“My initial tryst with music began through my mother, who was a passionate singer. Intrigued by her singing, I went to classes with her and slowly but steadily, I started to imbibe the art form. But shortly after this, I developed some problems with my vocal chords and lost my ability to sing. This was a curve ball we weren’t quite prepared for, though it ultimately proved to be temporary, thankfully.
In my mother’s attempt to have me continue music, even though I could no longer sing, I was put to train under the great violin virtuoso Sri. Lalgudi Jayaraman. He had me train with one of his senior students, violinist Vid. Padma Shankar for a year before accepting me under his direct tutelage. Whatever I am today, I owe to my guru. One, for his invaluable teachings and the other, for the level of dedication he held toward the art form and towards imparting knowledge of it to his disciples.
I graduated as a master of arts in economics with top honours, as I parallelly started to give concerts in different parts of the world. It was during this time that I was presented with an opportunity from the Oxford University to potentially do a doctorate program there.
It was a crucial decision, as there would no turning back once I chose either option. But I decided, not for the first time, to just pursue my art – violin. My time with my guru by then, was also very limited as his old age and ill health were fast catching up with him; and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it any other way. Being a full time artist comes with its own set of challenges but after a long and tiring day, it is still my violin I go back to.
Apart from my regular concerts, I am also currently working on a collaboration with three other musicians titled ‘A Carnatic Quartet’ where we are exploring different styles of music together in an attempt to produce a cohesive instrumental sound. I am also working with my partner, percussionist Praveen Sparsh, on conducting music outreach programs for underprivileged children through different government schools and NGO’s. Praveen and I also just completed our UK tour, under the banner ‘AAVAAM | we two’.
To be an artist is a lifelong experiment and I am fortunate to be experiencing this.”
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