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September 26, 2016
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VK (a.k.a. VijayaKumar)
Notes/Content Manager

VK's Picture

Musical

Hailing from a family of musical folks (my grand mom Mrs Kanakavalli, my mom Mrs Sulochana, my aunt Mrs. Bharati), there was no dearth of music. My parents (late Mr S Venkatesan and Mrs Sulochana) found early on, my interest and the natural ability to associate and sing tunes easily. Started learning classical vocal music (during school years) from my aunt Mrs. Bharati for about 4 years; continued learning vocal music under the tutelage of gOttu vaadhya vidhwan late Sri. Kittappa for a year afterwards.

As a kid, I used to compete in so many music competitions all over chennai (or madras as it was called then). It was my father who used to enroll me in all such competitions/events. Once enrolled, focus then shifted to my mom, who then composed the tune for the lyrics and taught me the song with her tune. My father then would take me to the event. The fun part about the whole thing was the reward I would get at the end of it - yes, a "basundhi" (a milk sweet) after the competition on the way home (I still remember having basundhi at Ramakrishna Lunch Home near Broadway so many times). Participating in those competitions taught me the spirit of competing, getting to know so many wonderful musical acquaintances, some of whom are still good friends of mine, even after so many years.

Learning keyboards was something that happened as a chance. There was an abondoned harmonium (accumulating dust) in my grand mom's house. So, stuck stickers with the notes (s,r,g,m,,.) on the harmonium keys and tried playing whatever I learnt in my vocal lessons. It was at that time, when my elder brothers Mr. Rajan and Mr. Sridhar (who also sing semi classical, devotional and light music), got a small casio keyboard. So, we would try playing tunes on that keyboard. Slowly and steadily, that small interest became a passion for me. As keyboards became bigger, so did my fascination for them. My brother and I started a light music group called AALAAPANAA (in chennai) back in 1992. We used to do several light music shows (including the use of MIDI technology). It was at that time that I also got to learn the fundamentals of chords and progressions and other helpful tips and tricks from the lead keyboard player Srikanth. Srikanth does music compositions for jingles, albums, documentaries, movies and other gigs.

After migrating to the US, myself and two other friends (Krishna Sivaramapuram and Murali Swaminathan) co-founded a light music group PALLAVI in the bay area. This is the best thing that has happened to my musical aspirations, since I landed in the US. PALLAVI started performing as a tamil light music group in 1996, then diversified to other languages (hindi, telugu, kannada). PALLAVI is one of the most popular music groups in the bay area and has performed more than 26 shows here in the US, enthralling bay area audiences with quality light music shows, doing fundraisers for several non-profit charity organizations.

Academic/Professional
  • St. Johns Matriculation School, St. Thomas Mt. - 1978-1981
  • Sri Chakravarthy Intl. Matriculation Academy, Alandur 1981-1985
  • Gill Adarsh Matriculation Hr. Sec. School, Royapettah - 1985-1987
  • Did my BE in Computer Science from Sri Venkateswara College of Engg, Nazarathpet - 1987-1991
  • Worked in HCL (R&D, Communications Divn, Chennai - 1991-1995)
  • Migrated to US in 1995 to work for Infogain Corp. (software consulting) - 1995 - 2004
  • Worked as an IT Specialist at Agilent Technologies (2004 - 2009) using TIBCO
  • Currently working as an Integration Tech Lead at Logitech (Fremont, CA)

Credits

I owe many thanks to a lot of folks who have helped, supported and guided me through these years - my mom, my aunt, my grand-mom, my brothers and other family members that have put up with me over the years - my friends in the various music circles (carnatic, devotional, semi-classical and film music) that I have come across. I would like to thank Vinubalaji for his valuable help in webpage design, management and migration of all files into this new domain and the continued support/maintenance of this website. Last but not the least, my second love and wife Sunitha, who has been a great support, tolerating my long phone conversations, meetings, practices and program outings related to music. Little does she know that she is indirectly helping me with my first love - music ofcourse!

Webmaster - Vinubalaji Gopal(Vinu)

VK has been telling me to write a section about me for a long time and I have been procrastinating it for so long. Here is a short description about me and this website.
About me: I have no inclination towards music except for listening to a few songs. I love alternative rock and I like to hear it at really high volume in my car stereo! I love to sleep, like travel and adventure . I am really passionate about open source and try to contribute whenever I can. I redesigned this website as a hobby and update it whenever I find time. I have a blog where you can read more about me and my thoughts.