With music-based reality shows like Indian Idol and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge getting extremely popular on television, Carnatica (started by well known carnatic musicians S Soumya and K N Shashikiran) along with Raagalaya Trust has decided to have a talent hunt to spot the Carnatic Idol 2007.
"There is a lot of young talent in Carnatic music. But they don't get the same kind of attention other singers get, despite their efforts. Unfortunately, no private auditioning is done in our country to spot talent. To get to sing in a sabha, young singers have to do a lot of marketing. So we decided to have a system where it is made easier for the new talent to showcase their talent to the public," Shashikiran explains.
He adds that anybody who has learnt Carnatic music for a minimum of five years with a repertoire of at least 30 kritis, who can sing alapana, neraval and kalpana swaras (vocal and instrumental) and who have the ability to play solo and accompaniment, can participate in the contest. Besides, there is no age limit.
Shashikiran informs that the first round of elimination is by listening to the submission by the jury. The name of the contestant will not be known to the jury; only numbers are given so that it will be fool-proof.
The best will be selected for live rounds to be held on the October 27 and 28.
The finals will be held at Narada Gana Sabha on November 10 in front of the panel of eminent judges. There will also be public polling.
The jury consists of eminent personalities such as T N Krishnan, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, R K Srikantan, N Ramani, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, S R Janakiraman, T V Gopalakrishnan, R Vedavalli, Guruvayur Dorai, Srimushnam Raja Rao and Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam, to name a few.
The brand icons for Carnatic Idol 2007 are Sudha Ragunathan, Aruna Sairam, Chitravina Ravikiran, S Sowmya, Bombay Jayashree, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Nityashree Mahadevan, T M Krishna, and O S Arun.
The winning artists and accompanists will receive cash awards. Carnatica will also take care of one year of their career promotion which also includes tours abroad. The winners will get to perform in a major sabha during the Margazhi festival this year and also will have an album released.
Carnatica has bigger plans for next year, Shashikiran says. "This year is only the beginning; it's experimental. From next year, it will be a global show. We will do it in the US next year as there are many talented singers there."
Vocalists and instrumentalists can send in a recording containing ragam, neraval and swaram in any song of their choice with tracks not exceeding a maximum duration of six minutes, either by post or email. The audio track as attachment in MP3 format can either be emailed or send as MP3 or as an audio CD to Carnatic Idol Jury Box, 13, Krishnabai Steeet, First floor, Gokulam Colony, T Nagar, Chennai 600 017 before October 21.
If the submission is by percussionists, it can be a recording of thaniyavarthanam in any talam of the contestant's choice.