Raam’s SAMYO diary

Raam with fellow SAMYO members during the CD recording

Image: Raam with fellow SAMYO members during the CD recording

Each month, SAMYO member Raam Jaganathan will be sending us a SAMYO DIARY, and stories of his experiences in music. In this first edition, he tells us of reunions, recordings and role models!


February 2013

SAMYO‘s first reunion of 2013 was on 27th January,  and the start of the countdown to our SAMYO10 Concert. I’m sure everyone was raring to go! We started by learning an existing SAMYO composition, by our Principal Conductor Gaurav Mazumdar. Some of the SAMYO members already knew it, and we’re playing it with the NYJC at SAMYO10. It’s called Samsara, and I find it pretty cool. Though almost all of us playing it joined in 2012 but we had got the hang of the piece and had completed it by lunch; it sounded good!

We then started the afternoon with Lalgudi’s Jayaraman’s Varnam Medley, arranged by MUSIC INDIA tutor Lalgudi GJR KrishnanJi.  These popular varnams are loved by lots of musicians in SAMYO and together, the piece sounded wonderful! We then ended the afternoon with 3 out RanajitJi’s  (Ranajit Sengupta) 4 compositions: Kid, Lullaby and Homage. Even though we learnt them all several months ago at MUSIC INDIA 2012, they sounded great.

Twitter SAMYO reunion

 Image: Reunion with NYJC, rehearsing Samsara.

March 2013

Since then SAMYO have done a lot! Our rehearsal on the 10th went well and we all spent most of our half term in Ilford at St Margaret’s Church Hall to do our CD recording. The days were very long and tiring, but the experience was definitely rewarding! After setting up on the first day, we learnt some new pieces: ‘A Tribute to Pandit Ravi Shankar’  and one inspired by  ‘Hans Zimmer’s Palm Tree Escape’! Both pieces are amazing! Our studio wasn’t exactly what you’d think a studio was…it was a lot different.

Recording SAMYO

We recorded the new pieces along with RanajitJi’s. The recording was quite funny. Everyone was absolutely silent and if you made a mistake, the rest showed no mercy!  I listened to the songs and honestly, I was stunned that it was SAMYO!

Image: Recording TEN at St Margarets Church Hall

Later that week we rehearsed Samsara with the NYJC back at  Patidar House in Wembley, and it sounded phenomenal. For the first time I could not hear the flutes, violins or Mridangams in a rehearsal! The Jazz group were awesome, though a bit too loud.

For photos, check Milapfest’s Twitter and Facebook pages!



Since joining SAMYO, my musical knowledge has expanded and my taste for Hindustani and Carnatic music has grown! Despite being a Carnatic musician, it’s definitely helpful learning more about Hindustani Music as your knowledge improves and your performances improve through the incorporation of new styles. Also it benefits in rehearsals when we’re playing a Hindustani piece.

In my first write-up, I’ve chosen to share a concert by Grammy nominated Anosuhka Shankar. This is a video of her concert in July 2012, in France. Along with her, there are other instrumentalists, including former TARANG and SAMYO member Pirashanna Thevarajah (who performs the entire concert)! Pirashanna shows how amazing he is on all 4 Carnatic percussion instruments, as well as voice! He’s definitely a role model to look up to for us! He’s been performing with Anoushka Shankar regularly and he also performed with the late legend of Indian Music, Pandit Ravi Shankar. In the video, I love the last song which is in Raag Jog and is set to Adi Taal (8 beat cycle). The solos are stunning.


With less than 2 weeks left, the entire orchestra is looking forward to the SAMYO10 concert! I’ll let you know how our concert went in next month’s blog, along with a new music recommendation in “HAVE YOU HEARD?”!

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 the SAMYO10 anniversary concert on March 16th 2013.

Have you got a SAMYO story you’d like to share with us? E-mail lisa@milapfest.com and we’ll feature your story on the SAMYO blog!

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