagore, folk, modern or western this will help you superbly because Carnatic music is the best for voice culture”

What “Sarva Sree Foundation” represents as a Carnatic music school is extraordinary. South Indian Classical music or Carnatic music is one of the oldest and best-known musical systems and is pure and majestic in its own way. So if you are interested to learn more about this exquisite art form you are cordially invited to visit www.sarvasree.org or email them at info@sarvasree.org for more information.

By Zabir Hasan

 

 

 


 
 

home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2009 The Daily Star