Living Life the Musical Way- Conversations with Ankna Arockiam

Having music in life is definitely a blessing but when it becomes a way of life- things get even brilliant to relish!  While we think of mastering a genre of music and excelling it, Ankna Arockiam- a research student from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has an entire different idea about it. She embraces music as a way of living and realizes the universal aspect of it.  Ankna had her earlier training in Carnatic music and also trained as a Bharatanatyam dancer. But what made her get into Western classical music and playing the cello as well?

Ankna feels that Indian classical music is an incredible way to understand the spiritual aspects but when she was learning this genre, the technicalities of body posture, breath control, projection of voice wasn’t laid much emphasis on. She also understands that there is great scope of research that can be undertaken in regards to this and to understand the deeper meanings of Indian classical music and its makings. Apart from being a gifted western vocalist, Ankna also addresses the issue of better teaching methods, making more students understand the importance of music learning.  Speaking of the music scene in India compared to that of Europe, where she is currently residing in, Ankna finds it highly promising. She feels that, since she has moved away, the Indian Music Scene is getting more global and more artists are willing to collaborate (the same cannot be said for Western classical music in India). According to her, it is a welcoming change but she also feels that the necessity of higher education is music should be realized in India.

For Ankna, breath management is a key aspect of good singing technique, something she is herself working on. Unless the singer doesn’t master the art of good breathing, it is very difficult to focus on other technicalities like dynamics, timbre, voice projection and so on.  In Western classical music, singers usually sing without a microphone to thousands of people!! Of course, this also depends on the acoustics of the venue. But opera houses and big concert halls have singers who have trained voices that can carry over the orchestra and chorus without a microphone.

Ankna also widely conducts workshops in various cities whenever she visits India and believes that real life examples make the students understand about music in an easy manner.  Ankna feels that she can empathise with these students and upcoming singers who have shown incredible talent. Ankna is also the chair of student working group at AEC-European Association of Conservatories and widely visits the music schools of Europe as part of her work. A feisty individual at heart, Ankna loves to travel and had literally flown over 50 times in the past one year and she is absolutely loving it!

She recently visited Graz, in Austria as part of preparations for the annual congress held by AEC( in the month of November. This conference is aimed to address different issues of musicians and bringing qualified teachers and students together. Ankna will be heading the student group and will be part of the welcome keynote address as well.

ArtHub takes immense pride in being associated with Ankna Arockiam and she finds the initiative to be quite promising for young musicians to network.  She finds tremendous potential in ArtHub’s idea of bringing musicians together in a single platform with great passion and vigour.