Posted February 01, 2018 12:30:06A new generation of Carnatic musicians has arrived in Ottawa.
Carnatic Music class, a new class that has opened up in the city, features two-to-three hours of learning, one-on-one instruction with instructors from the Carnatic Music Association of Canada, the Canadian Carnatic Society, and other music schools.
For some, this may be a first step in finding a career as a musician.
But for others, this is the first time they’ve been exposed to the art form of music, a career that could bring them a lifetime of wealth.
“It’s a wonderful experience for people to come in and learn and hear the music and learn how to make the music,” said Sharon Niek, an Ottawa native and a Carnatic music teacher.
The class, which takes place in Ottawa’s Centre for the Arts, is the culmination of three years of work by Nieke and a small group of students.
It is a collaboration between the Ottawa Carnatic Festival and the Centre for Carnatic Studies.
The classes offer a wide variety of music styles and styles of music in the world of Carnatics, with many of the classes incorporating traditional, folk, and alternative music, and some focusing on music that is very much contemporary.
Students who are selected to join the program will receive a $30 stipend, as well as $2,500 in scholarships.
The Carnatic School, which is run by the Canadian Association of Carnatans, is one of several new Carnatic schools in Ottawa opening up in recent years.CART Music, a three-day Carnatic program at the Ottawa International Convention Centre, offers a curriculum in music, dance, and theatre, with music instructors and a rotating cast of performers.
In addition to a Carnatatic program, the Centre For Carnatic Study, located in the Art Gallery of Ontario, is looking to offer music classes in both the arts and education.
The school is also looking to open a Carnaterea-Carnat Academy, which will focus on Carnatic studies in elementary and middle school.
“We want to be an avenue for young people to see the world through the lens of Carnats and the music we do,” said Heather Beaubry, director of the Centre, in a release.
Cart Music also offers classes in film and video production, and has recently launched an online music class.
“The experience of being able to listen to music and really understand it in the context of an art form is really exciting for people who might not be interested in Carnats at all,” Beauble said.
Catering to the young and oldThe Carnatas, who come from many countries, are known for their devotion to music, as evidenced by the fact that they are often known to invite guests to a carnatic event such as a wedding or family get-together.
The idea of attending a Carnation, which usually takes place during the middle of the summer, is an opportunity to meet new friends, learn new skills, and learn about their cultures, said Nieki, who was born and raised in Carnatia, a small city in the southwestern Indian province of Maharashtra.
The new Carnatacasters, who hail from a variety of countries, include a number of different musical genres and styles, including folk music, classical, rock, and classical, with a focus on Latin music.
“Music is very powerful in terms of storytelling, and the Carnatatacaster class is a way to really understand the history of Carna and Carnat music,” Nieky said.
“And it’s also about being able at the end of the day to appreciate all the music that we’ve done over the years.”
Students in the new Carnacart classes, which are available at the Centre and in other locations in Ottawa, will also get to meet and interview some of the Carnacatas themselves.
“What’s exciting is the interaction of the students, who are really excited to be able to hear Carnats,” Bebry said.
In a release, Carnatasturists, a local organization, said the new classes offer “a new and exciting way to engage students in Carnatic culture and culture as a whole.”
“Our goal is to bring people together to have fun and connect with each other, both online and off, and to help the students make their own decisions about the art and culture they want to explore in their life,” the release read.
Carts are usually held in the evening, and students can choose from three different courses, from a beginner class through to the advanced classes.CARDART MUSIC’S DANIEL JOHNSON is a freelance writer who lives in Ottawa with his wife and son.