It takes two

Updated: Apr 29, 2020, 10:26 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

To spread positivity, Chennai percussionist Mahesh Vinayakram is collaborating with musicians in short split-screen videos

(From left) Ali Emre Algir from Turkey was one of the musicians who jammed with Mahesh Vinayakram
(From left) Ali Emre Algir from Turkey was one of the musicians who jammed with Mahesh Vinayakram

In a world that's being challenged by the pandemic, music can provide healing and a burst of positivity. It is with these thoughts that Chennai-based musician Mahesh Vinayakram conceptualised his series Duo. Twice every week, Vinayakram invites an artiste and shares with them a composition. He then collaborates with them in two-minute long videos that remind one of jugalbandis.

For the last two weeks, he has had the likes of drummer Murali Krishnan and Balaji Rajamani on the mandolin for the series. "I was also approached online by Turkish artiste Ali Emre Algir, who played the ghatam to the track," says Vinayakram who takes on the role of a konakkol player with ease. "The composition is interpreted in different ways when it is mandolin and when it is the drums," he explains.

The idea, he tells us, was to bring positivity back into the lives of people in the absence of recording studios and live shows. And what better way to do that than through music. Now, seven episodes old, the series features a split screen with an artiste each on either half. Though the videos are recorded separately, one could easily believe this was a live repartee. "This is accomplished through a European app I use called Acapella," he reveals. Vinayakram is now convinced that the series will continue till the end of the lockdown. He will invite artistes of all kinds to participate from around the world. "I would also love to work with a painter who can react to the composition and produce work alongside." He believes that anyone with an interest in music can give this a shot.

Log on to Mahesh Vinayakram's YouTube channel

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