Raam’s SAMYO Diary

Posted on by Alok Nayak

May 2013

Each month, SAMYO member Raam Jaganathan will be sending us a SAMYO DIARY, and stories of his experiences in music.

In this third update, Raam tells us all about his experiences at Music India – Spring Edition – a weekend training event for all SAMYO musicians. 


Saturday 13th April

It was the first time we met as an orchestra after the amazing SAMYO10 Concert. Honestly, I could not believe it had already been a month! We were privileged to have the presence of an accomplished artist, Dr Rajeeb Chakraborty, a Sarod artist. Rajeebji was a wonderful teacher and I definitely learnt a lot from the weekend. The Saturday started with difficult and complex rhythms, using Swaras, set to the 8 beat cycle of Adi Taal. We had to play the scale to the cycle, but in different sequences, in order for the percussion and melody to confuse each other. Rajeebji also strengthened our individual grasp by making use individually recite the cycle. After a good morning session, we split up into two and worked with Pete Moser (a wonderful Western composer) and Rajeebji. We worked on creating compositions through collective improvisation. With Rajeebji, we made up a piece in Kalyani (Yaman). It sounded really good! Whilst working with Pete, we created abstract pieces with a structure, representing urban and jungle life. And with that, our first day ended.
photo 2
Drawing Compositions, with Pete Moser of More Music Morecambe

Sunday 14th April

The second day started energetically with Prathapji. We worked on playing scales with speed but to Adi Taal. After working a good session, we worked in small groups, creating small melodies which fitted to small cycles. After long thoughts and very little practise (and becoming stressed) we performed them, some better than others. In the afternoon, we were treated to a Jugalbandhi and a lesson on improvisation though a performance from Kosuicji, Rajeebji and Prathpji. They performed a wonderful composition with dominant Hindustani techniques but featuring some Carnatic aspects. We were then encouraged to compose collectively, and after a large amount of forcing we created a piece in Kharaharapriya, led by flautist Praveen. We individually improvised within the piece, accompanied by Kousicji, Sugen (Mridangam) and Koustuv (Tabla). The weekend then ended with a session on Tihais (endings) from Kousicji. He went through it in detail, enabling us to fully understand how to apply it in every cycle.
Now, I look forward to Music India! I cannot wait to be spending a week in the musical atmosphere, with the some of Indian music’s great current artists.


In April, the world of Carnatic Music lost a living legend, Sri Lalgudi G.Jayarman. The stalwart was the greatest ever violinist to ever grace the art form and has composed a huge amount of beautiful songs, in a variety of Ragas and Talas. His music will forever continue to inspire generations. In my view, his compositions have motivated me to improve my confidence in Talas through mastering the phrases, especially in his Thillanas. With his renowned students including top artists Bombay Jayshree and Lalgudi GJR Krishnan (our past and current Music India Tutors), Lalgudi Jayaraman’s legacy will definitely last forever.
As a tribute, I have decided to share a performance by Lalgudi Jayaraman alongside his son GJR Krishnan (Violin), the legendary Karaikkudi Mani (Mridangam) and late G.Harishankar, the Kanjira’s greatest ever artist.
The song is a Thillana, composed by the maestro himself in Yamuna Kalyani, set to Misra Chapu (7 beat cycle).

I hope you enjoy the video and I’ll be back next month with more ‘HAVE YOU HEARD’!
Here’s the link
Raam Jeganathan has been a SAMYO member since April 2012, when he joined in our national auditions. He quickly became an integral part of the team, performing in the Alchemy Festival in April last year, and in SAMYO Too concerts throughout the year. Look out for the mini film about Raam in our series of documentaries to mark the anniversary. Hear Raam play Veena at SAMYO concerts around the country!

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