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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We've had a wonderful time in the US for the past two months. It's been very hectic - we'v been running from one airport to another, hopping from one city to the next, performing back-to-back concerts, teaching our students online whenever we found the time, collaborating with musicians in the US, sleeping about 3 hours every day on an average, meeting people and making friends - and it was great fun! Thanks to all our hosts, the organizers, the rasikas, our fans and well-wishers for making our tour memorable! We'll be back again in the US later this year! :)

In this post, we're going to let the rasikas do the talking. Here's some feedback we received from a couple of organizers. We'll put up more as and when we receive them.

28th March, Corvallis:

Corvallis Aaradhana and Music Festival (2009) organized by the Corvallis Aaradhana Committee, in Coravallis OR, was a day of superior music. Led by the legendary Mridangam Vidwan Sri. Guruvayur Dorai and the very talented Carnatica brothers (KN Shashi Kiran and Ganesh Sudarshan), the Pancharatna kritis were rendered in good unison. This was followed by many music enthusiasts paying their homage to great composers like Sri Thyagaraja, Sri Purandara Dasa, and Maharaja Sri Swati Thirunal. The real treat for the locals was the rarity of Sri Dorai voicing the Pancharatnas, rather than drumming to them.

The three-part homage concluded with a feast from Carnatica Brothers accompanied by Sri. Raman Iyer on Violin and Kalaimamani. Sri. Guruvayur Dorai. It was truly a one-of-its-kind concert for two reasons: first, the brothers made it a very interactive concert for the public, singing to most of their choices; second, they stuck to the authentic, traditional style of rendition, which the audience was looking forward to.

Starting off with a well-paced “Sri Vigna Rajam Bhaje”, in Gambheera Nattai by Oothukaddu Venkata Subbaiyer, the brothers then sang “Theliya leru Raama” in Dhenuka, followed by raagam, neraval and swarams for Thyagaraja keerthana “Rama Nee Samanamevaru” in KaraharaPriya. Then the Khamas raagam, requested by the audience was painted beautifully leading to a very bhava-bharita rendition of the keertana “Brochevaarevarura”.

The main item was the Rangam Taanam Pallavi, “Shobhillu Saptaswara”, in JaganMohini (raagam chosen by the audience). With an Anagatha Eduppu and extremely good timing on the Anulomam and the Pratilomam, the brothers showed their command over the Raagam, Taalam and the theory of Pallavi Singing. The Raagamalika Pallavi was well-supported on the Violin by Sri. Raman Iyer from Seattle. The audience then got their cream on the pudding when they watched Mridangam make divine music, during Sri. Dorai’s Tani-Avarthanam. The concert concluded with Tukkdas including “Bho Shambo” in Revati and a “Kaavadi Chindu”. Overall, the brothers demonstrated their exemplary knowledge of technique, variety, and clarity of diction. Between the two, the brothers can fully scale three octaves. They have well comprehended their strong points and support each other extremely well, something that other duos do not necessarily do. The able accompanists further elevated the concert experience. There were many “Aha” moments in the concert, with a very good balance of Manodharma and Janaranjaka pieces.

Though the acoustics of the hall was not ideal for a concert, the Corvallis Aaradhana Committee did a great job in managing the event logistics. What started off as a cold rainy day and a long drive for some, ended as a warm, satisfying evening; a wedding feast if you might say, nothing that you would want to change.

March 15th, New York:

Song List

1. Varnam: Chalamela, Natakurinji
2. Devadeva Kalayami, Mayamalavagowla, Swati Tirunal
3. Sarasiruhasana priye, Naata, Puliyoor (Pallavi) Duraiswamy Iyer
4. Amba Kamakshi, Yadukula Kambhoji, Shyama Sastry
5. Niravadi sukhada, Ravichandrika, Thyagaraja
6. Narayana ninna naamada, Suddha Dhanyasi, Purandaradasa
7. Kapali, Mohanam, Papanasam Sivan
8. RTP Saraswathi Pallavi: Shruti Laya Nivasini Saraswathi Shaarade Vidyaprade
9. Sree varalakshmi namastubhyam, Sreeragam, Dikshitar
10.Alaipaayude, Kanada, Oothukadu
11.Ranjani mridu pankajalochani, Ranjani ragamalika, Thanjavur Shankara Iyer
12.English note, Harikeshanallur Mutayyah Bhagavatar

Shruti Laya opened its 2009 season with a grand concert by the Carnatica Brothers Sri. Shashikiran and Sri.Ganesh, accompanied by Sri.Jayshankar Balan on the Violin, and Sri.Guruvayur Durai on the Mridangam.

The brothers' interactive concert style grabbed the audience's attention right from the beginning. Most unusually for musicians at their level,they encourage the audience to submit requests! They then asked the audience to vote for the varnam to start with, and started with the popular favourite, Natakurinji! This was followed by Swati Tirunal's "Deva Deva kalayami" in Mayamalavagowla. During the swarakalpana phase of this kriti, Ganesh sang all the sarali varisai to keep the youngsters hooked.

The unique feature of this concert was that every single song rendered was from a different composer (see song list). Sri.Shashi Kiran and Sri.Ganesh took care to bring out the special flavour of each composer. From the gentle unhurried notes of "Amba Kaamakshi" (Yadukula Kambhoji, Shyama Sastri), each phrase dripping with bhakti, to the highly energetic Niravadi Sukhada (Ravichandrika, Thyagaraja), the audience was mesmerized at every turn. The main ragam for the evening was Mohanam, with an elaborate aalapana. Just when everyone was expecting a Tanam to follow, Shashikiran took a vote between the requests he got for this ragam, and went with the audience choice of Kapali (Papanasam Sivan). The Tani that followed showed everyone again why Sri.Guruvayur Durai is held in such high regard. It was a virtuoso display of percussion fireworks that had the entire audience cheering.

The RTP which followed was a special treat - a pallavi composed specially for Shruti Laya in Ragam Saraswathi: "Shruti Laya Nivasini Saraswathi Shaarade Vidyaprade". They brought out the lush beauty of this ragam, following with swaras in Saraswathi Manohari and Manohari.

This was followed by a smorgasboard of beautiful pieces, notably the Ranjanimalika krithi "Ranjani mridu pankajalochani", and even the famous "English note". The concert came to an auspicious conclusion with an uncommon mangalam "Makutake mangalam".

Sri.Jayshankar Balan ably supported the vocalists with his crisp and quick responses and showed his own mettle in the alapana segments. Of special pride to Shruti Laya is the fact that he is a US resident, but a graded AIR artist in his own right.

Smt.Sharada Chityala, Director of Shruti Laya, introduced the artists and briefly spoke of their accomplishments. Sri. Sreenadh Jonnavithula, Director of Shruti Laya, thanked the artists for this wonderful concert, and for the special pallavi composed for Shruti Laya. Following Shruti Laya tradition, a senior member of the audience, Sri. Balachandran was invited to give a musical appreciation. Members Sri. P.S.Ramesh, Smt. Meena Mani, Sri.Chidambaran and Director Smt. Sumathi Sumangali honored the artists with shawls.

Shruti Laya would like to thank State Bank of India, whose generous sponsorship helped us stage this program. We also thank our tireless volunteers Subu, Ashok, Mani, Sundar, Abhinav and Vamsi for help with setting up the hall, and Sanjay, Ishwarya, Saipriya, Gautham for manning the front desk. And of course, we thank our members and rasikas, whose support and encouragement made Shruti Laya possible.

Thanks to all rasikas who attended our concerts and gave us their feedback. We look forward to performing for you again! :)

Shashikiran & Ganesh

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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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