How to make your submissions for Round 2 work for you

At the time of writing this, the applications for round 2 are currently underway, so.. first off, congratulations on making Round 1, and welcome to the next leg of the race.

In case you are reading this wayyy ahead of time to diligently prepare… (future prospective fellows), Im sure, your results will reflect that, so all the very best.

Now, for those of you who landed here, directly, and are wondering, what this post is all about, here are some useful posts to read before you scroll-down :


What applicants are looking for about the Fellowship

Here’s what you need to know about Round 1 in the IndianRaga Fellowship Application

Alright, so you have read these posts above, and also seen the videos by our fellows Vinod and Surya, you have followed what ever insight these posts and videos can provide you with and are eager for more…. read on :

So, here is what Round 2 is all about, broadly speaking :

In Round 2, selected applicants will be asked to submit a more detailed portfolio of their work. Requirements are expected to be fairly straight-forward and flexible, and exact details will be sent to shortlisted candidates from Round 1.

What does this mean? and how different is this supposed to be, from your submissions to round 1? how will my piece be evaluated? What should I consider when submitting my video, wait… is there any thing I need to think of BEFORE recording my video?

Well, here are a few pointers to you, if you have any of the concerns above :

Applicants will need to make 2 submissions in round 2 (as of the 2017 process) :

One that indicates competency in traditional practice and performance, while the second submission showcases the individuals creative quotient.

Submissions should be of 3 to 5 minutes in length. Please provide time-length indicators for a section of the piece you want to have evaluated if your piece is longer than that. This should be a single continuous section within the piece.

Your traditional piece ideally, is meant to show how thorough you are in your field. Since you get to submit one piece, choose a piece that can showcase a diverse set of concepts, and techniques. In pieces where there are repetitive sections, (Im sure most folk familiar with Western music are familiar with concept of verse/chorus/bridge structure), try to bring out different styles each time a section (verse or chorus) is repeated.

Say for example, if you are a vocalist, you need to fluently sing, with attention to hitting the right notes/pitch, keeping the rhythm, and interpret the piece meaningfully. You are expected to show how well you understand the style of music you are performing, and engage the audience accordingly. For all musicians in general, articulate your phrases well, bring out the contrast between loud and soft sections, with smooth transitions.

As a keyboardist/pianist, ensure you have good hand coordination, and that voicings and harmony are well placed, that chord movements within phrases are smooth, and transitions are fluent. Also, for pianists, you should be able to control your instrument well, via pedals, via fingering technique, touch, play any crecendi, decrecendi, tremolos clearly.

If you are a percussionist, show your rhythmic capability, accuracy; demonstrate how well you can control your instrument (as a drummer, you may be familiar with choking the cymbal). Since the focus is on rhythm more than pitch, show us the various styles you can play in, and your ability to groove in different time-signatures. There should be clarity when playing rolls, clear dynamics, to name a few pointers.

Percussionists usually accompany other musicians in various pieces, more than any other instrumentalist. So let your piece show how well you can accompany others, apart from solo work.

The bottom line, is, to show how well you understand the piece you are performing, how you can engage the audience by leveraging your talent/ability and expertise. While most of the above is written with reference to Western music, Im sure, you can find the equivalent in the Indian musical context.

In your creative piece, evaluators would be interested to see your effort. You could have a really creative submission, possibly from any of your past performances, please specify, what part of it, was your effort, so that can be taken into account. It is better to have it spelt out, than assume the viewer will understand.

For composers, arrangers and sound engineers, the distinction between traditional and creative piece isnt as black and white as for other categories. This is also the case with Costume and Set Designers, Videographers and applicants for Screenplay. So use both submissions, to show us a variety of techniques and get really creative.

Remember, at the fellowship, projects are all about how well you can use your ability, with those of other artists, so let your submission demonstrate how creative you can get.

Please review past fellowship productions, and review all the material hosted an IndianRaga website, channels, facebook page, etc,, to understand our approach, so you can align yourself with the rest of the group.

Now, you should have a fair idea of what works and what you could do to improve your submission, here is a bonus pointer, which applies to both submissions (especially for us musicians) :

Be camera-ready – dont look so serious when singing/playing a happy/groovy tune. Even when you are not singing/playing for a few seconds, that forms the interlude, participate in the groove. I cannot stress enough, how much this improves the stage appearance.

According to Nick, our videographer in the 2016 Program, as far as visuals are concerned, dont worry about over doing it (applies to musicians.. dancers are usually capable of being very expressive)..look happy and smile. Im pretty sure Ive said this before, but its worth repeating.

Thats about it for now. All the best applicants, and hope to see you at Round 3 and the Fellowship. Please comment below with any questions you may have that has not already been addressed and we will do our best to help you out.

Happy holidays and wish you a successful new year!