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04 Dec 2023, Edition - 3065, Monday

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Blind Musician wins gold

Umaima Shafiq


Visually impaired Coimbatore based musician S Sabareesh seems to have emulated Helen Keller’s saying, “never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye.”

A literature graduate with B.ED degree, Sabareesh has been playing the flute and keyboard in Carnatic and western styles since his school days. To prove his mettle, he released two single track albums on social media and has won many awards and prizes.

Talking to The Covai Post, Sabareesh says, “I learnt flute and keyboard from childhood but while studying Class XI in a government school in Coimbatore, my music teacher Padmanabhan noted my talent and gave me special training. He is the reason for my achievements today. He taught me keyboard in Carnatic style. Then while doing graduation in Loyola College Chennai, my classmates urged that I learn keyboard in western style to widen my prospects.”

So the college faculty helped him in western music. “In Loyola, if you study well, they encourage extra curricular activities. So my classmates were really supportive. I also used NVDA reading software to read and update on music. This year I have released two single track albums. They got good response, many listeners said that the music was of cinematic quality. I worked with two friends, Rajan a lyric writer and Rangaraj who sang my songs in the first album. Then I worked with a Vellore troupe for the second album. Now I have again teamed up with Rajan and Rangaraj for the next two albums,” said Sabareesh.

His first album was released on Radio City Chennai FM channel this March with a live interview.

“I am visually impaired from birth. Actually music doesn’t need vision. I use NVDA to read music texts and other related books on computer and phone. My family has given immense support and I have a separate room for my instruments where I practice all my waking hours. I have an elder brother who is married and settled,” said Sabareesh.

He has also played and sung at many stage events and represented Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalaya College in Coimbatore where he studied B.ED.He has participated in state level music competitions to win two gold medals in 2017-2018. He has also played with a fully visually impaired troupe in an event sponsored by Headway Foundation in Chennai presided by film actor Kamal Haasan.

“Besides this I have won many prizes and trophies. I am interested in teaching but schools here are hesitant to take in visually impaired people. Other than that I had also got an offer as a trainee for EMET job-placement programme but it required a session in Bangalore so I didn’t go. Now I am concentrating on my albums,” he says.

Sabareesh is also willing to create albums for advertisers or persons who want to speak on social causes through his songs. His number is 9843846714.

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