Heavenly music on air
SOMETHING Different: ‘Deva Geetham' on Amrita TV.
Music, dance, drama, citizen journalism, poetry recitation…Thought you had seen it all in reality shows? But no, there is still scope for something different say the folk at Amrita TV.
Incidentally, it was Amrita TV that pioneered the reality show boom on Malayalam television. ‘Deva Geetham,' Amrita TV's latest reality show, aims to popularise Christian devotional music. A.R. Madanan, an alumnus of the School of Drama, Thrissur, and the director of ‘Deva Geetham,' talks about the show, which is aired on weekdays at 7 p.m. Excerpts from an interview…
It took us four to five months to work out the concept of a reality show that hadn't been through the routine. Considering the competition from other channels, we needed one that was unique and which could create a space for itself. We zeroed in on the hitherto untouched theme of Christian devotional music. Of course, such a show needed some convincing because it does not have much scope as a commercial product.
‘Deva Geetham' focusses on minute aspects of this genre of music, which has so far been confined to churches. The programme seeks to identify the best choir group in Kerala.
We have planned 50 episodes and have already completed the first schedule (20 episodes). In this show, there is no SMS voting and the judges' marks are the only criterion to decide the selections and the winners. Ten choir groups from across the State are in the fray for the top spot.
The first and second stages will have two eliminations each, while in the third round three teams will be eliminated. All the eliminated teams will get consolation prizes. The finale will be a competition among three groups.
Each group has 15 to 20 singers and in the initial slot, each group will get four songs each to prove themselves.
Two songs will be telecast each day. It could be a solo, a duet, a group item with four participants or a full choir item depending upon the theme of the round chosen for the episode. The rounds are diverse and have themes such as ‘Fast,' ‘Fusion,' ‘Lullaby,' ‘Nativity,' ‘Semi-Classical,' ‘Western Classical,' ‘Film-Songs,' ‘Psalms,' ‘Angel,' ‘Candle Dance' and so on. ‘Psalms,' ‘Angel,' ‘Candle Dance' are performance rounds.
We have two permanent judges who have a rich background in choir music. One of them is music director Ouseppachan, who began his career playing in choirs, and the other is musician Father Antony Urulianickal. There will also be celebrity judges such as Jolly Abraham, Markose, and Salma George, among others.
Its barely been a fortnight since the show premièred and I believe that Amrita TV's reach has increased quite significantly. Another happy experience has been spending time with the choir groups. The choir singer, previously confined to the church, now has a podium for wider acceptance. In spite of the common belief of the limitations of the genre, the programme unfolds myriad innovative and enjoyable possibilities.
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