Dialogues 2: Music from Clay - A Conversation & Performance by Ravi Iyer


Sun Jun 11 2023 at 02:00 pm to 04:00 pm


The Clay Studio | Philadelphia, PA

We will be talking with Ravi Iyer to discuss the ghatam, a clay percussion instrument used in Carnatic music. There will also be a musical p
About this Event

In collaboration with The Clay Studio

Dialogues: A Conversation and Performance is a new series in which we invite someone to discuss their creative process and present an aspect or aspects of their work. Today we will be talking with Ravi Iyer to discuss the ghatam, a clay percussion instrument used in Carnatic music and to discuss Carnatic Music. Ravi will be interviewed by Swetha Narasimhan, a Carnatic violin player who also join Ravi in performance.

The ghatam is a large, narrow-mouthed earthenware water pot used as a percussion instrument. Unlike other Indian percussion instruments, such as the tabla and mridangam, the ghatam does not have a membrane over its mouth. The ghatam produces a distinctive metallic sound and is made in several sizes, each size having a different pitch. As used in Carnatic music, the ghatam is positioned with its mouth pressed against the player’s stomach. The player taps the surface of the ghatam with the fingers and the base of the palm and changes the pitch and resonance of the instrument by varying the pressure of the pot against the stomach.

Ravi Iyer is a renowned Carnatic percussionist. He was trained by Sri Madurai Shanmugam Pillai and received advanced training from Sri Trichy Raghava Iyer. He has accompanied several musicians and dancers in India and abroad. He has performed fusion concerts with Hindustani and western percussion instruments and regularly features in world music festival and national folk festivals hosted every year across the US. Ravi recently performed in “the 28th Lotus World Music and Arts Festival”, one of the oldest world music festivals taking place in Bloomington, Indiana in September 2021. He teaches and mentors students interested in the art of Mridangam and rhythm.

Swetha Narasimhan started learning violin at the age of 6 from Dr. Narayan Raman in Indianapolis, USA. Later, she was taught by several violinists, including Shri. Purna Chander Rao, Trichy Shri. Sathyamurthy, and Smt. Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi. She is currently learning from Smt. Gowri Ramakrishnan. Swetha has participated in several music festivals and won first prizes in competitions in CMANA Great Composer’s Day and the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. She has accompanied many major Carnatic artists in and around New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

(in the event of inclement weather, the event will be held in the fourth floor lounge)

venue is wheelchair accessible (elevator access to 4th floor)


Where is it happening?

The Clay Studio, 1425 North American Street, Philadelphia, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 0.00 to USD 20.00

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