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