Spotlight: India

Milap, Lalgudi Trust Celebrate India’s Hindustani & Carnatic Icon

– A 3-hour performance showcase of India’s rich heritage on YouTube channel.
– Lalgudi Trust presents celebration supported by Ministry of Culture, Government of India; South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur; and Kalakendra.

Lalgudi Trust celebrates Indian icon's 90th birth anniversary. Image courtesy of Milap Production. Music Press Asia

Lalgudi Trust celebrates Indian icon's 90th birth anniversary. Image courtesy of Milap Production. Music Press Asia

Maestro musician Lalgudi G Jayaraman is one of India’s most recent classical music contributor. A trailblazing performer, composer and teacher, Lalgudi has left behind an incredible body of compositions and a host of distinguished artists that he mentored over the years. And on 17 September 2020, Lalgudi G Jayaraman would have been 90 years old.

As part of the Sri Lalgudi 90th Birthday Celebrations Online, UK’s leading Indian Arts & Culture company — MILAP — in association with the Lalgudi Trust, assembled an extraordinary ensemble of Indian virtuosos to record a unique version of one of his masterpieces.

Over the last two weeks, its YouTube channel featured top Indian musicians in a tribute to Lalgudi in this historic project titled “The Thillana”. Its latest new music video (below) was premiered two days ago on Lalgudi Jayaraman – God of Violin YouTube channel, featuring an array of classical Indian instruments and vocal styles from both the Carnatic and Hindustani music traditions.

Alok Nayak, Director of Milap commented: “The life and music of Lalgudi Jayaraman touches everyone connected to Indian music, and we’ve always enjoyed listening to his work, meeting musicians shaped by him and hearing about his influence. We have especially enjoyed working with Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, who over the years have given so much to Milap’s audiences, students and artists. We have loved taking the opportunity to work on this project, and can’t wait to continue the celebrations of his 90th birthday by sharing how much he meant to the world.”

Music is arranged by composer Girishh Gopalakrishnan, with the renowned artists Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi – all disciples of Lalgudi Jayaraman. It is produced by Milap, the International Indian Arts & Culture company, based in the UK and carried out on behalf of the Lalgudi Trust, Chennai.

 Lalgudi GJR Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi commented: “His music was much ahead of its time. It touched the hearts of young and old music lovers alike, the world over. His compositions are timeless and celebrated by both musicians and dancers. The Thillana has been our fond dream. We are excited that this is coming true with the support of Milap. Our profuse thanks to the brilliant Carnatic and Hindustani wizards who have come together to perform this electrifying composition as a tribute to our Guru.”

So, what is Carnatic Music? Carnatic music is a part of the culture of millions of Indians around the world. For many of them – practising musicians, dancers and art lovers – Lalgudi G Jayaraman’s repertoire of work plays a central role. He composed countless Thillanas (a rhythmic piece in Carnatic music, generally performed at the end of a concert and widely used in classical indian dance performances), and this new video will showcase one of his greatest contributions – an iconic, instantly recognisable melody.

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