Aalaap brings together art and audience, keeps classical music alive

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Published by Admin on 21 Aug 2018

Aalaap is a Chennai based company. It collaborates with artists from across India and the world for ideation, content curation, research, event management and logistics, design, publicity and promotions.

As per the definition, Alap is the opening section of a typical North Indian classical performance. It is a form of melodic improvisation that introduces and develops a raga.

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This is the age of item songs and remix numbers and the music has lost its meaning and touch. The original classical music has been fading over a period of time. There will be no stance of classical music at all.

If someone wants to gain access to traditional artists, folk musicians and Carnatic practitioners look like a challenging task. However, the digital and online medium hopes to bridge the gap and help bring music from different parts of India to a common platform. This is what Aalaap is working on right now.

With an aim to create systems and processes to work with individual artists and help them present their work in a creative way, Akhila, 39, founded Aalaap in 2012.

“I felt the need to tap into the gap that existed in the world of performing artists by working as an effective communicator, a good strategist, a marketer and a writer,” says Akhila Krishnamurthy, a former journalist and the founder of performing arts initiative Aalaap.

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Over the years, Aalaap has connected with over 50,000 people and has worked with renowned artists such as Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri Ramnath, playback singer Karthick Iyer, and cellist and composer Saskia Rao among others.

It has also worked with nearly a hundred artistes from India and across the world including North America, Singapore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Kerala.

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Akhila was awarded the Best Woman Entrepreneur for Aalaap at the CII conference in 2017.

“The Qs is an attempt to record and transcribe the words of artistes, as they say it allows the readers to discover a dimension of themselves on the aspect of arts and life. The Qs is also a repository, an archive for the future generation, who’d like to know an artiste better,” explains the Aalaap team.

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The magazine has featured actor Vidya Balan, globally-renowned classical and ghazal artiste Farida Khanum, singer and music composer AR Rahman, Bharatanatyam artiste Leela Samson and Carnatic artiste TM Krishna.

“We have also launched an annual performing arts quiz and an inter-school dance contest called ‘Battle of the Anklets’. When we launched, we conducted an online contest called Shoot Yourself Singing. The winners had the unique opportunity of performing exclusively in front of a Carnatic maestro and an intimate audience,” Akhila adds.

“The classical music market is growing, but unfortunately, it is not as popular as cinema. Hence, to get funding for the arts is a huge challenge. Also, with the attention span dwindling, it’s a struggle to keep the audience hooked. Artistes are re-thinking ways to present their work to an audience that is constantly seeking new things,” she says.

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“In the near future, Aalaap hopes to create and contribute to a world where arts is everywhere and not restricted to a certain kind of people or place,” Akhila concludes.

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