The University’s Director of Music Performance has gained a rare insight into Indian-style music during a visit to a Hindu temple. Dr Ingrid Pearson was invited to the Shree Ghanapathy temple in Wimbledon to listen to pieces performed on the nagaswaram, a southern Indian woodwind instrument used for snake charming. It is traditionally played in temples, during processions and at marriage ceremonies.
Dr Pearson was accompanied by the Faculty of Art, Design and Music’s finance manager, Yoges Yogendran, who worships at the temple. “It was the first time I had been to the temple and I was given a warm welcome,” she said. “The Sri Lankan musicians weren’t reading any music – all their work was improvised – and I was very impressed.”
Dr Pearson also got to try the nagaswaram herself. “Despite playing the clarinet, I found it quite difficult to make a sound on the instrument,” she said. “However, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience more music from another culture.”