Born in a music loving family in 1966, Suresh is one of the few of the percussionists with an aesthetic sense of approach to accompanying on Ghatam, the earthen clay pot. Carnatic music, an ever explored ocean among the fine arts, was an instant attraction to the prodigical talents of Suresh during his boyhood in Triplicane, Madras. He along with his elder brother Sri Rajasekar (another fine Mrindangam Vidwan today) was initiated into vocal music by their maternal grandfather Sri Angarai C.Nataraja Iyer. Though after 2 decades Suresh is now rediscovering his flair of perfecting his musicianship as a singer, the fundamentals of Vocal Music has guided him throughout his Tutelage of percussion to develop his style as an appreciative accompanist.
The uncompromising strict adherance to tradition clubbed with innovations, to give the best support of "music" through percussion has earned laurels for Suresh from Doyens of carnatic music.To name a few who complemented and desired to have "Suresh" for ghatam support for the embelshment of their concert are Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer,Sri Madurai Somu, Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman, Sri T.N.Krishnan, Sri S. Balachander, Dr.M.Balamurali Krishna, Sri Nedunoori Krishna murthy, Sri T.V.Gopalakrishnan, Sri T.V Sankara Narayanan, Sri M.S.Gopalakrishnan, Sri T.N.Seshagopalan, Sri D.K. Jayaraman, Sri K.V. Narayanaswamy, Sri N.Ramani, K.S. Gopalakrishnan, M.S. Anantharaman, M.Chandrasekaran allepey Venkatesan, K.J. Yesudas.
Sri T.K. Murthy Palghat Sri Raghu,Umayalpuram Sri Sivaraman,Trichy Sri.Sankaran,Sri.Karakudi Mani, Guruvayur Sri Dorai, Tanjore Sri Upendran, Sri Srimushnam Rajarao, Sri Kamalakara rao and Sri Thiruvarur Bakthavatsalam.All top ranking mridangam vidwans continue to have Suresh as their first choice. An insatiable urge to learn new ideas and adapt different schools of thought to perform online and par with the mridangam vidwans makes Suresh a perfect match to any mridangam vidwan.
Suresh has also shared the stage with all time greats in Tabla like Ustad Allah Rakha Khan,Ustad Zakir Hussain,Anindo Chatherji & Shubankar Banerji and Karaikudi R.Mani.
The versatality of Suresh in bringing out unimaginable
nuances of melody from the amusing " Clay Pot " has earned laurels for him from
renowned Jazz musicians all over the world. The well known Australian Arts Orchestra,
during Adelaide Festival 1998 was thrilled to perform in the company of Suresh. Sir Paul
Grabosky-a top ranking musician,composer and conductor, who conducts the Australian Arts
Orchestra has these words " The fastest fingers I have ever seen !..... what a
wonderful experience being with you !." ,to opine on Suresh.Working with his Guru
Sri.TVG on "Indian Jazz - East West fusion Music " for several years gave Suresh
vast experience on composing and conducting Jazz Orchestra.
Suresh has the unique privelege of having performed in the company of TABLA maestros Ustad Allah Rakha Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain,Anindo Chatherji & Shubankar Banerji.
Having Perfomed in numerous CD's and cassette albums, giving Ghatam support to vocal and instrumental music which are available all over the World.Suresh has brought out an exclusive album on Ghatam as a tribute to the wonderful instrument which is more vocal in expression.
This album titled "Yathi" meaning "Flow" or "Order" features Jazz compositions, conventional percussion ensembles and Classical Songs played on 7 and 10 Ghatams with pitches corresponding to a full octave of a Raga, conventionally called "Ghata Tarangam".The potentials of Suresh " The Acknowledged master on the clay pot " as described by the senior music critic "Subbudu" are uniquely brought out in this unique album.
To speak about his commitment to the society as a responsible citizen, suresh has been a regular blood donor and has pledged his eyes. Recently when the entire Indian nation awoke to counter the Pakistani aggression at kargil near kashmir, suresh, as a mark of patriotisam, organised the entire music braternity to perform non-stop for 14 hours and raised lakhs of towards the army fund.
A pot can speak, no it can also sing. Ghatams with pitchers conforming to a full octance of Ragas are serially arranged and melody flows. Suresh had started this and gave a concert in Madras during December'98 music season.
Talents are picked, trained moulded and presented professionally. Recently Mr. Somnath Roy from Calcutta, a stranger to south India music, language and culture has taught the nuances of ghatam and he surprised the south Indian musicians and music lovers with his scintillating maiden performance. Now Suresh offers classes to International students through Internet.
Yes! if you know the fundamentals of Indian rhythm , a little of Tala system, have had introduction to learning South Indian percussion, classes are offered regularly through internet to gain advanced knowledge and professionalism for a reasonable fee. Interested browsers can contact throught E mail.
The inimitable, not to miss composition yathi , is available for sale. The price is U.S $5 exclusive of shipping charges. Interested people can contact Ghatam Suresh for bulk orders and unit purchase.
THE HINDU, FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 1998
GNANALAYA- Percussion Ensemble-Yathi Vol. I- Ghatam Suresh-Price not mentioned
The 'genere of percussion artistry is gaining more recognition and appreciation among rasikas what with many senior laya artistes presenting exclusive programmes focussing on the delights of rhythm in the artform of Carnatic music.
Yethi-(Volume I) is an instrumental ensemble featuring the ghatam with
other percussive instruments, the flute and the keyboard.This presentation is the
brainchild of V.Suresh,an established ghatam player who has had his novitiate under
T.R.Harihara Sarma and T.H.Vinayakaram. He has also the guidance of T.V.Gopalakrishnan.
The other artistes who have associated themselves with this album produced by Gnanalaya
are, B.V.Balasai on the
flute,V.Rajasekhar on the mridangam, S.P.Mani on the mohrsing, Ranjith on the rhythm box and Joshua on the key board.
'Freedom' to commemorate the 50th year of Indian Independence has impressive vibrant 'Sawal Jawabs' by the drums and the ghatam. 'Laya Vinodham' is particularly interesting as it features the almost disappearing art of Konnakkol (phonetic rhythmic expression without any instrument) with the intricacies of the ghatam performed to the Sankeerna nadai.
The Tyagaraja Kriti 'Nadha thanu manisam' in Chitharanjani set to Adi Talam is a very creditable effort with the whole song played on seven ghatams in tune with the relevent seven swaras of the raga.
Dancing Pots is a ghatam ensemble performing to the rhythm of 4 beats or chatursra with variations in different nadais.
The mridangam solo of Rajasekhar set to Khanda nadai has a convincing rhythmic cadence.
Amruthavarshini played on the key board is ear worthy and the interlude on the flute and ghatam is set to the seven beats or misram.The mridangam, ghatam and the mohrsing play a tani avartanam set to 16 beats, in accordance with the pattern played in music concerts.
It is indeed a credit to Suresh that the Superhit film melody of A.R.Rahman has been given artistic expression on the mudpot and succeeds in catching the blithe spirit of the song, "Chinna Chinna asai".
This innovative album comes to an end with a dainty folk song set to 4 beats on the flute accompanied by the ghatam .
Suresh devotes lots of time in developing new ideas and imparting them to his disciples. He runs a school called "Gnanalaya" where students 5 years to 40 years of age come to learn mridangam, ghatam , Kanjira, Morsing and Konnakkol. As a matter of interest Suresh has gained proficiency in all these percussion instruments.
Suresh runs an organisation called " International Society for Laya Awarness" which conducts concerts, lecture demostrations and seminars to cultivate intricate knowledge in the audience on Laya aspects. Leading musicians of Carnatic music have shown great interest in associating with the activities of this organisation.
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