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Ghatam Suresh


Vaidyanathan Suresh is one of the few percussionists with an aesthetic sense of approach to performing on any percussion instrument especially ghatam his favorite earthen clay pot instrument! A rare drummer who has mastered this amusing clay pot,Suresh can adapt with remarkable speed & precision the techniques of drumming of any part of the world.Dynamic, mellifluous and aesthetically aggressive is what Suresh would identify his style as. His unbelievable speed in grasping and retorting to challenging ideas of other percussionists on the stage is a great sight to watch. His ideas are very original and simply soothing to listen but complex to counter.
The tonal quality on the ghatam is very difficult to achieve as one has to befriend the baked mud surface with his fingers. But the pots just love the FINGERPRINTS of Suresh.
A Specialist in 'Double Gamaka' (ie) playing the Gumuki, the base note with both wrists with equal ease, Suresh has developed numerous garlands of rhythm exclusive of his style. The uncompromising strict adherence to tradition clubbed with innovations, has laurels for Suresh from doyens of carnatic music.

Suresh always has an insatiable urge to learn new ideas and adapt different schools to perform on line and par with percussionists all over India and abroad.
He has learnt the techniques of playing on a variety of South Indian percussion instruments. Mridangam, Kanjira, Thavil, Konnakkol, Dolki, are to name a few that Suresh has been performing on.

The versatility 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 performing with you!...", to opine on Suresh.
Working with his guru sri TVG whose has performed in company of great jazz musicians like George Harrison world over, on Indian Jazz - East West fusion music for several years gave Suresh vast experience on composing and conducting Jazz Orchestra.

In December 2001, on invitation from the People's Association, Singapore, to be the guest composer and special musician for its annual extravaganza titled "Ganna Upasana", Suresh composed special orchestrated music and lyrics in chaste Indian ragas. He also composed an exclusive rhythmic ensemble "Rhythm Amrhythm" with more than 50 percussion instruments of Indian, Chinese and Malay musicians.

"2001 in Seconds" a rhythmic composition for 2000 seconds to usher in the new millennium was a rare treat to the rhythmic lovers, Suresh composed and conducted with a team of 30 senior percussionists of South India before an elite audience on 31st December 1999.

Suresh organised in the year 1999 a grand musical offering for 14 hours by all the classical musicians of South India to raise funds for the victims of war when the Indian Nation fought the intruders at Kargil, North Western India.

A pot can speak, no it can also sing. Ghatams with pitches conforming to a full octaves of Ragas are serially arranged and melody flows. Suresh had started this and gave a concert in Madras during December'98 music season.

"Fingerprints-of the percussion Prodigies from India :

"Ghatam Suresh" has formed his percussion band "Fingerprints" in the year 2001. This group which has performed in the original album group of Suresh "Yathi" is a six man army of percussion masters whose drumming takes the listener to a world of infinite joy and thrill. The beats produced by the dancing fingers and sticks convey power, nuances and intelligence entertaining the listener with ecstasy and bliss. Fingerprints are preparing for their debut tour of Gulf and Europe in April/May 2001. For bookings contact Ramdas at amintl@emirates.net.ae

As a socially committed person Suresh donates blood regularly and organises blood donation and eye donation camps regularly. Suresh regularly participates in fund raising concerts for charities.

A post graduate in commerce and cost accountant, Suresh is proficient in creative writing in English and Tamil; has contributed for many newspapers and magazines.

AWARDS AND TITLES :
Suresh has been awarded the Government Of India Talent Search Scholarship in 1980 for his excellence in ghatam for a period of 10 years.

Suresh is the recipient of the prestigious President's medal for winning the first prize for ghatam in the All India Radio annual competitions in 1981.

Suresh is the Asthana Vidwan (court musician) in the holy mutts of "Ahobhila" and Kanchi.

ALBUM :
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.

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 '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.

Yathi-(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 .

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