It was one of those emails listing down the events of the day across Chennai. I always skim through them, and delete the mail. But last evening, for no reason, the words “Saiyuki Trio” caught my attention. I read on to discover it was a concert to be held at Alliance Francaise at 7pm and it was open to all. The thought then faded away as i got busy with work and other activities. Around 6.45 i suddenly remembered “Saiyuki Trio”, and made a dash to get to the venue. Since it was short walk from home i wasnt too worried!!
But it was the very evening when Madam Chief Minister, Jayalalitha had decided to grace a Christmas Celebration happening near home. And the streets looked like the entire city had been kicked out of their homes, there were people everywhere, along the bridge, on the street, up and down the staircases and just about everywhere. Resembled an army of ants crawling across a piece of cake, trying to sneak in a nibble.
So, i was there at the Edouard Michelin Auditorium on the top floor, only to hear the MC announce “we are running a bit behind schedule as many are stuck across town due to unavoidable circumstances [read as JJ’s visit across town]… So, i sat there and waited .. waited… and finally, 7.20pm the trio came onto the stage set for them.
[L to R]Prabhu Edouard, Nguyen le and Meiko Miyazaki… [Image courtesy: nguyen-le.com]
It was one & half hours of beautiful soulful music.. Each piece was unique, and it was a different kind of an experience… There was a piece they performed called “Sangamam” [which literally translates to Confluence, coming together] that had been composed by Prabhu….
Sangam… Ananda Sangam… [was how the verse went]
The Trio from various corners of the world have come together, and the music that was born out of their confluence was truly divine…..
The Trio were-
Mieko Miyazaki from Japan who played the Koto, a large String instrument with such ease. She has been playing this since the age of 9 and has won many accolades back in Japan… A petite lady, she also had a voice that had us all mesmerised….
Nguyen Le, born in Paris to Vietnamese parents played the Guitar… He is renowned for the album Purple that was released celebrating Jimi Hendrix’s music…
and finally, our very own Prabhu Edouard who hails from Trichy, but has made France his home [been there since 1975] who plays the Tabla among other similar instruments.. He also plays with Hindustani
flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia. He had the audience zapped, chanting, singing, clapping and ofcourse laughing away with his quirky comments…
The Koto [Japanese instrument]
[Image Courtesy: http://www.dimensionsguide.com]
There was this one piece composed by Mieko which she narrated as a story…
“Many many years ago, there was only One God.. he then created two gods- a man god Isimagi, and a woman Isimani….
One day the husband looked at his wife and asked her “My Darling, how is your body?”
She replied “My darling, my body is good, but i feel something missing”
He then told her “My darling, but i have something too much in my body, i will give you some of it to make that something missing go away”
[now, we all knew what she was talking about and there were a few surprised gasps and chuckles among the audience….. ]
And then Mieko blushed and told us how “The husband gave his wife some of the too much that he had and then she made many babies, who are believed to be the islands of Japan”
During the course of the song, there was a section where Prabhu and Mieko belted out words and sounds that described the scene going on between the husband and wife…. It was amazing at how they were able to bring out such strong feelings through simple words and chants….
Prabhu then took the mic, and made light of the performance that had just happened saying He and Meiko were just artists, their relationshop was purely professional and that after the show he would go home to his wife and she to a different hotel… hahah..fun moments during the concert……..
Here is one of the pieces they performed- Sweet Ganesha….
You can listen to some pieces here and some of their other performances here
The Edouard Michelin
Auditorium is a fairly small one, but i have seen it go through
transformation over the years, now there is Air conditioning, nice plush
seats have replaced plastic chairs and the ramp outside replaced with
stairs, a nice door and an overall good feel. Oh, they have also
installed an Elevator…