This presentation was by his brother. It was to commemorate the fact that the late maestro always performed at the Music Academy on 23rd December. The presence of his father added to the poignancy of the morning. Lots of lovely videos were played. Here are some salient points.
– People discouraged him for taking up a non mainstream instrument.
– Practised 14 hours a day
– In a video he gave credit to his father for everything.
– Initial the instrument had eight double strings that he changed to single four strings
– Father advised him to add 5th string for bass
– Pioneered its use in Carnatic music , made it mainstream in 45 years
– Never deviated from classical tradition
– 1999 – selva ganesh, Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin and himself revived Shakti, later came others
– Youngest in Berlin Jazz Festival at age 12. Scheduled for 45 mins he was later asked to record for a one hour broadcast
– He took somber ragas and made them happy in playing – demo of vakuLabharaNam
– Sharp memory – took Rajesh a month to learn some pieces while Shrinivas leArnt 7 pieces in four hours. John m was initially irritated that he did not bring a notebook but was amazed at how quickly he learnt.
– It was a life of great discipline and hard work – practice at all times, from early morning.
– His dream was to create an institute of Music – Shrinivas Institute of World Music where it is taught free. He says in a video that he wanted to teach everyone music, not just on mandolin.
– He believed that he could do what he did because of his strong grounding in Carnatic music
– Nothing excited or depressed him much. On becoming the youngest Padma Shri at age 27 he merely said it was an added responsibility to continue to excel.
– Simple in dress and deportment
– Follower of Kanchi Paramacharya and Satya Sai Baba
KV Prasad who accompanied him recalled how he was initially reluctant to play jugalbandis later switched to it with great ease. He could change with situation – different music for different locales – a classic bEgaDa one night and a ‘masala’ concert the next day at a wedding. Would always pick up accompanists in his car for concerts. Would call Prasad at midnight each New Year’s Eve.
Sanjay recalled how he heard Shrinivas at his first concert at Academy in 1983. It was like seeing Tendulkar or some such star. Recalled how late critic NM Narayanan commended his ability to play rare ragas such as vIravasantam with as much felicity as TODi. Spoke of the melody rhythm balance in his music and how he converted a gift into a great art by hours of hard work. He adapted the violin technique into mandolin. Adapted double octave from guitar. Wished Rajesh all the best for his future endeavours and commended him for making it a celebration of Shrinivas.