This quartet has been conceptualised as an effort to explore the coming together of two distinct instrumental artforms, within the Carnatic tradition. The melodic instruments in this collaboration, violin and nagaswaram, come from very different cultural and musical backgrounds, and similar is the case with the mridangam and thavil. The intent is to explore each of these instruments, as also the musical traditions from which they come, without restriction, and to witness the magic that happens when they come together.
Each performance is crafted keeping in mind the musical and sonic uniqueness of the four instruments, and their coming together in both composition and improvisation. This collaboration, more than anything else, is the coming together of four artistes, simply a celebration of instrumental music.
A Carnatic Quartet, conceptualised and curated by Shreya Devnath, features artistes Shreya Devnath (Violin), Mylai M Karthikeyan (Nagaswaram), Praveen Sparsh (Mridangam) and two Thavil artistes alternatively, Adyar G Silambarasan and Gummudipoondi R Jeevanandham.
Shreya Devnath is a student of the legendary Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman. She is a well-established solo violinist, who also curates, performs and tours with "A Carnatic Quartet", a Carnatic instrumental ensemble, as also “An Experiment with Sound and Music", a duet with percussionist Praveen Sparsh. A capable vocalist, and committed teacher, Shreya handles students from different parts of the world. She has scored and performed music for plays, ad jingles and short films. Shreya has also created music outreach programs for underprivileged children, with the intent of spreading the joy of music far, wide and deep. Her music is characterised by substance and freshness, a journey for the artiste and the audience.
Praveen Sparsh is one of the most sought after Mridangam artistes in the field of Carnatic music today. Having trained in the mridangam under Guruvayur Sri Dorai from the age of five, Praveen is now also a multi percussionist and a music producer who has scored and performed music for plays, ad jingles and short films. His recent debut album 'Unreserved' has received critical acclaim from the music and entertainment fraternity at large. Praveen's perception of music is as nuanced as it is precise, and his boundless artistic curiosity reflects in his wide array of musical explorations.
Mylai M Karthikeyan is a young torchbearer of the Nadaswaram tradition. He started learning Nadaswaram at the age of eight from his father Mylai Sri S.Mohanraj, and then proceeded to learn from Nadaswaram Vidwan Mylai Sri Rajendran, at the age of ten. He then joined the Adyar Music College, and went on to complete his Diploma in Nadaswaram under Nadaswaram Vidwan Vysarpadi Sri G. Kothandaraman. He remains under the tutelage of Sri Vysarpadi Kothandaraman, with a view to further enhance his skills. Karthikeyan completed his Diploma from Adyar Music College, as a Gold Medallist. He was subsequently awarded the title "Vaadya Visaaradha". He has also been awarded the titles of "Vaadhya Kalaimani" and "Nadaswara Eilaval".
Adyar G Silambarasan is a leading Thavil artist today. He had his debut at the age of fifteen and went on to complete his "Vadya Kalaimani" in Tavil, from the Tamil Nadu Government Music College, where he was a Gold Medalist. During this period, he had the opportunity to learn from renowned Tavil vidwans, Kalaimamani Thirukannauram S. Jeya Chandran, Kalaimamani Thirunageswaram T.R. Subramaniam and Kalaimamani Mannargudi M.R. Vasudevan. Silambarasan currently plays for Tamilnadu Government Music & Fine Arts University, Tamilnadu Government Music College, Kanchipuram Music School, Erode Music School and Madurai Raja Annamalai University, apart from many of the prominent music organisations of Chennai. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Govt. Music College - Vadya Visaradha (2007- 2010), Vadya Kalaimani (2013-15), Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta Asthana Vidwan (2018), Sree Sangeetha Seva Rathna (2016) and Tavil Ilaval (2018).