Triobroma, an artistic collaboration between a Carnatic singer, a storyteller and a guitarist, is aiming to blend music and storytelling.
“The idea of blending music and storytelling always appealed to us. The act we are going to be performing, Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal, will be based on two folk tales collected by poet and folklorist AK Ramanujan. Since the stories are based on folklore, it allows us to retell and adapt the tales. Three of us will be enacting different characters in the story and will be singing as part of the narration,” explains 37-year-old Deeptha.
The performers want to make their audience reminisce Chennai of the 90s through the show. “We are aiming to contemporarise the folk tales by setting the backdrop in Chennai of the 80s and 90s, which is when the three of us grew up as well. We hope that millennials, and all Chennaiites can relate to and connect with the stories. While the folk tales take a little bit of adaptation, all the music that we use in the performance is original,” adds Deeptha.
The fun and catchy title of Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal seemed to be apt for the performance as they hope the collaboration will be a great medley as the dish, popularly sold on the Marina Beach, she says. “When we were playing around with titles, Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal struck a chord with all of us. It is a great metaphor for a wholesome dish. We are also rehearsing for the upcoming show by the beach. We want the show to be a tribute to the city and its beaches,” she adds.
The composition of songs is done based on the characters of the stories. “If a particular character in the folk tale is a Palakkad Iyer, there is Carnatic music accompanying the narration, and it changes accordingly if it is a fashionable young man’s story. We find it a lot of fun creating this experience,” says Ranjani.
For 30-year-old Vikram, who is a part of city-based bands like Grey Shack and IndoSoul, storytelling with music reminds of a musical. “This is a new experience to me, but feels similar to musicals, which I have worked on earlier. In a musical, there is no gap between a dialogue and music,” he adds.
The performance will be presented in the city on June 9 (at Kamakshi Mehfil in Kalakshetra Colony), 15 (at Rutland Gate Studio in Nungambakkam) and 16 (at Spaces in Besant Nagar) from 6 pm onwards.