About this recording:
Catch 21 represents and excellent mixture of traditional Karnatak and contemporary pieces performed by Trichy's Trio. The innovative works of Trichy Sankaran, mrdangam maestro, leader and artistic director of the group, occupy a major portion of this recording. Though Sankaran has been featured on many recordings, this is perhaps the first recording ever produced to fully reveal Sankaran's compositional creativity. This includes the major compositions Carnatic Concerto, Catch 21 and Dhirena, as well as a chittasvara (composed solfege) section for Dikshitar's Kriti Vatapiganapathim bajeham. Each composition, though contemporary, is steeped in tradition, and each has a distinct flavour of its own. Sankaran's virtuosic yet musically sensitive drumming supports and enhances the beautiful voice and piano performance of his daughter Suba Sankaran, as well as the remarkable saxophone and flute playing of Ernie Tollar. Lalitha Sankaran has provided the drone on the tamboura, rich in overtones, for this ensemble.
About the artist:
Dr. Trichy Sankaran is a virtuoso mrdangam vidwan whose mastery on this instrument is respected throughout the world. Born in South India, in the year 1942, he had his early musical training first under his cousin the late Sri P.A. Venkataraman, and later became the star disciple of the legendary mrdangam maestro late Sri Palani Subramania Pillai. He made his debut at the age of 13, and since then has performed with all the leading musicians of India. Winner of gold medal in 1955, and the President’s award in 1958, Trichy Sankaran is one of the top ranking mrdangam artists of India today.
Dr. Trichy Sankaran is the founding Director of Indian Music Studies and Professor of Music at York University - Toronto, Canada. He came to York in 1971, and over the years has built up a highly respected program in South Indian music at York University. He has trained many South Asians and North American students in the theory and techniques of South Indian drumming. Trichy Sankaran is also the founder and artistic director of Kalalayam, an institution created by him in Toronto, Canada for the promotion of the science and techniques of percussive arts.
In addition to performances in traditional settings, he performs with jazz, electronic, African music ensembles and his own group Trichy’s Trio. He has concretized on four continents with Nexus and World Drums. As a composer, he has produced works for contemporary gamelan, South Indian dance, chamber orchestra and Afro-American percussion ensembles. He has given numerous lecture demonstrations and workshops at various universities in Canada, U.S.A., Germany, and India.