Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman

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A profile

The Hindu Business Line, December 9, 2016

As a musician, Padma Vibhushan Umayalpuram K Sivaraman debuted at the age of 10 and has been seen and played with the best musicians across the years. His son has been one of the earliest adopters of marketing analytics in India. cat.a.lyst brings you a conversation between the legendary mridangam vidwan and his son S Swaminathan, Co-Founder & CEO of Hansa Cequity, a major customer marketing & analytics firm, on the cross-learnings from music, maths and marketing.

He says, when you play a solo, there is a lot of mathematics at play. But you have to present it better, you have to simplify mathematics for the common man.

The innate intelligence in the music of yesteryear is quite amazing. Music is a manipulation and combination of mathematical patterns extending a vast area where you can bring in creativity. Similarly, when you take ragas , it’s said that there are about 24,000 ragas and there are thousands of varieties of talas . By permutations and combinations of these swaras , the masters were able to evolve a great repertoire in the art of music. Mathematics played a greater part in the production of thousands of ragas and talas .

Statistics is akin to a rasika (fan/connoisseur) who is enjoying the beautiful music that flows from the musicians that is fused together with different ragas and talas and gives the listener a lot of joy. As an artist, you may know a lot of things, but you have to be like the orator who can convey the message to the common people with ease.

Music is also about understanding the pulse of the people. There was a time when a single concert would run for almost 5-6 hours. Then, people wanted a variety – so the musicians of those days such as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar from Carnatic music or Hindustani stalwarts such as Pandit Ravishankar presented different varieties that pleased a lot of people. In a national programme, Ariyakudi had the capability to compress all of this into 90 minutes.

All marketing strategies keep changing with changing customer attitudes. So we have to change along with the requirements of the people.

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