musings on music and life

June 28, 2013

Concert Aug 18

Filed under: Carnatic Music — Tags: — sankirnam @ 9:34 pm

For those in SD, early heads up:


Thanks to Shekar Viswanathan (the President of IFAASD) for getting the flyer made so early!

I had performed for the same organization at the same venue last year with Mohan Rangan and Ravikiran Govindaraj (flute). Also, I’m not making this up… their names are actually R. Arjun Sambasivan and R. Narayanan! Coincidence, or did Shekar plan this deliberately? Either way looks like it’ll be a good concert.

June 17, 2013

Yesterday’s concert

Filed under: Carnatic Music — Tags: — sankirnam @ 10:06 am

Amazing concert yesterday, in spite of glitches the whole time from the sound system.

Delhi P. Sunder Rajan – Vocal
Arun Ramamurthi – Violin
Neyveli R. Narayanan – Mrudangam

Shirdi Sai Pariwar, Milpitas, CA
June 16, 2013, 3 PM

1. Sami Ninne – Shri – Adi – Karur Devudu Iyer

2. Meru Samana – Mayamalavagaula – Adi – Thyagaraja

3. Shri Ramam – Narayanagaula – Adi – Muthuswami Dikshitar

4. Telisi Rama – Purnachandrika – Adi – Thyagaraja

5. Bhajana Seya Radha – Dharmavathi – Rupakam – Mysore Vasudevacharya

6. Sevikka Vendum Ayya – Andolika – Adi – Muthuthandavar

7. Daasarathi – Thodi – Adi – Thyagaraja

8. Paridanamichite – Bilahari – Khanda Chapu – Patnam Subramaniam Iyer

9. RTP – Brindavani – Khanda Jathi Triputa (2 kalai) – “Pahimaam Paavani Brindavani, Sakalasaubhagya Pradayani” (eduppu 1.5 aksharams from samam, arudhi karvai 2.5 aksharams)

10. Viruttam – Ragamalika

11. Sai Bhajan – Tilang

12. Ni Namarupamulaku – Saurashtram – Adi – Thyagaraja

Arun-Arjun-NRN-DPS-Ravi SJ 6-16-2013

Photo of us before the concert. Ravindra Bharathi (a mrudangam teacher in Cupertino) is on the right in green.

June 14, 2013

Concert on sunday!

Filed under: Carnatic Music — sankirnam @ 10:32 am

For those in the Bay Area:


I’ll be flying up that morning just for the concert. I haven’t heard this specific combination since 2005, which was when Delhi Sunder Rajan gave one of his first vocal concerts in Los Angeles. That concert was unforgettable, as I am sure this will be. Delhi Sunder Rajan is one of the top-ranked violinists of his generation, and his vast knowledge and creativity overflow into his singing as well. I’ve said before that all the top Carnatic musicians (including me :P) have a deep knowledge of vocal music, and violinists are no exception. I also don’t need to gush on about my guru Neyveli Narayanan sir’s playing, but the chemistry that he and Delhi Sunder Rajan have is really something special.

June 13, 2013

Trifluoromethylation on scale

Filed under: Chemistry — Tags: , , — sankirnam @ 5:24 pm

I came across this interesting paper in OPRD yesterday. It’s a shame that most research chemists in academia do not read OPRD; process chemistry is much, much different from laboratory research-scale chemistry. The principles of process chemistry are not taught in most universities and most academic chemists have no idea how challenging simply scaling up a reaction can be. Some of my own work (superelectrophilic Friedel-Crafts reactions in triflic acid, for example) would be unthinkable on scale. Temperature regulation and mixing (especially for heterogeneous reactions) become major considerations at a large scale; exotherms have to be managed, and you cannot afford to have poor conversions due to inefficient mixing. At the mmol scale, when doing reactions in a RBF, those things are usually not considered, and with good reason – at that scale, and with the apparatus used, one is usually at (or very close to) the mass and heat transfer limits anyway. Environmental considerations (reflected in theĀ E value of a given reaction or process) are also important; while solvents such as dichloromethane or chloroform are OK in research, they cannot be used in 500-1000L quantities!

I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Margaret Faul (of Amgen) recently, and learned a little bit about process chemistry from discussions we had over dinner. I was under the impression previously that anhydrous solvents were also prohibitive on scale, since the usual methods for drying solvents in the lab involve distillation of the solvent over some very reactive dehydrating agents (sodium/benzophenone ketyl or phosphorous pentoxide). In process chemistry, they can repeatedly azeotrope off the water with another solvent in order to obtain very dry solvent – in fact Dr. Faul had boasted that she could probably get drier THF than I could!

In the paper linked above, Chris Senanayake and coworkers describe the optimization of a process in the synthesis of a trifluoromethylated nicotinate molecule for pharma research. What I found interesting was their claim that the Ruppert-Prakash reagent, generally considered the mainstay reagent for trifluoromethylation, was too expensive to use on scale! They opted to use Chen’s reagent (methyl chlorodifluoroacetate) with KF and stoichiometric CuI as the trifluoromethylation system. This (the cost issues associated with TMSCF3) is something I never would have learned otherwise, since I use TMSCF3 on a regular basis (especially since my advisor was the person who pioneered it’s use as a reagent!).

Ultimately, the goal of academic research, especially for those doing research in synthetic organic methodology development, is to developĀ scalable reactions. As I mentioned above, what constitutes a scalable reaction is not necessarily obvious, and so it is always worth reading journals like OPRD or books on process chemistry to learn these things.

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