Among all the musicians from Southern India U. SRINIVAS, occupies a particularly significant position. This maestro of the mandolin was trained in the city of Chennai (Madras), without doubt the best place to learn the musical art of the carnatic tradition
Born in 1969 in the state of ’Andra Pradesh, U. SRINIVAS demonstrated amazing musical abilities from a tender age and soon joined that long line of child prodigies who populate the history of southern Indian music
Also known as MANDOLIN SRINIVAS (only the greatest players are permitted to place the name of their instrument before their own surname) he has given dignity to an instrument that only recently became part of Indian classical music, towards the end of the 19th century (although it should be stated that the five-string Indian mandolin is quite different from its western counterpart, looking somewhat similar to a small electric guitar).
U. SRINIVAS’S interpretations of ragas (ragam, in carnatic culture) both traditional, as in the case of the piece entitled Sanathana, written by the man to this day considered the greatest southern Indian composer, Thyagaraja (1767-1847), and contemporary, are pervaded by a strong sense of spirituality, though not without immediacy, as can be heard on this new album which is full of splendid improvisations and inspired solo passages that are at least as fascinating as the ensemble parts.
Although dedicated to the tradition of his own country, U. SRINIVAS has nonetheless over the course of his career also made inroads into other cultures, interweaving without compromise his own musical path with those of numerous western artists. His refined sensibility has led to profitable collaborations with among others Michael Brook and John McLaughlin in whose legendary group Shakti he currently plays. He has also recorded for western labels like Real World, Verve and Globestyle.
While he often plays in duo with his brother U. Rajesh, himself a fellow mandolinist, the finest expression of U. SRINIVAS’s art comes from his performances with classical quartet, comprising in this case violin and two different percussion instruments typical of southern India, the mridangam (a cylindrical drum that can be played at both ends and that like the tabla may be tuned during performance) and the ghatam (a kind of terracotta vase whose virtuoso players like T.H. VINAYAKARAM are able to wring highly original and singular sonorities out of it).
Mandolin magic is an indispensible listening key for entering the sonic universe of U. SRINIVAS, a carnatic artist who despite his young years has by now become part of the pantheon of Indian classical music.
SRINIVAS U. from Felmay Shop