The Great British Gharana – SAMYO: Ramshanker Sathianarayanan Profile
Ramshanker Sathianarayanan – Orchestra Conductor & Composer
The Great British Gharana: SAMYO
Saturday 23 March – Southbank Centre, London
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Six years ago, Ramshanker Sathianarayanan was a software engineer in India who was dreaming about making music his full time job. Whilst he was filling up his spare time with musical projects, such as arranging music for films and releasing independent tracks, it was when he was introduced to Milapfest that he was able to transition into working in music full-time. Ram was introduced to the organisation by Girishh Gopalakrishnan, a long-time collaborator with our ensembles, including SAMYO, the National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music. Ram found the concept of an Indian classical orchestra “new and fascinating” and couldn’t wait to get involved. He began by producing notations for the SAMYO’s repertoire but his big leap was when he was asked to arrange a piece for them to play. “It was such a beautiful piece, and I just loved arranging it”, Ram says. “I was really happy when Girishh told me that it was received very well, and even more so, when I found out it had been featured on the album “SAMYO – TEN”. From there, Ram’s association with SAMYO grew. In 2016, he was invited to be a guest composer/arranger at their annual training retreat, Music India, and in 2018 he conducted them on stage for their concert FIRE in London. He is now their full-time composer and conductor.
For Ram, the best thing about working with SAMYO is getting to share his music with them. He is a huge fan of the “SAMYO sound” which, in his words, “is nothing like what’s been heard before [leaving] infinite scope for experimentation”. He has found sharing his work with the orchestra an enriching experience and is thankful for all the ways in which these young, talented musicians have taught in so much.Their upcoming concert at London’s Southbank Centre is also a cause for excitement for the young composer. “Every year, we try to bring Fresh music to the table, and this year is no exception! The audience can definitely expect music that they’ve never heard before, in terms of composition, sound and experience”, he says.
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