Mahindra Percussion Festival 2024: Music duo Two Summ on their journey with the mridangam

Viveick Rajagopalan
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Anantha R Krishnan and Viveick Rajagopalan have a penchant for the obscure. When asked what the Bengaluru audience at the second edition of the Mahindra Percussion Festival (March 23 and 24) can expect to see when the duo performs as Two Summ, Anantha says “Us” and laughs. Viveick adds that it may be difficult to define music like this which has not yet seen the light of day.

“Without sounding too arrogant, we’ve essentially created a new kind of music. We’d like to invite the audience to bring this child into creation,” says Anantha.

This interview hence becomes a discussion about the two artistes and their starkly different journeys with the mridangam — the instrument that binds them today. While the mridangam is Viveick’s staple, this musician plays a range of instruments and has worked on music for commercials and films like Nava Rasa and Gully Boy. His collaborations with several artistes including Lucky Ali and Bugge Wesseltoft over two decades, has shaped and defined his music that often deflects from the Carnatic scheme of things.

Anantha R Krishnan

Anantha R Krishnan
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Ananta, on the other hand, comes with a legacy. His grandfather is mridangam maestro Palghat Raghu. “With legacy comes an already ordained system of doing things. Part of the fun was to satisfy those expectations, but the other, was to be irreverent in my own way. Being in the US helped, as I was able to learn different kinds of music and experiment,” he says.

Viveick says that their collaboration has been a happy coincidence involving several hours of scheduling over Google. They are meeting about 10 days before the event to get their set in order. “You’re going to see production, you’re going to see deep electronic beats and the mridangam going through wandering passages,” says Anantha, trying to sum up their performance. Viveick says that there will be textures and layers that they will attempt to showcase through their performance.

Platforms highlighting the percussion are few. This is why the Mahindra Percussion Festival becomes an important space to experiment, says Viveick. “Nobody today goes up on stage without a showreel. Festivals want to know how many Instagram followers we have. This is why shows like this become important,” he says, adding that there is a serious dearth of avenues that allow artistes to explore without expectation.

Viveick Rajagopalan

Viveick Rajagopalan
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Both the artistes say that they are hoping for the audience to be part of this experimental performance that they are looking to present. “We want to enter this without a sense of what is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’. We just want to allow ourselves and the audience to jump into water,” Viveick says.

Two Summ will only be one of the several acts at the Mahindra Percussion Festival. The response to the first edition allowed for the festival to become a two-day event in 2024. Legendary artistes like Vikku Vinayakram, djembe exponent Taufiq Qureshi, mridangam Charu Hariharan, drummer Darshan Doshi, the Ashtanayika ensemble and Bengaluru band Swarathma will be performing at the event.

The Mahindra Percussion Festival, in association with The Hindu, is co-sponsored by Mahindra Finance, Paul John Visitor Centre and Carlsberg Smooth Soda and promoted and produced by Hyperlink Brand Solutions. Tickets are on bookmyshow.com.

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