Why Carnatic Music Matters More Than Ever

by Ludwig Pesch

Published by Shankar Ramchandran on behalf of Dhvani Ohio

https://dhvaniohio.org/why-carnatic-music-matters-more-than-ever-by-ludwig-pesch/

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License

For this musicologist and author, there are good reasons to believe that Carnatic music matters, perhaps more than ever and almost anywhere in the world. So why not perform and teach it in the service of better education for all, for ecological awareness or in order to promote mutual respect in spite of all our differences? And in the process, get “invigorated and better equipped to tackle the larger issues at hand”.

Integrated Music Education – Challenges of Teaching and Teacher Training – Book release during ISME 2018 world conference for music education

“Thinking and learning in South Indian Music” by Ludwig Pesch, chapter 4 in:

Markus Cslovjecsek, Madeleine Zulauf (eds.)
Integrated Music Education – Challenges of Teaching and Teacher Training
Peter Lang Publishers, Bern, 2018. 418 pp., 29 fig. b/w, 2 tables
MOUSIKÆ PAIDEIA Music and Education/Musik und Bildung/Musique et Pédagogie. Vol. 1 pb.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0388-0

This book was presented  during the 33rd ISME World Conference for Music Education (isme2018.org) on Wednesday 18 July 2018.

About this book

Schools are generally oriented towards discipline-based programmes and therefore students often accumulate fragmented knowledge, disconnected from real life concerns. The eighteen contributors to this work suggest that music offers a highway to developing a more appropriate integrated education. They present a range of views on Integrated Music Education rooted in various cultural traditions, based on several interdisciplinary models and integrated arts curricula, inspired by psychological concepts and referenced to recent teaching experiments as well as original research.

In this innovative book, the reader is invited to go beyond the dichotomy between ‘education in music’ and ‘education through music’, exploring the opportunities put forward by Integrated Music Education thanks to a constant movement from the theoretical roots through a precise description of teaching activities to the benefits for students in terms of integration of knowledge, personal development, and social and cultural belonging. Lastly, there are some new and interesting ideas for training teachers.

https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/34993

Exploring a wealth of rhythmic and melodic motifs: Interactive music session for and with Montessori teachers – Zurich

At the invitation of Christine Urand (Director, Rietberg Montessori School) Ludwig Pesch took the full assembly of teachers on a musical journey across South India: exploring a wealth of rhythmic and melodic motifs suitable for young learners while enabling parents, teachers and care-givers to enjoy music making themselves (even as “lay people”, musically speaking).

This event was also an occasion to explore and discuss the scope for actively participating in an intercultural dialogue, something the presenter has long been known for, while paying homage to Maria Montessori (*): be it as contributor to ISME World Conferences or in association with educational and cultural institutions across the entire spectrum: teacher training, kindergarten, schools, rehabilitation just as staff integration programmes; conservatoria and universities in several countries; and creative projects developed in association with the Goethe Institute and exhibition makers at internationally renowned museums.

Date: 1 March 2018. Events on similar lines have been developed in conjunction with Museum Rietberg (Zurich) on the occasion of exhibitions of rare Indian art (in collaboration with art education staff).

Deutsch: Eine musikalische Reise für alle >>


* From 1939 until 1947 Dr. Maria Montessori worked closely with Rukmini Devi, founder of Kalakshetra (est. in 1936 in Adyar/Madras, now part of Chennai), an institution established for the integration of India’s cultural heritage and learning. Kalakshetra stands for an integrated approach to education all realms education – social, economic, crafts and performing arts, being both inspired and guided by India’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore whose  pioneering concept for informal learning was first tested and further developed at Santiniketan (“abode of peace”).

These pioneering efforts remain as relevant today as in the early 20th century when Maria Montessori and her associates realized that true education is more than a tool for succeeding in life as an individual or member of one’s own society: it is the very key to world peace and social justice (see, for example, her 1932 “Peace and Education” lecture published by the International Bureau of Education, Geneva).

Ludwig Pesch – reviews

L Pesch flute

“Excellent concert by German flautist – The Carnatic flute recital by Ludwig Pesch was a feast for the ears of music lovers. ” – MATHRUBHUMI: The National Daily in Malayalam

“An eloquent demonstration of the universal fact that music transcendents cultural and linguistic barriers … Pesch impressively delivered choicest numbers strictly adhering to the tenets of classicism” – INDIAN EXPRESS, Cochin

“Pesch presented an incredibly beautiful and inspired solo improvization.” -BERLINSKE TYDINGE, Copenhagen

“Carnatic music appeals in a direct manner and is also characterized by a degree of playfulness. Through its crisp and concentrated compositions, Pesch created melodies that reached one’s heart … altogether a splendid introduction to a music that deserves to be known much more widely.” – EINDHOVENS DAGBLAD; The Netherlands

“Both types of listeners – those new to classical Indian music and arts as well as connoisseurs – benefitted by way of inspiration, new insights and a high degree of aesthetic pleasure …. with his bamboe flute, Ludwig Pesch demonstrated everything he had earlier conveyed theoretically.” – KIELER NACHRICHTEN

“The flute player from the land of Beethoven … treated an audience of Trichur’s music lovers to a rare feast of music.” – DEEPIKA (Malayalam Daily), Trichur
“a rare evening of pure music.” – MALAYALAM MANORAMA (Malayalam), Cochin

“Captivating and chaste rendition … an active cultural ambassador … and a golden link with the West.” – ANOTHER GARLAND: A Biographical Dictionary of Carnatic Composers and Musicians; Chennai, 1993

 

“Eine kleine Weltmusik: die Musik der Santal” in Klangkörper. Saiteninstrumente aus Indien – Rezension in ASIEN 139

Johannes Beltz; Marie Eve Celio-Scheurer (Hgg.): Klangkörper. Saiteninstrumente aus Indien.
Zürich: Museum Rietberg, 2015. 81 S., 23 EUR | Zur Ausstellung in Indien und über die Englische AusgabeCadence and Counterpoint, Documenting Santal Musical Traditions by Johannes Beltz, Ruchira Ghose and Maria-Eve Celio-Scheurer (eds.) >>

Eine einzigartige Würdigung der visuellen Attraktivität und künstlerischen Qualität der Musikinstrumente der Santal in Indien. Mit einem Text von Bengt Fosshag über seine Passion als Sammler dieser Instrumente und einem kurzen Essay von Ludwig Pesch zur Musik der Santal.

ASIEN 139 (April 2016) in print – Rezension von Heinz Werner Wessler (Professor für Indologie an der Universität Uppsala, Schweden) , S. 138-139 | Mehr über den Rezensenten | LinkedIn >>

Der Band ist Ausstellungskatalog (Ausstellung „Klang/Körper“ im Musum Rietberg), Nachschlagewerk und zugleich ein Beitrag zur Erforschung der Saiteninstrumente der indischen Adivasis (Ureinwohner), insbesondere der im östlichen Indien ansässigen Santals. Die hier dokumentierten Instrumente, die zum größten Teil auf eine aktuelle Schenkung an das Museum Rietberg zurückgehen (einige wenige Exemplare wurden vom Rietberg-Kreis aus der Sammlung Fosshag angekauft), wurden im berühmten Zürcher Museum für asiatische Kunst zum ersten Mal ausgestellt und hier im Rahmen des vorliegenden Kataloges dokumentiert.

Die Sammlung geht zurück auf den Designer und Illustrator Bengt Fosshag, der über viele Jahre Indien bereiste und dabei über Jahrzehnte diese einzigartige Sammlung aufbaute. Dies in einer Zeit, in der lokale Traditionen mehr und mehr gefährdet sind und untergehen, wie das auch mit den Musikinstrumenten der Santals und ihrer Musik der Fall ist (vgl. den Beitrag „Eine Instrumentensammlung für ein Kunstmuseum“ von Johannes Beltz).

Das Museum, das als ein Ort für asiatische hohe Kunst eingerichtet wurde, öffnet sich mit der Annahme der Sammlung damit weiter in Richtung Volks- und Stammeskunst. Ursprünglich hatte sich das berühmte Museum Rietberg vor allem als V ermittler und Bewahrer der klassischen hochkulturellen Kunsttraditionen Indiens etabliert. Das Anliegen, klassische Kunstwerke aus Südasien als Exponate der Weltkunst zu etablieren, hat sich durchgesetzt. Inzwischen gibt es andere Prioritäten, die zu programmatischen Annäherungen zwischen der Weltkunst gewidmeten Museen und den modernen Völkerkundemuseen führten.

Ludwig Pesch macht in seinem Beitrag „Eine kleine Weltmusik: die Musik der Santal“ deutlich, dass die Santal und ihre Musik einerseits völlig eigenständig sind, andererseits aber in einem „Dialog im Flüsterton“ ihren Einfluss auf die indische Moderne hatten, vor allem über Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), der seine berühmte Universität Vishvabharati in Santal-Gebiet gründete. In diesem Sinn versteht sich der Katalog, wie Johannes Beltz schreibt, als „ eine spielerische, poetische Annäherung an die Instrumente“ (S.31) als „Klang/Körper“, das heißt als Klang erzeugende Kunstwerke der Santals.

Die Sammlung Fosshag besteht aus 92 Instrumenten aus der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, fast alles Streichinstrumente, deren Saiten entweder mit einem Bogen gestrichen oder gezupft werden. Ihr Formsprache nimmt die Körperteile des menschlichen Körpers auf, so auch in der Bezeichnung der einzelnen Teile des Instruments in der Santal-Sprache. Auch die ornamentalen V erzierungen sind meistens anthropomorph. Leider sind die Instrumentenbauer und ihre konkrete Herkunft bisher weitgehend unbekannt.

Der kleine Band enthält außerdem einige der von Martin Kämpchen in deutscher Übersetzung herausgegebenen Lieder der Santal sowie hochaufgelöste Bilder aller Instrumente der Sammlung.

Heinz Werner Wessler

Video | Chor@Berlin 2017: Ode an die Nacht (Ausschnitt)

Chor@Berlin 2017: Ode an die Nacht (Ausschnitt) from Deutscher Chorverband on Vimeo.

Mit „Ode an die Nacht“ gelangte im Rahmen von Chor@Berlin am 24. Februar 2017 im Radialsystem V das letzte Werk von Harald Weiss’ „Darkness Project“ zur Uraufführung.

Kammerchor Berlin (Einstudierung: Stefan Rauh)
Concentus Neukölln – Ensemble der Musikschule Paul-Hindemith, Neukölln (Einstudierung: Thomas Hennig)
Berliner Mädchenchor (Einstudierung: Sabine Wüsthoff)

Indischer Gesang und Tambura: Manickam Yogeswaran
Blues-Gesang: Hanno Bruhn
Bajan: Mateja Zenzerovic
Klavier und Synthesizer: Peter Müller
Violine: Kinneret Sieradzki
Kontrabass: Guy Tuneh
Schlagzeug: Viorel Chiriacescu, Daniel Eichholz und Alexandros Giovanos
Elektro-akustische Vorproduktion: Harald Weiss
Stimme: Andrea Gubisch
Gesamtleitung: Thomas Hennig

No complacency in the search for creativity: Manickam Yogeswaran (The Hindu)

Review by Garimella Subramaniam, The Hindu, January 05, 2017 | Read the full review >>

“The many dimensions of the musical persona of Berlin-based Manickam Yogeswaran of Sri Lankan origin are not easy to fathom just from hearing him sing at one recital. […]

However, a conversation over coffee at Chamiers, days after a performance for Tamil Isai Sangam at Raja Annamalai Mandram, gave a glimpse of the different facets of the disciple of T.V. Gopalakrishnan and his exposure to Hollywood. […]

Yogeswaran’s forays into western classical ensembles, and his key role in global music forums for nearly three decades is a career graph, perhaps, typical of the wider scene in the performing arts these days. At the same time, it is the emotional need to stay anchored to the cultural milieu of one’s roots that probably explains Yogeswaran’s crucial engagement with Carnatic music. […] The challenge now, he says, is to nudge current generation of South Asians from a false sense of security about the future of this traditional art form. The conveniences afforded by technology, in terms of access to the treasure trove of recordings of great masters, ought not to breed complacency in the search for creativity, he argues. The key lies in continued reliance on the rigours of relentless individual ‘sadhana,’ a hallmark of classical music.”

http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/Revelling-in-his-classical-roots/article16992760.ece

Indian music in intercultural education – ISME Glasgow 2016

ludwig_isme2016_2

Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin – Rabindranath Tagore*

During this presentation, musical figures from several distinct traditions were explored in a practice-oriented manner. The figures selected are appealing beyond South Asia where they originated many centuries ago and continue to play a key role in classical and applied music.

Our shared goal was to enable young and old to collaborate in a memorable learning process that blends seemlessly into any chosen subject, academic and otherwise.

The criteria for selecting a particular figure were (1) its flexibility as for combining it with another subject, for instance mathematics, geography or history; (2) its appeal going by prior experience with learners from different age groups; and (3) its scope for variation, movement, visualisation and analysis in accordance with learners’ specific needs and abilities.

Click on the above image to view or download and print a sample lesson for free (PDF with mp3 audio and other links)
Click here to view or download and print a sample lesson for free (PDF with mp3 audio and other links)

Scope

As part of integrated music education, Indian music enables even complete strangers to share a useful learning process. This calls for a natural and playful approach to melody, rhythm, hand signs and body movement. In this manner we are prepared to include newcomers – children and adults lacking a common language – to instantly participate in music.

Indian music is valued for fostering memory, analytical thinking, concentration, and cooperation among peers. Its basic concepts are exhilarating and liberating whether or not there is scope for studying Indian culture in its own right. This is a boon in circumstances where verbal or written instructions fail to engage learners. Rather than resigning in the face of such formidable challenges, educators are free to experiment and spread solidarity through instant inclusion – the essential joy of “creating” music oneself. This aspect addresses a common fear among learners, namely to be left behind (again!), be it in music or other subjects – a fear that is all too often justified in competitive modern society.

To help educators to overcome such fears, we build lessons around simple figures that bind tunes, rhythms and movements together into a rounded whole. Some of these may appear familiar enough to “break the ice” if needed; and others are so fresh and mind-boggling as to trigger further experimentation among peers in informal settings – anywhere and anytime. For this to happen, we dispense with technical resources of any kind.

Adaptation is the key to rapidly changing learning scenarios wherein cultural stereotyping, a known stumbling block for educators all over the world, must be overcome. This is easily achieved by integrating Indian music into discussions of academic concepts, or by letting its rhythms enrich social and outdoor activities. Such activities are by definition location specific and all-inclusive.

ludwig_isme2016_1

Educators from Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Singapore and Switzerland were among the eleven participants in this one-hour session. They explored a time proven method suited to the needs of a wide range of abilities and learning goals; and this irrespective of participants’ cultural roots.

Date: 28 July 2016 | photos by courtesy of Dr. Tony Makarome, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Singapore

More information

*Rabindranath Tagore in a letter to C.F. Andrews; quoted by Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity. London: Penguin, 2005, p. 86.

Unity in Diversity, Antiquity in Contemporary Practice? South Indian Music Reconsidered – Free download

Musik_Politik_Identität_Cover-2016“Unity in Diversity, Antiquity in Contemporary Practice? South Indian Music Reconsidered” by Ludwig Pesch (Amsterdam) in Gardner, Matthew; Walsdorf, Hanna (Hrsg.). Musik – Politik – Identität / Music – Politics – Identity. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag, 2016 (Musikwissenschaften) | Abstract and contents >>

ISBN13: 978-3-86395-258-7

Softcover, 17×24, 218 S.: 24,00 € Online Ausgabe, PDF (3.681 MB)

Download for free here: http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?univerlag-isbn-978-3-86395-258-7 >>
(Creative Commons licence Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International)

Santiniketan: Birth of Another Cultural Space – Free e-book by Pulak Dutta

Of all living creatures in the world, man has his vital and mental energy vastly in excess of his need, which urges him to work in various lines of creation for its own sake […] Life is perpetually creative because it contains in itself that surplus which ever overflows the boundaries of the immediate time and space.
Rabindranath Tagore in The Religion of an Artist *

Manida_Pulak_Santiniketan_web
Santiniketan artists “Manida” KG Subramanyam (left) with Pulak Dutta (right) – Photo Ludwig Pesch

Download : Santiniketan Birth of Another Cultural Space (free e-book) here >>

Pulak Dutta. Santiniketan: Birth of Another Cultural Space. Santiniketan 2015.
Contact: pulaksantiniketan@gmail.com

* Quoted by Pulak Dutta (p. 97) from Sisir Kumar Das (ed.). The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore Vol 3. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi 2006 (pp. 687-8)