January 5 through 15, 2024
The IRC India is a musical and cultural trip to South India for continued rhythmical and musical study at the source of Carnatic music. The 10 day course will take place in Bangalore and nearby cities with a program of classes and visits to concerts and cultural sites. For those who are up for it, we will prepare several pieces to be performed on a fusion musical concert.
This is an opportunity to experience authentic Carnatic music and Indian culture in a carefully organized program where all the logistics are taken care of.
The course is led by Ned McGowan, B.C. Manjunath and Dr. Mysore Manjunath in collaboration with Dr. Suma Sudhindra and the Indian Music Experience.
For more info: write to Ned McGowan.
Schedule 2023 trip (2024 schedule to follow)
The trip will be divided into two parts. The first part, from Monday the 9th until lunch on Thursday will be focussed around festival devoted to one of the greatest Carnatic Composers, Tyagaraja. This yearly event is attended by most the Carnatic musicians in the area and is full of concerts and activities. We will have classes, learn some of his compositions and attend many concerts. Additionally there is an opportunity for us to perform the compositions on a function, and to play the famous Pancha Ratna piece by Tyagaraja with several hundred musicians. During this period we will stay in lodgings in the south part of Bangalore, next to the Indian Music Experience (IME) Museum, which we will visit and use as a home base for classes. This part of the trip is organized by BC Manjunath, myself and Dr. Suma Sudhindra. Dr. Sudhindra is one of Carnatic Music's finest vina players and has graciously offered to help curate this part of the trip.
The second part of the trip will be in collaboration with Dr. Mysore Manjunath and take place at the Ashram of Sri Sathya Sai University. Here we will have access to classes in different art forms and a chance to rehearse together. Besides learning more of the tradition and experiencing this wonderful place, we will be creating pieces together with BC Manjunath to be performed on a fusion concert with Dr. Mysore Manjunath.
The trip will end on the 15th with a concert at the IME.
First of all, each participant is responsible for their own international travel to and from Bangalore. I recommend getting there a few days early, and we will organize a pickup from the airport and a place to stay if desired.
From the 9th until the afternoon of the 16th, we will take care of lodging, transportation and most meals. There might be several evenings when people can choose their own dinner in the city. After the 16th you are free to stay in Bangalore, go someplace else, or return home.
For each person who attends, we can also help to make connections with local experts who would be interesting for your specific interest, whether it be a specific instrument, theoretical or spiritual subject, or other discipline. Depending on the subject this can be organized during the week, or before or after.
The costs will consist of international and local transportation, lodging, food, and a tuition fee.
Reflections from participants 2023
- The IRC opened up new vistas. It was an intense dive into Bangalore's vibrant Carnatic music world, with access to major musical forces and festivals. An unforgettable adventure, and a musically rewarding one too.
- It has been a great experience both rich with music, flavors, colors and impressions. Being fully immersed in the culture gave me a deep insight about culture and about the music itself. Human connections and music altogether created a beautiful vibe very hard to to forget.
- IRC is all, you never thought about. IRC gives different experiences in cooperation with one of the best Carnatic humble and kind musicians in Karnataka. You will never forget it in your life.
- This course is overall a great experience. You learn a lot from Indian culture and you will meet great musicians from very different backgrounds who are all very open minded.
- IRC India was a unforgettable whirlwind experience. It was a joy to see so much great music played with love and devotion, and even more to have the chance to collaborate on new music with great Carnatic musicians in beautiful locations. Very inspiring!
- To have my first experiences with the real India through the IRC India has provided me with an immediate deep dive inside the culture, the people and their music! An unforgettable experience!
The Carnatic system of rhythm with its practical approach to complexities, forms the International Rhythm Course's (IRC) basic method for both a foundation and a structured exploration of rhythm in music. The IRC teaches the traditional approach to rhythm from the Carnatic perspective and places it both theoretically and practically next to Western methods. B.C. Manjunath will teach the basics of proper Konnakkol syllables and pronunciation, and the rhythmical approach of his pieces take a prominent role in the course materials.
For whom is the IRC India?
The Course is designed for professionals, college-level students, and experienced amateurs. A high rhythmic proficiency level is not necessary, as theory, exercises and homework are given in a way that the participants can choose their appropriate difficulty. Performers of all instruments and composers are welcome regardless of style (i.e. Classical, improvised or non-Western musics). Existing ensembles and bands are welcome to apply as a group, as well as other rhythmical art forms (dance, rap, etc...) . If there are any doubts or questions about qualifications, just write for more information.