MUDHRA has introduced 32 new concepts in 25 years(1995-2020)
CONCEPT 1 - 4 HOUR CONCERTS (Introduced in 1990)Concept 1 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. This concept is 4 HOUR CONCERTS (Introduced in 1990) : Mudhra has been the pioneer in the revival of long duration concerts as 4 hour concert, wherein the traditional kutcheri with elaborate raga alapanas, niravals & swarams, intricate ragam tanam pallavi and grand compositions have been presented in a well spaced manner. In fact, this concert which is featured in the December Art Festival of Mudhra every year, is a much talked about and hall-packed event.
CONCEPT 2 - DECEMBER FINE ARTS FESTIVAL (Introduced in 1995)
Concept 2 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. This concept is December Fine Arts Festival (Introduced in 1995) : Mudhra's December Festival which spans about one month, has had all top ranking artists perform. Eminent dignitaries have inaugurated each festival. The first festival was inaugurated by Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi and from then on, the festival has been gaining great momentum among musicians and rasikas. Every year, the 'Mudhra Award of Excellence' is conferred on a multifaceted senior musician who has made a distinct contribution to the art world.
CONCEPT 3 - ONE RAGA ONE KRITI (Introduced in 1996)
Concept 3 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. This concept is One Raga One Kriti Festival (Introduced in 1996) : This was a unique festival where every concert featured only one single composition studded with elaborate expositions of raga alapana, niraval, svaram and tani avartanam. Ragas elaborated were Varali, Karaharapriya, Thodi, Sankarabharanam, Bhairavi, Kalyani, Kambodi, Keeravani, Harikamboji etc.
CONCEPT 4 - ONE DAY SEMINARS (Introduced in 1996)
Concept 4 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. Mudhra has been the pioneer in organizing One day Seminar on contemporary aspects in music. Topics covered include, - Tribute to stalwarts of yesteryears, Microphones in concerts, Tradition and Innovation in music, Talas and Talavadhyas, Tukkadas, Human in an artist, Role of pallavis, Media and music, Janaka and janya ragas, Music and its forms, Role of lyrics in music, Alasal(panel discussion) on Drama -Yesterday-today-tomorrow, Tamil Theatre and its forms.
CONCEPT 5 - KALPITA FESTIVAL (Introduced in 1997)
Concept 5 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. This concept is Kalpita Festival (Introduced in 1997) : In this, only compositional forms sans manodharma aspects were performed. This showcased the varied compositional repertoire of carnatic music. Seven concerts of this type were performed by top artists.
CONCEPT 6 – TALA FESTIVAL (Introduced in 1998)
Concept 6 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. This concept is Tala Festival (Introduced in 1998) : This festival had eight concerts each based on a single talam. Various compositional forms in a single tala were performed, thus helping the audience register well the time cycle of each of the important talas featured in carnatic concerts.
CONCEPT 7 - TUKKADA FESTIVAL (Introduced in 1999)Concept 7 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. This concept is Tukkada Festival (Introduced in 1999) : This festival showcased the innumerable varieties of Tukkada pieces featured in carnatic concerts. It also had a panel discussion on the topic “ the success of a concert is assessed by crowd or standard”. Technical sessions on each tukkada piece gave a clear picture of its form and content. The first ever Tamil Ghazal written by Dr. P.B. Sreenivos was sung by O.S. Arun during the festival.
CONCEPT 8 – PALLAVI FESTIVAL(Introduced in 2000)
Concept 8 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years. Pallavi Festival (Introduced in 2000) : Pallavis are the most scholarly pieces in carnatic music which can be a great intellectual treat to rasikas. This festival featured several intricate pallavis by young artists. The role of accompaniment to pallavis was also analyzed through a panel discussion.
CONCEPT 9 – Janaka - Janya Fesitival (Introduced in 2001)
A study of the relationship between the parent and offspring ragas through the concert format. A lecture on Janaka Janya and a panel discussion of the topic “theoretical knowledge of raga - is it essential for music appreciation?” also formed a part of this five days festival.
CONCEPT 10 – Tamil Art Festival (Introduced in 2002)
Displayed music, dance and dramas of the Tamil genre. A concert of exclusive Tamil compositions, a dance drama depicting Tamil culture and a drama in Tamil highlighted the theme of the festival. A panel discussion on 'Does lyrics enhance music appreciation' and a lecture on writing of lyrics and tuning them were also presented. Thematic concerts based on a particular theme with corresponding narration of the meaning and musical excellence of the song content is also being conducted regularly.
CONCEPT 11 – MUSIC DIRECTORY (Introduced in 2002)
Concept 11 of 32 concept introduced by Mudhra in 25 years.Musicians’ Directory(Started publishing in 2002) : This directory contains address, phone nos ,email ids and websites of artists all over the goble category wise. This is very useful to the entire art community to keep in close contact. This is released every year in Nov. This contains daily and a pocket planner to note down personal programme dates.
CONCEPT 12 – Samudhra Magazine (Started in 2002)
Samudhra Magazine (Started in 2002) : Feeling the need for an educative magazine covering all aspects of fine arts i.e. music, dance, drama & art cinema, Mudhra has launched Samudhra, which aims at exploring the art world in its full depth. Samudhra contains interviews of leading artists and art related personalities, regular column on understanding ragas and cutcheri format, interesting articles, reviews of events, books. Every year, a senior musicologist/ critic/ writer is honoured with the title “Gnana Samudhra” in recognition of his service to the art field.
CONCEPT 13 – Mass singing for Global Peace(2004)
One of the highly acclaimed and successful programme was a spectacular mass singing of bhajans, devotional and patriotic songs by about 5000 children in the presence of His excellency Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam in 2004.
CONCEPT 14 – Music Appreciation Programme (2004)
The music appreciation programme of Paalam has been devised as a structured course where the rasikas will be guided to understand the fundamentals of Karnatic music in a simple way. The idea is to enlighten them about the music system and the concert structure so that they understand and appreciate it better.
Day session : In this programme, a particular subject related to Karnatic music is taken and presented in a lecture - demonstration format. Contemporary subjects which are useful and informative for rasikas of music are elucidated and it is followed by interactive session with audience,. Some such topics covered include - Understanding Ragas, kalpita sangitam and its forms, manodharma sangita, tamil composers, Trimurthy vaibhavam (exploring the musical beauty of the compositions of Tyagaraja, Dikshitar, Shyama sastri, musical beauty in Papanasam Sivan's compositions, Mudhras in music compositions, Navarathnangal (tribute to nine salient karnatic music composers), the kritis and its forms, understanding layam & talam etc.The purpose of this programme is to take different subjects related to karnatic music and explain in detail about them to rasikas.
Full time programme : Weeklong programme ( 2 hours per day) - In this, there are 7 sessions of two hours duration daily or two full day sessions. In the above sessions, a complete sketch about Karnatic music is presented and the rasikas get to have a broad idea about how and what to appreciate in a concert. It gives them an idea of how the Karnatic music system works and what its salient features are. The topics covered include - what is music, benefits of music, types of music, raga and tala structure, compositional forms, concert structure, creativity in concerts, role of accompaniments, methods of identifying ragas etc.
CONCEPT 15 – Music workshop and Music Info quiz in schools(2005)
As the first ever event of its kind, Mudhra organized a Music Info quiz on music, dance, drama and cinema, as part of its 6th Fine Arts Festival at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai in 2007. The idea of the quiz was to enlighten rasikas on various interesting topics related to fine arts through the medium of quiz. The quiz was coordinated by Dr.Radha Bhaskar and subsequently, this event was held in other schools as well in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
CONCEPT 16 – Drama Festival (Introduced in 2006)
Mudhra organizes a drama festival in June every year where the best Tamil dramas are chosen and presented to the audience. Also, a noted dramatist is honoured every year with the title “ Nataka Mudhra.”
CONCEPT 17 – Documentaries on Past music legends and Tamil Stage Veterans (2008)
To document Mudhra’s activities, a video editing suite was established. Documentries on music legends and Tamil stage veterans have been produced. Documentaries on several Mudhra awardees was produced and screened
CONCEPT 18 – Veena Festival (Introduced in 2009)Veena Festival started in 2009 with an aim to propagate the divine and ancient instrument and give opportunities to more number of veena artists to perform. From 2009 to 2014, two stages were erected side by side and each artiste performed for half an hour. Since 2015 this veena festival is being organised in Mudhra Music Studio in wh,ich 11 artists perform 2 hours concert each and live webcast is done for the rasikas to watch from anywhere in the world. From 2014, Vainika Mudhra award is being given to an outstanding Veena artiste.
CONCEPT 19 – Yuvasankeerthan Festival (Introduced in 2010)
This festival is to cultivate Bakthi in children through music. Started in the year 2010 with 100 school children from 10 schools singing devotional music. In 2015, we organised a congregational singing by 1000 children from 50 schools.
CONCEPT 20 – Co-ordinated 108 mridangam ensemble in Mysore (2010)
Mudhra coordinated successfully an amazing 108 mridangam ensemble lead by mridangam maestro Thiruvarur Sri.Bhathavathsalam in Mysore Ganapathy Sachidanda Ashram.
CONCEPT 21 – National Seminar on Music Appreciation (2011)National Seminar (Two full days) with performances, lec-dems by eminent personalities on the topics
- Fine arts - Its social and cultural impact
- Appreciating Indian Classical Music.
- Appreciating Indian Music.
CONCEPT 22 – Congregational singing in Corporation schools (2012)
With the view of inculcating interest in music among children, congregational singing sessions were conducted in various corporations schools. In this, small devotional songs were taught to children and the greatness of Indian classical music was highlighted.
CONCEPT 23 – Launched Paalam - a forum to preserve and propagate educational aspects in fine arts(2013)
Paalam, as the name signifies, is an art forum that has been launched with a view to create a bridge between fine arts, artists and art lovers. Founded by Mudhra Bhaskar and Dr.Radha Bhaskar, who have over two decades of experience as musicians and cultural organizers, Paalam aims at spreading art and cultural awareness through organizing educative programmes pertaining to all fine art forms.
CONCEPT 24 – Launch of Paalam Web TV (from 2013)
Today, commuting to concert halls has become both cumbersome and time- consuming, especially for senior citizens and students. Also, in places outside Chennai, concerts and other cultural events are sparse. Thus, to cater to the needs of senior citizens and students all over the world, Paalam has devised a unique “52 week webcast project” wherein on a particular day in the week (i.e, every Sunday evening), a music, dance or drama is being webcast for the benefit of all art lovers. This will enable rasikas to be connected to the arts and also appreciate it better. In this webcast project, we are giving full length live music concerts for 4 hours from 5.30 pm to 9.30pm So far, we have very good response for Paalam webcast and it has got tremendous viewership all over the globe. Paalam has completed 312 episodes (6 years of weekly webcast) successfully.
CONCEPT 25 – Launch of KADAMBAM -24hours programme (from 2013)
"KADAMBAM", a special Marathon 24 hours programmes of music, dance and drama has been webcast on Deepavali day for the past 5 years. For convenence in watching of programmes in Paalam TV, an andriod mobile App has been launched in Oct 2017 which can be downloaded and installed from the playstore searching “Paalamtv”. This is apart from the regular mode of viewing through computer, laptop, ipad at www.paalamtv.com. Now Iphone users can also watch at www.paalamtv.com/iphone.
CONCEPT 26 – Mudhra Music Studio: a multipurpose Studio(2014)
It is basically a compact video recording studio which has all facilities of video recording for live music concerts, talk shows and presentations. MMS can be used for archiving workshops, lecture demonstrations and so on. This Studio also has all the features of audio recording. It accommodates space for audience also. A small group of 15 people can listen at the time of live recording.
The studio has live webcast facility. Programmes can be video recorded as well as webcast live through internet so that people can watch any where in the world. Video conferencing can be done to any place in the world through internet. This can be used as mini preview theatre. All these studio facilities can be utilized for any project by any one on rental basis.
Live music programmes of Mudhra have also been brought out in audio CDs, MP3 and DVDs. Also undertakes conversion work of cassettes, VHS, UMATIC & DV tapes into digital format as CDs,DVDs or Blu ray Discs and do replication of copies, designing, printing and packing jobs. It has a unique Video editing Unit which aims at multimedia solutions. It helps the art community to preserve their valuable productions for posterity by producing documentaries on eminent personalities and also create new concepts for various live and media presentations.
CONCEPT 27 – Kutcheri Competition (Introduced in 2015)
Mudhra has been a pioneer in innovating several new concepts in Music concerts and introduced another unique project - KUTCHERI COMPETITION, a competition for aspiring, young performers who want to make a distinct mark in the Karnatic field as outstanding artists. This competition is for the age group 20 - 30 years and One Best Performer in VOCAL and one best VIOLIN & MRUDANGAM accompaniment is selected. Those who wish to participate need to submit a audio CD/ DVD of their live performance of minimum 1 ½ hours duration. A panel of judges evaluate it and the selected contestants are asked to perform a live concert of 2 hours duration in the month of July in Mudhra Music Studio, along with accompaniments. There are judges on the spot and also those watching the concert through webcast, spread across different places and countries. This webcast is also aired live for the viewers.The winners are awarded the title ”SANGEETHA MUDHRA”, cash prize and also a Prime slot during Mudhra's December Music Festival. The Best Vocal performer is accompanied by some top accompanists for their concert. Similarly, the winners as best accompaniments get to accompany a top artist in the Mudhra Music Fest.
CONCEPT 28 – Laya Samudhra(2015-16)
Mudhra Bhaskar edited, directed and produced a TV serial for Podhigai TV focussing exclusively on Rhythm and Rhythmic instruments.This serial which was telecast for 52 weeks (every Wednesday at 9.30pm), was the first of its kind in the history of Television channels. It dealt with various aspects of layam including history of percussion instruments, rhythmic calculations, documentary on past percussion maestros, percussion solos and many more interesting subjects. Making of mridangam from jack wood to finished mridangam, making of Kanjira and making of Tavil was produced very effectively by shooting at the workshop by Mudhra Bhaskar. It received tremendous response from the viewers who felt that this was a very meaningful and educative programme presented in a highly interesting format, so as to cater to all kinds of music lovers. The art fraternity also hailed it as a one of its kind programme which highlighted the importance and contribution of percussion instruments in the realm of classical music. Mudhra Bhaskar being a mridangam artist himself, was able give the best progamme on laya.
CONCEPT 29 – Anubhav Festival - Lecture Demonstration Series (Started in 2016)
Paalam Trust has been doing a great service in taking Carnatic Music worldwide through its weekly free webcasts. Now, with a view to enlighten rasikas further about the nuances of performing arts, Paalam has for the past two years been conducting “Anubhav Festival” which has been a grand success. In this fest, top artists are invited to present lec-dems on various subjects of interest to rasikas. This is the first of its kind programme being featured in the December Music Festival.
CONCEPT 30 – Paalam radio - 24 x7 Broadcast (Launched in 2017)
Now, Paalam is into its next innovative project of “Web Radio” through a free app “Paalamradio.com”, which can be downloaded in Android phone. This is a 24x7 broadcast and is a great aural treat for rasikas, as it covers a variety fare of music by veteran and young artists, lecture – demonstrations, panel discussions etc. Just by the click of a button, rasikas can have access to unlimited free classical music all the time.
CONCEPT 31 – Paalam TV in HD relay(2018)]
In 2013 when Paalamtv was launched, the internet bandwidth was just normal and there was trouble for both telecasting and watching. Now, we are in the age of fibre optic connection. With this advance technology, Paalam thought of introducing Video into HD quality and hence launched PaalamTV relay in HD quality.