Bangalore International Centre had arranged a very interesting event viz., Multimedia Musical Lecture on “Colonial Interlude – The Indo Colonial Music of the 1800s” by KanniksKannikeswaran, Award winning composer, Music Educatorand Scholar on Saturday, 25th May, 2013, at t 6:30 pm. Prince Rama Varma of Trivendrum and his family members were present as “Guest of Honour”
KanniksKannikeswaran presented a gripping lecture on a largely unknown slice of Indian cultural history to a spellbound audience.
At the heart of his presentation was a story that he narrated passionately. MuthuswamyDikshitar, a highly orthodox composer did something that other composers did not dream of doing. He created a new genre of Indo Colonial music by writing Sanskrit lyrics to Celtic and other folk tunes that came to the Indian soil with the British East India company.
The tunes covered a wide range of folk songs such as O’Carrolan’sPlanxty from Ireland, the Gallopede country dance, a French tavern-tune, the British National Anthem, waltzes, jigs, reels and more. Kannikeswaran demonstrated that the ‘nottusvarasahityas’ that Dikshitar created from these tunes fit into Dikshitar’s very own lyrical paradigm and were in praise of deities enshrined in temples all over Tamilnadu.
The evening was ‘educational as well as entertaining and extremely informative and eye opening. These compositions and the creation of this genre by an extremely orthodox musician in the 1800s are illustrative of the open-mindedness of Indian culture and its ability to negotiate with external influences, Kannikeswaran reiterated.
It was an evening of revelation and pulsating music.