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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Pride and Prejudice

Yet another music season has come and gone. And this season, like any other in the past few years, was proof to the fact Carnatic music has choices aplenty – in terms of both sabhas and performers. In fact, the choices are so wide and delectable that rasikas have a tough time deciding which sabhas to go to and which concerts to attend! This overwhelming response of the rasikas (notwithstanding these recessionary times) is a good, nay great, sign for Carnatic music. Yet, it makes me wonder if only the “idols” constitute Carnatic music!

The handful of concerts that we had of great musicians also drew sizeable crowds. But, these were crowds that came more out of their curiosity than out of their knowledge of the music of these veterans. (Here I’m not referring to die-hard rasikas who have been attending concerts of musicians like Parasala Ponnamma, R.K.Srikantan, Rama Ravi, et al regularly.)

This past season, I hardly had time to attend any concerts, since I was performing almost every day, besides organizing. But of the ones I did attend, Nedanuri’s lec-dem was undoubtedly the best moments of the season for me. His musical expression belied his age. The regard that has for his gurus and past masters would make any musician feel humbled. His elegance and grace in handling ragas like Manirangu has to be heard to be believed. After his lec-dem I felt I should probably stop singing for a few years - there is so much to be learnt from his music!

That evening, I couldn’t resist the urge to meet him. So I went. And spent an hour with him. I was amazed by his simplicity – he offered to accept me as his disciple!

When I see artistes like him, I wonder why we create so much hype about mediocrity these days. I say this because, although the hall was packed during Nedaurai mama’s lec-dem, there was nothing was written about him in the newspapers/ online forums. Yet, hype or no hype, I’m not likely to ever forget the precious moments I spent with him and in his lec-dem.

As for me and my season as a musician, I wonder what I’m doing here! Every year, I put in 6 to 8 hours of practice daily, apart from teaching for several hours and working on promoting our music. A lot of people ask me why I have to work on so many promotional activities. Here’s my answer to them – singing concerts alone is just great, but I, as a musician, feel selfish if I do only that. Music has given me a lot and I want to be a humble servant – by reaching out to as many people as possible, the various glorious aspects of this great art form, for which several great masters have dedicated their lives.

I’m happy that I’m not in the limelight because it makes me work harder and grow musically. At times, however, I feel like I’m in Trishanku Swargam, being bracketed neither in the “seniors” category, nor in the “young talents” category. I have heard people questioning my commitment and integrity, and passing remarks like “He’s making music commercial”, “It’s a business for him”, “He’s exploiting students”, “He invites Mr.Sundaram to events so that he can go to Cleveland” and brushing aside my efforts on stage with comments like “He’s a businessman who also sings”, “If only he concentrated only on music, he’d do better”. But what keeps me going is my passion for music.

Very often I have thought about stopping performing – there is too much ego and unhealthy competition, and more often than not, biased views from different quarters. When I say this, people may wonder why I chose music as my profession if I cannot handle such biased opinions. Oh yes, I can! I’m happy to face this and more, but I would also like to see a metamorphosis in the thinking of practitioners and listeners; I want to see the growth of a healthy community. The bottomline should be truth and honesty – and this is sine-qua-non for preserving the values of this art.

I probably sound like I’m insecure. Let me assure you, I’m far from it. I’m happy being where I am in the music world. But I do want to see this art grow beyond attention on individuals, including me. There are rasikas who are beyond any of these biases. They enjoy music for what it is. They don’t necessarily come and praise the performers after every concert. But as a performer, I _feel_ their presence in almost all concerts.

There are artistes who continue to learn and don’t bother about what they get out of performing. These are the people that I look up to, as inspirations. This new year, I’m not sure about many things, except for the fact that I will work doubly hard – to grow more, inwardly. At the same time, I would be happy to propagate the values of this art form to more and more fellow forms, world over, in my own humble way. After all, small drops make an ocean.


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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