Saarang 2008 – Did you miss it ?


I did. For the last three years. And it sucks.

Looks like this Saarang’s Pro Show was the largest crowd puller, ever. Hindu reports that the singer Karthik gave a rocking performance. I know how the stadium would have yelled for Engeyum Epothum.

Karthik returned to his rockish best with “Enakku Oru Girlfriend Venumada” sending fans into a frenzy before his hand lent a nice Elvis-y touch to “Baar Baar Dekho,” a surprise for retro-lovers.

Though what he sings mostly is in the realm of boy-band songs and love ballads, while performing, he does it with the attitude of a rockstar with plenty of scope for audience participation. Yes, it helps that Bennett is quite something with the lead guitar.

Calling the IIT Core members to the stage, he launched into what’s considered an anthem for the youth, “Mustafa Mustafa” for a finale.

Sensing they wanted more, he captured the mood with “Engeyum Epothum Sangeetham Santhosham”.

And, junta was on cloud nine: “ARaaa-raaaa-reee-reeee Yo!”

That was a glowing review. After posting this, I went back and found that the author of the article was Sudhish Kamath. That explains !!

BTW, Did you miss it too ?

Its Saarang time !!

saarang 2006

IIT Madras has this yearly event, Saarang, that brings together the best of talents from colleges all over India. Even if you are a student or not, this one is a must-go, if you are in Chennai. From quizzers to fine arts performers to the geeks, there is something for everyone in this show.

This serving of Saarang‘s Pro Shows include Violin-fame Ganesh / Kumaresh‘s carnatic show, Shankar Mahadevan‘s Light Music Show and the custom rock show performed by Led-Zepplica & Parikrama. Personally I’ve been to both Ganesh / Kumaresh’s carnatic show and Shankar Mahadevan’s music show. Shankar Mahadevan, came over to IIT 3-4 years back and it was fun riot. Given Shankar’s zest for experimenting, I was in for a true music show. Of course, Dil Chahta Hai tracks proved to be the best in the show but it was for the folk number Uppu Karuvaadu, the whole stadium jumped in frenzy. Shankar has this amazing spirit that gets on to you, during his shows. One performer who makes his presence felt heavily.

Sulekha arranged a Sulekha Saarang Blog Fest in 2004. This year, they seem to have come out with three different categories in the Saarang Blogathon Contest. Of course there is this classical blogging contest but mobile blogging contest seem to exciting. This way, the spirit of Saarang could be caught on camera. There is also an official Saarang Blog out there.

Saarang 2005 – Images

Kurt Cobain on the Tees
[More here…]

Saarang 2005 which just went by had some cool moments that would be recorded in the official photographer’s camera. But here are some Saarang images that I clicked. I personally liked to click them because the pictures have an amateurish flavor as you can see. And these were clicked outside the OAT [Open Air Theatre] where the pro shows were conducted. They frisk chewing gums to cameras at the entrance of OAT and hence I didn’t want to take along my camera inside.

Have put in captions for each of the images. They were selling a photo CD of Saarang 2005 at the venue, which had images shot during all the professional shows and the crowd of Saarang. It had pics that were something like the Spirit of Saarang and was just costing 20 bucks. If I can get hold of that CD, will upload some professional show pictures taken from the terrace of the OAT, for those who missed Saarang 2005. Do let me know if you enjoyed the pics. Also will write about Prasanna’s Jazz show.

Thanks to the Google Picasa. As Google released Picasa 2, last week, I downloaded and to my suprise found it a lot better than what I had expected. So the picture page that you will be seeing is a Picasa generated page. All I did was to download the images from the camera and clicked on export to webpage. Vroooomm. It’s Done. Great software as it even digged my entire computer to bring out pictures that I was assuming to be mis-placed. Try Picasa for your PC.

Saarang 2005 Round-up !!

The ambience is electrifying. The lights are dazzling. The dudes and the dudettes are simply classy and make Britney spears and Orlando Bloom have re-look on their fashion sense. There is appropriate security. The crowd rocks and there are no in-decent events reported. Saarang is cool. Not great, though.

There is a thin air of null and void that makes this year’s Saarang look a little dull. It’s the audience who have added color to this year’s Saarang. I ain’t concluding because there is still a cool performance of Guitar Prasanna‘s today in the Jazz show. I am not the complaining type but it’s just plainly visible for any Saarang frequenter. The organisers and the volunteers are the ones who have worked hard to make Saarang a success but then the selection of performers (inter college and pro-shows) should have been done with a little more care.

On the Bindaas Park, Hutch has a huge team of guys and girls who keep conducting the age old games. Last year, this Hutch team rocked. They didn’t do all the gimmicks like now. All they had was a small jam machine that was re-mixing songs with a DJ and the crowd loved to dance, dance and dance baby. Now, not only they bore the on-lookers but they also seem bored by doing this year-after-year. I am sure this is not Hutch’s marketing issue but they could have selected the ambassadors better. It was a common opinion and not just mine. How many times will we dance as a couple by folding the sheets of paper untill we step out? Change the game dudes and see the fun. This is not only true for the Hutch stall but also for the Nokia stall. Nokia, is the prime sponsor this year for the Saarang and has made sure all that they execute the promotion well.

Decibels 2005 –

The decibels show(inter-college western music contest) is one of the best things that happen at the Saarang. Not to forget Cluedo and the dramatics. I managed to watch the pre-lims and the finals. On the prelims conducted in the Bindaas Park, the teams either wasted time in setting up their musical instruments or talking about the music they loved to play. These days, most teams play own compositions which are sometimes better than the professionals. A band called Black Legions(I think!!), who had very little time to sing in the pre-lims because their lead guitar went out of shape, played good rock-and-roll of yester years. Their first song called Crash Course to Rock ‘N’ Roll which was an own composition was note-worthy.

On the finals, it was Guitar Prasanna and another guy(who arranged the Jesus Christ Super Star in Chennai) who were the judges. A female singer Nandita sang a Van Halen number which was clearly one of the best. Powder in Ash Tray, a band with amazing Vocals and great leads, walked away the with Decibels 2005 award.

Light Music 2005 –

Thiruda Thiruda might have failed in the box-office but it doesn’t mean the movie and it’s music would be forgotten. Thee Thee song from Thiruda Thiruda and Minsaara Poove from Padayappa were the popular ones. They were sung twice by two teams. Also Konjam Nilavu was attempted the MCC. That girl from MCC sang the movie so stlyishly that I was thinking she might win the best female vocalist prize.

Songs like Thee Thee and Konjam Nilavu are highly synthesized and it’s tough to reproduce them with just intruments and a keyboard. If only the college teams would agree with this, they might sing Illayaraja numbers and walk away with the awards. I am not tipping that AR Rahman music is tough to be re-produced. But with live audience and live sounds, for an amateur it might be a little tough to get that perfection.

Whereas Minsaara Poovey which has a cool combo of classical and synth music was welcomed by the audience. Also there is huge scope in the song to display voice modulations. I would anytime advice people to sing Megham Kottatum, Vannam Konda Vennilavey or even Illamai Itho Itho to walk away with the prize.

Rehana, AR Rahman’s sister and Saagar, Devi Shri Prasad’s brother alongwith Keith Peters were there to judge the music show. Rehana rightly said that the sound system was tuned for western music show and that’s probably why the teams had tough time tuning the instruments.

Will detail more on Saarang 2005 and KK light music show alongwith Prasanna’s Be the Change show, tomorrow. Also will upload pictures, sleeping the digi cam, by the weekend.

Saarang 2005

Guitar Prasanna

Chennai is yet to take a breather from the crowded book fair but then there’s no time. Saarang 2005, the cultural mishmash of IIT Madras is happening again. I shouldn’t be saying it’s happening. Because as the IITians says, it isn’t an event. Saarang is a state of mind. And this yearly festival starts from 21st Jan 2005 and goes on till the 26th. This is an inter-college show and so the youth is outta there. A gentle breeze after the rather dry december music festival and the book fair.

I’ve been a regular to this yearly event for close to a decade and it gets better every time. Be it the pro-shows or the arrangements or the fashion statement, Saarang simply rocks. It makes you feel young and yearn for those good-old college days. A true extravaganza. Last year, Saarang was devastating. Euphoria and Strings created a magic on the last day and I could still remember the whole stadium singing Maa Thuje Salaam. Also Decibels, intre-college western music show was the best of all the years. And I hope this year it will become even tougher. You also have this usual nice to watch Ad-Zap, Jam and creative writing competitions, not to forget the popular Mr and Ms Saarang.

This year’s schedule is out. For the pro-shows KK(the same Kakkha Kakkha KK) will be performing light music on 24th. Orange Street alongiwth Moksha will perform the rock show on 22nd Jan. There comes a suspense which I nearly guessed(rather wanted to happen). Guitar Prasanna will be performing again for the Jazz show named, Be the Change. Be the Change is actually the latest album released by Prasanna in the mid 2004. He along with Jeff Coffin on sax, Kai Eckhardt on bass guitar and Derico Watson on drums will perform the show. During Saarang 2000, he played along with Alphonso Johnson. I had been to that show and I must say it was exhilarating.

Guitar Prasanna is well known to Chennai music fans for his carnatic compositions with guitar. I did like his albums on Jazz than the carnatic ones. He was probably inspired by the Miles Davis school of jazz and took over jazz from blues. He owns more credit for spreading the reach of carnatic music in the American music circles. With Illayaraja his last work was for Vaanavilley in Ramana. He played those enchanting acoustics for Yej Jo Hai Tera of Swades for A R Rahman. I am definetly there for this show and also for the KK’s light music.

Catch up with the never ending State-of-Mind Saarang next week. If you are coming do let me know and we can plan along.