Balasubramanyam S, 59, popularly known as Bali, a professional musician and singer has enriched the world of music and enthralled the audience with his artistry. He lives in Jayanagar 7th Block with his family.
With passion and immeasurable love for music, he has touched the soul of music in every sense. In 2000-01, Karnataka State Sangeeta Nrutya Academy honoured him with ‘Karnataka Kalashree’ (Sakala Vaadya Kalaanipuna) in recognition of his contribution to the music field.
Balasubramanyam founded Ramya Cultural Academy, a charitable trust, in 1993, in his own house, aimed to make music accessible for poor students and youngsters. He spoke to Citizen Matters.
Why did you call the academy Ramya?
Ramya is a Tamil word which means quiet and beautiful. I felt it was a suitable word to address a place where music is taught.
What is the highest point of the academy according to you?
Many young people have attained their career goals through Ramya. Rithisha Padmanabh was my student. When she got the national Balashree award in 2001, I was extremely happy. I consider it as a precious moment in my life with Ramya.
What are Ramya’s main activities?
It does a lot of things like training young and poor students, organising periodical seminars, workshops, discussions, lectures, demonstrations etc,. We also assist young artists to study by providing loans and scholarships. We propagate music in general by highlighting the literary value through soothing melody.
Tell us more about the students here.
A majority of Ramya’s students are poor. They come from various parts of Bangalore. A small number of people coming here are people from all walks of life, including government officials, and politicians. But the intention for coming here varies, some would want to recall their musical talent, some would want to have relief from music and there are some novices who wish to learn the music. The age of students varies from seven to 50.
What do you think of your neighbourhood?
As I told you in the beginning about the meaning of the word ‘Ramya’, my neighbourhood also is Ramya. Many art lovers are here, they love music, songs and other art forms.
Is there any myth existing in the society over music?
Nowadays many people go for music therapy to cure disease. It is a myth, music cannot cure any diseases. A person who has a passion for music will get some relief through music therapy and those who don’t, get nothing. It depends upon the way people perceive music.
What do you think of music scene in Bangalore. What’s your message to the society?
Music has become the product of machines. Today’s generation has lost the patience to hear and produce live music with real instruments. They download it from the internet, add variations to the original for their current purpose. This is not a good attitude. So my message to the society is “go away from machines and keep music alive.”⊕