Akshay Anantapadmanabhan is a reputed mridangam artist known for his sensitivity, tonality and innovative approach of spreading Indian rhythm through the world. A prime disciple of the legendary guru Sri. T.H. Subash Chandran, Akshay has performed with the past and present leading names of Carnatic music: Sri RK Srikantan, Smt. Sudha Raghunathan, Smt. Aruna Sairam, Sri. Unnikrishnan, Sri. TM Krishna and Smt. Ranjani & Smt. Gayatri to name a few. Akshay began his journey on the mridangam under the tutelage of Sri T.S. Nandakumar in Mumbai India. He later learned from Dr. Venkat Natarajan, who introduced Akshay to Guru Subash Chandran, which was the beginning of a two-decade long relationship. Akshay has given collaborative performances with Hindustani, Latin jazz, American jazz and rock musicians in unique showcases of South Indian percussion. His latest solo production: ‘Re-imagining Indian Rhythms’ pushes the boundaries of Indian rhythms in an avant-garde approach, bringing together the mridangam, kanjira, konnakol and bharathanatyam with digital loopers and interactive visuals. Akshay is also a core member of the viral Indian Classical fusion bands ‘The Thayir Sadam Project’ and ‘Carnatic 2.0 Reloaded.’
"Testifying to his keen musical sense"
P.S. Krishnamurti - The Hindu
Akshay began his journey on the mridangam at the age of 5 in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai with Sri. T.S. Nandhakumar. He moved to the US along with his family when he was 9 and ironically, that was when his true love and passion for the mridangam and began. After completing his school education, undergraduate degree and Masters in Engineering from The Cooper Union New York City, Akshay made the shift to moved to India to pursue music full-time in 2012. Along with his musicianship, Akshay is also involved with research related to generative Carnatic rhythms and intelligent listening systems as well as a an educator of Indian percussion.
"A style that enhances the kritis (songs)"
V. Balasubramanian - The Hindu
- Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer Youth Excellence Award (2018)
- "Best Mridangist” award from the Music Academy Madras (2015)
- C.S. Murugaboopathy award from Krishna Gana Sabha (2015)
- 2015 North America Young Musician Award from SVBF (2015)
- Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva Sangeet Pratiyogita Puraskar (2014)
- IndianRaga Fellowship (2013)
PROJECTS & BANDS
Re-imagining Indian Rhythms
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan has given several solo performances in unique showcases of mridangam, konnokol and kanjira. Using inspirations from his diverse cultural background from the US as well as India, Akshay has developed his own voice as a soloist. He has given live performances in Abu Dhabi and in many parts of North America. Defined by technicality and creativity, he has enthralled diverse audiences and is constantly looking to expand the the awareness and potential of the mridangam across the globe.
In an effort to take South Indian percussion to the world, Akshay has been striving to reach audiences through different mediums. One of his recent projects has been a video series, which exposes the different intricacies in Carnatic rhythm both from a content, and technique point-of-view. The appropriate close-up shots of the mridangam perfectly-synced with audio is the hallmark of this high production-value series. For more details about the video series, visit the AkshayLaya Store.
The thayir sadam project
The Thayir Sadam Project is a band that creates a blend of Indian classical, electronic and world music.
Formed in 2018 by Bindu Subramaniam, Ambi Subramaniam, Mahesh Raghvan and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, they are known for their engaging performances, and their ability to seamlessly weave elements of traditional and modern music styles. In addition to live performances, they conduct workshops for children, design interactive sessions for professionals and write songs/anthems for corporates. They have conducted workshops with over 5000 school children so far, teaching them global music and promoting social initiatives.
CARNATIC 2.0 RELOADED
Carnatic 2.0 is an experimental music project. It fuses popular Carnatic compositions with elements of Dubstep, EDM, and
Drum and Bass, appealing instantly to young and modern audiences of today.
RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS
Akshay has several international publications on the mridangam, konnakol and the kanjira. He has collaborated with several universities and individuals in areas of analysis, automated transcription (music information retrieval), synthesis and music generation. Akshay has published several academic papers on the mridangam and Indian rhythms in international music technology journals. He continues to work on research collaborations on generative approaches of Carnatic rhythms as a collaborator with NYU Abu Dhabi in the The Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC) research group.
Ganguli, K., Anantapadmanabhan, A, & Guedes, C. (2020). Questioning the Fundamental Problem-Definition of Mridangam Transcription. In Timbre conference, Thessaloniki, Greece. [link]
Ganguli, K., Anantapadmanabhan, A, & Guedes, C. (2020). An approach to adding knowledge constraints by fractal analysis on a generative model of Carnatic rhythm sequence. Accepted for publication in Analytical Approaches to World Music Conference (AAWM), Paris, France. [link]
Ganguli, K. Anantapadmanabhan, A, & Guedes, C. (2019). Fractal Modeling of Carnatic Rhythm Sequence: Case-study on a Generative Model. Proceedings of the International Society of Music Information Retrieval conference (ISMIR 2019), Delft, The Netherlands. [link]
Guedes, C., Trochidis, K., & Anantapadmanabhan A. (2018a). Challenges in computational modelling and generation of Carnatic percussion music. Challenges in Carnatic Music generation. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Analytical Approaches to World Music, Thessaloniki, Greece. [link]
Guedes, C., Trochidis, K., & Anantapadmanabhan, A. (2018b) Modeling Carnatic Rhythm Generation: A Data-Driven approach based on Rhythmic Analysis. Proceedings of the 15th Sound & Music Computing Conference, Limassol, Cyprus, 2018. [link]
Guedes, C., Trochidis, K., and Anantapadmanabhan, A. (2017). CAMeL: Carnatic Percussion Music Generation Using N-Gram and Clustering Approaches. Abstract submission for the 16th Rhythm Perception and Production Workshop (RPPW) [link]
Trochidis, K., Guedes, C. & Anantapadmanabhan, A. (2017) A data-driven approach for Carnatic percussion music generation. Proceedings of the 10th International workshop on machine learning and music. Barcelona, Spain, 2017. [link]
Trochidis, K., Guedes, C., Holzapfel, A., Anantapadmanabhan, A., & Klaric, A. (2016). Analysis-By-Synthesis of Rhythm in South Indian Art Percussion Performances by Means of Statistical Analysis. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference of Analytical Approaches to World Music (AAWM). New York, 2016. [link]
Trochidis, K., Guedes, C., Anantapadmanabhan, A. & Klaric, A. (2016). CAMeL: Carnatic Percussion Music Generation Using N-Gram Models. Proceedings of the 13th Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC 2016). Hamburg, Germany. [link]
Anantapadmanabhan, A., Bello, J.P., Krishnan, R. and Murthy, H. (2014). Tonic-Independent Stroke Transcription of the Mridangam. Proceedings of the AES International Conference on Semantic Audio, London, UK. January.
A Anantapadmanabhan, A Bellur, HA Murthy (2013), Modal analysis and transcription of strokes of the mridangam using non-negative matrix factorization. 2013 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing