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Hari Sivanesan in Jaffna

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 23 July 2011

For the 2011 World Routes Academy, London born veena player Hari Sivanesan, retraces his family's roots in the Northern Sri Lankan province of Jaffna, and discovers how music is faring now that the civil war is over.

Making the tricky journey to Northen Sri Lanka, along the bumpy A9 highway flanked by military checkpoints and gun posts, Lucy Duran and Hari Sivanesan head to the lively town of Jaffna, where Hari lived briefly as a baby before spending the rest of his life in London. They visit a riotous Temple Chariot Festival as the country celebrates New Year, and Hari meets and plays with one of the foremost performers in the Carnatic tradition, violinist Radakrishnan.

They watch a performance by a troupe of Vasanthan Koothu dancers, who have not been able to return to their village because of the strict military control over certain High Security Zones, and are now the sole custodians of this rural song and dance tradition. As night draws in, Hari and Lucy meet with a group of women who sing a disappearing lullaby tradition, and who also sing mourning songs. The painful reality is that each of the women has lost a husband or a son in the civil conflict that tore the country apart, and as they talk they perform these heart rending laments bringing Sri Lankas recent past into sharp focus.

The World Routes Academy is a BBC Radio 3 initiative which aims to support and inspire young UK based world music artists by bringing them together with an internationally renowned artist in the same field and belonging to the same tradition.

Music Played

9 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Inuvil Kandasamy Temple Musicians

    Inuvil Kandasamy Temple Musicians Katpaga Valli - Ragamalika - Tala Adi

    Performers: Chinnarajah Raveendran (tavil) Balakrishnan Narmadan (tavil) Ganesan Bhavapriyan (nadaswaram) Kumaradas Nagadeepan (nadaswaram)

    BBC Location Recording, Inuvil Kandasamy Temple

  • Image for Thaavadi Pillaiyaar Temple Musicians

    Thaavadi Pillaiyaar Temple Musicians Chariot Festival

    BBC Location Recording, Thaavadi Pillaiyaar Temple

  • Image for Vasanthan Koothtu performers

    Vasanthan Koothtu performers Mallaka Chetty (Vasanthan Koothtu)

    Performers: Murugesu Sivapragasm (voice) Uthayasutharshini Kuganesan (voice) Kurusamy Srithar (mridangam) Thairiyanathan Justin (harmonium)

    BBC Location Recording, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

  • Image for Vasanthan Koothtu performers

    Vasanthan Koothtu performers Kurathi (Vasanthan Koothtu)

    Performers: Murugesu Sivapragasm (voice) Uthayasutharshini Kuganesan (voice) Kurusamy Srithar (mridangam) Thairiyanathan Justin (harmonium)

    BBC Location Recording, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

  • Image for Hari Sivanesen

    Hari Sivanesen Innikka Innikka Paaduven - Raga Durga - Tala Adi

    Performers: Hari Sivanesen (voice)

    BBC Location Recording, Tellipalai Durga Amman

  • Image for Valliyama Kalimuthu

    Valliyama Kalimuthu Lullaby

    BBC Location Recording, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

  • Image for Thavamani Myvahanam, Sellamma Iyaththurai, Punithavathy Tharmalingham

    Thavamani Myvahanam, Sellamma Iyaththurai, Punithavathy Tharmalingham Mourning song

    BBC Location Recording, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

  • Image for Hari Sivanesen, Radakrishnan

    Hari Sivanesen, Radakrishnan Ananda Nadamadum

    Performers: Hari Sivanesen (veena) Radakrishnan (violin)

    BBC Location Recording, Inuvil Sivakami Ambaal Temple

  • Image for Hari Sivanesen, Radakrishnan

    Hari Sivanesen, Radakrishnan Mattu Nagar - Raga Desh - Tala Tisra Adi

    Performers: Hari Sivanesen (veena) Radakrishnan (violin)

    BBC Location Recording, Inuvil Sivakami Ambaal Temple

  • On the road to Jaffna

    On the road to Jaffna

  • Nadaswaram players

    Nadaswaram players

    Nadaswaram players at the Inuvil Kandasamy Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

  • Chariot Festival

    Chariot Festival

    Chariot Festival at the Thaavadi Pillaiyaar Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

  • Vasanthan Koothu dancers

    Vasanthan Koothu dancers

  • Hari and Radakrishnan

    Hari and Radakrishnan

    Hari and Radakrishnan at the Inuvil Sivakami Ambaal Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

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