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.
To round off his trip, Berklee film scoring chair met famed composer A.R. Rahman of Slumdog Millionnaire fame, and reports on his efforts to promote musicianship in Chennai.
India Trip Conclusion (Feb. 16, 17, 18)
Tuesday morning marked our second day of Mumbai auditions. (Michael and I were greatly relieved to discover that the maintenance crew at the audition building had worked through the night to fix the air-conditioning.) Again we heard a wide range of student presentations—including a couple of really extraordinary performances. To the extent our India travels were initiated with the goal of finding talented Indian students who would thrive at Berklee, this trip has been a clear success.
During the lunch break, I left my colleagues and headed to the Mumbai airport for Chennai (Madras). I was welcomed most warmly by Srini Krishnan, provost of the KM Music Conservatory. His driver delivered us to the home and studio of A.R. Rahman, the Oscar/Grammy-winning composer of the film Slumdog Millionaire.