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india

Friday Night Classical ft. Berklee Indian Ensemble

September 27th. 8:00pm. Boston Conservatory at Berklee. You had to be there to experience the music in all its glory. The sold-out performance aptly titled “Which Classical Music?” was directed by Markus Placci and was a celebration of chamber music, performed by acclaimed Boston Conservatory at Berklee faculty members and renowned guest artists from around the world. 

The term “classical music” has far deeper global connotations than what a google search for the term might suggest and it was there for the audience to see in a night filled with dazzling performances, including our very own Berklee Indian Ensemble. Markus Placci came up with the idea while he was visiting India and realized that his idea of Classical Music was vastly different from the people around him. It dawned on him that every part of the world has their own idea of classical music which isn’t restricted to the purely western idea of it. He goes on to say “My hope with the program was to show that there is such a history in the development of any music anywhere in the world, that for any of them, there is a “classical” portion of that development.”

What made it even more special was that it was a first for Carnatic music to be performed at the Boston Conservatory. For those of you who might not be familiar with Carnatic music, it’s a form of Indian Classical Music originating from South India with the main emphasis being on melodic soloists. Let’s not forget that Carnatic music is only half of what Indian Classical music has to offer and the hope is to cover Hindustani music which comes from North India in a future series. 

The goal, as suggested by two veteran Indian Ensemble students, Shradha Ganesh and Ganesh Balasubramanian, who performed Raju Vedale and Idhudhaano Thillai Sthalam respectively, was to “inform the audience of something new, to understand the musicality of the pieces performed and to see how the audience will react.” 

As Mr. Placci eloquently put it, “I believe that music is such a primordial and essential need for human beings, that I wanted to emphasize its inevitable presence and history alongside the development of human beings anywhere in the world.” Judging from the audience’s response, it is safe to say that they achieved what they set out to do, and then some!

by Prithvi Prajosh

 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Move to NYC – Gyaan from an Indian in the Big Apple

“Gyaan:” Sanskrit word, roughly translated as “knowledge.” Used colloquially for “Street-Smarts.” 

Shilpa Ananth, Berklee Alumna ’13

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Berklee Indian Ensemble: Have you met Sanjeeta?

Sanjeeta sits down in front of me, eyeing my chocolate muffin. Before she can reach out and take a bite, I grab the muffin and keep it close to me.

1048496_10153001286015226_20759901_o“I just want a bite!” she says, laughing. With Sanjeeta, it’s never just a bite. But then again, that’s what makes her so special – her ability to set her mind on something and then go after it. Be it the numerous opportunities she’s had at Berklee or the numerous “bites” of food she’s had from me over the last two years, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya has never missed a chance to seize the day! A 7th semester Performance major with voice as a principal instrument, she never fails to impress. Inspired, I want to hear her story and what brought her from Delhi to Boston.

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Berklee Indian Ensemble: Spotlight on Sanchitha Wickremesooriya

Sanchitha blogFrom 60F to 30F in 24 hours, Boston’s weather has been quite a spectacle to experience. As I sit at my dining table, sipping on coffee while it snows outside, Sanchitha Wickremesooriya is enjoying the 80F sunshine in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He laughs when I show him the snow on Skype.

“The sun is where it’s at!” he chuckles. Having finished his last semester at Berklee in the Fall of ‘15, Sanchitha is back in Colombo, multi-tasking and handling various projects. He tells me how he wants to restart his Family Record Label, Sooriya. Surprised, I realize there’s a lot I don’t know about his background.


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Berklee Indian Ensemble: Have you met Harshitha?

VijayPrakash_Concert_0686

Picture by Dave Green

It’s barely been a couple of weeks since classes began but the Berklee Indian Ensemble is already rehearsing and gearing up for the upcoming performances this semester. After spending two intense hours working with the vocalists and learning the piece Charishnu, Harshitha Krishnan and I walked out of class, humming harmonies. Having known each other for over two years, I told her I wanted to interview her for the blog and she looked at me and chortled. We got a cup of coffee and sat down to talk about her and her journey at Berklee.

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