South Indian Carnatic vocals
Vocal music from the southern region of India is demanding in every way. There are so many techniques to learn, creativity to develop, literature and history to absorb, one must spend a lifetime devoted to it.
Asha Ramesh started at the age of three in Jamshedpur, India. At the age of ten her devotion to learning music was so clear, she was sent to Sangeetha Kalnidi in Chennai (Madras) to train under renowned masters, Dr. S. Ramanathan and D.K. Jayaraman. Later, she was awarded a government scholarship to receive advanced training under Gana Sudhakara Nanganallur V. Ramanathan. Asha also earned the Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music from Madras University. Besides her mastery of Carnatic music and fluency in several South Indian languages, Asha has learned to sing Hindustani music. “Having chosen the United States as my home, I consider it my duty and honor to be the ‘musical link’ to the next generation,” she says. “This art form is my life! It gives me an immense sense of joy and pride to be able to spread this divine art to the rich diverse cultural community in the Bay Area.”
Asha was a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2000 and 2005, with apprentices Roopa Mahadevan and Karthik Chandram, respectively. Roopa’s apprenticeship with Asha focused on learning a difficult repertory of slow majestic songs, which require the singer to develop an innate ability to create elaborations of the melody and lyrics. Roopa also conducted comparative and analytical research in Carnatic music. Karthik’s apprenticeship with Asha increased his repertoire of kirtanas, or advanced musical pieces, and his improvisational skills.