Digital Projects

With the sudden onslaught of the pandemic and the consequent restrictions on live activities, MOPA turned its attention to setting up a digital presence. The MOPA YouTube channel was launched in January 2021. Several flagship series curated and produced by MOPA are aired on this channel currently and will eventually be available on MOPA‟s own portal. Two of MOPA's flagship series titled Notes To Myself and Explore were launched on this channel and have garnered a sizeable viewership and critical appreciation till date. The channel also has several stand alone episodes, on various subjects related to the performing arts of South India.



Notes to Myself is a series of interactive, expository documentaries that de-constructs the lives and creative processes of some of the most impactful professionals and organisations associated with South India's performing arts. Done in a let-your-hair-down and from-the-heart way, these offer an honest, moving and at times funny and charmingly unguarded look at the artistic journeys of these people. The idea behind this series is that art needs to be documented ‘as it happens’, in the current and not necessarily only as an archive of the ‘past’.

Notes to Myself is a patented concept, produced by the Museum of Performing Arts (MOPA) Foundation, © 2021.

The 4 episodes in Season 1 of Notes to Myself feature:
Leela Samson (Bharatanatyam)
Bombay Jayashri (Carnatic vocalist)
Pradeep Kumar (Carnatic and Film Playback vocalist)
T M Krishna (Carnatic vocalist)

Click here to Watch the full videos of all episodes

Reviews

- Devina Dutt
(Writer, Curator, Founder - First Edition Arts)

Very early into the mellow tones and textures of Notes to Myself, its producer, MOPA, announces its intent. This is arts programming that stands for a quiet elegance, truthfulness and a natural sophistication as it seeks to both construct and deconstruct the life and work of an artist. This is especially commendable because our arts eco system and the prevailing discourse usually suffer from two maladies: either it does not take you into the subject of the specific art, lineage and individual artistic expression with any degree of rigour or depth, or it lapses into dreary hagiography. By having the artist speak to us directly the usual barriers of formality and distance appear to melt away and we are kept engaged with the stories and anecdotes, piecing together moments, life changing experiences and key moments in artistic development. We become aware of the forces that shaped them and their artistic oeuvre. Supported by a superb curation of photographs and excellent filming, the episodes maintain a light touch, a sense of restraint and maturity which prevent it from descending into a confessional or something that suffers from too much volubility. It sets a benchmark for tasteful and sensitive conversations around the arts and the artists like few other programs do.

- Madhavi Mudgal
(Odissi Exponent)

"The sensitivity and simplicity of both the artiste and the questions make for a touching portrayal in this film about Leela Samson. Rarely seen in such ventures..."

Mahesh Venkateswaran
(Promoter, Innovator, Founder – Madrasana)

I watched the first two episodes of Notes to Myself and I'm so thrilled to see the impact this series is having. Conversations have to be documented like this. The pace of the conversation is perfect and it makes you feel the person is talking to you. Everything about this series is spot on - the camera work gives that intimate feel, the audio is crisp, the location brings out the character to the forefront, the music is soothing. This series brings the true heart of the person in front of us. Thank you for doing this.



The 2 episodes so far in Season 2 of Notes to Myself feature:
Dhananjayans
S Sowmya

Click here to Watch the full videos of all episodes

Let's Talk Carnatic

This series covers interviews, talks, presentations, lecture-demonstrations and conversations on all things related to Carnatic music.




Explore

Is tradition set in stone? Is not change even within a musician’s lifetime in the natural order of things? Does custom or convention in musical practice have to be held sacrosanct at the cost of organic modification or adaptation?

An artiste creates and modifies, subtly or otherwise, his or her style for several reasons – physical, emotional, intellectual, political or aesthetic. A stellar artiste preserves tradition not as a rigid, fossilized keepsake but as an intelligent amalgamation of inherited values as well as current inclinations.

MOPA presents Explore – a series of discussions between two young and admired Carnatic musicians, Rithvik Raja and Vignesh Ishwar, where they navigate these questions using recording excerpts of select musicians. They examine a particular musician’s approach to tonality, modulation, handling of composition and lyric as well as creative components (like alapana, neraval, tanam and kalpana swaram), grammar and a host of related aspects. They offer their own interpretations and observations based on what they have heard and analyzed.

Every episode in this series promises a volley of insights into the musical style and technique of the musician being discussed. A treat for students, aspiring musicians, lay as well as experienced listeners.

These conversations are not intended to conclude, merely to present points to ponder.

Reviews

- Shekhar Iyer

The two young men have done a terrific job of analyzing, internalizing and describing the incredible musical contributions of the great GNB. In fact, this is easily the most organized presentation of GNB’s merits I have come across; all the senior musicians who have been influenced or impressed or inspired by GNB, can take a leaf out of these budding musicians’ wholesome effort and do greater justice for having been exposed to the rare & unique genius of GNB.







Click Here to watch full episode

Living Legacies

Living Legacies is a series of documentaries that takes a deeper look into the traditional system of teaching in India, especially in the context of the performing arts. Featured herein are eminent musicians who have trained under illustrious teachers and represent great schools of Carnatic music. As they recall their discipleship, they bring to light facets of their teachers that would otherwise be lost in the passage of time. They proudly hold onto the values they have imbibed amidst changing times and trends. Even with fairly busy performing careers, they have trained several students in their respective styles, passing on their musical legacies to future generations. Their stories are a throwback to an era not long gone, when learning was a process of joy, wonder and a quiet excitement in little things. Today, this relationship is based on considerations of time, money, space and availability. Intellectualizing art has replaced an innocent faith in it. In an increasingly competitive environment, it is now based on the capacity of the teacher to groom students into successful performers, on active interaction but not dependence, ideally long-term but terminable when required. What does the relationship mean in our times?

Reviews

- Arkay Ramakrishnan

An unexpected,but a pleasant choice of Veena artist Jayashree Aravind by MOPA. As I listened to her younger days,I get to know so much about the past masters, a need to record them. She is very focused in her answers and many tiny stores interlaced (KSN train journey, etc).;and lot you one gets to know about teaching methods…enjoyed listening to this interview

COMING SOON