Sunday, August 31, 2008

Amrita TV Superstar Junior 2, Music Reality Show Audition rounds!

Me and Alex Paul
Recently, I had the opportunity to be the main judge for the audition rounds of the musical reality show "Superstar Junior-2 on Amrita TV" for children aged between 10-15. My journey ended abruptly with the audition rounds for reasons beyond my control though and I would have loved to be there for the whole show as I really do miss the kids whom I selected. I think the audition rounds where we had to select 15 out of almost 1000 odd children was the most toughest part as it always needs you have to give every bit of your energy, concentration and attention to the aspirants and see that the final 15 are really fit to be in the show. Now when I see my kids performing, I am proud to say that I really have been able to do full justice to the job that was entrusted upon me.
The audition rounds started from Calicut where I was teamed up with "Alex Paul", the biggest hit maker in recent times with the fim "Classmates". This time we did not want any child to leave the selection round in tears. We took all care to give every "singing" child enough opportunity to convince their talent. I would like to point out that you can clearly tell if one is a real singer or a bathroom singer just by hearing a line or two. This time we did not make the kids to sing alone. We made groups and then there were ice breaking methods like group singing, clapping, meditation, breathing techniques etc. to make them comfortable before they sang. Confidence is the most important aspect for any singer and if it is low then eventually singing suffers. We selected around 20 from Calicut. It was from here that we had the cream of the 15 those who are in the show now. Some of the amazing singers we discovered from Calicut were Parvathy, Manu, Varsha, Shafaz Ibi, Sangeeth and Rafna.
Next we were in Cochin and noted singer "Biju Narayanan" gave me company. We selected around 20 from there too and here, where we discovered Anjali who has one of the sweetest voices and cutest smiles among the participants. We also had the versatile Priya Jerson and Anjana with a lovely voice.
Thiruvananthapuram was next and noted playback singer "Arundhati" was with me as the judge. We also found some awesome talents like Nandana, Anakha, Vaisakhy, Sidharth, Anvar and Sreekanth.
Finally we had shortlisted our 60 aspirants from the 1000 we heard all over Kerala and it was left to me and "Mejo Joseph" noted Music Director (Notebook, Cycle fame) to prune them to 15. We started by hearing all the 60 aspirants again and then reduced them to 30. After that our job was almost impossible. Here we had 30 singers who were equally talented and the differences between them were minimal. But then years of experience gives you the extra sensory perception to sniff out the best with some divine interception. From here on I think it was the greatest Guru of all who sits there and sees all our tamasha who took over and made us take all the right steps. Even then I am terribly sad at leaving out some amazing singers from the 30 as we had our job cut out; select 15 who were extremely good singers, and would be potentially good performers.
All of us were amazed by the talent, skill and maturity of these kids who are our future. Many of them, we felt were beyond their tender age in terms of skill and maturity.
I should also wish to add that the whole crew led by Producerr/Director "Madanan" and the young Assistant Director "Nidheesh" (Nidheesh was one of the finalists of the first Musical reality show of Kerala Amrita T.V Super Star) were very enthusiastic and co-operative throughout. It was really a joy to work with such a young vibrant team!
I feel that this is the best reality show after Amrita TV Superstar I and ASIANET ISS 2007. Everything is good about it. Simplicity, Presentation, Elegance of the sets, Camera work, Excellent Orchestra Support, Sound quality, Editing.... everything is top class. I am sure that these kids would give the judges a run for their money as they would have to be vigilant always and would have a very tough time trying to find out who sang better than whom :)
I request all music lovers to watch the program which is being telecast on all days except Saturday's and Sunday's at 8.00 P.M. I assure you that you would understand why I am being so passionate about it.
All the major performances are being uploaded regularly by Amrita TV JSS2 team on YouTube and can be found here.
You Tube Videos:
The video that I have embedded below shows one of the best performances so far. She is going to be the one to watch out for. I need not say more. The gestures by the judges say it all! And mind you....she is only 13 years of age!!

Parvathy Singing "Oru Sanam" in the Second Round

Photo & Video: Credits-Amrita T.V

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

ഡോണാ മയൂരയുടെ കവിതയുടെ സംഗീതാവിഷ്ക്കാരം.....

ശ്രീ അനിൽ ബി. എസ് (1 , 2 ), ശ്രീ രാജേഷ് രാമൻ , എന്നിവർ ഒരുക്കിയ സംഗീതത്തിൽ ഞാന്‍ ആലപിച്ച ഡോണാ മയൂരയുടെ 'എത്ര നാൾ ഇങ്ങിനെ'യെന്ന ഗാനം നിങ്ങൾക്കായി ഇവിടെ സമർപ്പിക്കുന്നു.
Song: Ethra Naal Ingane
Lyrics: Dona Mayoora
Music: Rajesh Raman
Orchestration: Anil B.S

This is an original song written by my talented friend Dona Mayoora, tuned by another upcoming talent Rajesh Raman and woven to beautiful music by Anil B.S. I immensely enjoyed singing this song and am grateful to the creators for allowing me to be a part in their creation! When simple touching lyrics flow with intricately woven melody it is sure to strike a chord in your heart!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Blog Camp Kerala 2008-An amazing, unforgettable experience!

The first ever Blogger (Un) Conference on a Houseboat was held at Alappuzha on Saturday, the 16th of August 2008. The program was delayed by half an hour and started off by 10.30 as the houseboat arrived late after a previous night trip. I was very enthusiastic to see that almost all the confirmed participant's were there to board the boat. Except for a few of us in the early forty's and the early sixties almost all of them were very young from the I.T field and bubbling with energy. Their enthusiasm was the much needed catalyst to fire us all up. The meet was an informal one and the houseboat was sponsored by the Kerala Tourism department. Some of the other sponsor's were Oktatabyebye, IT's Life, Indiblogger, Mindmeister and Amvizone.
The program kicked off with self introductions and immediately the talks/discussions on some very interesting topics followed. The first one to talk was the French-Canadian Guillaume Marceau on the consequences of relentlessly hammering on the keyboard. His own wrist was permanently damaged by RSI and he had to leave a lucrative programming job for a teaching post at IITKM. He had his wrist and hand tied up in some sort of protective gear. He spoke on the advantages of using a speech recognition software like the "Dragon Naturally Speaking" in such circumstances.The next to follow was a very interesting and informative talk on Search Engine Optimisation techniques by Mani Karthik. Karthik spoke vastly on the methods of optimising a blog to earn a living out of it! The next talk was a very passionate one by Sridhar who has started Karnataka Election Watch, a blog which deals with citizen empowerment and assistance in knowing the politicians that we elect and send to the highest offices of power. It was a very relevant topic and I enjoyed every bit of it. By 1.45 P.M we had a long break and were treated to a sumptuous heavy lunch with karimeen fry, kappa, meen curry, chicken fry rice, sambar, thoran, pickle followed by semiya payasam. After lunch I talked about Audio Blogging, basic requirements; both hardware and software for recording a song and also did a demonstration on recording techniques.
Chandrasekharan Nair or the Kerala Farmer was the next one to follow with a talk on Rubber Board Statistics and how he had discovered errors and malpractices in many of their records and efforts he had taken to bring them to light. It was amazing to see the energy and enthusiasm displayed by this 60 year old who disclosed that he was only an S.S.L.C. But in spite of not being educated in the way the world sees, he endeared himself to the audience with his command on what he talked about. The program ended up with a talk on Campus Blogging by Kenny, one of the main organisers of the camp. Kudos to the young team of Kenney, Anand, Aravind and Jaleel who did a fabulous job of organising the event. I should say that guys, you really rocked! Hope we have more such Blog Camps in the future.
Some more links to the event:

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Radhike Tune Bansuri Churayi-From the Golden Years!!

A small but beautiful song of the yesterday years. Shanker-Jaikishen though more known for their Western classical music/Latin folk music treatment in their songs have created pure Hindustani Raga based songs too. Two of their hits in this genre are based on the same Raga too! Jhanak Jhanak (Mannadey) and Radhike Tune are these two.
Rafi Saaab has made this classical song an evergreen one in his golden voice.
I would like to thank Roshni my Blogger friend for suggesting this song and sending me the track.
Song: Radhike Tune
Film: Beti Bete
Original Singer: Mohammad Rafi
Music: Shanker Jaikishen
Lyrics: Shailendra

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