‘My Video Playlist’ – Flute Jayanth
Jayanth is the most sought after carnatic flautist of his generation. A prodigy, affectionately called Flute Jayanth by thousands, is a young musician of national and international repute. Born in a musical family, he was naturally drawn into early training on bamboo flute in the Indian classical music tradition of guru-shishya parampara, since the tender age of five, from his grandfather and guru, late Kalaimamani Flute T. S. Sankaran, a Sangeeth Natak Academy awardee himself and a prime disciple of the legendary Flute Mali. His grandmother, late vidushi V. S. Sundari grounded him well in vocal music by the age of four.
With his in-born talent, deep passion and primordial training, Flute Jayanth gave his maiden solo concert at the age of seven. His ability to play rAgam-thAnam-pallavi (or, RTP) in three speeds (or, thrikAlam) at that age, surprised many senior musicians, co-artistes and audience alike.
Jayanth has a unique, virtuoso fingering and flute blowing technique to present his music beautifully even in the very difficult lower octaves on the bass and double-bass, thick-walled bamboo flutes, while maintaining shruthi suddham (perfect pitching) and excellent tonal quality. His expressive, bhava-laden rendering brings out the depth and soul of the lyrical aspects of compositions he presents (gayaki-form). As a result, Flute Jayanth’s over 1600 solo concerts in India and all over the world, have consistently won him lasting appreciation from one and all, including senior musicians, co-artistes, connoisseurs and rasikas (or, music lovers). His unique playing virtuosity and lyrical expressivity have inspired many flautists of the current generation and the younger crop to imbibe his style.
Flute Jayanth has many audio CD albums, online digital albums, online concert videos and DVD’s to his credit (https://facebook.com/flutejayanth :: https://www.youtube.com/user/flutejayanth )
Flute Jayanth’s Picks:
Q: What is the concert/recording/track you listen to the most? And why?
A: This concert of Pt. Hariprasad chaurasia along with Ustad Zakir Hussain from the year 1993 is sheer magic. I listen to this almost every other day for the sheer brilliance of the both the musicians and the manner in which they push their limits as though they are in a quest to achieve the impossible with their respective instruments. The more you listen, more the discovery and the more you want to practise harder only to realize sky is the limit.
Q: Which artists do you watch for inspiration? What do you like about those tracks / artists / concerts?
A: There are so many of them that inspire.Some, you watch knowing you can draw inspiration from, some surprise you with their ability, skills, depth in music and you get inspired. Any form of music expressed with honesty inspires me endlessly. Would like to share a link of Nusrat Fateh Ali khan singing “Afreen”.
Another artiste who inspires me is Mandolin Srinivas ji.
Q: Can you recommend a Carnatic music track that inspires you the most? Why?
A: It is very tough to pick one. There are SO many of them. Let me pick one on the vocals and one on an instrument.
This is a RAGAM THANAM PALLAVI in the carnatic raga Nattakurinji presented by the doyen of carnatic music Sri G.N.Balasubramanian along with violin wizard M.S.Gopalakrishnan and Legendary Mridangam artiste C.S.Murugaboopathi. The Alaap, thanam and the pallavi is sheer bliss.The manner in which both the artistes build on the Raga Alaap is a lesson in itself. Though the recording quality isn’t great, it is some of the best stock of music available in recorded format.
The last and the only video concert of legendary Flute T.R.Mahalingam available on the internet. Though his health deterioarted substantially by then, this concert is something I value the most. I probably have watched the entire concert over thousand times and know the music as well the series of happenings in the video word by word. Just to get to see my HERO in action along with my grand father sitting besides him makes this my favourite concert since my childhood. His tonal quality remains unmatched.
Q: Can you share any concerts of Film composers, or an album, or a classical artists concert which you like? Why?
A: An album composed by the Genius film composer Illayaraja and performed by Pt. Hariprasad chaurasia titled ” Nothing But Wind” is my favourite album of a film composer.
I am also a huge fan of Indian film composers like K.V.Mahadevan, Naushad, Salil chaudhary, S.D.Burman, A.R.Rehman, Lakhmikanth- Pyarelal duo.
Q: Tell us about another vocalist or film composer from outside the Indian genre that you like?
A: I love the Beatles, I love composer Yanni’s works. I was a huge fan of Micheal Jackson!
Q: Can you share a video which demonstrates a great interaction between two artists on stage, something that inspires you?
A: Has to be this between Pt. Shivkumar Sharma and Ustad Zakir hussain.
It feels like they are talking to each other through music. And the connect is absolutely divine.
Q: Recommend a great vocal music concert or recording.
A: I shall give three recommendations from three different indian music genres. These tracks are a must listen. Bade ghulam ali khan sahab’s Bhor Bhayi:
Bharat Ratna M.S.Subbulakshmi ji’s Rendition of Bhairavi ( carnatic ) varnam:
Third is Shri Jithendra Abhisheki ji’s Laagi Khalejwa Katar:
Q: Can you share a concert ore recording from non-Indian music that inspires you?
A: Again, there are so many of them. Something that comes to my mind right away is – Chopin- one of the greatest composers in western classical music – I listen to this so often.
Q: Can you share some videos of your guru and contemporaries – One from your guru, and tell us about it
A: I am blessed to have two amazing gurus. I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from them. I owe all my musical abilities to both of them. My grand dad Late Sri T.S.Sankaran was my first guru. A flautist par excellence, his concert recording from 1998 is one of my favourites.
This rendition of Raga Kapi always makes me every emotional. I learnt this alaap by watching this over hundred times, surprised my grand dad by playing the exact version to persuade him to teach me more when I was 6 years old. In classes with Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri Sanjay Subrahmanyan, he would sing and teach. I would reproduce them on my flute. Every class, every minute spent is so precious. I am addicted to this track of his; it is ethereal.
Q: What are you doing next?
A: Ever since the lockdown – I have had so much time to practise and reinvent myself, both musically and on a personal front. There have been lots of recordings and online festivals that have kept me quite busy. One such that am very blessed to have been a part of is The Flute Festival organised by Pt. Rajendra prasanna ji in memory of his father, the legendary guru Pt. Raghunath Prasanna ji.