We, the Carnatica Brothers K.N.Shashikiran & P.Ganesh, are South Indian Classical duo singers. We live in Chennai, but hop around the world for most part of the year, performing concerts, lecture demonstrations, conducting workshops and camps and teaching our students around the world! If you'd like to contact us for performances or if you'd just like to say hi, feel free to mail us at carnaticabrothersatgmaildotcom! :)
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Quantity Vs. Quality

While the quantity vs. quality debate has always held center stage in business management, it seems to be growing in relevance in Carnatic music too. Has the increasing number of concerts diluted their quality? As I thought about it, I found that two sides of me emerged:

Shashi: Do you realize many musicians are singing more than 15 concerts this month?

Kiran: Yeah, but having chosen music as their profession, why not? Concerts aren’t as long as they used to be, they’re only about 2 hours long. So singing so many concerts is an ideal test for a performer’s strength and stamina.

Shashi: Yes, in fact our musicians manage back-to-back concerts even in the U.S., where they have very hectic travel itineraries, vastly different climates from one city to another and a broad variety of tastes to cater to. But singing one concert almost everyday during Margazhi is no easy task.

Kiran: Does it tell on the quality of the concerts? What do you think? Even if musicians manage not to repeat songs, their mental agility may reduce. It’s inevitable.

Shashi: Well, not necessarily. And you can’t generalize. There are some people who are sticklers to the ‘more the merrier’ policy. There are others who think quality and quantity are inversely proportional. Quite debatable, really.

Kiran: Vocalist Sudha Ragunathan, who has been a popular performer for more than two decades now, says that it’s definitely not an easy task to maintain the same quality. But she puts in the same effort, focus and concentration for all her concerts during the season. She says it involves a high degree of mental alertness and that experience and maturity help fill the gap caused by mental fatigue.

Shashi: The interesting thing is that many of these concerts are within a radius of 2 km. The same audience probably attends several performances of a particular artiste. A challenging task to keep the audience from getting bored!

Kiran: Yes, that is why musicians must keep expanding their repertoire. It definitely helps to surprise your audience with a few rare, long-forgotten, or new songs every concert!

Shashi: You’re right. In fact, vocalist Gayathri Venkataraghavan says that in addition to learning new songs, she prepares new ragam-tanam-pallavis for the season.

Kiran: On-the-spot creativity and the ability to feel the pulse of the audience also help in maintaining the high quality consistently. Even if a musician repeats a raga that he sang in a previous concert, the alapana can be sung differently, or a different song in the same raga can be sung.

Shashi: Yes, and even if the same song is sung, the manodharma aspects can be embellished differently in each concert.

Kiran: Correct. Vocalist Sudha Ragunathan says that she likes experimenting with varieties of sarvalaghu and kanakku patterns in her swaras. “Even if I get into a tight corner, I try to work myself out of it. If I’m successful, the satisfaction is immeasurable!”

Shashi: Creativity is the sine-qua-non for any musician. But what with the unrelenting cold weather during Margazhi, the voice tends to wear out. It definitely takes a lot of effort to keep the voice in great shape throughout.

Kiran: Some musicians even cancel their concerts because of voice fatigue. One way to prevent this would be to decrease the number of concerts they perform. Consciously accepting fewer concerts is definitely a good remedy.

Shashi: Perhaps Carnatic musicians should have their own professional concert management teams, or voice fitness gurus, to review every concert, offer suggestions on voice maintenance and help them maintain quality through the season! What say?



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Welcome to the Carnatica Brothers' blog!

Read our views on various music-related issues, get updates on our concert schedule and see our latest photos. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to listen to our music. Comment on the blog posts and keep in touch with us through our blog!

Concert Schedule

  • July 29th - Aug 26th (Mon-Fri) - Carnatic Summer Course (Middlesex Community College)
  • Aug 14th - Aug 16th - Chicago (Workshop for Akshaya)
  • Aug 27th - Sept 11th - Carnatic Summer Camp (Novi, Michigan)
  • Sept 12th - World Peace Concert (Detroit)
  • Sept 18th - Oct 13th - Europe tour (Details will be put up soon!)

Tracks from our albums

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Shashikiran's solo renditions & his musical score for the dance-drama 'Silappadikaram'

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Concert Recordings

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