She might have started her classical training at the age of three and given her first performance when she was 13-years-old. Music might have defined her eating and sleeping cycles. But she makes it clear that it was a beautiful childhood. “I had a strong support system, with different outlets in the form of badminton, swimming and art. Of course, music has always been my greatest passion.”
Carnatic vocalist Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath, who was part of HCL Concerts Baithak recently, said her maternal and paternal grandmothers were instrumental in kindling her interest in music. “My maternal grandmother would sing to put me to sleep and would take me to concerts while my paternal one was instrumental in finding me my gurus with whom I had a very special relationship,” she said.
Stressing that she continues to be fascinated by classical music as there is an endless amount of inspiration that one can draw from the same, the vocalist added, “Music has been a thread that has sewn generations together. Its power can be experienced in so many areas – music and learning, music and therapy, music and language. Carnatic music fascinates me because of the huge amount there is to learn and experience at all times during one’s musical journey. Every time I sing a composition or a raga, there is a certain freshness I feel, not experienced before.”
The recent lockdown which froze all arts activities, for her translated into a space to step back and introspect on different aspects of her music. “I learned a lot of compositions and enjoyed singing and celebrating different ragas in just the spirit of music.”
While the government and state-aided akademis did little to support artists during the bleak period, unlike their counterparts in the West, Raghunath says it was heartening to see many in the community come together in support of each other. “Some organisers worked tirelessly to disburse funds. There were also many senior artistes who stepped up to the challenge and championed the cause of supporting the struggling musicians.”
Digital concerts may be a rage right now, but this classical singer feels that the beauty of a live performance is the wave of energy that encircles the artists and the audience. “The ability to share the joy of music with the audience that receives this and reciprocates it in the form of appreciation is what an artist lives for. To revel in the joy of music in togetherness is the binding force that is created by art. Having said that, online performances have helped the art reach different corners of the world. Another speciality of online music, is the sheer limitlessness on the number of attendees or the replay ability.”
Adding that every art needs its patrons, she feels that corporate houses like HCL were playing an important role by taking Indian musical forms to a global audience in a powerful way by leveraging the tech platform. “Their support is crucial to the growth of the community of artistes as well as the audiences.”
Raghunath, who also paints and currently working on several solo and collaboration projects. “While some explore the beauty of Carnatic Music others celebrate the coming together of music and visual arts.”