25 January, 2021

Kannan's Veena Meets Yanni's Piano: Enabled By Technology, United In Virtual Concert!

During lockdown, Chennai musicians held remote concerts, recreated old film hits or just versified Tamil songs in English for fun

Vishnudev's concert for MadRasana's Gridlock Series
Kannan's Veena Meets Yanni's Piano: Enabled By Technology, United In Virtual Concert!

Veena vidwan Kannan Balakrishnan had always been a fan of Greek composer-pianist Yanni. Kannan was deeply impressed by Yanni’s simplicity when, during his concert in Chennai in April 2014, he walked over to the stage as Kannan played the veena during a private concert to welcome the hugely popular musician.

“He sat there for a while, intrigued by my fingering technique, wonder-struck by the veena’s unique sound. Since I could not attend his Chennai concert due to prior commitments the organisers flew me to his Colombo concert,” recalls Kannan, 56. Now, the lockdown has provided an interregnum—a cessation of activities that the Chennai-based musician is using, among other things, to play his veena along with two of Yanni’s famous compositions, remotely and digitally.

“With no concerts possible I decided to become part of Yanni’s orchestra. So, for almost a month I listened and practised along with the videos of his two short compositions—Standing in Motion and Nostalgia. Since the veena is an instrument with frets...



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