The canvas might have changed but the principles of advertising are very much evident in Mythili Chandrasekar’s book on Carnatic music. Chandrasekar is Vice-president and Executive Planning Director of JWT Chennai and has co-authored ‘Voices Within’, a coffee table book on the seven maestros of Carnatic music, with leading Carnatic musicians Bombay Jayashri and TM Krishna.
Chandrasekar, who has been in advertising and marketing communications for almost two decades, commenting on the common thread between the book and advertising, says, “The book could have tread the normal course and presented a chronological biography and a list of anecdotes. Instead, Voices Within is about the human side of music. The concept of focusing on a single-minded idea is something that my job demands. The seven essays on the maestros are based on one central insight or idea that drove that maestro's character, life and music.”
Elaborating the concept, Chandrasekar said, “It's all about exploring and understanding human behaviour, which is what planning is about. It's a book not just about music, but about musicians, the people behind the genius. It is insight mining and writing expertise together put to a new use.”
Chandrasekar, who began her career as a copywriter, has spent a large part of her career at JWT and this is her third stint with the agency. She says that the book is a fine example of her skill as a planner, which she practices now at JWT, and her passion for writing that she did at one point of time as a copywriter and continues now by contributing articles to leading dailies and websites, including exchange4media.
Commenting further on the work, she said, “This collaboration has brought a fresh and easy style to music writing, making it readable and accessible to a wider audience, which is one of the purposes behind the book.”
The idea of the book took shape around five years ago but actually took shape over the last few months of 2006. And in January this year the first copy was presented to President APJ Abdul Kalam. The book has been carefully researched by all three authors who have gone to great lengths to source rare, unpublished photographs and memorabilia and ensured a stylish, glossy presentation. The book has been published by Matrka and designed by Deepa Kamath at Newgen Design Studio, Chennai.