Description of the concert below by Vidwan TV, Ramprasadh himself
When the Classical Arts Society of Houston wanted me to give an exclusive concert of Muthuswami Dikshithar, I was extremely happy, especially since I belong to the line descended from Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775-1835). I am a student of S. Rajam, trained by Ambi Dikshitar (1863-1936), son of Subbarama Dikshitar (1839 -1906), himself grandson of Balaswami Dikshitar (1786 -1859), brother of Muthuswami Dikshitar.
I proposed that we do a concert which I named ‘Deekshita Dhruvapada’, based on the fact that Dikshithar, a composer of orthodox classical music from South India composed these compositions in a style totally foreign to the shores of the Cauvery River at Tanjore. He was so inspired by his influences from Dhrupad, while living in Varanasi for five of his early years with his Guru Chidambaranatha Yogi.
My understanding of Dhrupad’s influence on Dikshithar started in Chennai in 2004, when I started interacting with Dr. VV Srivatsa, a great authority in Dikshithar music. He introduced me to Ramkali and the treatment to be given to Raaga and Kriti.
Exploring Dikshitar krithis that have a Dhrupad influence led me to work on a whole new dimension of music, which I would not classify under Carnatic Music or Dhrupad or Khayal Music, but rather pure classical music – deep, immersive, meditative and inclusive nature. Here, the rasa of the raaga was more important to me than the progressions to which my training in Carnatic music naturally drew me.
If Dikshithar was able to compose this kind of composition in the 18th century, he must have had a definite vision of what he was creating. I extended my explorations keeping his style of composition and the most important thing in my mind was to sing in a way that did full justice to the composer.
I am sure that all music connoisseurs – Hindu music and Carnatic music or even those uninitiated in Indian classical music – will find their pleasure in this concert, especially for the meditative quality of the selections offered.