View Full Version : Musicians,events,anecdotes and tid-bits

5th November 2006, 08:47 PM
We are opening this new topic to bring all posts about musicians,events,anecdotes and other tid-bits, so that all of them can be found under one thread.
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Table of contents (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/hub/lyrsort.php?t=8407)

5th November 2006, 08:54 PM
Maharajapuram Santhanam was in a concert in one of the American Universities. In the middle of the concert, the airconditioning went off and he was sweating. The organizers brought a fan and put it next to the stage with wind blowing on his face. The vocalist looked at it and quipped: 'ivvaLavu fans irukkumbodhu indha fan edharkku? ' (When there are so many fans here, why do I need this fan?) The audience burst into laughter.
In the same concert somebody made a request after he started 'mangaLam'. He looked at the chit and said: ' innoru tharam mangaLam paadittaal pochu.' He finished mangaLam, sang the song requested and sang mangaLam again.

5th November 2006, 09:23 PM
T.S.Parthasarathy, scholar in music and dance, passed away recently.



His book on Thyagaraja (lyrics with meaning) is probably the best I have seen. He also gives a glossary of Telugu words in the book.
Those interested in Thyagaraja's compositions this book is a must.

6th November 2006, 04:59 AM
once Prince Rama Varma was performing at Hague. The next day, the news papers carried his picture and a write up on his performance. A dutch paper also did the same. A few days later, he met a friend, who knew Ducth and asked him to translate the contents, it said-the musician sang well. so are the accompnying artistes. But i do not know why the main artiste gestures to the accomapnying ones saying your are wrong'- every time?

6th November 2006, 05:29 AM
Whenever Dr. Balamurali, visits trivandrum, we meet. i was introduced to him by Prince Rama Varma, a disciple of Balamurali. We chat for an hour or so. This incident happened two years ago. i rang him at 8 am. he recognized my voice and said...oh it is you...then i asked:Are u free? pat came the reply: no iam very costly!
both of us burst into laughter, and we met at 10 am and had nice chat. he narrates stories very well, especially those connected with Birbal and Tennali raman

11th November 2006, 03:03 PM
[tscii:c8fad78db9]Unnikrishnan P:

If you had asked UNNIKRISHNAN, carnatic musician, cum paly back singer, what he wants to become two decades ago, he would have said “I want to become a cricketer.”

He did play seriously participated in the senior division league, with krishnamachari sreekant, and robin singh. Bur destiny had something different in store for him. Today he has craved a niche in the realm of carnatic music.

My mother dr. Harini, is a good vocalist, but not a performer. She wanted me to become a musician. But my first love was cricket. I practiced it out of compulsion. In course of time I developed a keen interest and was gradually imbibed into the world of classical music.

My mother taught me the basics, and then I was trained by V L Seshadri before I joined DR, S RAMANADAN. My debut performance was at palakkad, my native place. Then I learnt under Calcutta Krishnamurthi, Savithri satyamurthi, and P S Narayanaswami. I was trained by T Brinda also.

I TOOK MUSIC SERIOUSLY only at the age of 25. If I had pursued cricket, I would perhaps, have made a mark in the field. I have no regrets now. In sports, you will get only a short span. If you don’t make it you will be nowhere. Music is not like that.” He explained. “Now time has changed and a concert hardly lasts for 21/2 hours imposing pressure on musicians. That is why most of the singers skip ragam thanam pallavi” he added.

Ennavale adi ennavale (kaadalan) fetched him the national award. His other numbers include adisayam and hairabba, in jeans.

“If I focus more on film songs, it would affect my performance as a classical musician. Singing for films is easy and effortless. But you will have to set time to do your daily practice. A performer should listen to more music. I am not for a compromise. I would like to be known as a classical musician first” he said.


11th November 2006, 03:05 PM

Rudrapatnam is a small hamlet near Kaveri. Although small, it has produced a number of musicians. R N THYAGARAJAN AND DR. R N THARANADAN represent the third generation of musicians from this place.

Their grand father R K Krishnasastri was not only a musician, but a Harikatha exponent, play Wright and Sanskrit scholar. “Our father R K Narayana swami, and his brothers, R K Ramamkrishanan and R K Sreekantan, are popular musicians. Our father is a disciple of Mussiri Subramania Iyer and Satri uncle was the disciple of the legendary Mysore t Chowdiah. They initiated into music besides veda adyayana” said DR.Tharanadan, deputy director of CFTRI Mysore.

He completed her Ph. D, in chemistry, went to GERMANY FOR HIGHER STUDIES, while Thygarajan joined AIR, and recently retired as the deputy director of BANGALORE DOORDARSHAN. They have been singing together for the past four decades.
“FINDING a mutually convenient time was tough. So we accepted concerts on weekends only. According to them co-ordination is very important. Our voice blends very well. We belong to the same school of padaantharam. We rehearse together, and express our caliber during ragalapana and swara prasthanam” they say.

The ancestors of these musicians were migrants from chenkottai. Then they moved to kozhikkode. Even now the family is known as the KALIKOTTAI (CALICUT).
THE Brothers possessed a chaste classical style and demonstrated excellence, in rendering compositions while they perform together at the Navarathri Mandapam. They are traditionalist to the core. They have the touch of Alathur style and are considered as harbingers of the RAMANAD KRISHNAN WAY OF GENERATING FLASHES IN THE CONCERT.

They include less renderd ragas, like nayaki, malavi, hamsa vinodini, poornachandrika. It was needamangalam krishanmoorthi, who taught us compositions of oothukad. When we performed at the US, dancer Kamala Laxman, expressed her desire to choreograph a few compositions.

The duo is invited as external examiners, by the SINGAPORE FINE ARTS SOCIETY. They have conducted many lec-dems. We do not believe in fusion. It is in fact confusion. They can be considered as a surviving strategy. WE owe to our mother and wives for managing the family. The concert albums have been brought out by Saraswathi Project Armsterdam-the Netherlands and CMANA NEW YORK.
(This article of mine was published in the week end express of the new Indian express dt, 20-11-04.)


11th November 2006, 03:10 PM
[tscii:b1e11414a9]Tread along the narrow Judge Sankaranarayanan road near Pazhavangadi. Sweet notes of thavil greet your ears as Venugopal’s dexterous fingers against the broad surface of thavil in swift rhythm. The delicate, subtle, fine waves of the tala ascend to a crescendo leaving its trills suspended for a while. “I have been playing thavil since six decades. Still I practice for a few hours a day” said Venugopal with a gentle smile.

“The instrument is awfully heavy. I cannot carry it on my shoulder any more. So I accept only concerts where one can sit and play” he admits.
Venugopal belongs to a family of musicians based at Nanchinadu.
Born in Kumarakoil, he went to Eraniyal to learn thavil under Kaintha Pillai Swamy and had advanced training under Tiruchendur Nainar Swami, a great master.

Being a pupil of Nainar Swamy had many advantages. Nagaswaram and clarinet players preferred well disciplined accompanists, which they found in all the disciples of Nainar Swamy. Thus I too enjoyed all the privileges and chances poured in. I could accompany pioneer artistes like, Kanyakumari Sudalayandi Kambar, Tiruchendur Chinna Subbaiah, Pathamadai Raja, A K C Natarajan [clarinet], Nagerkoil Ganesa Kambar, Thiruvizha Jayasankar, Kandiyoor Sivasankaran, Chengannur Sivasankara Panicker and Oachira Sivadas. My brother Kottar Ramachandra Bhagavathar is the disciple of Dr. Balamurali Krishna.
It was around three decades ago that I came to this place, when I was short listed for the post of percussionist at the Sree Padmanabha Temple. Violin maestro Chalakkudi Narayana Swami was the judge. There were seven contestants. We are asked to accompany the nagaswaram artiste” he paused for a while and continued: “Here I must tell you something. The seven principal
talas give rise to 35 varieties on account of the pancha jathi bhedas and each in turn gives rise to five kinds on account of pancha gati bhedas. Thus all together there are 175 talas. The one which was rendered did not figure in the list. The songs rendered were the varnams in Sankarabharanam and Kambhodi set to a tala unknown to us. We have not heard it before. In the initial round we could not maintain the balance of the music. We were puzzled. I could play close to the tala and was appointed as the thavil artiste. We have not named the tala so far. Once Namagiri Pettai Krishnan the legendary nagaswaram artiste happened to hear this tala and wondered. After the performance he approached us and learned it. No were in India you can find this combination remarked Namagiri Pettai.”

Venugopal under went training to the codified pattern of music at the temple.

Thavil are made in Thajavoor. Traditional leather straps are now being replaced by stainless steel ones which add weight to the instrument.
“When the body Sree Chithira Tirunal was taken to the funeral pyre, we paid our last honors to the great man by rendering Mukhari, a raga which can evoke Karuna rasa” reminisced Venugopal.


11th November 2006, 03:13 PM
[tscii:8bfd55dca9]Vikku Vinayak Ram
T R Harihara Sarma was a musician with a vision. It was his wish to make his children great artistes of international repute. He trained them in the hard way and thus we have the Grammy Award Winner ghatom maestro Vikku Vinayak Ram.

Popularly known as Vikku, (a name christened by none other than the legendary singer MS SUBBALEKSHMI) HE WITH HIS CHILDREN AND NEPHEWS have founded an orchestra troupe called SAPTHAAKSHARA, to handle seven different instruments namely Mrudangam, gahatom, ganjira, morsing, gethy, and konnakkol all complimented by vocal music. The maestro was in the city to perform percussion ensemble with his troupe.

To really feel the aural impression, the upa thaala vaadya are capable of creating one has to experience the alliteration of tone coupled with intelligent sequence of instruments and the clean neat and polished way of presentation.

Vikku believes that,the Blessings of Kanchi Kamakodi Peedathipathi, and the Midas touch of MS made him what he is today.

“I am only a medium. It is HIS bliss that brought this poor clay pot into the lime light” said Vikku. “My father used to lock the room and order us practice intensively. It was my father who brought the concept of SAPTHA LAYA AKSHARANGAL–the seven syllables used in the south Indian carnatic percussion system” he informed.

“My first love is always ghatom. But my father asked me to learn ganjira. He was running a mrudangam school, and there was none to play ganjira. He could not force other students to learn it. So I was chosen. I have accompanied, GNB, Mussiri, Chembai, Ariyakkudi, and Semmangudi.

“It was Semmangudi who introduced me to MS. I accompanied her three decades with the retirement of Rama Iyer. On the UN Day, MS performed before the General Assembly in New York. I accompanied her. It was my first foreign tour. It was more like a family trip. MS and Sadasivam were more particular about our comfort. They were like parents to me. They affectionately called me Vikku. Later, when JOHN MC LAUGHLIN asked to shorten my name, I could not think of any other than Vikku” he explained.
“I played a fusion concert with John, L Sankar, and Zakkir Hussein. Ghatom which was considered as a Upa thaala vaadya, received a higher status. Since then I have accompanied PT. SHIVKUMAR SHARMA, PT.HARIPRASAD CHOURASYA, PT. JASRAJ AND USTAD AMJAD ALI KHAN.Once popular drummers were invited to create, a music album titled Planet Drum. I and Zakkir represented India. That bagged the Grammy Award.” he said.

Kanchi Periyavar, predicted a good fortune for ghatom. I was very proud of Maana madurai ghatom and believed that none can surpass its quality. I expressed it to the Swamigal. He laughed. I could not understand. Later, after a concert, in GERMANY, WHEN WE MISSED A FLIGHT, a guitarist took him to a musical instrument shop. I was bewildered when I saw a ghatom there. The elated shop owner, presented me with that unique ghatom, that was made by fusing two halves. In the US, I had to accompany mandolin wizard, U.SREENIVAS. I was forced to use this ghatom, as my instrument developed a crack. The German one was a perfect match, for mandolin. Again another lady from Athens presented me another ghatom. Then I realized the meaning of Swamigals gesture” he remembered.

SAPTHAAKSHARA won NUESCO Award 2000 and Vikku is the first ghatom artiste to receive Central Sangeetha NATAKA Akademi Award. The team has visited LONDON, SEYCHELLES, MAURITIUS, SOUTH AFRICA, ZAMBIA, KENYA AND LESOTHO.


Uma Sankar, another son of Vikku, has done many fusion concerts and has contributed for film as well. He ahs worked with ARR, FOR THE ALBUM “DESH KA SALAM.”
Uma Mahesh, third son of Vikku, is the disciple of Radha Viswanathan. (this interview was done two years back-for the indian express)


12th November 2006, 12:58 PM
[tscii:b3011c870e]Gayathri Venkataraghavan enthralled the audience at the Swati Sangeetha Archana 2006 last Sunday. This leading young vocalist from Chennai says that she never took music seriously in the beginning, attended the music classes casually and accompanied her mother as a listener to all concerts out of compulsion. My father made me sing at the sanctum sanctorum of the temples whenever we visit one. “I reached this level because of my parents only. They would have realized my potential” remembers Gayathri with gratitude.
“In the 90 s I started winning competitions, and gradually I took music seriously” laughs Gayathri. Of course recognition and encouragements are always effective. In 1993 she is wedded to an ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Venkatraghavan working for the Aravind hospital and Sankara Netralaya at Madurai and Thirunelveli. Thus when she took music seriously she was out of Chennai- a place believed to be the nerve center of carnatic music- for six long years. In 2000 she returned to her home town and there was no looking back since then.

Gayathri had her initial lessons in music from Rajalekshmi and then from Padma Veeraraghavan a disciple of K.V. Narayana Swami. “It really changed my outlook. I was more exposed to the KVN style known for its bhava. His rendition of the ulsavaprabhandam of Maharaja Swati Thirunal is very popular. Then A. Sunderesan a senior vocalist from Madurai taught me music. He is an authority as far as the works of Syama Sastri are concerned. Sunderesn represents Althur bani of music. As part of my scholarship I was trained under the tutelage of V.Subramanian .There I had the opportunity to learn the Semmangudi bani. Still I learn under Sunderesan” she said.

But learning under masters who follow different schools of music never posed any problem for Gayathri. She says: I am trying my best to bring the bhava that is KVN’s style .Bhkati is essential to bring the bhava. When I sing I communicate with the Almighty. I want the listeners to be a part of it .Sunderesan is a traditionalist. I wanted my kriti rendering to be strong. Padanthara suddham is highly valued. Each composer had composed each song under different moods. My guru always wanted to realize the mood of the composer while rendering. Then we will be able to convey what the composer had in his mind. My rendition of the raga and its approach has changed dramatically after my training under Sunderesan. My guru would compare the raga with a devatha and music is embellishing the deity with the swaras”

Regarding the accompaniments she said it is an unknown web in a concert. When we start we are different individuals and as the concert progresses it blends beautifully. There should be a general feeling that the success of the concert depends on the team effort. If the violinist could bring out the raga bahava beautifully it sparks off additional inspiration. Akkarai Subbalekshmi a teenager who accompanied Gayathri on violin is also a well known vocalist who is in great demand, these days. B. Ganapathiraman and N.Guruprasad, accompanied her on mrudangam and ghatom respectively.

Gayathri has several times staged thematic concerts, which is gaining popularity these days. In India she has performed in all major sabhas in Chennai and other big cities. She had the opportunity to perform at Shanmukanada sabha on the birth day of MS before her demise. Last year she participated at the Cleveland festival and performed at Toronto and Canada. “I am really honored to sing at Kuthira Malika” she said (587 words)

12th November 2006, 01:01 PM
[tscii:a47c7876ad]He is 77. But this makes no difference to his phenomenal musical prowess. Ask any thing about classical music. His adrenalin starts to flow with new vigor. That is Mavelikkara Prabhakara Varma –the recipient of Swati Puraskaram -2005 instituted by the Government of Kerala. This maestro was in the city recently. In an interview he talks about his passion for music, how he miserably failed in studies and later became a Post Graduate, and about his disciples.

Prabhakara Varma hails from Mavelikkara Kottaram where his formative years were marked by an unbridled passion for music. Born in 1928 to Chandra Prabha [daughter of Kerala Panini A. R Raja Raja Varma] and Rama Varma of Kilimanoor Palace, Prabahkaran’s inspiration for music stemmed from the songs rendered by his maternal aunt Bhageerathi. The swaras and her tonal quality enthralled him. His thoughts were saturated with musical notes and obviously he was below average in his studies. ‘I always fail” laughs Prabhakara Varma who was affected by polio when he was in his mother’s womb.

Nothing stopped him from hearing the music even during examinations. Annual exams always coincide with the temple festival. Rajaratnam the nadaswaram wizard was performing at the temple. “I just could not jot down what little did I knew. The invigilator came, snatched my answer paper and said: “Go and listen to the music” I ran to the venue swiftly, to hear Rajaratnam. The family members often scolded Bhageerathi for spoiling me like this. Soon my cousin LPR Varma joined the Music Academy and I became restless. My father insisted that I should complete at least ESLC. To every body’s surprise I got through it in the first chance and that was news in the family circle” he said and continued:
“It was a golden period in the Academy. We had stalwarts like Semmnagudi, KS Narayana Swami and C S Krishna Iyer. Those were also the days of gramophones. I have heard many times the concerts of great masters like Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Mahahrajapuram Viswanatha Iyer and Rajaratnam Pillai. They created tremendous impact in me. All the kritis were indelibly etched in my memory. During my practical exam Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer asked me to render Hammer Kalyani-a Hindusthani raga rarely sung in those days. Swati Tirunal has composed a beautiful composition Gangeya vasana dhara in this raga. That was the least expected question. I rendered the raga briefly. I have heard Ariyakudi singing this tune. After my presentation he asked: “From where did you learn this?” I answered”.

In 1957 he joined the Academy as the Asst. Professor and retired as the Principal. Mean while he had to wipe off the stigma that he was not a bright student. So he appeared the University exams. For BA he took music as the main subject. The university issued a special order exempting him from under going the practical exam. But for the post graduation he had to. “Dr. Revamma asked me to render Narayana Gaula yet another rare raga. As an obedient student I rendered it” says Varma whose primary disciples include Dr. K. Omanakutti and Neyyatinkara Vasudevan.

Prabhakara Varma took the effort to notate the compositions of Thulasivanam. He had done a comparative study of Deekshithar and Swathi Tirunal. He humbly says that it takes more than a lifetime to mature as an artiste, and the fact that he is able to do so at this age is due to the blessings of the God, his teachers, the sadhana and the grace of Maharaja Swati Tirunal himself whose family he belongs to. “If you look at the genealogy he is my great grand uncle.” he said with folded hands. This chronic bachelor stays with his niece at Tripunithura

12th November 2006, 07:45 PM
[tscii:9b879a9a3c]_Bombay sisters C. Saroja and C. Lalitha who have mesmerized the audience all over the world presented an excellent concert in concert in connection with the Swati Nritha sangeetholsavam, organized by Swati Tirunal Sangeth Sabha.
Their greatest assets were crystal enunciation of the sahitya, and neraval which flows with impressive ease.

“Though we are called Bombay sisters, we belong to Thrissur. Our father Chidambaram a great connoisseur of music was working in Bombay. So the family settled there. He wanted us to become good musicians.” They said.

Mani popularly known as Chellamani (father of play back singer Hariharan) initiated them into music. On securing scholarship the sisters moved to Chennai. They joined the Madras central college of music. Musiri the legendary singer was the Principal. Impressed by the sisters he gave special attention them.
Only Lalitha had the scholarship. He gave special training to her and said that I could be pesent provided I should not sing. Including me in training would have gone against the Scholarship rules and regulations. I was deeply moved by the gesture” said Saroja.

Their debut performance was held in 1960. After the concert they were christened as Bombay sisters by a saint Maunaswamigal. “During Navarathri we performed at the Sai Baba Center at Mylapore. Our concert was scheduled prior to the great GNB’s performance. Suddenly he fell ill and as per his directives our concert was extended. It was a big success. His magnanimity provided a turning point in our career.” Said Lalitha.

Bhava sangeetham, and neraval are the two significant features of Musiri School of music. Each raga is an entity with its own characteristic aesthetic expresson. This uniqueness called bhava is the life of raga.
“When we sing, we give much importance to it. The under lying emotion of the sahitya can be brought only through bhava sangeetham” they say. The Bombay sisters’ rendition of Padmanabha Satakam for instance, substantiates this statement.
“Each one of us show our brilliance when we render elaborate alapana and kalpana swaram individually. It is music created on the spot, flows out spontaneously bringing out the vivid points of excellence. When we sing together there is no competition between us. The balance is struck naturally and we are comfortable” they explained.

These sisters have only few disciples. “We are busy performers. Secondly these days students have other diversions too. They give more importance to academic studies. Finding a mutually convenient time is difficult-they said.

Bombay sisters have umpteen numbers of cassettes and CDs to their credit. They expressed their sincere gratitude to their family members without which their career may not be as luminous as this.

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12th November 2006, 07:48 PM
[tscii:d9d7f0ce85]Born in a musical family it isn’t all that surprising to see U P Raju’s inclination for music. But rendering the traditional carnatic music through a western instrument is a stroke of genius. The artiste was in the city to perform at the Chembai memorial Trust.

Raju belong to the first generation of mandolin artistes. His guru is Rudraraju SubbaRAJU- A VOCALIST AND THE DISCIPLE of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar. “WE REPRODUCED WHAT HE RENDERED. With much trial and error we mastered it. I have spent seven years with my guru. The class was very tough but the passion for Mandolin, the will and perseverance made me what I am today” he said.

It was a shower of melody. The swaras sparkled. He was never in a hurry even at an exceedingly high speed. The audience was awe struck to see his fingers sliding on the strings.

The sweet notes of entaro mahanubhavulu in sree ragam wafted down the breeze from the concert hall. With his mellow music, he had every one under his spell for three hours. Audience could asses with admiration his creativity, talent and perseverance.
mandolin we play is a modified form. We call it electrified mandolin. These modifications are required to produce sustained noted-said Raju. The techniques of veena and violin are employed. The plucking is akin to veena and the fingering resembles that of violin. Unlike violin the strings are hard and there are taala strings like veena.

It was Sreenivas who first performed carnatic music in Mandolin. H e had to face much criticism initially as it was a non traditional instrument. A disciple of Subbaraju he showed the rest the clear path.”
When we compare our old rendition with that of today, we would find a lot of difference. We have improved a lot. Our disciples are lucky as there is an established system today.

There existed a belief that rendition at a slower pace would not be pleasing. I do not believe. Ragas like Kirvani can be rendered.

But we have not tried Hindustani music. We play bhajans and similar numbers set to Hindustani music. Mrudangam, Ghatom, Ghanjira ae usually as accompaniments. Once in a while tavil is also used.

“My wife Nagamani is also a Mandolin artiste. We have performed together many times.” He said. Lucky couple.


12th November 2006, 07:49 PM
[tscii:531cfeab9c]___The name Shashank is now synonymous with flute. This flamboyant flautist enthralls the audience all over the world. With vast musical range and technical dexterity he has managed to elevate the simple bamboo flute to stellar heights. He was in the city recently for a personal visit.

A wistful glint in his eyes is hard to miss as he explains his love for Hindustani music. “It is my passion. Now I have started learning Hindustani vocal under Pandit Jasraj. He is a great performer and I can learn from the performer’s angle. It is new language with a lot of ornamentation. I may perform a Hindustani concert after five or six years. Learning music has to be always vocal. I have to learn the ragas and the hundreds of compositions-said Shashank.

Born in 1978 he was initiated inot the world music at a very early age almost when I started talking. As per the advice of T R Mahalingam the great flautist the world had ever seen Shashank started learning music under Palakkad K V Narayana swami.

At the age of 6 he casually played his fathers and surprised the listeners. His debut concert was held at Adelaide 15 years back.

“Being an instrumentalist there are limitations in the selection of songs and ragas. But I chose rags which are not elaborately rendered-like kapinarayani. I like to dwell on the less tread path. I am always engrossed in exploring the depths of music. I take risks to plunge in and explore and see where it leads.”

HIS CONTRIBUTION is the introduction of multi flute transposed fingering technique to merge flutes of different frequencies, producing deep bass to the shrill sounds. He has played jugalbandi with musicians of India and abroad.
HE HAS PERFORMED AT Rashtrapathi BHAVAN, Kennedy center, J Paul Getty Hall Hollywood, National academy of sciences-Washington DC, Xebec Hall Kobe-Japan, UNESCO Paris, tropical institute Amsterdam, Museum Reitberg Zurich and Seoul Plaza. He has 29 cd albums to his credit.
Shashank is wedded to SHIRISHA POPULAR Bharatanatyam and Kuchupidi dancer.

My house is a museum dedicated to the clutters that one finds in the Indian kitchen. VESSELS especially URULIS of all imaginable sizes and period furniture are my father’s weakness.

Shashank has no disciples. ‘I am a busy traveling artiste and secondly many think that I am too young to teach. My only disciple is my sister who is accompanying me these days. In a year or two she would give solo recitals” he said.
(I E dec-2005)

12th November 2006, 07:54 PM
[tscii:ad8164ef03]That was a gathering of nearly two dozens of people above forty. They have assembled to learn a few gems from the vast repertoire of carnatic music. When they sing it is hard to believe that they have no basic training in music.

“This is the fourth batch of students. I teach them Pancharatna kirtanams, Navaratari kritis and Navavarana kritis. This class is meant for music lovers, who earlier had no opportunity to learn music, but wanted to sing classical music. I consider it a great service” said Parvathipuram Padmanabha Iyer, who belongs to the family of Mullamoodu Bhagavathar.

I was initiated into music by my uncle Harihara Bhagavathar of Mullamoodu School. “He taught me a number of rare compositions composed by Maharaja Swati Tirunal. I music academy and took my ganapraveen. I had my advanced training in music from Gayaka Ratnam Vechoor H. Harihara Subramania Iyer. It was a totally different experience. Still I follow his padantharam. Though I had the opportunity to learn music under K V Narayana Swami, I was not in a position to stay in Chennai for a long period. I consider him as my manasika guru” he said.

Padmanabha Iyer is currently working as a teacher at the Govt. Model High School.

Today children are under academic pressure. How interested are they in learning music? What is the space available for a music teacher?

“Each class has one period per week for music. If you take the entire students in a school only a hundred students will have a flair for classical music. I have asked them to remain after 3.30 twice in a week and give them special training in music. In our school we have all facilities and the PTA is supporting this as well. In most of the schools the scene is entirely different and unfortunate. PTA is not interested in these activities. Most of the music teachers are asked to handle other classes, like history. Music teachers never protest, and many consider it a privilege” he explained and added “Music should be made a compulsory subject and 5 marks should be allotted for theoretical knowledge.”

His program “Raga of the day” telecast in Asianet Suprabhatham is the forerunner of similar programs in various channels. He covered 250 ragas in 350 episodes. His current program Saadakam in Surya is equally popular.

He recently gave a vocal concert at the Rashtrapathi bhawan. He has given many stage performances, in Kerala, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. He also conducts demonstrations for Music lovers and students.


12th November 2006, 07:55 PM
He has come all the way from Nilambur to meet his guru Kumara Kerala Varma the veteran musician, and the disciple of Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer. He is to perform at the Navarathri Mandapam on the last day. He has to come for a rehearsal performance. Meet Vechur Sankar, one of the upcoming musicians.

Like most of the musicians he too belongs to the traditional family of musicians, who regularly perform at the Vakkom Mahadeva temple annually. His grand father has composed many songs praising their tutelary deity Sastha. “Of all the family members Vechur Harihara subramanian, could carve a niche in the field of Carnatic music. He was based at Thiruvananthapuram. So he entrusted his disciples Vaikom Vasudevan Nampoothiri and Vaikom Gopala Krishnan and my aunt Vaikom Rajammal trained me in music. Once in a while when we meet he never fails to teach me kirtanams,” said Sankar.

“Vechur uncle was a great musician. He always rendered in a slow tempo, in perfect unison with the sruthi. He unfolded the raga gradually and never made concessions to popular taste” reminisce Sankar.

He participated and won prizes in the school and university youth festivals. As part of Scholarship program he had his advanced training from Kumara Kerala Varma. Ten years ago he joined the Music sohool of Pala C K Ramachandran. Pala c k and Kerala Varma provided the vocal support for Semmangudi for longtime.

Sankar is an employee of the South Malabar Gramin Bank, Nilambur. Recently the institution accepted him as a musician and offered him the special privilege of an artiste.
“Nilambur though a remote place has plenty of discerning singers and listeners of Carnatic music” he remarked.

“Now I can bring out cassettes and CDs” he said and added “wherever I go I make it a point to sing at least three compositions of Swati Tirunal including a Padam. For the neraval apt phrase is chosen. My tutors have taught me the right splitting of phrases, enabling to bring out the bahva. I follow the padantharam of Semmangudi known for elaborate rendition of the raga, and improvisation. Paahi parvatha nandini in Aarabhi is the song of the concluding day of the Navarathri Festival, at the Navarathri MANDAPAM. The rapid and elegant flow of its music made this song more popular”

“I consider it a great blessing to sing at the Navarathri Mandapam where great legendary musicians had rendered for year after year” said Sankar.


12th November 2006, 07:56 PM

He has many unknown disciples. Many write to him to clear their doubts in music. Still others come in search of him to learn new songs. He is the most revered person in the music circle. Meet R. Krishnaswami the veteran vocalist.

Though he belongs to the family of music lovers, his uncle initiated him into music. A close associate of the great composer T. Lakshmanan Pillai, his uncle entrusted Krishnaswami with him. Lakshmanan Pillai could identify the innate talent in him and was so confident that he engaged him to notate his works. “Though I refused initially, I have to concede. I was in my late twenties. Later on looking back, I felt that certain compositions need re-notation. I am at present engaged in that work,” said Krishanswami.
When the Swati Thirunal Music Academy was established, he joined the institution. It was a period when stalwarts like Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer, Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, K S Narayanaswami, were the tutors. Hence, the foundation laid was strong.
In 1950, he joined AIR and was in charge of music-based programs. It provided him opportunities to meet the great musicians.

All India Radio regularly conducted music lessons. Krishanswami was the tutor for three decades. Thus, he had many unknown faces as his disciples, who promptly took down the lessons when the program was aired. Many like Jalaja Varma wrote to him. Many came in search of him, to learn music. When popularity of the program increased, certain forces were working overtime to tarnish his image. “Yes. Somebody managed to include a letter in the ezhuthupetti, severely criticizing the program and the authority instead of supporting me openly said that we are planning to change the tutor. Thus overnight every thing was settled as desired by the wicked forces.” His voice choked and he became emotional. “That was not the way to oust somebody.” He remarked.
But I am happy that aspiring musicians who approached me after listening my radio lessons have later became popular singers like, Dr. Jalaja Varma, Dr. G Bhuvaneswari, and Dr. B. Arundathi. TR Rema is popular in Chennai. My daughter Premalatha is working in the Department of Music, Women’s college,” said Krishnaswami the recipient of this years Sangeetha Ratna Award, instituted by Adi Sankara Vedanta Sanskrit Society, besides many other awards and accolades.

“I conducted lessons exclusively on Deekshitars composition for one year. Then I taught Pancharatna Keertana. I recorded and edited Navarathri Mandapam recitals. The two and a half program concludes by 8.30 pm and the same has to be edited with in one hour for broadcast at 9.30pm.,” remembered the Krishnaswami.

“I am happy that I am a contemporary of Semmangudi, Lalgudi, and KSN. The contribution of Semmangudi brought pure music to Kerala. Whether it is Swati Tirunal, Tyagaraja, or Deekshitar his rendition is of the purest form. Though I am the primary disciple of Lakshmana Pillai I followed his rendition. Semmangudi once happened to hear me singing a piece in Kamaz popularized by him. “That is nice. You are singing like me,” said Semmangudi. That shows his magnanimity-remembered this octogenarian.
Even today, many established musicians and upcoming artiste come in search of him. “The door is always open for them,” he concluded.

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12th November 2006, 07:57 PM

Vani Jayaram is a gifted person. Her flair for music is nurtured by great musicians of yester years. Her pencil sketches, oil and water color paintings speaks volumes on her aesthetic senses. She has won 17 prizes at the school final for extra curricular activities which continues in the college e days as well. Meet the multi faceted vani jayaram.

Whatever I have achieved in the field of music is because of my husband jayaram’s support-feels vani. Anative of vellore vani belongs to a family of musicians. Her mother is the disciple of Ranga Ramunaja Iyengar-a great veena artiste. Kadaloor Sreenivasa Iyengar, who taught vani’s sister music, was fascinated by her observation and grasping power. He taught her a few Deekshidar kritis when she was hardly five.

When the family shifted to Chennai Vani continued her music lessons in music under the tutelage of T R Balasubramanium, disciple of G N B and Trivandrum R S Mani (disciple of Semmangudi).

“AT THE AGE OF TEN I STARTED GIVING THREE HOUR CONCERT” SAYS VANI A GRADUAUTE IN Economics. MY MARRIAGE WITH JAYARAM IS A TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE. HE WAS THE EXCECUTIVE SECERTARY TO INDO-BELGIUM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, MUMBAI. A talented sitar palyer he was trained by Sambu das a disciple of PT. Ravi Sankar. He took me to Abdul Rehman of Patiala gharana to learn Hindusthani music. The classes begin at 10 am and continued till 6 pm. So, resigned my job. He taught me the intricate techniques of thumri bhajans, and gahzals. Vasanth Desai happened to be there once. Impressed by my voice he gave an opportunity to sing for a Marathi play. I sang with KUMAR Gandharva. (marathi theatre insisted professional music recordings). Mean while Hrikesh Mukherjee asked Desai to compose music for his film Guddi. He made sing Bholorae papi hara….which turned out to be a super hit. It fetched me many awards” remembers Vani.

It is a nice coincidence that the all awards that received were for the classical based songs only. (apoorva raagangal, sankarabharanam and swati kiranam) Vani has sung in 14 languages with consummate ease. “It is god’s gift” she feels. Now she has devoted her time to Ghazals, geeths bhajans, folk songs. She also writes poems in Tamil and Hindi. She is running an audio recording unit in Chennai. She has worked with Pt. Birju maharaj, the legendary kathak maestro for two cassettes of thumri bhajans. Guru Kelu charan mohopatra played Pakhawaj for her rendition of Git Govind.

She is fortunate that she could sing for all popular music directors and had the privilege to sing with al stalwarts of India play back singing. She sang for the Hindi film Meera. The songs were composed by Ravi Sankar.

Vani organizes workshops and seminars for school children to prevent the onslaught of cultural imperialism. She would like to spend time with terminally ill patients and renders songs for them-an effort to ease their pain and wipe away the tears. (I E DATED 18 12 04).
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12th November 2006, 07:59 PM

Born in Jalander of undivided India, Khalid Anwar JAN migrate to Lahore on the eve of Independence. He went to Muscat to earn a living, and for the past three decades he has been teaching classical music. Meet this Pakistani vocalist who was in this city for a short stay.

In the interview he talked at length about KIRANA Gharana, the golden period of music its sad decline in Pakistan.

For Khalid music is always his first love. I do not belong to family of musicians. But all the family members love music. I still remember how we gather round the small radio every Saturday 9 pm to listen to the classical music-said Jan a chronic bachelor.

“At Muscat there are plenty of Keralites and most of my students are Malayalees. I came to India because of my disciple Manjari. SHE IS PERFROMING HERE AT THE Surya FESTIVAL. I AM HERE TO HEAR HER. “

THE VOCALIST HAD HIS TRAINING under the guidance of Feroz Nizami of Kirana Gharana. Nizami has composed a number of compositions for Hindi films including Jugunoo,starring Dileep Kumar and Noor Jahan,

Many consider Abdul Karim Khan as the founder of Kirana Kharana, Pople gather in thousands to hear Karim Khan expansive Bhairavi and Thodi at the Khwaja Mira Saheb Dargah.

Swaii Gandarwa the prominent disciple of Karim KHAN WAS ALSO A THEATRE Maniac. Once he refused to accompany his master on thampura saying that he had a sore throat and participated in a stage play. The master cursed him and since then Sawaii had to start singing one hour before the performance to clear his throat. Detractors of this Gharana mistook this exercise for the raagalap.Even now traditionalists sing aalap without rhythm accompaniment for about an hour-said Khalid Jan.
In the last century we had plenty of legendary musicians like Roshanara Beegum, Bade Ali Khan, Abdul Waheer Khan and Mubaraq Ali. Their repertoire was rich with tumri, dadra and ghazals. I could imbibe a lot from these singers.

According to Jan, India still has patrons for classical music. But in Pakistan it is almost declined. They consider classical music as outdated ones. They have lost aesthetic sense. We the classical singers have reduced to mere gaanae bhajanae wallahs.
He spoke at length about ghazals love lyrics of Persian origin. They are 10 centuries old and it was its brevity and rich suggestiveness that conquered the music lovers’ heart. It have deep root in Pakistan also. Iqbaal Banoo and Noor Jahan were the legendary singers.

This musician never misses Malayalam films.” Sathyan is my favorite actor and Yesudas is my favorite singer.” (436 words)
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27th November 2006, 06:38 PM
[tscii:4d8fa24d05]“Music is an art which represents the divine beauty and grandeur of creation. God is the greatest poet, and this universe is HIS work- the intrinsic beauty and glory of which is expressed by music. One life time is not enough to learn music” said DR. N RAMANI, the popular flautist.
“My grand father Narayanaswami was a great musician. He played and taught all musical instruments except veena and flute was his favorite. Sikkil sisters are his disciples. Mymother and aunts were great singers and violinists. I am the nephew of the flute wizard Mali” said Dr Ramani.

“Mali’s rendition is intense and it is something one as to experience, When I heard Mali, I decided to concentrate on flute and in fact longed to play like him. This wish made me to devote more time for practice” he said.
“It was Travancore BROAD CASTING SERVICE which relayed my concert for the first time. In the late forties I approached my uncle for advanced training. Here began my commitment. I could acquire new dimension, depth and maturity imbibing the nuances and subtleties, of the rich legacy. Offers poured in and I could not complete my college studies.”

In 1956 I performed for Madras Music Academy. It was a turning point. I accompanied Veena Balachander to USA. WE gave separate concerts. Since 1971 I with Pt. Hariparasad churasya have been giving jugalbandi concerts.”

“It is a sacrifice and a compromise. To be frank, it is the south Indian performers who are forced to under go his. Academically both are benefited.”

“1950-70 was a golden period of Carnatic music. We had great musicians and serious audience” he opined.

Regarding the flute the instrument, he said there are several factors that determine the quality of the instrument. My flute is heavy. In my opinion Harikambodi is the ideal raga in which the preliminary swaras exercise can be taught in flute. The notes figuring in it allows to group it into consonantal pairs. Sa – pa bear the shadja panchama relationship, and the rest shadja madhyama relationship. Though this scale was known even in early times, the credit for imparting swarupa to it and endow it with a musical personality goes to Thyagaraja swamigal” explained Ramani.

Ramani has established Ramani;s academy of flute in Chennai with its baranches in Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Chennai Hyderabad and the USA. I HAVE MORE THAN 400 QUALITY DISCIPLES all over the world.
“Untiring practice makes a lot of difference. There is no short cut to learn music” he stressed.


8th December 2006, 06:53 PM
[tscii:123de89742]_Pandit Veerabhadraiah Hiremath gave a delectable Hindusthai vocal recital at the Swathi Sangeetha Archana last week. Born and brought in a rural village of Yaragal in Bijapur, he was sent to the music school of Pt. Putraj Gawaii known for the gurukula system. He was not rich enough even to send his son to the music school. The kind villagers gathered money and fulfilled his father’s dream. Of course they had staunch faith in young Veerabhadraiah’s rich voice that one day he would bring glory and fame to the village.

“We are basically farmers. My father plays harmonium very well to the accompaniment of bhajans. He wanted me to become a trained musician which he could not. I spent 10 years in the school and imbibed the Gwaliar Gharana of Hindusthani Music with all its nuances. It was a different experience. We pupils have to partake in pooja for two hours. It was in fact a musical offering to Lord Siva. The music lesson will be for four hours a day besides this. The master plays all musical instruments so are the students. I can play harmonium sarangi and flute. I even teach flute and recently sent one of my disciples to Pt. Hariprasad Chourasya for advance training. The coaching at the school is free .ALL the 800 pupils are provided with food and accommodation” said Veerabhadraiah.

This musician is struggling to establish Hindusthani system of music in Mysore where carnatic music has more takers and is dominant. Now organizations are inviting us to stage Hindusthani music. Now I am learning under Padmabhushan Pt. Indhudhara Nirodi of Agra gaharana. He is the disciple of Ratanjanakar who notated the Hindusthani compositions of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal. That was how I came to know of Swati Tirunal’s beautiful works. For the last few months I have been practicing the songs” revealed the artiste. He began the concert with Sankar sree giri nath prabhu kae in Gouri. He was accompanied on Harmonium Mallikarjun Sunshi also a disciple of Pt. Putraj Gawaii, and on tabala Bhimshankar Bidanur.
Veerbhadraiah’s gifted mellifluous voice, rich in tradition and saturated with bhava made the concert a worthy one.


8th December 2006, 06:56 PM
[tscii:209cd9c491]Advocate. T V Sankaranarayanan, a gold medalist from the Bar council enrolled his name and started practicing as a junior. A fortnight passed. His uncle called him aside and asked: Tell me when did you last sing? I know very well that you have not even hummed a bit. That is unpardonable. You better focus on classical music.”

Now he is Padmabhushan, Sangeetha kalanidhi T V Sankaranarayanan, the much sought vocalist today. He was in the city to perform at the Durga Devi Temple near Sreekanteswaram.

For the connoisseurs of music hearing TVS (as he is widely known), is like reliving the ages of Madurai Mani Iyer. TVS’ style is so close to that of his uncle cum mentor Madurai Mani Iyer that music lovers expect the Mani Iyer’s numbers from him.

Endowed with rich and vibrant voice, he keeps alive the glory of the family tradition. His grand father Madurai Ramaswami Iyer was a musicologist. His grand uncle Madurai Pushpavanam Iyer was a legend in his time. He was the contemporary of Puchchi Sreenivasan. In fact they ruled the roost then.

“Those were fine days. I had the fortune to learn music from my uncle Madurai Mani Iyer. My mother Gomathi, sister and disciple of Mani Iyer taught me the basics of music. My father Vembu Iyer, had been giving vocal support to Mani Iyer for long. From the age of 15, I started accompanying my uncle. After my graduation in Commerce and then Law Degrees I was called to the bar only to discontinue after a fortnight. Finance minister Chidambaram was my classmate for Law” said T V S.
His maiden concert was held in 1968. “I was accompanied by great masters like T N Krishnan, Vellore Ramabhadran and Alangudi Ramachandran. Since then till today I am busy. I am a strict follower of Mani Iyer bani. Mani Iyer was a great creator. His improvisation, exposition of the raga, swara sancharam in the sarva laghu patterns were his brand. One never knows what comes next. Mani Iyer is known for his sahitya suddhi and bhava sangeetam. I could more or less establish his style” explained T V S.

A voracious reader, T V S favorite authors include Oscar Wilde, Shaw, Arthur Conan Doyle, P G Woodhouse, etc.

T V S has composed a few vruthams brimming with philosophical thoughts. He is a touring performer. He has conducted more than 15 trips to the USA and Canada and several trips to Australia, the Gulf countries, Singapore, Malayasia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. His wife Vijayalekshmi is also a musician and restricts herself to AIR and T V. “She gave up public performance for my sake. Our children Sankaramahadevan and Amrita are also in this line. Faith in God, and devotion to my gurus, and hard work made me what I am today” he said.

8th December 2006, 06:57 PM
[tscii:9e68553caf]Cauvery belt is a fertile region not only for agricultural crops but also for musician notes. Every sand grain seems to enthrall to the saptaswaras. The most revered saintly composers we call them The Trinities were born Thiruvarur on the banks of cauvery. The little unpretentious village has always teemed with eminent singers and instrumentalists-including the Bhaktavalsalam. This maestro is in the city to perform at the Navarathri Mandapam.
Connoisseurs of music cherish his solo performance every time. His expounding of the tala through various stages of introduction, exposition, and conclusion is fascinating. Listening to him is indeed an artistic and rhythmic experience by itself.

For the past 35 years he has been accompanying leading performers and all seasoned artistes prefer Bhaktavalsalam’s support.
“It is indeed a blessing for born into a family of musicians in Thiruvarur” said Bhaktavalsalam who started stage performance at the age of nine by accompanying his mother T R Anandavalli. “It was my mother who initiated into music. My uncle T Krishnamurthi was a popular mridangist, I had a passion for it since my childhood. When great musicians visited Thiruvarur, I rush to meet them and nurtured the ambition of becoming a musician of caliber one day. Today I am happy and contented” he said.

He has accompanied the doyens and the legends like Bhim Sen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, Hariprasad Chaurasya, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and T N Rajam when they performed jugalbandis with carnatic musicians like Dr. Balamurali Krishna and T N Krishanan. “With Zakkir Hussien I have staged several shows. Rhythm ecstasy an album C D with Anido Chatterjee was well received. My Talavadya concert with Vikku Vinayakaram on Ghatom and Dr. T K Murthi the mrudangist on Konnakkol-vocal percussion at Kolkatta was a memorable show” he added.

Music lovers in Madurai have formed Bhaktavalsalam Fans Association. “Unbelievable! They have installed even huge cut outs” Bhaktavalsalam reminisced with awe.

This musician of impeccable lineage and incredible skills has plenty of disciples. He provides stipend to the talented students who are economically weak.
“I have an ambition. I would like to stage a fusion show with all leading percussionists. However, the satisfaction and I enjoy while playing for a carnatic music concert is beyond description” he said. (373 words)


8th December 2006, 07:04 PM
[tscii:bcc3aa65cb]Though the Travancore royal family had no dearth for musicians he is the first public performer. He is a Carnatic vocalist, veena artist and a teacher at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. He listens to all types of music, Hindustani, Western and is a great fan of MDRamanathan, Kishore Kumar and Jacques Brel. Meet Prince Aswati Tirunal Rama Varma. “I was initiated into music by Vechur Hariharasubramany Iyer, a disciple of Semmangudi. Since his demise in 1994 I am training under Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr Balamuralikrishna. In between I also started learning veena under R Venkitaraman and then under the doyen of Carnatic music, vidwan K S Narayaswamy,” said Rama Varma a descendant of Maharaja Swati Thirunal, the great composer and Raja Ravi Varma, the pioneer artist, the world has ever seen.

“When Amma Maharani was alive, the Kowdiar Palace was frequented by renowned musicians. She herself was a great vayanika. I had the innumerable opportunities to listen to great stalwarts performing at the Palace,” says Rama Varma about the growing years with his grandmother. Born to Pooyam Thirunal Parvati Bayi and Chembrol Raja Raja Varma the inherent talent was nurtured and received appropriate supplements from this exposure to music by the great names. It was T V Gopalakrishnan who gave the courage to break free from the fetters in 1990.

Clarity in raga, purity in shruti, stability in gamaka, propriety in bhava and correctness in diction are the hallmarks of his rendition. He effortlessly brings out the underlyng emotion through gentle touches. His versatility in singing has made him popular in the music circle.

Regarding improvisation he said, it is music created on the spot, on the spur of the moment. Indian music is always creative and never a reproduction of what is written or played. The artist can adorn it with gorgeous jewels and there is no limit in which you can embellish it. This is what makes the concert a success and satisfying.
Varma never forgets to appreciate the accompanists when they excelled, giving sufficient opportunities and wisely extracts the best from them.

Having traversed the globe many times, he said, “I am open to all varieties of music and never bound to one particular school or thought of music. He has mesmerized audiences both in the country and abroad and performed in all prestigious venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall where his maiden CD was released.Under his initiative two concerts honouring two living legends of music Manna Dey and Dr Balamuralakrishna were held in Thiruvananthapuram last November.

A further example of his dynamism is the decision to invite women musicians to perform at the Navratri Mandapam, thus bringing to an end, the three hundred year old custom that barred women from performing at the mandapam and also as part of the audience. This scion of the Travancore royal family is proud about the concert at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, before the President APJ Abdul Kalam.


8th December 2006, 07:05 PM
[tscii:3f19df9f05]If you have seen the much acclaimed film KHAMOSHPANI, YOU WOULD REMEMBER the trained voice of Meet Pandit in the back drop of the movie. She is in the sixth unbroken lineage of musicians of the legendary Pandit family of the Gwalior Gharana. Excerpts from the interview:

Acknowledged as the scion of the Gwalior Gharana, Meeta is acclaimed to be one of the most promising young musicians of today. Deep rooted in the traditional eight fold style, of singing (ASHTANG GAYAKI) SHE EXCELS IN THE exposition elaboration and interpretation of the intricate patterns, of ragas of the khayal style, with all variations, modulations, and split second precisions. Her melodious and robust voice coupled with intricate handling of ragas has won her admires -young and old alike.

The first musician in the family meeta is pursuing the research on the rare styles like Tapp-khayal, Tapp-tarana, and Taap –tumri, which are almost extinct.
“Gwalior gharan is like the gangotri. The cultural splendor of Gwalior under the great patron of Maan sing was just amazing. It attained the pinnacle of glory during the reign of Akbar. Mia Tan Sen, a native of Behet, near Gwalior is known for his drupad. We have a galaxy of musicians from this school” she said.

She was groomed by her grand father Padmabhshan PT. Krishna Rao and then father Lakshaman Pandit. She had her debut performance at the age of nine. ”In fact it was a trio concert. My brothers THUSHAR AND Athul accompanied me,” said Meeta. The responsibility of upholding the exalted standards of the Gwalior Gahrana suddenly fell on her shoulder aftwer the tragic demise of her brother Thushar Pandit. It was untimely and a sever blow to us. He was doing the research on the contributions of the Pandits of this gharana to HINDUSTANI MUSIC. I COMPLETED THE WORK AND WAS AWARDED THE DOCTORATE.
Meeta’s voice is unique. It is really meeta(sweet). It has tremendous power and range tempered with astound sweetness, stretching over an amazingly wide range of three octaves. The rendering of the breathtaking traditional Tappa is one of the thrilling items in her concert.
“It is the most taxing form of singing” she said. Meeta is equally adept in Tarana, Ashtapadi, and Bhajan. She has composed a few bhajans. Rendition of Ashtapadi by Meeta and her father set to music by the Pir Baksh family is mind boggling. He two albums “foot steps” and “Tansen” were released by Music Today.

Meeta Pandit-Linking a tradition with today is a film on her by PSBT. Her innate talent and dedication to music have been recognized right from an early age. She has bagged a number of awards and accolades including the Golden voice of India (1989).
She has performed all over the world

8th December 2006, 07:07 PM
[tscii:22fc58ab68]Padmavibhushan Thrissur Ramachandran needs no introduction. He will be enthralling the audience at the Navarathri Mandapam on 29th of this month. For him singing at the Navarathri Mandapam is a great honor as his mentor the legendary G N Balasubramanium had rendered here many times.

In an interview Ramachandran wax eloquent about GNB, his role in molding him, and the encouragements he received from great masters.

Born to former Chief Justice Vaidyanatha Iyer, and Kamalambal, in 1940, little Raman was initiated into music by his mother. Varkala Subramania Bhagavathar and Tripunithura Krishna Iyer, were his other masters. Then it was the turn of the doyen of Carnatic music GNB.
“GNB is the first graduate among musicians. I too was a bright student. When I got admission to MBBS I was in a dilemma. I boldly opted for music. I consider myself lucky to have a guru like GNB. He was the Principal of Swati Tirunal Music Academy and I stayed with him.”
“He insisted the clarity of the sahitya and diction. He advised me to sing effortlessly, without much body movements and gestures. Those are termed according to GNB as gayakadoshas.”
GNB predicted a bright future for Ramachandran. After his demise Ramachandran was trained by Sangeetha kalaninidhi Dr. M L Vasanthakumari, the primary disciple of G N B.
Ramachnadran’s style of rendition is so close to GNB, that it creates nostalgic memories in the minds of old timers. “I owe much to the late Chalakudi N S Narayanaswami and Mavelikkara krishanan kutti Nair. In my early years of performance they gave adequate encouragement.”

Pt.Krishnanand of Kirana Gharana trained Ramachandran in Hindustani Music. “I really appreciate the training process. When I met Bhimsen Joshi he said that he would practice for 18 hours a day. That is how they become legends in their lifetime. There is no short cut in music. Only practice and more practice will enable one to achieve something in this field. Musicians must be a good listener also. Listening is also a part of learning” that was a valid piece of advice for the aspiring ones.
Ramachandran has sung in all major sabhas in India. He has performed in UK, USA, Australia, Sri Lanka, France, Bahrain, and Jakarta. His wife charumati is a renowned vocalist. Their daughter Subhasree is upcoming musician.


8th December 2006, 07:43 PM
[tscii:b69eb9ba30]Her family had strong connections with music. Her father Thiruvananthapuram R S Mani, a popular musician of yester generation laid the strong foundation. She had the fortune to learn under the doyens Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer R. Venkitaraman and T K Govinda Rao. Meet Visalakshi Nityanand, a vocalist based at Chennai. She was here in the city to perform at the Chembai Music festival.

“I did my MA Music and these days I am concentrating only on performance. I have to devote more time for practice and so my husband resigned the job to support me. I attend plenty of concerts and each one is a lesson. A performer should be a good listener also” she said.

“My learning under Semmangudi mama is an experience. His rendition of ragas and flow of swaras, spinning coils within coils was awe some. It was the essence of carnatic music. He insisted that students of music should learn Deekshithar compositions. He taught me 25 compositions of Deekshitahr. R .Venkitaraman was a task master. He has reprimanded me many times and never prepared for a compromise. It was highly analytical. Both of them taught me plenty of compositions” she added.

She is tirelessly building up a massive repertoire from many sources. “I had to go to many sources. The concerts of great masters help me to improve. Each of them has their on qualities. But I never follow them blindly as reproducing them is neither easy nor right. I have to design my own style, based on their tradition. Regarding improvisation, initially I by-hearted the ones of great masters to gain frame and direction. Then it came naturally.”
Visalakshi has made it a point to render Ragam Taanam and Pallavi, _which is rarely heard these days. Today many try to make the concert appeal to the largest number of listeners. That is why they cut down on raga and concentrate on swara, often overloading small kritis with fireworks which destroy the form.

Visalakshi has performed in all major sabhas in Chennai, and Hydearbad. “As I am brought up in Chennai I don’t find any difficulty in finding a space for me. But all my north Indian tours were for the south Indian audience.” She agrees.
For a performer Kerala is an ideal place. “I was invited for a concert at Thottuva in Kollam district. When I reached the place I was surprised to see the nature audience. They never seem to have any taste in music. I regretted, but had to perform. There were only 50 peoples. When it commenced, people gathered quickly and the seats were full till the end. They applauded rarely” she remembered.


8th December 2006, 07:44 PM
He belongs to the traditional family of musicians and served AIR as the program announcer for three decades. After retirement he found time to focus on his yet another passion that is painting- adding more color to his music. Meet Thiruvizha Jayasankar, the popular Nagaswaram artiste. Chembai Sangeetholsavam begins today with his concert, at the Chembai Trust Sreevaraham.

In an interview, he talks about his carrier, why there are fewer takers for this instrument, and his love for painting. “My father Raghava Panicker, grand father Sanakra Panicker were professional nagawaram vidwans. I chose this profession against my fathers wish. He was well aware of the living conditions of a musician.”

“But, I was initiated into music by my grand father. Our house always reverberated with musical notes. It only supplemented my love for music. I initially learnt vocal music systematically. At the age of ten I opted for Nagaswaram. In those days Ambalapuzha brothers, my father and grand father were the popular nagaswaram artistes. At the age of 14 I accompanied my father as a tala artiste. Madhavan Pillai a great connoisseur of art and music asked me to perform the next day. My father initially resisted this move as he was not satisfied with my performance. “He is not fit yet” was my father’s reaction. Pillai insisted and that was my debut concert and it was well received. I was presented a gold ring” said Jayasankar.
“I won the first prize in the All India Radio National Contest. Dr. Rajendra Prasad presented the Award. Then I joined RLV Academy for Ganabhushanam, Chittoor College Palakkad for BA degree in music, and the Swati Tirunal Academy of music for ganapraveena,” he said.
“With enough back ground in music, what made you to apply for the post of announcer in AIR?” asked G P S Nair, in the interview. I quoted my father,” said Jayasankar.
He believes that his service in AIR made him what he is today. “The opportunities to meet great musicians, to listen to their performances, chances for hearing old gems, etc influenced me and nurtured my taste” said Jayasankar with gratitude.
“Nagaswaram is an asura vadhya. It is very loud. Even then, initially I opted for violin and mrudangam as the accompanying instrument. It had a major draw back. I had to restrain a lot. Being a loud instrument it never matched with violin and mrudnagam. I could not bring the best in me. Then I opted for thavil which offered me more freedom,” said Jayasankar. But today he is accompanied on the mrudangam by Dr. G.Babu, on the Violin by Mahadeva Sarma, and on the Ghatom by Uduppi Sreedhar.
Why there are fewer takers for this instrument?
“It requires more effort and perseverance. Learning process is really tough. Hence only a few pursue.”

“After retirement, I concentrated on painting, my second love. In my teens I was in a dilemma. My mind was bubbling with music and colors. My father advised, music and art require hard work. You cannot achieve both simultaneously. Music demands rigorous practice. Painting demands much patience. Both are time consuming. Hence opt and concentrate on one. After retirement I restarted painting.”

His works are different. They are the portrayal of the raags as experienced by him.

“Initially I chose seven ragas namely Bhoopalam, Mohanam, Amritavarshini, Anadabhairavi, Sankarabharanam, Abheri and Neelambari. I essayed them in acrylic. It was well received” said Jayasankar.

Jayasankar was conferred the title of Kalaimamani, Isai Perarinjar, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academi Award & Fellowship, and the Guruvayoor Puraskaram.


8th December 2006, 07:46 PM
Next to Tanjore, Travancore is regarded as the centre of South Indian music. This state has a hoary tradition and culture and hence an important seat of music and dance.
Thanks to Maharaja Swati Tirunal. In this essay, let us analyze the Varnams of this monarch musician.

What are Varnams? You all know that they are scholarly compositions, which reflect the talents of the composer. It is tough to compose one and that is the reason we have more kritis than Varnams.
In a Varnam every aspect of the ragam has to e presented in a balanced manner. The normal & usual phrases admissible in the ragam are to be portrayed in all their bright colors along with the sancharams and viseshaprayogams. Thus, Varnam gives a true picture of a ragam. But ragamalika are exceptions and that is its limitation.

Chalamela (Sankarabharanam ata talam) is one of the brilliant Varnams of the Maharaja. Illustrious musicians had begun their concert with this Varnam. It has a balanced purvanga and an uttaranga. The former with pallavi 2 aaaavartas, anu pallavi 2 avartas, and mukhtayi swaras 2 avartas and the latter, with charanas one avarta, the ettugada swara with 1, 2, 3 of the length of one avarta each and the last ettugada swara of 2 avarta.
The dhatu is distributed over the three octaves. The pallavi starts with the visesha sanchara SNP. In the Varnam Sarajinabha (KAMBHODHI), SIMILAR COMMENCEMENT IS NOITCED. The anupallvi starts with the Madhya sthayi shadja. The commencing notes of the pallavi and the anupallavi are thus an octave apart. The mukhtayi swaram is characterized by n|dn|pdn|mpdn|gmpdn|rgmpdn|srgmpdn|.

The charanas starts with the swarakshara and the sahitya itself, is worthy of attention. The first ettugada swara contains long notes. The second is couched in the tana riti. THE panchama nyasa is powerfully emphasized upon in the third ettugada makes us oblivious to the fact that the composer has adroitly introduced the phrse s n d p in the manthra sthayi. This is rare in the lower octave of Sankarabharana the phrases met with being either-s n d n s or s n s d n s or s n s d n p D n s. The phrase s n d p is avoided as it suggests Navaroj.
Last ettugada opens with an ascending glide. The phrase D N R occurring herein is also a usual phrase in Sankarabharanam. Also the phrase N R G M D. HOWEVER, the melodic entity of Sankarabharana is maintained. The length of the paada in the compositions is 2 avartas. The pallavi and the charans admit of 3 sangatis. The trisruti dha and the chatursruti dha occur at relevant places. The chalamela is indeed a gem. This dignified composition is the splendid testimony to the genius of Swati Tirunal.

8th December 2006, 07:49 PM
[tscii:777c10c715]Will you play mrudangam for me?” asked the legendary Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar to the eight old boy. The boy replied, “Only if I can follow you.” “Any body can understand my music” the maestro replied. The child’s father took it casually but Chembai was serious. The lad accompanied the musician, who was much impressed. The boy-pursued music, could accompany his master for four decades. Many awards and accolades reached him, the latest being the Swati Puaraskaram. Meet, Tripunithura Viswanathan Gopalakrishanan popularly known as TVG the renowned vocalist cum mrudangam artiste.

“My father and fore fathers were court musicians. My uncle Narayanaswamy was an excellent percussionist. I was brought up in an atmosphere saturated with pure classical music. My parents would say that I started singing before I could talk. That could be an exaggeration. Coimbatore Raghava Iyer, Mahavaidyanatha Iyer, Chakkrathanam Subba Iyer and Palakkad Anantharama Bhagavathar were my teachers. The long association with Chembai molded into a perfect musician. I am his premier disciple,” said TVG.
“After graduation, I joined AG’s office. Nevertheless, I continued learning music. Besides, mrudangam I learnt violin, and veena. The connoisseurs of music soon accepted me and I resigned my job,” he said.
TVG is the first musician to perform both Hindustani and Carnatic music. He introduced Carnatic Jazz, harnessing western instruments. His duets with and jugalbandis with Ustad Allah Rakka, Pt. Ravisankar, Pierre Favre, George Harrisons of Beatles fame John Handy took the music world by storm.

You have been performing both the systems of music since 1969. Who initiated you into the Hindustani music and What is the secret of success?

Pandit Krishananth of Kirana Gharana taught me Hindustani music. He was a close associate of my father. They often share their knowledge in their respective systems of music. Thus, at a very early stage I could learn both the systems of music. Absolute discipline and concentration are required to perform both.
You have introduced many numbers of young artistes. How do you feel?
In a musician’s carrier, the role of the teacher is very critical. I have received enough encouragement and blessing from my tutors and I am passing the same to my pupils. My disciples include Ilayaraja, A R Rehman, Bupindre Singh, Sivamani, Kadari Gopalanath, Rajkumar Bharathi, Siegfried Kutterer,
Andre Fertier, Carole Grey, Herbert Lang, and the list is endless. The more I teach, the more I improve. In my debut jazz performance, I was accompanied by A R Rehman, Kadari, and Sivamani.

TVG is actively involved in the resurrection of old musical forms and in preserving archival music. He established Academy of Indian music and Arts, in 1986 to identify child prodigies. He designs veena, mrudangam and thampura with advanced technologies and inputs from other nations.

“I diligently follow the tenets of Nadayoga, and want to pursue music until my last breath,” he said. Perhaps this is what keeps him energetic, enterprising, and capable of enthralling the listeners, all over the world over six decades. (495 words)


8th December 2006, 07:50 PM
Here is a rising star in violin. Last week he accompanied two well known artistes Aswati Tirunal RamaVarma and Vettikavala Sasikumar organized by Swati Tirunal Sangeeta Sabha and Navarasam Sangeeta Sabha respectively. The violinist received much appreciation from the audience for his eminence. Meet Avaneeswaram S R Vinu.

Hailing from a family of musicians he was initiated into music by his father Avaneeswaram S Ramachandran well known vocalist and the former Principal of R L V College of music. His grand father Krishan Pillai was a known nagaswaram artiste. And naturally his reverberated with musical notes. However Vinu was attracted towards Violin which his father practiced often and had the basic lessons under him. Later he trained with Kilimanoor Thyagarajan a tutor at the Swati Thirunal Music Academy, during summer vacations. Then he joined the Academy and took his ganabhooshanam and ganapraveena.
“Once I happened to hear an audio cassette of Mysore M Nagarajan. I was so fascinated by his style of rendition and decided to learn under him. Again I spent my summer vacations at Mysore and had advanced training under him. My guru and his brother Mysore Manjunath practiced violin in the evenings and I will be one among the few listeners” said Vinu.

He is one of the most demanding accompanying violinists. He has accompanied great musicians like Dr Balamurali Krishna TV Sankaranarayanan. N Ramani, Bombay sisters, Vijay Siva, Sanjay Subramanaian, Trissur Ramachandran, and chitra vina Ravi Kiran. He has performed solo concerts as well. “It gives plenty of freedom. While accompanying one has to under play. One must allow the main artiste to render more. The supporting artiste should only support. If the padantharam of the main and the accompanying artistes are same our job will be easy. It is not always like that. Hence we must widen our repertoire by learning new compositions and to listen to more concerts” feels Vinu.

Vinu has performed at the Chennai music season besides, the Swati Sangeetholsavam, at the Navarathri Mandapam, and concerts organized by major sabhas in Kerala, Chennai, and Bombay. Vinu is wedded to Aswathi a vocalist. He received Lalgudi Jayaraman Award, Gopala Iyer [father of Lalgudi] Award, for the best young artiste recently.


8th December 2006, 07:53 PM
[tscii:e240d89813]Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Sankar once attended a violin concert at Allahabad. After the show, he invited the artiste to his gurukul school in Delhi. The artiste accepted the offer, reached Delhi and spent a few days in the gurukul. With in this short period his mind has undergone a transformation. He felt that he should learn Sitar and disclosed his ambition to the maestro. Ravi Sankar gave his own instrument and taught the boy Sitar from the very basics. The master’s judgment was absolutely right and within two years he proved his caliber. Today he is one of the leading sitarists. Meet Gaurav Mazumdar. He was in Thiruvananthapuram recently, for a performance organized by Thapovan Heritage Home at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan. He was accompanied on the tabala by Debashesh Mukherjee.

In an interview the artiste talks about his traditional music family, his training in vocal, violin and then sitar, creation of new ragas, compositions, his performances abroad and his latest project with child prodigies.

‘I was born into a musical family in Allahabad. I was initiated into vocal music by my cousins- Kamala Bose and Jayasree Roy. When they got married, I could not pursue music. My father Dulal Mazumdar, Guru Pandit Nandkishore Vishwakarma and my uncle trained me in violin. Soon I started giving concerts. It was on one such occasion that I met Pandit Ravi Sankar” he said and continued:

“When I decided to learn Sitar there was a great protest. I have to learn sitar from the very basics. I had gained enough popularity as a vocalist cum violinist. It is too late for any artiste to begin the music lessons in the 20s with an ambition to become a professional. So apprehension prevailed. But somehow I wanted to pursue sitar. Hearing sitar I realized that, violin- of course a great instrument- is not meant for me. I spoke to Ravi Sankar with lot of apprehension and fear. He agreed to teach me. I had no sitar of my own. So he gave me one of his. I discontinued my college studies and started learning sitar.”
How difficult was it?
‘I knew that it is going to be difficult. Parents were concerned about my future. They firmly believed that I will end up in no where. But my passion was too strong. Within a couple of years I could imbibe its techniques and qualified to perform for AIR. I started giving small concerts and offers came naturally. My parents were relieved” explained Gaurav.

Shiv kalyani, Aishani, Madhu priya, Akansha, Shivangi and Saraswati malhar are a few ragas that Mazumdar has created. On the eve of the new millennium he performed at Vatican where he presented Akansha [hope and expectation] and dedicated it to world peace. He collaborated with and composed for the English Chamber Orchestra and performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London. East Meets West was a joint presentation of Pandit Ravi Sankar and Lord Yehudi Menuhin the two great giants in music. Years later Gaurav performed the same with Daniel Hope - the pupil of Menuhin. Its recording was released by Warner Classics and was nominated for the Grammy Award in 2004. He had the honor of being chosen to compose music for a ballet based on Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. He has written a lot of lyrics for khayal.

Currently Gaurav is working with the school children in England. Children who are good in instrumental music are selected. He has composed a special piece for an orchestra thus formed, and will be staged on 23rd of May, in London.

8th December 2006, 07:54 PM
[tscii:fdf954dadc]The mother while cooking was surprised to find a gold medal in the mustard box. The father patiently waited for the arrival his seven year old son. After lunch he asked his son “When did you start learning mrudangam?” The child stared for a while and said, “I just played, and the Maharaja Chithira Tirunal gave me this medal.”
“Oh I see. Can you play for me now?” The child nodded. The father sang and the child played. The father was convinced and said, “You better learn mrudangam.” After the Scout rally cultural program was organized at the Model High School. I and Chellamani (father of play back singer Hariharan) were classmates, at the Fort High School. Our Head Master Shri Unni, knew our talents and asked to represent our school. I was afraid to inform my parents as I was learning vocal music under my father Thanu Bhagavathar. So I promptly dropped the medal in the mustard box-laughs Sangitakalanidhi Dr. T K Murthy the doyen in mrudangam. He was in the capital city for a couple of performances. In an interview he talks about his ancestors, his relationship with the Melody Queen M S Subbalekshmi, the great maestros he has accompanied, and the need to create awareness about the less known great musicians of the past.
Murthy belongs to a family of Mullamudu musicians. For generations they were court musicians of Travancore. “My father Thanu Bhagavathar, grand father Subramanya Bhagavathar, great grand father Thanu Bhagavathar and his father were court musicians. This is my 75th year of performance.” He said.

As a child it was his long desire to learn mrudangam under Thanjavur Vaidyanatha Iyer. “I disclosed it to the Maharaja and he provided the financial support” remembers the maestro. “I continued there for 35 long years. The master treated me and Palakkad Mani Iyer as his children.
Thnjavur Vaidyanatha Iyer was an undisputed master of caliber and could produce equally talented disciples, namely Mani Iyer and Murthy. He presented Murthy a pair of diamond studs. It was Paakkad Mani Iyer who christened me T K Murthy.

At the age of 17 I accompanied my master (2nd mrudangam) for Musiri Subramania Iyer. The occasion was the wedding ceremony of the daughter of Shanmughan chetti the Dewan of Kochi. In 1934 I accompanied Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer at the Mysore Palace. Chaudiah the great was on the violin. We were all conferred with the Killathu maryadai. We were presented Rs.1000 besides a pair of silk mundu and a richly brocaded coat.
Since then there was no looking back. There are no senior musicians for whom I have not accompanied. I played for M S for 55 years. That was a different experience. She calls me suttu. We stayed at the residence of Jawaharlal Nehru, for 10 days, and the Rashtrapathi Bahavan for another 10 days when Rajaji was the Governor General. I am lucky. I could accompany M S all over the world. We performed at the UN Head Quarters. In those days she paid me 400/ performance. One day while chatting at her residence, she paid the amount for four concerts. She said “Suttu count and check.” I refused. When she insisted I gave the money back. There were 2000 rupees. Immediately she said “from now onwards we have enhanced your payment to Rs 500 per concert” That was her magnanimity.
“We also stayed at the Birla’s residence for 10 days. We were served food in silver plates which resembled plantain leaves. After lunch we were offered cold sweet drink. I consumed it. After some time I started yelling at Sadasivam the husband of M S. The drink contained Baang an intoxicating agent, and I never knew that” recollected T K Murthy.
Vikku Vinayakram’s father and I were friends. When Vikku was born I went to see the child. I prophesied that he would become a Ghatom master. The father asked “You are a mrudangist. How come you advice like that?” It could be a slip of the tongue. But today Vikku is the one of the greatest Ghatom artistes. He has accompanied M S for many years. “
Murthy has performed jugalbandi with Allarekka.
“Recently Zakkir Hussien invited Murthy for a concert on his father’s day. Murthy has plenty of disciples in India and abroad. Regarding the Swati Puraskaram he said “the Govt should select the musicians who have really propagated the compositions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal. There are many award winners who do not know who the Swati Tirunal was. It is my humble request to organize programs to revive the memories of the legendary musicians like Shadkala Govinda Marar, Anantharama Bhagavathar and Vaikkom Krishnan. The present generation must know about them, and the organizers should promote the musicians of Kearala.”


8th December 2006, 07:59 PM
[tscii:aba7e0c35b]Sajeev Nampoothiri- B. Tech., MBA, is a different personality altogether. He is not after MNC s. His aim is to establish himself in the field of classical music. His mellifluous voice and strong foundation in carnatic music enabled him to be identified by the connoisseurs.

Born to Gowri Antharjanam and Sreekumaran Nampoothiri of Chandramana Illam, Perumbavoor, Sajeev had his basic lessons in music from Lalitha, Irinjalakkuda Vijayalekshmi, and advanced lessons from Varkala C S Jayaram. Narayanan Nampoothiri his paternal uncle also trained in music.

“I owe much to my parents. My father takes me daily to the music class at 6 am. When I was 12, I participated in Poo mottukal a children’s program for Doordarsan. It was well received and later it was telecast by Bombay Doordarshan. That was my debut performance. In the formal arangettam Mahadeva Sarma the popular violin artiste accompanied me. The family once made an unscheduled trip to Puttaparthi in the next year. I sang Thodi raga and Sai Baba was much pleased. He blessed me” said Sajeev.

In 1992, Sajeev passed the audition test conducted by AIR, Calicut. He came first in the AIR National music competition in both classical and semi classical music. He won the gold medal at the National University Youth Festival held at Nagpur [1993] and Gulbarga [1995]. For three consecutive years he won the first prize at the M G University Youth Festival. He won the Chembai Award instituted by the Govt. of Kerala.

‘Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer, Mussiri Subramania Iyer, Alattur brothers, Palkkad KVN, M D Ramanathan Lalgudi Jayaraman, Mavellikkara Prabhakara Varma, Neyyattinkara Vasudevan and Dr K Omanakutti are a few of my favorite musicians. As an effort to popularize the lesser known compositions of Neelakanta Sivan, Papanasam Sivan, Gopalakrishan Bharathi, Thulasivanam and Lekshmana Pillai I make it a point to include a small piece during performance. I had the opportunity to perform at Thiruvayaru during Thyagaraja festival” he said.

Sajeev’s grand father and his brother-Sreedharan Nampoothiri and Govindan Nampoothiri- were popular kathakali artistes. Love for Kathakali is in his blood. Kalamandalam Haridas trained Sajeev in Kathakali pathangal.

Sajeev expressed his gratitude to R Krishana Swamy and Rajalekshmi for their proper advice and encouragement. ‘It was T S Babu who passed away last week, trained my father and his brother in music. I too am a student of Babu. What I am today is because of the blessings of these well wishers. At Chennai Sajeev has established Neelakanta Cultural Academy in Adayar. There he takes music lessons and conducts concerts. Sajeev has performed at many sabhas during the Chennai music season and also at Bangalore, Bombay and Kerala. He has produced three CDs so far.

8th December 2006, 08:04 PM
[tscii:d6f607629b]How can one forget the immortal lullaby Omana thingal kidavo….? Nalla komala thamara poovo…? specially composed for the garbhasreeman Swati Tirunal by Irayimmen Thampi? Born to Parvathipilla Thankachi and Kerala Varma Thampan of Cherthala Naduvilae Kovilakam, in 958 M E Thampi was trained by his father. He never concealed his urge for writing and once he composed a verse and submitted to the Maharaja, Dharmaraja. He underwent advanced training in Sanskrit from Moothattu Sankaranilayathu. It is said that Thampi composed Keechakavadham and Uttaraswayamvaram before the demise of Dharmaraja. Thampi married Kalipila Thankachi, and the couple had seven children and among them Kuttikunju Thankachi followed his foot steps and she is the first lady to compose Attakatha. In 990 M E he became the court musician. He has composed many eulogies on Rani Gauri Pparvathi Bayi, Princess Rukmini Bayi, Swati Tirunal and Uthram Tirunal. Murajapam (1004 M E), investiture of Maharaja Swati Tirunal (1004 M E), and similar events connected with the royal family formed the subjects. He was the only Poet Laureate.
He has penned three attakathas, namely, Kkeechakavadham, Uttaraswayamvaram, and Dakshayagam; Subhadra haranam kaikottipattu, murajapappana, Vaasishtam kilipattu, Rasa kreeda, Rajasevakramam manipravalam, and slokams in Sanskrit and Malayalam. His works are rich in poetic beauty, and alliterations. In most of his works, there is a verse –mudra either in the beginning or towards the end. It is written in such a way that the first letter of the first line, second letter of the second line and similar constructions in the lines that follow would produce the word “Ravivarmanthampikavanam.” Thampi’s kummi “veera virada kumara vibho” for instance are equally popular. 29 Sanskrit Kirtanams, 27 maniparvalam, 5 varnam, are his other works. Some of his padams like prana nadhan enikku nalkiya …, oru naal nisi chaitha leelakal…., are highly erotic. He went to the other extreme and composed “Karunachaivan enthu thamasam Krishna…”He passed away in 1031 in the month of Karkitakom. This is his 150th death anniversary.
__________________________________________________ ________________[/tscii:d6f607629b]

8th December 2006, 08:06 PM
[tscii:36621175cc]When music lovers saw a thin, fair, young lady with a saxophone, they were awe struck. Women and saxophone?How can it be?
With the commencement of the concert, they had to accept the fact that women are in no way behind in handling musical instruments as tough as this. Meet Lavanya the only women saxophone player in India. She was in the capital to perform saxophone concert at the Karikkakom temple.

Lavanya belongs to a family of musicians. Her grand father M R Rajappa was the court musicians of the Mysore Palace. Her father M R Sainath is a leading mrudangist and working as the staff artiste of AIR. He has accompanied many leading artistes especially Kadari Gopalanath-the saxophone maestro. “I was trained in vocal music and regularly attended concerts and had the oppurtunity to hear Kadari amny times. Gradually I was attracted towards saxophone and decided to learn. I was only fifteen then. It is a complicated and complex instrument. One need to spend great effort just to familiarise the fingering techniques.Initially my playing reminded of ancient houses where women blow the fire with a pipe. Then it was like somebody pulling a chair. Even I thought of quitting” LAUGHED Lavanya.

The artiste need lot of energy to play this. Initially you may develop severe throat pain and muscular pain in the jaws. May be this is the reason why women never try saxophone. “I play even tough compostions. Recital of heavy ragas is really challenging as you have to sustain the notes for long. I never restrict myself to lighter and easier pieces” added Lavanya and continued “The instrumenthas many limitations. Basically it is a western instrument, designed to play western music. Our music is full of grace notes and it is tough to bring that quality and still we do our best”.

“My guru Kadari was initially trained in Nagaswaram. When he was just eleven years he saw saxophone being played at Mysore. He somehow wanted to learn and there was no teacher available to teach classical music in saxophone. He learned it all by himself and could evolve a style of his own.He was trained in music by T V Gopalakrishnan” informed Lavanya.
“I have not tried Hindusthani music in saxophone. But I do play bhajans and abhangs. My sister M S subbalekshmi also accompanies me these days. Suddenly she developed food poison and hence couldnot make her presence here. We are popularly known as saxophone sisters” said Lavanya.


8th December 2006, 08:07 PM
Traditions in music are many. Here we have the famous Mullamudu tradition which is n 175 years old. Only, a handful of mullamudu musicians remain today. In an informal conversation Mullamudu musicians talk about their ancestors, their role in popularizing the compositions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal, and how they still maintain rich age old tradition.These musicians pay their musical offerings at the scheduled time on the days of ulsavam and Navarathri at the Padmanabha Temple and Navarathri Mandapam respectively.
The origin of mullamudu tradition goes like this:
Maharaja Swati Tirunal, once happened to listen Palakakad Parameswara Bhagavathar at the Temple. Enthralled, he made enquiries on the spot and appointed him as the court musician. He provided him a house at mullamudu near the palace. Parameswaran is the first musician to represent this great tradition. He later served the courts of Ayilyam Tirunal, Visakhom Tirunal and Sree Mualm Tirunal. Coimbatore Raghava Iyer, was his primary disciple. Aashramam Annaswami, Attingal Sankaranarayanan, Elathur Hariharan, Karamana Venkiteswaran, Kalkulam Subramanian, Parakkai Narayanan, Tanjavore Kathir Kama Dasan, Kadayam Kasi,and Neelakanta Iyer were the few others to name. They assembled at the rustling thickets intertwined with jasmine shrubs and rendered the Maharajas compositions and hence the name mullamudu bhagavathar.

“I have been part of this team since 50 years. My father Padmanabhan was one of the mullamudu musicians” said T .P .Mani Iyer former Principal of the Swati Tirunal Music Academy. We were given rice, vegetables, and coconut daily” remembered Mani.

“My father Venku Bhagavathar was one among the mullamudu musicians. I have been serving the temple for the past 46 years as the violinist” said V Meenakshi Sundaram. “During the festival we render Ulsava Prabhandam which the Maharaja has specially composed in Manipravalam in 1839. It gives a detailed account of the ten days festival celebrated twice annually. It has 12 songs and 42 verses in different meters. We render the corresponding songs of the day” he informed. He specially mentioned the song Shibikayil Ezhunnalledunnu set to the rare raga Mangalakausika.

“We render ulsava prabhandam at night and other Swati compositions in the evening on the festival days. At the Navarathri Mandapam we perform Thodaya Mangalam for half an hour before the main concert. We begin with Jayadeva ke kishora [Natta] and Mathanga Thanayayae [pantuvarali] followed by the compositions of Annamacharya and Purandaradasa. On the eve of Ariyittu vazhcha,[Attingal] there existed a custom to recite Aanadavalli kuru [Neelambari] at the nalukettu and Janani Pahi [suddha saveri] at the sanctum the next day” explained Parameswara Sarma son of late mullamudu Lekshmi Narayana Bahgavathar.
“Lekshmi Narayanan and I, well trained in Ulsavaprabhandam taught other musicians like Palakkad K V Narayana Swami, who later popularized this precious work of the Maharaja. In fact it was Amma Maharani who took the initiative to do so” reminisced T P Mani Iyer and added “on the day of Swargavathil Ekadesi we render Bhaktaparayana in Sankarabharanam at 8.30 pm.”

During ulsavam these musicians follow the vahanams, rendering ulsava prabhandam to the accompaniment of violin and mrudangam even today.

9th December 2006, 07:12 PM
[tscii:1a49633409]Pandit Ajoy Chakraborthi is one of the brightest gems that adorn the crown of Indian music. He is popular among the music lovers of Thiruvananthapuram.

My parents say I started singing before I could talk. My father Ajit Chakraborthi was a great connoisseur of music, and initiated me into this field-said Ajoy who is the first Indian classical singer to perform in Pakistan.
He was trained under great musicians like Kaniadas Bairagi, Pt. Jnan Prakash Ghosh and Munawar Ali Khan.

The first recipient of the National Award for the best musician instituted in the name of Kumar Gandarva. Ajoy has won the National Award for the best play back singer in 1990 besides many state awards.

He took his BA and MA with record marks from Rabindra Bharathi University. Since 1981 he has been performing in Europe and America. I was recognized as the honorary citizen of the New Orleans USA, and offered the key of the city, during one of my visits.

Ajoy has rendered songs for the two popular films namely Lagaan and Hey Ram. For him music is life. “According to me, adhering to a Gharana means confinement. In our country music is taught practiced and spread from the Guru to the pupils by singing together. After 10 or 12 years the pupil is sure to imitate his master though not deliberately. Once, he is convinced that a strong foundation had been laid he can learn from any musician and should develop his own style.”

“The world of music is as vast as this universe. The more you search the more you get and the more enriched you will be. Our country has the richest heritage. But the process of learning and training is weak. The guru forces the student to perform the way he likes or wants. To a certain extent it is essential. In the process the student’s inner creativity is snubbed. The masters should keep an open mind and they should respect the instinct of his pupils” he opined.

A special feature of Ajoy’s rendition is his free movement through all the three saptakas. “All vocalists should practice breathing exercise. Singing is nothing but painting in air in al hues and shades. You need absolute concentration and the knowledge of the correct swara. You have to be rhythm conscious and capable of bringing out the right emotions” he explained.

Apart from khayal, thumri, and tappa, Ajoy is proficient in Pallavi, drupad tillana and tarana. He like to be known as an Indian musician. He is the student of Dr. Balamuralikrishna.

What prompted him to establish Shrutinandan?

“My aim is to impart practical knowledge on the basis of all forms of Indian vocal music to the musically inclined younger generation.”

“It would help them to realize their potentials as worthy artistes thus perpetuating the musical tradition of India. We have nearly 800 students and it has no elite bias” he said.

Ajoy has to his credit 50 albums and considerable number of CDs most of them are Bengali Songs. Live in Pakistan, 5 volumes, Tagore’s compositions, songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam on 300 years of Calcutta, besides elaborate rendition of ragas.


14th December 2006, 02:58 PM
Can a mrudangam sing?
Yes it can, if it is in the blessed hands of Umayalpuram Sivaraman.

Excerpts from the interview:
Born in 1935 Sivaraman had his debut performance at the age of 10. In an illustrious career spanning 55 years, he lent his mrudangam magic to great maestros like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar,Musiri Subramania Iyer, Palladam Sanjeeva Rao, Chowdiah, Rajamanickam Pilai, Dwaram Venkitaswami Naidu, GNB, Madurai Mani Iyer, Chembai, Semmangudi, and Balamuralikrishna.He has performed jugalbandi with Pt.Kishn Maharaj, Ustad Allah Rakka, Zakir Hussein. To Sivaraman goes the credit of introducing fiber glass mrudangam.

My father Dr. P. Kasiviswanatha Iyer was an accomplished musician. I used to play on whatever objects I touched upon, producing diverse talas.

My father noticed it and initiated into mrudangam. I mastered it under the guidance of Arupathi Natesa Iyer, Tanjore Viadyanatha Iyer, Palakkad Mani Iyer and Kumbhakonam Rangu Iyengar.
It is a pleasure listening to Umayalpuram Sivaraman as he explains his concept of music. One is instantly reminded of Umayalpuram Baani. AS far as classical music is concerned we have no gharanas. Our system is so comprehensive that we do not need one. It gives tremendous scope and freedom for creating ones own baani.

Artistes create with their dynamism, a new tapestry of innovation excellence beauty and aesthetic quality. In my case I had four and I was able to develop my own style which is deeply rooted in tradition yet novel in presentation. It has greatly influenced many artistes, and many drummers in the west.

You have made several innovations in the instrument. Has the music world accepted this?

DR. C V Raman had done yeoman service to the harmonics of true mrudangam. HE DID IT LONG BEFORE DECIDING TO SWITCH OVER TO OPTICS. I have studied the works of Raman and Prof. Ramakrishanan and began the work where they had left. Being a performing artiste of repute, and having traversed the realms of Indian music, I always consider Mrudangam an instrument par excellence. It is a king of percussion and queen of melody. The fundamental note, the overtones, the gamaka aspects and other inherent tones of aesthetic value are the greatest assets of mrudangam.

I have been giving lec-dems for long. I explain the nuances and the greatness of this instrument to the rasikas. When you go deeper, in search of nada, you find something unique, fantastic, unseen and unheard. All these resulted in my introduction of the fiber glass mrudangam.

My greatest contribution to mrudangam playing technique is the approximation to music. I am a strict follower of the gayaki style. If the technical virtuosity and the gayaki style are in a happy wedlock, then the artiste reaches a different plain far away from the mundane and becomes a nadajogi. I have been trying to achieve this goal all throughout my life. I am still trying.

This master has a number of disciples. The method of training is different.

To begin with I train my disciple to play for the taala. Then I train them to play for the music. Finally I train them to play fro a musician. The same musician will perform differently on different occasions.

Accompanying the musician or playing solo which one gives you more satisfaction?

Accompanying. The purpose of the mrudangist is to give full support to the main artiste, heighten the tempo of the concert, sustain the interest of the audience, giving life and energy to the recital and finally play a great taniavartanam.

You can take this cue from me. Do not take this as a hobby. Take it as an education. Kindly dedicate yourself to this divine to this divine thing called music. It would confer the best of gifts to you all.
The cultural climate is excellent.

A Law graduate Sivaraman has played mrudangam in the special feature the DRUMS OF INDIA in the USA. His Garland of Rhythm gave a new dimension to the concept of taniavartanam. He has been conferred the National Citizens Award by the Indian President.

A general tendency today is that they consider the tani avartanam part of a concert, as a time killer.

Some stretch their limbs and many simply sulk. But this is not the norm when Umayalpuram is on the mrudangam. The audience sit in rapt attention as they experience the Sivaraman Effect. They realize that if they fail to pay attention they run the risk of losing the chance of a life time. This is what differentiates this genius from the rest.

15th December 2006, 06:05 PM
[tscii:2f9ab7cc0c]Sudha Regunadhan the popular vocalist has performed many times in Kerala. This interview was done in 2001, when she came to the capital city in connection with a concert organized by the Chembai Trust. :D
Excerpts from the interview:
Could you please explain briefly the initial training in music and how you happened to be the disciple of MLV?

I HAD THE basic lessons in music from my mother. Then I had the fortune to learn music from T V VAISWANATHAN and B V Lakshmanan. I secured the central government and became the disciple of MLV. It is indeed a blessing that I accompany her for many years. She advised me a lot and insisted that I should stick to music, though I had other aspirations.
Has the long association with MLV, influenced your style of rendition?
The most striking aspect of MLV and her guru GNB, is the elaborate rendition of the raga and the cascading flow of kalpanaswarams. IT IS HIGHLY METHODICAL and creative. It is natural that the disciples quickly fall into he line of their gurus. Besides raga alapana and kalpanaswarams I imbibed from her the sense of adventure, inclusion of gamakas, and higher pitch. MLV had cautioned me not to become the replica of the guru. Imitation has a short span of existence. She was very considerate. She gave me opportunities when I accompanied her.

Sudha ahs performed in Los Angeles, Canada, UK, and almost all European countries. “When we render ragas and swaras they listen with awe.” She said.

She had performed fusion concert of World Music. There were artistes from Hungary, Male, Switzerland, USA, Madagascar, besides myself representing India.

Initially I was worried. How can carnatic music merge with a variety of western music?
I decided to go ahead. We all had to sing bits of each others music like an exchange of music for music.

After a week long rehearsal the concert was held in Germany. The result was unbelievable. It once again proved that music has no barriers.

Sudha’s concert revealed the extent of hard work and perseverance that had gone into her art.

“In fact, I was so involved in classical music that I did not even think of play back singing. You can say, it just did not happen. Classical music requires more depth and the voice is processed for that” she said

17th December 2006, 02:38 PM
[tscii:d24a8261fb]A couple weeks ago, the guest house in Kuthira Malika premises was reverberating with music with the accompaniment of Thampura. Malladi brothers (seniors), Suri Babu and Narayana Sarma were practicing for their performance that was to follow, at the Navarathri madapam. It was a pleasant surprise to see them with thampura-as today’s concerts sans this essential instrument.
We brought it all the way from Hyderabad. The electronic gadget produces monotonous sound and becomes unbearable after some time. We prefer Thampura and it would take 40 minutes to tune it.

We hail from the family of musicians. Their father Malladi Ramamurthi, was a musician and an exponent. The brothers had advanced training from Voletti Venkiteswaralu a disciple of Sripatha Pinakapani.

We learnt nearly 400 kirtanas, from voletti. We could learn from him when he conducted music lessons for AIR.

Perfect notation, padantharam, and sruthi soaked music are the salient features, of Pinakpani School. He was deeply inspired by many great maestros and has been taken good qualities from their renditions which were ingrained in Raga alapana and niraval. They said.

In their opinion Swati Tirunal’s compositions are perfectly tuned. Singing at the Navarathri Mandapam, is a strange experience-really an invocation to the Goddess. The ambience is just perfect, for the concert.
The repertoire of these brothers, is vast. They have set tunes for the compositions of Annamacharya, Narayana Thirtha Sadasiva BRAHMENDRA AND Bhadrachala Ramadas.


17th December 2006, 02:41 PM
[tscii:096273fc85]Ranjini & Gayathri
Excerpts from the interview:
“Our father N Balasubramanium former UNICEF official from Harippad, plays violin. Our mother Meenakshi is a vocalist. Thus we had the opportunity to learn both. We were further trained by SANGEETHA BHOOSHANAM, T S KRISHNASWAMI. He organized our debut concert at the Shanmughnanda Hall. Ranjini was 13 and I 10” said Gayathri.

The sisters then started accompanying great stalwarts like Balamuralikrishna and D K Pattammal.

Our family shifted to Chennai. We had our advanced training form P S Narayanaswami the primary disciple of Semmangudi.

“We had our debut vocal concert at Mylapore. It was at a time when we had good reputation as violinists. Pessimists opined that if the concert flopped it would adversely affect our future. But our master was confident” remembers Ranjini.

The sisters had perfect understanding although their approach to the rendition of ragam and manodharmam are different.

“Each of us has our own style” said Gayathri and added “ Ranijini’s music is sober deep and profound.” “Hers is more flamboyant” retorted Gayathri.

As we had spent our grooming years in Mumbai we had the opportunity to hear Hindustani music.
Initially when we performed vocal concerts, our attention automatically went to the violinists. We could not resist but looking at the bow movements.

The sisters have performed at USA, South Africa, Europe, Malaysia and Singapore.


25th December 2006, 06:23 AM
[tscii:f80e3a51e4]Four decades ago, Gora Sarbadikari, decided to settle in Germany. On the eve of his departure, he visited Santhinikethan-the Abode of Peace, which changed the course of his life. Much against the protest of his family members he joined Santhinikethan. He served the institution as the tutor of Rabindra Sangeeth for four decades. Prof Gora was in the city to perform Rabindra Sangeeth and Rabindra nritya, organized by Swati Tirunal Sangeetha Sabha. (I E DATED, 04-09-04)

This is the debut performance of the Santhinikethan troupe in Kerala.

For the uninitiated, Tagore-poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher, actor, composer, painter and educationist has left his imperishable mark in the history of Indian dance.

In 1901, Gurudev the preceptor founded Santhinikethan. There he experimented to his new educational methods. The curriculum included general academic subjects, and great stress was laid on arts. Tagore’s play Geethinatyam, was novel in that, the dialogues were in blank verses often set to music. The words were arranged to suit the ragas that would best relate the mood. In 1926, he brought Nabakumar, an exponent in Manipuri to Santhinikethan. NATIR Puja, Chitrnagada, Shyama, Chandalika are the best known plays of Tagore.

Tagore devised the choreography, for most of his dance dramas. He found that the Manipuri technique would not do justice to his plays. He brought gurus from Kerala to teach Kathakali. He devised new dance techniques by incorporating Manipuri, Kathakali and folk dance forms. It was severely criticized. But it really paved the way to the rehabilitation of Manipuri dance which till then had never been seen outside Manipur.

“Rabindra sangeeth is the third form of classical music in India. Tagore had penned and composed nearly 3000 songs with notations” informed Prof. GORA.

The show began with RITURANGA. OUT OF THE SIX SEASONS, Hemantha and Varsha were performed. It was followed by Jogathujudae udarassoor, from Gitanjali, Tagore’s teenage work, Padhavali deals with separation and reunion of Radha and Krishna written in Brij bholi.

“Tagore’s adoration for Jayadeva and his work Git Govind, is the best contribution to Sanskrit by a Bengali. It is a high point of Vaishnavism. The divine love of Radha and Krishna is expressed at its most intense form.”

“Tagore’s family conservative Brahmins disapproved of it. But Tagore was deeply impressed and he insisted that “srutha kamala kuja…” should be rendered before Padhavali” informed GORA.

Rabindra nrutya is brightly hued, soft, willowy and feminine to the point of feebleness. It is free from voluptuousness and sensuality. It has considerable grace and refinement. Love, wrath, chivalry, joy all human emotions find their place in this play.

It was under CHCHATIMTALA (EZHILAM PAALA) that Maharshi Debendranath Tagore meditated. On December 23 every year (ANNUAL DAY OF SANTHINIKETHAN), “PARI POORNAM AANANDAM” IS RENDERED AT THIS SPOT.
PROFESSOR GORA with his troupe has widely traveled all over the world performing RABINDRA SANGEETH AND RABINDRA NRUTHY

27th December 2006, 04:32 AM
[tscii:8dea384418]FOR Mala, music is in the family. She is the daughter of famed flautists Sikkil sisters-Neela and Kunjumani. She is wedded to Chandrasekharan son of Radha who used to accompany the legendary musician MS.

“I feel the rich tradition is well maintained here, in Kerala. In Chennai, you have to do plenty of PRO work and lobbying” she said.

My mother Neela, and aunt Kunjumani, are the first women flautists in India. My mother taught me initially. I was not at all serious. But at the academic levels there existed healthy competition and it urged me to master this” she explained.

What is the sikkil style?

“We give more importance to verse and melody. We will not employ any gimmicks, including very fast movements of the fingers. Th ehead movements and the thuthukara prayogams, will be prominent. A flow towards upper octave never stops, and there will be a reverse flow.”

Regarding improvisation, she said: it should be like a pyramid with broad base and strong foundation. It should be an offhand creation and spontaneous. Ragalapana can be either one minute or one hour. In the former only the jeevaswaras are exposed quickly. In the latter, the raga is unfolded carefully. It demands highest degree of training and control.

The sikkil sisters focus more on the lakshana of the ragas to expose its various facets, ranjaka prayogas, vishesah sancharas and sanchara karma.

“Flute is an instrument with fixed sruthi. The artists very often change the instrument to render higher and lower pitches. But we don’t.

The sruthi of human voice is fixed and varies from person to person. Do a vocalist ever keep a by stander to render the sruthi which he cannot? Mine is a three katta flute. I can go up to gandaram in the mantrasthayi-said Mala and added “There is a tendency to sideline flute and veena.”

Mala had the oppportuinty to render for Our Hon. President APJ Abdul Kalam. He asked me render “Kurai ondrum illai.”

She was conferred the prestigious Mali Award instituted by the Madras Music Academy in 1991.

The contributions offered by my mother and aunt to the world of classical music are stupendous. But they are yet to receive due any recognition from the government. But they have no qualms. They say music is for Nadopasana.

29th December 2006, 04:51 PM
[tscii:3d7ba49b2e]Padmabhushan Trupunithura Narayanan Krishnan needs no introduction. This violin maestro is conferred with the Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy Fellowship. This musician known for his simplicity is happy but not excited.
In an interview, the artist narrates his association with Thiruvananthapuram, his style, and how teaching helped to improve his performance.

For Krishnan music is inherent. He represents the sixth generation of musicians in the family. Born in 1928 to A Narayana Iyer, and Ammini Ammal, this child prodigy made his debut concert at the age of eight! “By Gods grace, I am busy till today” he said.
“My father gave me a violin when I was three. In those days violin was slowly gaining popularity. My father wanted me master this instrument” he reminisced.

“I was taught the music lessons. Parallel to that my father asked me to repeat on violin what others sang. Initially I was asked to perform in temples. It was on one such occasion, I met Alappuzha Parthasarathy Iyengar, a renowned musician. He introduced me to Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer. Here began my long association with Thiruvananthapuram” he said.

It was a period of revival of carnatic music in Travancore. Late Chithira Tirunal and his mother Amma Maharani took steps to propagate the compositions of Maharaja Swati Thirunal. Thus Swati Thirunal Music Academy was established and Seemangudi was made the Asthana Vidwan of Travancore.

“My father was transferred to Nagercoil. I stayed with Semmangudi at Thycaud and had my schooling at SMV and Model High School” he slipped suddenly into those golden days of music.
“In 1942, the flute wizard Mali, (T R Mahalingam), performed at the VJT Hall, and I had the fortune to accompany him. That was a turning point in my life. He was impressed and asked me accompany him in his future concerts. That is how I reached Chennai” he explained.

His command over the instrument made him the most sought accompanist. At my younger age I could accompany the legends like Ariyakkudi, Musiri, Alathur brothers, Chembai and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer.
“I was the beneficiary. My repertoire widened” he said.
TN Krishnan performs solo recitals as well. What difference do you notice?
“While accompanying I have to maintain maximum restraint. Never try to over do things. You must know the doses to be administered. Your performance should not mask that of the main artiste.” That was the cue for the aspiring ones.
TN K is known for his gentle touches through which he could convey the mood of the composition. It is unique and inimitable. How did you achieve this?
This was not achieved overnight. You need perseverance. Try and test to excel every time, by perfecting the traditional format. Even after 70 years of stage experiences, I still feel that there is more to explore, in ragas like Thodi and Sankarabharanam. I love teaching. I am seized with the ecstasy of delight, when I teach. I find more scope for learning. Also I wanted to share what I have learnt with others. Till then I will be restless.” He said.

TNK is an excellent flautist. Once he was accompanied by the doyen of Carnatic music DR. Balamurali Krishna on mrudangam and TVG (known vocalist cum mrudangist) on violin!!
His sister T N Rajam is the renowned violinist in the Hindustani style of music. I owe much to my wife Kamala. “Without her support I would not have achieved anything” he concluded. :)
TNK was awarded the Swati Puraskaram in 2002.


7th January 2007, 04:19 PM
[tscii:1b2997fd32]INTERVIEW: GHATOM .S. KARTHICK -637 WORDS

It happened 27 years ago on the day of Swargavathil ekadesi. Vikku Vinayakram, heard a knock at the gate. The Ghatam maestro wondered and peeped out. Who could be that at this hour? He saw the faint images of small boy holding the fingers of his father. The father said: "this is my son Karthick. I want you to accept him as his disciple. We could not tolerate his pranks. He plays by proxy on all available utensils."
"That was how I became the disciple of Vikku" said Ghatam Karthick, who at his zenith of his carrier was in the city recently, to perform at the on going Swati Festival-2007. He accompanied Sanjay Subramanium on the inaugural day and Prince Rama Varma on the second day.

Excerpts from the interview:
He is a native of Thiruvananthapuram. Padma his mother is a former student of Swati Tirunal Music Academy and a pupil of GNB. "Thus I had flair for music. My father was an ardent listener. It was my grand father, who inspired me and the option regarding future carrier was left to me. I did my Post Graduation is Sanskrit, took my M.Phil and awaiting the result of PhD. My thesis was based on "musical instruments in Sanskrit literature." Knowledge in Sanskrit is indeed a blessing for it helps him in composing songs replete with alliterations and swaraksharams.

Karthick always keeps an open mind. "I listen to Semmangudi as well as Michael Jackson. I am one among the team of BGM lead by A R Rehman, Elayaraja, Vidyasagar and Harris Jayaraj. As far as I am concerned, there is no classification of music like the Indian and West. We have only good and bad music."
Karthick has a strange fascination for composing music. One day he composed a song in Sankrit in the tune of "Kaadal Rojavae..." praising Goddess Saraswati. That became instant hit. Similarly he composed a tillana while giving vent to his feelings when his father passed away. When a TV channel invited him for a laya vinyasam, his friends persuaded him to play his own composition. That too became a hit. That was how "heartbeats" came into being. It ensemble team consists of besides Ghatom, Kanjira, mrudangam, mandolin, konnakkol (vocal percussion), violin and morsing. Our team released a CD "Thakathimi thakajunu." It was well received. We completed a full circuit in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand" HE SAID.
Karthick is a positive thinker and believes in perseverance. "We had songs praising Gods pleading for mercy. Suddenly it occurred me “why not compose songs that triggers the need for self-confidence, positive thinking and perseverance instead?" Thus came out wonderful pieces in Tamil.
You are singing well. Little training would make you an accomplished singer. Any idea of pursuing in that line?

“No” he said emphatically. “I am very clear. I am well aware of my limitations capabilities and efficiencies besides of what I should not venture into” he said and added “Also while accompanying one should know when to play and when not to play. I have accompanied Namasangeerthanams, and bhajans, which taught me how to accompany and also the sense of restrain.”
We know that ragas can create bhava and that is very specific. Similarly Karthick had tried creating rhythms, in tune with moods.
What is your opinion on the exodus of audience while thani avarthanam is progressing? Karthick retorted thus:
“That is very bad. Let me ask a question. When the main artiste render raga alapana, will it be nice and wise on the part of the tala vadya artistes-to move out of the stage for a cup of coffee or a puff?”
Today Karthick name has almost synonymous with Ghatam. He is capable of taking this little clay pot stellar heights.

10th January 2007, 09:00 PM
[tscii:c36731db65]Day five: - Accompanists acted as savior on the fifth day of the Swathi Sangeetholsavam-2007. Sangeetha Sivakumar gave a sub standard performance. Audience gathered to hear Sangeetha’s (wife of T M Krishna) concert with great expectations. But everything boiled down in no time. Attukal Balu, on violin, dr. g babu on mrudangam and adichanaluur anilkumar on ghatam performed very well.

The concert began with “Sarasijanabha...” In the 2007 festival, so far none had rendered Varnam. So when it wafted down, the audience was delighted. But it failed to appeal the listeners. It was followed by Deva deva kalayimithae..in Mayamalavagaula and Palayamam ayibho in Kamaz. The latter was rendered at a higher pace as if chasing the last bus. “Paripalayamam-Sree Padmanabha mooooooorarae….”was a test doze to check our patience. Exodus of listeners began at this juncture.
After Narasimha mamava bhagavan.., Sumasayaka in Kapi Bhogeendra sayanam in kundalavarali..was an elaborate rendition of Kalyani. Pankaja lochana…
It is very evident that within a short period she had tried to learn these compositions for the festival.
“Sanggetha” paerila mattum eruntha pothathu.. paadupavarin manaivi endra pathavi—(reflected glory) erunthalum pothathu…Uzhaithu paadavendum purinchutha?


11th January 2007, 08:27 AM
Thanks for the interviews & reviews, padmanabha!

13th January 2007, 05:59 AM

Belated sivakumar set an example for “Artistes behaving badly” at the venue. :huh:
For the concert at six he dropped in at seven, tuned his veena for another 15 minutes, and began the concert at 7.20. The pick up mike was horrible.
It is learnt that he left the palace guest house 5 kms away from the venue only at 6 pm for the concert at 6 pm!!
Half way through he realized that he had left the (horrible) pick up and took a u turn. The concert would have audible with out that pick up.
I went to interview him for the Indian Express, at 11 am. While departing he asked me how far is the venue and I suggested him to leave the guest house by 4.15 so that he can be at the venue at least by 5.15. He can tune the instrument and can comfortably present the concert.
It is learnt that
“He IMAGINED that the concert is at 6.30.”

Even then, how can he reach the venue 5 kms away, for the concert in half an hour?

The organizers, asked the accompanying artistes-mrudangam, gahtam and morsing to play an ensemble. They performed for 45 minutes and it was a surprising delight!! Thus we had a “thani avarthanam” before the concert.


13th January 2007, 07:54 AM
[tscii:497ab8eccc]That was an excellent demonstration by Kalamandalm Kshemavathi, the exponent of Mohiniyattam, in connection with Swati Sangeetholsavam at the Department of Music.

By just demonstrating two padams by Maharaja Swati Tirunal Kalamandalam Kshemavathi proved once again that her performance was unparalleled for its expression of emotion. She portrayed the mood gently but effectively the diverse feelings of a lady. She represented the love in separation, the rising moon, the breeze, the cuckoo, the hum of the bees, the consequences of having subjected to Cupid’s arrows..Wah!

It left the audience awe struck when we realizes the potential of the composer in knowing the science of dance and its aesthetics.
Kshemavathi chose Damisamajendra gamini in thodi. Here the nayika addresses the sakhi and expresses her pangs of separation. She confides her sakhi the mental anguish and how she pines for reunion with the Lord. Her improvisation on each line revealed her fertile imagination.

Poonthen neer mozhi sakhi njan viraham…She asks her sakhi “when can I expect my nayaka? My lover Sree PADMANABHAN IS a mild person by nature. I want to smear him with sandal paste.. I want to adorn him with garlands of jasmine..I wants to sing for HIM... but..where is he?”

Maharaja Swati Tirunal has composed nearly 67 padams, meant for Abhinaya.

Kaladharan in his talk analyzed the legacy of Kerala in terms of vocal music. Does Kerala have a true vocal tradition was the question posed by him? No body knew when sopana sangeetham which has become a relic now, emerged. He opined that there existed a strong resistance from Kerala Brahmins. They suppressed all the emotions from influencing sopana sangeetham. That is the reason why it lacked emotions. Even Bhakti Movement had no impact in Kerala. But it flourished in Tamilnadu.

According to him Talavadya ensemble is the legacy of Kerala. In vocal tradition the expressions of cultural nuances are visible. Today Mohiniyattam, is essentially linked to carnatic classical tradition. The vocal music of Kerala achieved an identity only when it was employed in the applied form of music. It was Mundaya Ramakrishnan Bhagavathar and Venkitakrishnan Bhagavathar who systematized slokams and dandakams. They never forget to retain Kerala ragas like puraneru.
Dr. R P Raja also enlightened the audience on the musical heritage of Kerala.

15th January 2007, 06:07 PM
[tscii:3955957907](This interview with Dr. Balamurali was done in 2003.)

Padmavibhushan Dr. Balamuralikrishna needs no introduction. This legendary musician’s greatest asset is his vibrant magnetic voice over which he has tremendous control in all the three octaves. The maestro was in the city to release a music album on Swati Tirunal kritis by his disciple Rama Varma.
BORN to Pattabhiramayya and Surykanthamma, in Andrapradesh Balamurali made his debut concert at the age of eight and was conferred the title of Ganasudhakara when he was 11.

This multifaceted plays violin, viola, ghatam, ghatam , ganjira, veena and mrudangam with ease. Also a prolific composer, he has composed songs in all the 72 melakartha ragas. He has enriched the repertoire of carnatic music with varnams, krithis, tillanas and javalis.

Mahati, sumukham, Thrisakti, Rohini, Vallabhi, Lavanki are a few of the ragas, which he has created.

He is one of the towering figures, in contemporary carnatic music. He is not only one of the most admired interpreters of the carnatic classics but also a respected composer in the traditional form.
“I never sing. It is music that sings.” HE SAID. “Your voice is young, sweet soothing and tranquilizing even at this age. What is the secret?”
He laughed. “I take everything-like oily food, and ice-creams. Nature will take care of my voice. If anything happens to it I would stop singing at once” he was serious.

HIS ALAPANA HAS MAGNETIC CHARM. He speaks the language of the music. His unpredictable swara combination that flowed with impressive ease has mesmerized the audience all over the world. He has proved his talent as a ply back singer, music director, and actor in several languages. “I never work for it. It comes naturally. There is no definition for classical music. Anything that lingers in your mind is a classic” he opines.
(Chandrababu Naidu had created a ministry for music and Balamurali was appointed as the minister for music with cabinet rank.)
“Classical music is a vast ocean. The more you know and then you know how much less you know. Today singing cannot guarantee a happy living. So the musicians’ concentration gets diverted. I am very proud of my disciple Rama Varma. He is highly dedicated, and capable of contributing something solid for music. It is assured” he said.
Regarding bouquets and brickbats, he said he would take both with equal spirit.
He has popularized maximum number of Tygaraja’s compositions and has accompanied GNB, Ariyakudi, Chebai on viola. His compositions are a blend of poetry with music. The VARIOUS EXPRESSIONS OF HUMAN EMOTION and different phases of devotion, abound in his works.
The unassuming singer keeps his audience spell bound for hours. When he sings he take us to another world. It is this versatility that made him popular. He is the only the musician who has won all the three national awards, namely, outstanding classical musician, the best music director and popular play back singer.
All awards including Padmavibhushan have come naturally and these have only prompted him, to better his performance and encourage him to excel.

24th January 2007, 08:47 PM
Is morsing one of the upatahala vaadyas on the verge of extinction?
According to Thamaraikudi Rajasekharan one of the senior artiste “It is on the path of revival.”
My father Thamaraikkudi Raghavan Pillai was an ottam thullal and kakkarissi natakam artiste. He learnt mrudangam, and vocal music from Puthoor Raghavadas, Manakkala Gopalan, and Pattazhi Tyagarajan. After completing his course from Swati Tirunal Music Academy he happened to meet T P Venkitachalam Iyer a popular morsing artiste of yester generation.
“He is the one who trained me. Being a mrudangam artiste I could learn it easily” he said. He beautifully palys the four inch long instrument by holding its edges between his teeth and plucking the protruding metal piece with the index finger of the right hand.
“It is difficult adjust the sruthi. But by applying the a little bee wax, it can be achieved” he revealed. This is the cheapest but riskiest instrument. It costs just Rs. 100/. The chance of getting the tongue in between the sharp edges while controlling breath is the hazard, he explained.

He has accompanied popular tala vadya vidwans like T K Murthi, Mavelikkara Velukkutti Nair, Mavelikkara Krishnankutti Nair and Guruvayoor Dorai. He has accompanied Sasang and U Srenivas.
“Foreigners watch me perform the morsing with awe, recalled Rajasekharan. Its position is after mrudangam, ghatam and ganjira. A few mrudangam artistes behave indifferently when the morsing gets applause. Many even had the audacity to remove the mike while thaniavarthanam was progressing. The ego is unbearable” he remarked.
What happened then?
“I performed unmindfully and received more lingering applause.”

He had participated in a fusion concert of rhythm at Paris.

Rajasekharan has been teaching music at Kodiyathoor PTM High School for the past 25 years.

24th January 2007, 08:50 PM
[tscii:46564f61c7]Child prodigies are rare in music but even rarer is the instance of a child prodigy developing into a consummate musician. Ravi Kiran is one such musician whose efforts to popularize chitraveena (also known as Gottuvadyam) to unimaginable heights exploring all its possibilities is worth mentioning.

THE instrument to the layman the gottuvadyam appears as a strange hybrid, between the veena the sarod and sitar. This instrument has been sidelined so far has more takers these days. Chithraveena Ravikiran as he is popularly was born on February 12, 1967 as the grandson of Narayana Iyengar one of the pioneering exponents of Carnatic music on Gottuvadyam. When he was three months his father saw him responding to music. At the age of 2 ½, Ravikiran could identify many ragas. At five he gave his first vocal concert.
His father Narasimhan himself a musician was instrumental in channeling the talent in the right direction. He started teaching his son music at a very early age and the intricacies of gottuvadyam later.
This instrument has references in Natyasastra. It is fretless. This fretless nature of the vadyam and gliding nature of the gottu, help to produce a rich melodious and continues flow of sound in close approximation to the human voice.
The playing strings are contacted through intervening object of mechanism. Slider as it is known is glided over the strings it is provided with sympathetic strings with facilities for the accurate adjustment of the sruthi. Normally the slide is made up on black wood or buffalo horn. Ravikiran uses Teflon. Wood for the bowl and the dandi is taken from the same tree to ensure uniform responsiveness over the whole compass of the instrument. As the strings are not pulled aside like veena for grace notes, the strings are kept in full tension.
“There is a general belief that, it is tough to master has prevented many from learning this instrument. There is an upward trend today” feels Ravikiran. There have been very few exponents of this rare instrument namely-Sakharama Rao who devised this, Narayana Iyerngar, and Budalar Krishnamurthi sastri.

They represent two different schools. I have imbibed the best them. I have composed nearly 500 songs and has developed new scales like kesavapriya, mohini, sivamohini, and snehapriya.
How do you practice?
“I accompany the recorded music of Ariyakkudi, GNB, Alathur Brothers, MDR and Semmangudi. He played this instrument for 24 hours continuously in 1985. Sruthi suddam, swara suddam, sahitya suddam, raga chaya, kalapramanam, padanthara suddam, and manodharmam are the essential qualities that a musician should adhere to. He should primarily be a good listener” he concluded.

30th January 2007, 05:43 PM
[tscii:e9dde374b4]LECTURER’S TRYST WITH TABLA: _

Thak dhin dhin thak thaa dhin dhin…..The reverberation of the Tabla beats ascended to a crescendo and gradually faded. A momentary pause, and continued.
Tread along the narrow alley behind Parthas, pleasant beats of Tabla beats greet yours ears, as Prof. Manohar Keskar, dexterous fingers against the black surface of Tabla in swift rhythm.
For the Thiruvananthapuram audience his name may ring a bell for he has accompanied many Hindustani musicians on Tabla.
Parents of this lecturer turned tabla-palyer Narasimha Gopala Keskar and Prabhavati, were trained musicians. Their songs were recorded way back in the 1930s by the HMV. “My father was a police prosecutor. He initiated into music, when I was a boy. I had accompanied my sister on Tabla many times but never took it seriously said Keskar. He joined Chetana College of Commerce at Babdra as an English Lecturer. Later I left for Tanzania. I was a part of a circle of Indian musicians. Circumstances forced us to settle in this city, where my wife Gayathiri had her roots.
The family earned a living by teaching English, and we reserved the week ends for music. The couples are currently engaged in translating Thirukkural in Marathi.
“In fact Devarajan master, popular composer (FILM MUSIC), INVITED ME. I WORKED with him for a brief period” he said. So far he has trained 300 students. He is in charge of Kerala and Tamil NADU branches of “AKIL BHARATIYA GANDARVA VIDYALAYA” established by Vishnu Digambar Puluskar in 1901 at Lahore.

They conduct seven years course in music and dance and have 900 branches all over India.

“When I came to this place very few people could appreciate Hindustani music. Now we have more opportunities to listen to Hindustani music. Many approach us to learn this” informed Keskar the founder of Tanzen Sur Sangam. Regarding the instrument, he said-“we have no expert Tabla makers here. The thickness of choru composition of the powder and its method of application is different from mrudnagam and it is a trade secret.”
Keskar bestowed the popularity of tabla it enjoys today to Alla Rakka. With Pandit Ravi Sankar they have taken the world by storm.
Hinduatani music should be accompanied by Tabla. It is tremendously adapted to join any instrument adapted to join any instrument enhancing the beauty of the orchestra even in the west” said Keskar who has accompanied luminaries like Neela Bhagavath, Alka Dev Marulkar, and Pandit Vinayak Torvi.
Keskar’s beats are uninhibited, flexible, and would suit even to contemporary jazz. It is so individualistic, and different that the beats thak, dhin, dhin, thak, tha dhin dhin..keep ringing in our mind even after hours of hearing him.

30th January 2007, 09:42 PM
[tscii:354c32eda4]The music lovers in the city got a golden opportunity recently to listen to the vocal concert of Mavelikkara Velukkutti Nnair-ace mrudangist. Be it vocal or mrudangam he clothes the swaras in his own way. Velukkuti Nair was accompanied by Umayalpuram Sivaraman on mrudangam. His crystal enunciation of the sahitya, unpredictable swara combination which flowed with impressive ease and Umayalpuram’s rhythm mesmerized the audience.
Born into a family of musicians Velukkutti Nair does not remember when it all started. My father Muthukulam s kumarapillai was a mrudangam player.
At the age of nine, I could accompany musicians, with perfection, though I was unaware of the technicalities-he says.
I started learning vocal music under Kannanmangalam Velu Panicker. At 11, I accompanied Mavelikkara Veeramani Iyer-a great musician of that time and that was my arangetram-remembers Velukkutti NAIR.
He had the opportunity to accompany Sebastian kunjukunju Bhagavathar, Vakkam Vasudevan and Malabar Gopalakrishnan. He had his advanced training in mrudangam from none other than Palakkad Mani Iyer.

“Mani Iyer insisted to remove the mike while performing thani avarthanam” remembers Velukkutti Nair. “But with Yehudi Menuhin, he had performed with mike” he quickly added.
Today organizers are keen to bring top artistes for the show. But they are not at all bothered to provide the best sound system. Hence the essential and distinct features of music like delicacy, subtlety, the fine waves and trills were badly affected-he said.
“Once I had the opportunity to accompany Alathur Brothers and that was the turning point in my life” he said and continued, “Semmangudi Srenivasa Iyer was then the Principal of Swati Tirunal music Academy. He appointed me as the head of the department. He encouraged me a lot.” He has accompanied all great masters like Chemabi Vaidyanatha IYER, Semmangudi, GNB, KS Narayanaswami, KVN, MLV, DR. Balmuralikrishna and Yesudas.

The knowledge of vocal music is a must for any instrumentalist. But very few performs both. I think it is better to stick on to one and excel.

He has a list of disciples like Parassala Ravi Trivandrum Surendran, T V Vasan, B Harikumar and R. vaidyanathan. “The blessings of my guru, the recognition, and the encouragement given by the music made me what I am today” he said with gratitude. He has received many awards and accolades, including the Kerala SANGEETHA Nataka Academy.


4th February 2007, 07:45 PM
[tscii:d517b9e9cc]MAHA VAIDYANATHA IYER

(1844 TO 1893)

Born in 1844 at Vaiyacheri near Thanjavoor, he had his training in music under Anayya and Manambuchavadi Venkita subramania Iyer, a disciple of Tyagaraja.

Panchanada Iyer his father once happened to sing in the street of Thiruvaiyar. Tyagaraja happened to hear him. He blessed him by saying that his tow sons bring laurels.
Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer (MVI) and Ramaswami Sivan were born to him.

Qualities of MVI’S VOICE:_
Rich in harmonics, wide compass in three and half octaves (compass of veena), the ability to sing all the six degrees of speed, and hence his music was called Gandhrva ganam.

Voice Care: it is said that he seldom talked. He adhered to a restricted diet and abhorred all pungent varieties. On the days of oil bath he did not sang.

Royal felicitation: The Maharaja of Pudukkottai, invited the brothers. He was impressed by their rich voice. He had them seated in the royal carriage and had them in procession.

The title: The title of MAHA was conferred in 1856 at the age of 12 by Subramania Desikar.

SCHOLAR: - He was well versed in Tamil and Sanksrit. He was a great composer and Karikatha performer.

Concert: He was asked to sing Vatapi Ganapathim thrice in a concert. H eonce expounded a pallavi in SIMHANANDANA TALA-the longest of the 108 talas.

The 72 mela raga malika the pride of carnatic music, and the longest composition ranking along with Ramaswami Deekshithar’s master piece, the 108 raga tala malika was composed by him. This composition is his magnum opus.

This is a little bit of information I have gathered. Dear readers, please add on whatever info you have on this great singer.

5th February 2007, 05:40 AM
[tscii:e90a955f58]Thanjavur Krishna Bhagavathar:_
(1847 to 1903)

Born in 1847, Krishnan had acquired proficiency in palying violin, swarbat and mrudangam. He had his advanced training in music from Tillaisthanam Rama Iyengar one of the disciples of Tyagaraja.

His Kalshepa was replete with bhava and rasa. The audience felt that the incidents happened live before them. He even incorporated dance in his performance. The cymbals and the ankle bells mingled with his golden voice provided great enjoyment. He performed regularly at Ayyaval ulsavam ay Thiruvisanalloor. He learned Nandanar charitham from its author Gopala krishana Bharathi and staged kalakshepam on it. “The story has assumed a special charm in your hands. You have given a fresh breath to my humble work” said Gopalakrishna Bharathi a true encomium indeed.


5th February 2007, 05:49 PM

Born in the village Marattuturai in Thanjavoor, his ancestors were greatly acquainted with music.
His father Kuppuswamy Bhagavathar was an excellent harikatha performer. Krishnan had his initial lessons in music from his father, then under Kottavasa venkitaramam Iyer. His father took him to Panchanada Iyer for violin lessons.

HE PRACTICED THE SARALI AND VARNAS EVERY DAY, BESIDES THE SWARA EXCERCISES IN FOUR STAHYIS. He had accompanied Mahavaidyanatha iyer, Pattinam subramanya iyer and Sarabha sastrigal.

He was at his best in solo. Once he played alapana and pallavi in Saveri for four hours. His fingers reproduced all the thoughts that generated with in.
An anecdote:

Kishna iyer was accompanying sarabha sastri. In the course of kalyani raga alapana prati madhayma (f sharp) was taken as the amsa swara. They performed with enthusiasm. Sastri remarked thus, “The region of prati madhyama is entirely yours” He had to exert himself to level the torrential music of the accompanist.


16th February 2007, 07:29 PM
[tscii:d0117ebcc2]She is the first performing artiste from the family. Geetha Krishna murthy lecturer at Ethiraj College Chennai and wife of the chief election commissioner Krishanmurthi, gave a three hour long veena concert at the chembai trust.
Chitti babu veena maestro was our family friend. I learnt veena out of his compulsion only said Geetha. He taught right from the basics, and she had her debut concert in 1987.
“My husband deeply interested in classical music. He encourages me a lot. I practice two hours at dawn and four in the evening. I am not a purist to the core who zealously guards the precious tradition. We are exposed to different schools and hence there is merging of styles. I do respect tradition and at the same I am open to new innovations” she said. Like her mentor she is capable of producing long unbroken melodic phrases. Her rendition of Sankarabharanam was marked by strong gamakas, that brought out the essence of the raga, without compromising on melody. Javeli in Bharavi and the lilting tillana in Dhansree were distinctly melodious.
Geetha is now undergoing training under Nedunury Krishnamurthy, and D Seshachary. She has made some modifications in the instrument. “The six inch long tuning knobs which were susceptible to any weather change always create problems. So I have replaced them with tiny screws to ensure precise tuning” she said. (DECEMBER 2004 INDIAN EXPRESS)

21st March 2007, 05:45 AM
swati puraskaram is conferred to the popular mrudangist Umayalpuram Sivaraman. The award consists of rs. one lakh and a citation and a momento

29th March 2007, 03:38 PM
the untimely demise of thiru thiruvenkadu jayaraman desciple of madurai mani iyer is a great loss to carnatic music world. our deep sympathies to his fmly members.

31st March 2007, 06:41 PM
yesterday umayalpuram was conferred the swati puraskaram. The award consists of rs one lakh cash, a citation and a momento. AFter the function t h subramanium's concert was staged, to which umayalpuram accompanied. unfortunate to say none of the swati tirunal compositions were rendered!! :shock:
any of the artistes dare to render non tygaraja songs at the tyagaraja aradhana?
They can render the songs of deekshitar or sastri or oothukadu will they evr do it? i am not underestimating the quality of any of the composers. if a concert is meant to honor the composer, sing ony his compositions-. if the musician is not familiar with that particular composer's song please do not accept the concert. :angry2:

These are part of stage behaviour. one has to keep it up.

1st April 2007, 08:21 PM
Yes. You are right. His guru would not have taught him any swathi thirunal kritis. This could be the only reason for such indifferent behaviour.

1st April 2007, 10:25 PM
Umayalapuram could have directed him to render swati tirunal kritis. inspite of the presence great experienced musicians we feel a leadership vacuum! pathetic!! I thought of protesting in the middle. But wanted to give a long rope.

3rd April 2007, 08:13 AM
Is morsing one of the upatahala vaadyas on the verge of extinction?
According to Thamaraikudi Rajasekharan one of the senior artiste “It is on the path of revival.”
My father Thamaraikkudi Raghavan Pillai was an ottam thullal and kakkarissi natakam artiste. He learnt mrudangam, and vocal music from Puthoor Raghavadas, Manakkala Gopalan, and Pattazhi Tyagarajan. After completing his course from Swati Tirunal Music Academy he happened to meet T P Venkitachalam Iyer a popular morsing artiste of yester generation.
“He is the one who trained me. Being a mrudangam artiste I could learn it easily” he said. He beautifully palys the four inch long instrument by holding its edges between his teeth and plucking the protruding metal piece with the index finger of the right hand.
“It is difficult adjust the sruthi. But by applying the a little bee wax, it can be achieved” he revealed. This is the cheapest but riskiest instrument. It costs just Rs. 100/. The chance of getting the tongue in between the sharp edges while controlling breath is the hazard, he explained.

He has accompanied popular tala vadya vidwans like T K Murthi, Mavelikkara Velukkutti Nair, Mavelikkara Krishnankutti Nair and Guruvayoor Dorai. He has accompanied Sasang and U Srenivas.
“Foreigners watch me perform the morsing with awe, recalled Rajasekharan. Its position is after mrudangam, ghatam and ganjira. A few mrudangam artistes behave indifferently when the morsing gets applause. Many even had the audacity to remove the mike while thaniavarthanam was progressing. The ego is unbearable” he remarked.
What happened then?
“I performed unmindfully and received more lingering applause.”

He had participated in a fusion concert of rhythm at Paris.

Rajasekharan has been teaching music at Kodiyathoor PTM High School for the past 25 years.


3rd April 2007, 12:24 PM
He is really a great artiste and it is heartening to note that such a great vidwan is denied of sangeetha kalanidhi title by the academy all these years. The reason nobody knows till now. this reminds me of semmangudi's comments once in the academy that the curse of not honouring thiruvaduthurai rajarathinam and mali haunts the academy .

9th April 2007, 12:58 PM
:) I have learnt Mridangam upto an intermediate
level but could not continue due to personal
constraints. I am keenly interested with
devotion, to pursue the art under a maestro,
anywhere from South India. Please advise me
and give me valid guidance.

Thanks in advance. :D


20th April 2007, 06:20 AM
I refer to the observations of Padmanabha regarding a vidhwan not rendering the compositions of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal on the day Umayalpuram was honoured.

I agree 100% with him. One must render the compositions of the person in whose honour the occasion is organized. It is just like remembering someone on the jayanthi day of that person. Can we garland MK Gandhi on the day of Shankara Jayanthi?

However, I have been making a point from the day there were objections to sing Thamizh songs in Thyagaraja Aradhana. Saint Thyagaraja was for Nadho'pasana. Hence it can be done in any language as music has no language. In the same fashion the Maharaja who encouraged many vidwans and composers would have loved to hear the krithis of other composers. What we need to do is to render the krithis of the central figure on the main day and on other days the krithis of others and in many languages. The main aim is to pray to the Almighty through such occasions through the great compositions that are really melodious.


22nd April 2007, 03:47 PM
i am a new comer! and i came across the sayings of mr. padmanabha and sasibaloo; i think both of them shud know the truth tht has happened behind the stage.......
umayalpuram sir has requested mr. TH to play a swati krithi which leaves a place for thani in adi talam samam. TH replied tht he doesnt know a kriti of swati as per the requirements! and has also suggested tht he can play the famous saarasaksha in pantuvarali in 2 kala samam. but sivaraman sir didnt accept this. AND THEN IT WAS HE WHO SUGGESTED Nagumo TO BE RENDERED.. All the pieces tht was rendered tht day was under the order of sivaraman sir; i think both of u were there to listen to the concert...umayalpuram sir himself announced first and then started the concert....
It was not the fault of the musician or tyhe guru who has taught him....or the way he accepted the concert....
Just wrote this for all ur information....nothin on purpose......ur frnd NJN :D

17th July 2007, 07:14 AM







10 AUG

11 AUG


12 AUG

31st July 2007, 09:27 AM
Dear Co-Members,

- Events -

On 01/08/2007, pl tune on to All India Radio, Chennai - FM Gold (102.3 MHz) between 11.30 am to 12 noon to listen my vocal recital. I am planning to present following songs( LIVE).

1) Raagaratna malikache - ReetigouLai - Roopakam - Tyagaraja Swamigal
2) Sree kAntimatIm - hEmavathi - Aadi - Sri Muthuswami Deekshidhar
3) Shankari samkuru - SaavEri - Aadi(tisra nadai) - Sri ShyAmA SaastrigaL.



1st August 2007, 12:23 PM
shri annasamy avl,
an excellent presentation. the entire concert was quite enjoyable. best wishes

1st August 2007, 03:10 PM
Dear Mr.Sasibaloo,

Thank you for listening and giving your feedback.

Kalai~ngyarkazhagu thAn rasitthu kETpavarai rasikka vaithal
Rasikkarkazhagu rasanaiyil mooghi kalai~ngyarai manamAra pArATudal

Thanks once again.

I would be presenting a three hour programme at Mookkuthalai Bhagawati Temple in Kerala (near kuttipuram junction ) on 13/10/07 from 6pm.
I am not sure whether it would be convenient for you.

I will post my Chennai programmes soon, so that I will get the pleasure of your listening.


3rd August 2007, 04:17 PM
Dear Members,

I am very glad to invite you for my Vocal Recital, as below:

Name : Piranmalai V.Annasamy

Venue : Madras Kali Bari (Kali temple)

Address : Umapathi Street Extentsion, West Mambalam

Date : 16th August 2007

Time of concert : 7.15 pm to 8.45 pm

Contact nos. (044) 24837170 & (044) 22313238 (my res)

Thanks and regards


7th August 2007, 07:36 PM
Regarding the Q " will any of the artistes dare to render non tygaraja songs at the tyagaraja aradhana"?

There was an incident a few years back. Sri Dandapani desikar was asked to give the inaugural concert at the Thyagara aradhana vizha at thiruvaiyaru.

He sang a tamil song & left.

What do U say to that?

It is another matter that a purification ceremony was performed soon thereafter.

7th August 2007, 07:43 PM
I do not agree with Mr.Srinivasan that thamizh songs can be rendered in Thyagaraja aradhana.

The aradhana is mainly to commemorate the birth of Sri Thyagaraja & it is only befitting that his kritis are sung.

I do not see any chauvinisim in this.

7th August 2007, 07:44 PM
Regarding the Q " will any of the artistes dare to render non tygaraja songs at the tyagaraja aradhana"?

There was an incident a few years back. Sri Dandapani desikar was asked to give the inaugural concert at the Thyagara aradhana vizha at thiruvaiyaru.

He sang a tamil song & left.

What do U say to that?

It is another matter that a purification ceremony was performed soon thereafter.

7th August 2007, 07:45 PM
I do not agree with Mr.Srinivasan that thamizh songs can be rendered in Thyagaraja aradhana.

The aradhana is mainly to commemorate the birth of Sri Thyagaraja & it is only befitting that his kritis are sung.

I do not see any chauvinism in this.

7th August 2007, 07:45 PM
I do not agree with Mr.Srinivasan that thamizh songs can be rendered in Thyagaraja aradhana.

The aradhana is mainly to commemorate the birth of Sri Thyagaraja & it is only befitting that his kritis are sung.

9th August 2007, 04:43 PM
The Chennaiyil TiruvaiyAru concert series contained other than Saint TyAgaraja Kritis.

9th August 2007, 06:20 PM

10th August 2007, 11:11 AM
well said padmanabha sir. Some times, we the artists get carried away by the trend 'just invoked', which is wrong.

When normally we worship Gods daily, on the particular days of 'shrardham' to parents(death anniversary), the practice is to perform the rituals first, then even the auspicious light is lit manually and pooja is augmented for Gods. 'Shrardham' is originated from the word 'shraddha' only.

The theme is to concentrate on the departed souls. This naturally does not mean we just reject Gods that are worshipped daily. Just a
devotion to someone who loved us so much.

Collective days like 'Independence Day' where all the persons in the involved in freedom fighting can be remembered.


16th August 2007, 06:10 PM

22nd August 2007, 11:05 PM
OK, MMD rendered tamil krithis at Thiruvayyaru- big deal!
What about ARI, MMI, SSI, even MSS included telugu krithis in concerts at Tamil Isai Sangam. Tamil Isai Sangam was started by Rajah Annamalai Chettair to promote tamil sangeetham- daa


1st September 2007, 09:28 PM
Sree Chembai memorial trust presents chembai sangeetholsavam-2007
venue chembai trust sree varaham thiruvananthapuram
time 6 p m to 8 45 pm
2 9 07
Lalgudi g j r krishnan & Vijayalekshmi

3 9 07

devi chennai

4 9 07
varkala c s jayaram

5 09 07
rudrapattnam brothers

6 09 07
dr b arundathi

7 09 07
puspa anand

8 09 07
sasi kiran and brothers

09 09 07

Vayyankara Madhusudanan- but this artiste slipped into eternal sleep last week substitute will be announced later

10 09 07
mavelikkara velukkutty nair

11 09 07
t m krishna

29th October 2007, 10:24 AM
[tscii:34af6b10c9]Gayathri Girish, young vocalist, who has made rapid strides in the music field through hard work, is trying to evolve a style of her own. An artist who strongly feels that every concert should have some innovation or other, she is determined about elevating her listeners both emotionally and intellectually. Gayathri, known for her perfect diction whatever the language, speaks out.

Exposure to music…

Though I was born in Coimbatore, I was brought up in Chennai from a very tender age. Padmini Srinivasan, my mother, is a graded artiste of AIR while father has a sound knowledge of classical music. I was exposed to music right from the age of two. I am told that I used sit engrossed in the concerts without getting restless. My mother laid the foundation by teaching a lot of varnams and kritis when I was six. Later I started learning from Vaigal Gnanaskandan, who belonged to the Semmangudi school. This strengthened the foundation. Shaping up the vidwan in you...

Attending a lot of competitions while in school, gave me confidence. Winning prizes was only incidental. In fact I would say that those competitions that I lost taught me more lessons. Schooling was at IIT, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Guindy. I was one of the toppers and almost got my medical seat, but since I had already made up my mind that music would be my career. I also started performing only then. The tremendous support I got from my college helped me adjust between college hours and concert schedules. Ghatam Karthik, Manoj Siva and Nithyashree were some of my contemporaries whom I used to meet in competitions. Once I started performing I became ineligible to compete in college competitions. I still remember the days during the semester exams in December when I would rush from the exam hall to the concert hall. My mother would be waiting for me there with food and formal dress. The race was very exciting.

Family support...

My mother-in-law is a disciple of Thanjavur S.Kalyanaraman, and hence I got the same encouragement as I got in my parents’ place and my husband has been really supportive. I have been able to pursue my passion without a break thanks to them. V. Sanjeev, my brother-in-law is an accomplished violin vidwan.

Your source of inspiration...

It was while in college that I started learning from Madurai T.N.Seshagopalan and could easily adapt to his style. It was a dream-come-true for me. In fact my thirst for reading increased after becoming his disciple. Incredible is his knowledge spectrum. He could talk for hours on music, bhajans, Kamba Ramayanam, Bhagavatham, Tiruppugazh and so on. I should consider myself very fortunate to have come under his tutelage.

On planning for concerts...

I take TNS Sir as a role model in presenting a kutcheri. It should be a right mix of all aspects. You should always do something new in every concert either in the raga alapana or niraval or swaraprastharam. It should be a source of relaxation for the rasika but at the same time it should also have an intellectual component. I never like going out of bounds but always have a surprise element for my rasikas in every concert. Emotional and intellectual elevation is my prime agenda. Through music you can reach God. Only if you experience what you are singing, will you be able to take the audience with you on the sojourn. Not all concerts go that way. There are so many factors that influence a concert’s success such as mike, auditorium, rasikas, organisers and weather, to name a few.

Heard you can play on the violin...

When I was in school I learnt the violin for eight years initially from Nagaraj (a disciple of Lalgudi Sir.) Lalgudi Sir also used to guide me and later he asked me to go to T. Rukmini who lived close by. I still have the baby violin he gave me. A small problem with my voice made me shift to violin, fearing that I might not be able to sing for long. But once I was confident that my voice would never derail, violin took a back seat.

Other intersts...

I do like film music but particularly the old ones, for their rich lyrical and musical value. Ultimately it is music that gives you the peace and touches your soul. I love reading both Sanskrit and Tamil literature. I also listen to old masters and of course my contemporaries. Every one has something good about them which might be useful to us. TNS Sir’s concert by itself is a virtual education for me. I practise every morning and evening. There is so much to know I feel that this birth would not be enough to master learn.


Learning from male vidwans has not affected my singing at all. I think I am evolving a style of my own and it will get established only through hard work over the passage of time.


To be genuine about what you are presenting with all humility. To be of service to society, like when people say that my music touched their hearts. Rasikas should be given the best.


Fans perform special archanai for me in temples on my birthdays and send the prasadam. They call me up and wish me the best for every concert. There are fans who also present a critical review of my concerts and the biggest critic among them is my father and it is tough to get a pat from him. Only if you experience what you are singing, will you be able to take the audience with you on the sojourn.


29th October 2007, 10:31 AM
[tscii:8dcfc951af]Among musicians MLV was a class apart. A tribute, with her death anniversary on October 31.

Full fledged rehearsals were not MLV’s cup of tea. She believed in manodharma.


It is 17 long years since the demise of M.L.Vasanthakumari, fondly called MLV, but the void left in the field of Carnatic music still remains to be filled. Much has been written about her musical prowess, her imagination and other glorious aspects of her music.

The Asura Sadhakam that she did in her earlier years stood MLV in good stead making her concerts charming.

Full fledged rehearsals were not MLV’s cup of tea. She believed in manodharma. New additions — regular in her concerts — to her repertoire were, however, polished to a certain degree before presenting them to the audiences. The already polished songs, ‘Unnaiandri’ in Bhavani for instance, gained sheen with new hues every time MLV presented them. There was a new flourish or a raga embellishment between sangatis heard for the first time. So fertile was her imagination.
Music with bhava

MLV’s kalpanaswara rendering was something phenomenal. She blended her kizhkala swara singing technique with the bhava rich style of Semmangudi. In fact, her appreciation of Semmangudi’s music was evident from her swaras in Sankarabharanam, Nattakurinji, etc in the slow tempo.

The bhakti aspect came to the forefront in MLV’s ragamalika virutham renderings of Kandar Anuboodhi, Krishna Karnamritham, Abirami Andadi and so on. Of course her soulful versions of the Dasakuta Ugabhogas are unforgettable.

One instance of her confidence in her musical capabilities was at one of her concerts in the U.S. in the Eighties. As is the custom abroad where musicians announce details of the song they are going to sing, MLV, before embarking on an Abhogi alapana informed the audience that a composition of Gopalakrishna Bharati would follow the raga essay. The audience naturally expected ‘Sabapathikku’ to follow.

MLV’s manodharma reached dizzy heights on that day, her Abogi vinyasa spanning nearly half-an-hour. Realising that a small composition like ‘Sabapathiku’ would not do justice to her alapana, MLV launched into a brilliant tanam exposition and made it known to the gathering that she would render a Pallavi instead. It is needless to say that the pallavi and her ragamalika swara outpourings on that occasion were an aural feast!


santhosh hegde
3rd November 2007, 12:58 PM
:) We are a music group based in bangalore who can give concerts in Hindustani classical, Hindustani and Carnatic fussion or Hindustani and western fussion programs. We have a team of accomplished mucians in Sitar/tabla/Veena/ Flute/Shehanai, Keyboard/ Guitar(Western) etc. Any body intersted to have our concerts, please call Santhosh Hegde 098866 45691

30th November 2007, 11:05 AM
Dear Chennai Friends,

Pl listen to my carnatic vocal music on 02/12/07 between 11.30 am to 12 noon at FM Gold, All India Radio, Chennai.


Phone: 044-22235698 (Res)

10th December 2007, 01:49 PM
Dear Friends,

I am performing Carnatic Vocal at :

Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan,
East Mada Street, Mylapore

On 19/12/07 between 12.15 to 13.45 hrs.

Pl make it convenient to drop in and listen.


14th March 2008, 08:28 AM
[tscii:36047d8c79]Nithyashree Mahadevan in a way represents the basic postulate of Carnatic music — Sruthi Matha and Layam Pitha. For, her mother Lalitha Sivakumar, daughter of Palghat Mani Iyer, is an accomplished vocalist and father I. Sivakumar, son of D.K.Pattammal, is a talented mridanga vidwan. A casual interaction with the high energy performer.


25th March 2008, 11:31 AM
Following are my Carnatic Vocal Concerts at Chennai. Request my Chennai based friends to make it convenient to attend:

1) 6.45 pm to 9 pm at Music Club, IIT Madras (Management Studies Deptt) on 26/03/08.

2) 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm at Raga Sudha Hall, Mylapore on 06/04/08.

- V.Annasamy -

14th June 2008, 08:20 AM
[tscii:4d03db9589]Language is no barrier

Earnest rasikas of Carnatic music tend to be moved by the songs of Tyagaraja, Dikshitar or Purandaradasa even if they don’t know Telugu, Sanskrit or Kannada.


3rd August 2008, 10:46 AM
Rare video of Sarojini Naidu's introduction of M.S. subbulakshmi to North Indian audience:

17th September 2008, 12:55 PM

Flowing in graceful lines


REVERED: The steps of the Padmanabhaswamy temple on which people sit to enjoy the recitals.

The Navaratri kritis composed by Maharaja Swati Tirunal are celebrated for their prosodic beauty. Of the nine kritis in praise of Devi, the first six are dedicated to Saraswati and the last three to Parvati.

The simple, elegant lyrics flow in graceful lines that employ time-honoured poetic devices such as prasa (rhyme), dvitiakshara prasa (alliteration in the second letter of each line) and adhyapada prasa (alliteration in the first segment) highlighted by the use of upama (simile), roopaka (metaphor) and utpreksha (fancy).
Praise for deity

The content encompasses praise for the deity (sthuti), a description of the goddess’ attributes and a plea for unwavering devotion towards Devi (bhakti). The kritis are styled in the ‘Pahimam’ mode, seeking divine protection from trials and tribulations, with the composer using the sambodhana vibhakthi (vocative case) and the prathama vibhakthi (nominative case).

Each kriti has a short pallavi and anupallavi followed by multiple charanams. The first kriti has four charanams while the rest have three charanams each. The first six kritis have lengthy charanams while the last three kritis have charanams with a simpler, compact structure.

The first six kritis are set to chowka kala (slow tempo) although madhyamakala passages feature at the close of the anupallavi or the charanams from the second kriti onwards. The last three kritis are set in madhyama kala (medium tempo). The middle three kritis are distinguished by the use of solkattu (rhythmic syllables) in the anupallavi.

The compositions bring out the inherent grandeur, majesty and luminosity of the ragas in which they have been set — Sankarabharanam, Kalyani, Saveri, Thodi, Bhairavi, Pantuvarali, Suddhasaveri, Nattakurinji and Arabhi, through their gait and melodic structure. Among them, the Arabhi kriti is most favoured by musicians, possibly on account of the easy, effortless flow of lyric. A noteworthy aspect of the Kalyani kriti is the incorporation of characteristic features of Sopana Sangeetham. Both the Kalyani and the Pantuvarali kritis are marked by the absence of mandhra sthayi (lower octave) sancharas.

17th September 2008, 12:58 PM

What it is all about

The concerts begin exactly at 6 pm and conclude at 8.30 pm. A bell is rung at 8.30 p.m. No person is allowed to arrive late or leave early. Before the main kriti, a raga alapana is rendered and thaanam is sung/played to mridangam accompaniment.

The mangalam is sung only at the end of the concert on the concluding day.

The wall behind the artist is decorated with a large beautiful mural of goddess Durga, seated on her simhavahana (lion mount) and flanked by female attendants.

Applause is forbidden.

Hundreds of listeners sit on the steps outside the Padmanabhaswami temple, enjoying the music relayed through loudspeakers for their benefit.

On one evening, a dance recital featuring a noted dancer is scheduled, after the concert and evening puja.

The Mandapam is adjacent to the Padmanabhaswami temple premises and becomes a place of worship for nine days. Hence, certain restrictions are in place — only Hindus are allowed entry, no mobile phones, no photography or private audio/video recordings, the listeners within the Mandapam must sit on the floor and the dress code for males is mundu/veshti/dhoti and no shirts though an upper garment (angavastram) is allowed.

The festival is conducted by the Navarathri Trust. Donations are exempt from income tax under Section 80G.

The schedule

September 30 — T.M. Krishna

October 1 — Master Balamuralikrishna

October 2 — Parassala Ponnammal

October 3 — Sankaran Namboothiri

October 4 — T.V. Gopalakrishnan

October 5 — Prince Rama Varma

October 6 — Trichur Ramachandran, Deepthi Omcherry Bhalla (Mohiniyattom)

October 7 — Amrutha Venkatesh

October 8 — Thamarakkad Govindan Namboothiri

22nd December 2008, 05:32 PM
Swathi Sangeethotsavam at Kuthiramalika. Jan 6 to 15, 2009.

the Swathi Sangeethotsavam at Kuthiramalika Palace, Trivandrum, have ten concerts as opposed to the usual seven. So the dates would be from the 6th till the 15th of January. As always, the concerts are not ticketed and as always, music lovers are most welcome....the more the merrier.
Mobile phones and children would have to be kept in the silent mode though, thank you very much :-)
The concerts start at 6:00 pm sharp, God willing and go on till whenever the artists feel like winding
up. (Usually till a bit after 9:00 pm though we Have had concerts that finished at 10:45 pm too.)

Here is the schedule.

Tuesday, January 6th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Sri Sanjay Subrahmanyan - Carnatic Vocal
Sri S.Varadarajan - Violin
Mannargudi Sri.A.Easwaran - Mridangam
Dr.S.Karthick - Ghatam
Payyannur Govindaprasad - Morsing

Wednesday, January 7th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Malladi Sri Suribabu - Carnatic Vocal
Sri S.Varadarajan - Violin
Sri P.Satheeshkumar - Mridangam
Dr.S.Karthick - Ghatam
Payyannur Govindaprasad - Morsing

Thursday, January 8th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Prof.M.Venkateshkumar and party - Hindusthani Vocal

Friday, January 9th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Sri.Prasanna Venkataraman - Carnatic Vocal
Sri S.R.Vinu - Violin
Cherthala Sri Ananthakrishnan - Mridangam
Adichanalloor Sri Anil Kumar - Ghatam

Saturday, January 10th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Smt.Parassala B.Ponnammal - Carnatic Vocal
Dr.Hemalatha - Violin
Kallekulangara Sri Unnikrishnan - Mridangam
kannur Shri Santhosh - Morsingh

Sunday, January 11th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Prince Rama Varma - Veena
Sri B.Harikumar - Mridangam
Manjoor Shri Unnikrishnan - Ghatam
Kottayam Murali - Morsing

Monday, January 12th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Ms.Amrutha Venkatesh - Carnatic Vocal
Shri Madhavan - Violin
Nanjil Shri A.R.Arul - Mridangam
Manjoor Shri Unnikrishnan - Ghatam

Tuesday, January 13th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Kunnakudi Shri M.Balamuralikrishna - Carnatic Vocal
Shri S.R.Mahadeva Sharma - Violin
Palakkad Shri K.S. Mahesh - Mridangam
Shri P.L.Sudhir - Ghatam

Wednesday, January 14th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Thamarakkad Shri Govindan Namboothiri - Carnatic Vocal
Edappalli Shri Ajith - Violin
Cherthala Shri S.Dinesh - Mridangam
Udippi Shri S.Srikanth

Thursday, January 15th. 6:00 pm onwards.

Smt.Ranjini and Gayatri - Carnatic Vocal
Mysore Sri Srikanth - Violin
Shri Arun Prakash - Mridangam
Udippi Sri Sridhar - Ghatam

Please contact kuthiramalika@gmail.com for enquiries and feedback.

Please read the review of the 2002 series in The Music Magazine
Please read the review of the 2003 series
Carnatica.net http://www.carnatica.net/kudiramalika03.htm
A Royal gift of Music (Kuthiramalika Concerts)

Best wishes in advance for a very happy 2009.

2nd February 2009, 02:32 PM
[tscii:c798ba3c7d]1. Melodic statements on the violin
The concert by Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi brimmed with musical intensity. And Sriranjani’s rendition displayed her confidence.


2. Deft handling of ragas
The mega festival was given whole-hearted support by the audience as eminent artists performed.


3.Rich repertoire
Total commitment, involved articulation and elegance characterised the vocal concert of T.M. Krishna at the Pongal music festival of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore.
He enthralled the audience with a stirring ...


4.Majesty of the elephant
It was no ordinary East-meets-West kind of performance.

Spotlight on Kerala composers
Neela Ramgopal presented glimpses of the works of a few.

6. When the strings sing
Sriram Parasuram enlightened listeners with details of various bowing techniques and their varying bhava.

7. Aggression prevailed
Gottuvadyam was left far behind as the flute and violin dominated.

2nd February 2009, 02:38 PM
[tscii]1.On the bhakti trip

Nagamani Srinath has a new achievement up her sleeve. She has recorded 101 Haridasa songs, which come in different styles

2. Dulcet notes

Gayatri and Sangeeta’s performances were marked by clarity of expression

3. Love meets music

Ruhaniyat, the Sufi Music Festival, brought mesmerising poetry set to soulful music

4.Tradition renewed

Ananya brings concerts in the guru-shishya parampara this weekend in Bangalore


2nd February 2009, 02:42 PM
[tscii:cb1c918a03]1. Hearing with the mind’s eye
Apart from the usual concerts, the serial on the Ramayan is a listener’s delight.

2nd February 2009, 02:44 PM
With malice towards none
Achievement Veteran playback singer and music director K.P. Udayabhanu has been honoured with the Padma Shri.

2.Melody of the reed
Flautist Shantala Subramaniam has attained a style that combines innovation with tradition.

2nd February 2009, 02:45 PM
[tscii:34b562308c]1. For the love of music
Scores of musicians made the Tyagaraja Aaradhana Sangeethotsavam memorable.

2. Festivals with a reason
Odissi music and the contribution of gurus were celebrated at two different festivals.

3. Pleasing notations
M.K.S. Siva presented a mesmerising nadaswaram recital.

4. Traditional fare
Huge crowds thronged Thyagaraja Aradhana festivities.

5. Musical fiesta
The three-day Thyagaraja Aradhana proved to be a learning ground for students of music.

6.A treat for the rasikas
Sharada Cultural Trust’s 19th annual music fest delivers on all counts.

3rd February 2009, 12:10 PM
[tscii:4422d61a88] Anita Ratnam

Contemporary dancer

Totally reprehensible. Even today, if women cannot feel free, then I am afraid fascist forces are gaining ground. In the name of the ideal Indian woman, men like to see us enslaved and psychologically shackled. I am currently attending a dance festival in Toronto, so when I read about the Mangalore incident on the Internet, I wondered about a woman’s place in our society. If we cannot walk without fear, laugh honestly and enjoy our freedom in our own country, then what are we celebrating 60 years of Independence for? What are we so smug about? What is the hope I give my daughter and all the daughters of this country? Through art and life, I continually endeavour to combat feminine stereotypes. But at times like this, I feel helpless. This is certainly not an ‘India Shining’ moment.

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6th March 2009, 12:29 PM
[tscii:cd882974f4]1. In life and love
The Kabir Festival brought not just the 15th century mystic poet to your doorstep, but also practitioners who haunt you with their sheer passion and faith

2.Vibrant talent
Surya Rao’s kuchipudi recital vouched for abundant talent

3. Inspired moments
Harishnarayan and Shivaram gave a gamaka-rich presentation


6th March 2009, 12:42 PM
[tscii:cb90ef7174]1. Stress on ragas’ richness
Vasudha Keshav chose some pleasing kritis on Krishna for her Mudhra concert.

2. Enthralling line-up
A series of concerts by eminent musicians were held during the three-day music fest held at Thiruvaiyaru.

3. Rich aural treat
The artists exhibited their precision in performance and consonance in thalam which kept the audience spell-bound all through.

4.Sprightly rendition
Kanaka’s voice and rendition of kritis enabled her to strike a rapport with the audience.

5.Songs of the Sufis

6. Bhava-laden soulful rendition
Veena Revathy Krishna’s commitment to provide the best of Carnatic music was evident in her recital for Fifty-fifty Club.

7. An interesting exercise
Listen to Suguna Purushothaman as she gives many useful tips and guidelines to achieve proficiency in the art of Pallavi singing.

18th March 2009, 03:02 PM
Jazz casts its magic spell
Two concerts in the city drew listeners to the fine nuances of jazz

if u like this post ur comments here


18th March 2009, 03:06 PM
[tscii:8cffd23bfa]Mellifluous rendition

O.S. Arun’s popularity is more as a singer of bhajans and abhangs than as traditional Carnatic concert performer. His wide repertoire and flexible voice have made him a sought out artist for bhajan sandhya concerts. Ten compositions of ...


18th March 2009, 03:07 PM
[tscii:90434e7528]Rich repertoire
Despite the slight discomfort in her throat, Nandita Ravi’s clarity of diction and uninterrupted flow with a pliant voice that characterised her vocal recital at the Rajalakshmi Fine Arts struck a deep chord with the listeners.Her ...

see her photo here


18th March 2009, 03:09 PM
Rich tribute to Purandaradasa
Age has not affected the powerful vocals of nonagenarian R. K. Srikantan, who chose rare Dasar kritis for his Hamsadhwani concert.


18th March 2009, 03:10 PM

Thodi in all its grandeur
commendable range and mature manodharma made her recital a wholesome fare.


18th March 2009, 03:12 PM
Dr.Jothi Kausalya

Rendered with devotion
Dr.Jothi Kausalya has brought out a Tamil translation of both Bhajagovindam and Gnanapaanai.


18th March 2009, 03:13 PM
Tyagaraja as management guru

Professor V. Sivakumar drew parallels between the lyrical content of Tyagaraja kritis and management principles at a recent talk.


18th March 2009, 03:16 PM
[tscii:7284967473]Lilting songs
Kaushiki and Purbayan put out excellent performances
NTENSE Kaushiki’s thumris were mesmerising and Purbayan was felicitous

Sursagar, Bangalore, music festival featured two of India’s most renowned, Calcutta based young maestros sitar virtuoso Purbayan Chatterjee and the young talented vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborthy Desikan. Both the artistes re-established their cr edentials as performers par excellence amidst thunderous applause from the audience who attended these concerts in large numbers.
see Her photo is here


18th March 2009, 03:18 PM
[tscii:8452aa847e]The annual Tyagaraja Music Festival in New Delhi saw some fine recitals.

Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Rich! Maharajapuram Ganesh Viswanathan in performance.

Amongst the youngsters who performed in the annual Tyagaraja Music Festival, organised in the Capital recently by Sree Shanmukhanda Sangeetha Sabha, Maharajapuram Ganesh Viswanathan put up an impressive performance. Whether it was the rendition of th e compositions or the manodharma aspects (raga alapana, neraval and swaraprastaras), Ganesh’s calibre came to the fore during his recital spanning close to two hours.


18th March 2009, 03:20 PM
Memorable concert O.S. Thyagarajan.

In a rare appearance in Vijayawada, O.S. Thyagarajan of Chennai engaged the audience with his performance. The concert which took place at Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju Kala Vedika was organised by Sri Sadguru Sangeeta Sabha to mark the first death annive rsary of Vishnubhotla Sriramachandra Murthy, a musician and head of a family of reputed musicians.OST (O.S.Thyagarajan), as he is popularly known, struck a chord with the listeners right from the start of the concert. He began with Sahana Varnam and followed it with Sunderatara Deham of Thyagaraja in Pantuvarali and the Pancharatna keertana Endaro Mahanubhavulu in Sri Ragam. The Kalyani keertana Eesa Pahimam was complemented by detailed and efficient swaras. For the main item of the concert, Thyagarajan expanded Kambhoji in a detailed manner. He sang Evarimata of Thyagaraja decorating it with competent and bhava-filled Niraval and delightful kalpana swaras.


18th March 2009, 03:21 PM
[tscii:9076226fc2] One and only Balamurali

Balamuralikrishna’s concert proved why he is called a maestro.

Edge over others Balamuralikrishna’s concert was a class act.

Nadaprabha Cultural Trust organised an evening of music with music maestro Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna at Ravindra Bharathi. He began the concert with his own varnam in Natai Saptaswaramulu.

Sidhi, a new ragam founded by the maestro with only four swarams in it was the next wherein he sang a small invocatory Sidhim Dehi. Nadavarangaini, a creation of Thyagaraja was chosen for Kripalavala, a rare item and it was sung in his own way. Karnataka Kapi was taken for Syamasastry’s Akhilandeswari Durusuga, another rare item. Chandrajyothi was taken for an essay and here his class act was distinctly heard.
Unique style

His style of the ragam was unique and the ragabhavam was brilliant for Bagayanayya. Bhairavi was taken next and the ragam though briefly sung was a bit unconventional to hear. Bala Gopala of Deekshitar was a class composition and he delivered it in his own style with complex swaram. The major attraction of the evening was the famous Thyagaraja Pancharathna kriti Endaro Mahaanubhavulu in Sree Ragam. One of the great aspects was that he could sing swara in the three octaves effortlessly and effectively make a clear edge over others. His base voice was as bright as his top voice and he proved that only he can sing like this. D.V.Mohan Krishna gave the vocal support, (maestro’s disciple) young Dinakar on violin was playing for the first time along with the maestro, the veteran mridangam player M.L.N.Raju, Nemani on ghatam and Satya Sai was on morsing. The concert concluded with some light melodies and tatwams from Balamurali.

His photo here


18th March 2009, 03:23 PM
Dance like a woman
Puja Allepalli shines through her performance. A. Ramalinga Sastry

Her photo here

if u like this post ur comments u like it

18th March 2009, 03:25 PM
[tscii:2c45d89d7b]1. Veena guru honoured
Pappu Padmavathi Paramahamsa was felicitated recently.


2. Music is divine
Talk Peri Sree Ramamurthy’s lecture was held recently.


25th March 2009, 01:43 PM
[tscii:fb4e0b0703]1. Speedy execution of swaras

There was variety in Pantula Rama’s choice of kritis for her Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha concert.


2. At his creative best

T. N. Krishnan’s concert for Narada Gana Sabha exemplified refinement and experience.


3. All sound and fury

Of the auditoria in India that are not acoustically well-equipped.


4. Anniversary fete

Shri Vigneshwara Cultural Academy, Ramapuram, celebrated its fourth anniversary on March 15 at Dr. Vimala Convent, Nesapakkam. On the occasion, titles were conferred on veteran musicians T.K. Murthy (‘Nandhi Nadha Nipuna’) and ...


5. Visitors from Vienna

It was an earnest performance from the Austrian orchestra.


6. Specific, appropriately hued
The concluding part of the explanatory series detailing S. Rajam’s calendar


7. On Chaturagiri

Chithagiry Audio, Madurai, (04549-275165, 9444325633) has released two video albums on Chaturagiri.
The visuals capture the scenic hills and pilgrims trekking their way up to have darshan of Siva.

Chant and songs in keeping with ...

8. An interesting exercise
Listen to Suguna Purushothaman as she gives many useful tips and guidelines to achieve proficiency in the art of Pallavi singing.


25th March 2009, 01:45 PM
[tscii:83b8f796ef] Mellifluous rendition


Enjoy listening to the songs of various composers sung by O.S. Arun.

Wide collection of songs


Amutham Music P Ltd. O.S Arun
Carnatic – DVD – Price Rs.399

O.S. Arun’s popularity is more as a singer of bhajans and abhangs than as traditional Carnatic concert performer. His wide repertoire and flexible voice have made him a much sought-after artist for bhajan sandhya concerts. Ten songs of various composers have been sung by Arun in the recently released DVD titled ‘Vipulam,’ by Amutham Music P Ltd.

‘Palisamma Muddu Sharade’ in Sriranjani (Purandaradasa) is the opening number. The hand gestures and facial expressions of the vocalist match the structure of the sangatis in this composition.

A few rounds of solfa passages are sung at ‘Sarvalankara Daya’ which just pass muster. The absence of a manual tambura is glaring especially in a DVD recording.

A folksy varnamettu is employed for the Mohanam number ‘Vadana Suhasyarasala’ (Samartha Ramadasa). Arun’s brief vinyasa of Kalyanavasantham in the Hindustani genre is totally sruti-aligned and engages the attention of the listener. A Marathi abhang ‘Thoomaja’ which follows is a spirited rendering.

The pure Carnatic segment in this DVD is displayed in the few phrases of Bhairavi raga sung by Arun. The very brief alapana does not give any room for Hindustani touches. A Bhadrachalam Ramadas composition in Eka tala (Tisra Nadai) ‘Alola Tulasi’ is energetically vocalised. The percussionists enjoy Arun’s rendering and accompany with enthusiasm.

A niraval like approach is adopted at the phrase ‘Kshirabdi Sayana.’ The vocalist’s voice shows a definite strain in the upper register during this song rendition.
Dramatic exposition

The Brindavani alapana is done dramatically employing the usage of ‘Hari’ for the exposition. Swati Tirunal’s ‘Chaliye’ is the chosen number in Brindavani.

The virutham on the Lord at Kadirgamam in Sri Lanka is sung as a prelude to the beautiful composition of Kavignar Vaali’s ‘Koovi Azhaithaal’ in Valaji which has been set to tune by Thanjavur S. Kalyanaraman. It is amusing to listen to Arun repeating the lyric ‘Kumara’ over six times at one stage of the virutham singing. Jayadeva’s ‘Nindati Chandana’ (Darbari Kanada) is rendered with ease by the singer. The continuity in the singing of this Ashtapadi takes a backseat due to the long gaps in between the verses.

The DVD comes to a close with Saint Tyagaraja’s ‘Namo Namo Raghavaya,’ which is believed to be the first composition of the vaggeyakara. This song is normally sung in Desiya Thodi. Arun follows tradition though the inlay card mentions the raga as Sindu Bhairavi. The accompanists are M.R. Gopinath (violin), A.V. Manikandan (mridangam), S. Ganapathi (tabla) and S. Selvam for timing.


25th March 2009, 01:46 PM
Sudha Ragunathan

Stress on sahitya


Sudha Ragunathan’s music was enjoyable, but the bhakti element was missing.

Photo: S. Thanthoni

ORNATE IN ESSENCE: Sudha Ragunathan.

Gopalakrishna Bharati is a composer whose kirtanas are at their best when the intense bhakti contained in them get their deserved treatment at the hands of performers.

Sudha Ragunathan, who sang after a function organised by the Festival Committee in association with Maadhyama Dharma Samajam, could not bring such a devout mind to the rendering of the kirtanas. For, Sudha’s briga bhani hardly reflected the subtle inter-relationship between emotion and sangita.

To the audience in general, her music was pleasurable but did not convey Gopalkrishna Bharathi’s yearning for Thillai. The sahityas were there, but not the serenity. In fact, such music of great composers has to be felt and not thought out. It is not enough if music is based merely on sapta swaras, but has to be on contemplative experience.

If this aspect was set aside, Sudha’s performance revealed enormous creativity loud and clear. Technical competence took care of expansiveness. Her objective in interpreting songs was to be emphatic even at the cost of daintiness. Exuberance of sangatis, startling expressions and vocal amplitude were the characteristic features. Being Tamil songs, the concert ought to have been a journey along their devotional contents making them transparent to Gopalakrishna Bharati’s bhakti.

Sudha’s Poorvikalyani raga sancharas were meticulously chiselled. Soaring manodharma covered the several shades of the raga’s terrain. Her’s was a continuous alapana process from the manobhava sthayi to the tarasthayi panchamam, at each level accurate.
Studded with swaras

The kirtana was ‘Thillai Chidambaram’. Sudha studded the song with a volume of swaras and sangatis. Her method of handling kirtanas was conducive to endowing impressiveness, ornate in essence. When at the beginning, she took up ‘Sivaloka Naathanai” (Mayamalavagowla), the mind switched back to the glorious way Dandapani Desikar sang in the film ‘Nandanar.’ That still remains an acme of serene singing. ‘Kanaka Sabhapatikku’ (Atana) and ‘Chidambaram Endrorudaram’ (Begada) were the other items.

The mridangist Neyveli Skandasubramaniam was quick to take advantage of the vocalist’s musical ways. His accompanying style was fanciful in design and dexterous in display.

His percussion partner was Gopalakrishnan (ganjira).

The violinist Raghavendra Rao was effective in his solo versions emphasising beauty in brevity.


25th March 2009, 01:51 PM
[tscii:b21a4243e8] Nithyasree

An evening of melody

Nithyasree Mahadevan will enthral music lovers with a selection of raga-based film songs in an event titled ‘Vellithirai Ragangal’ on April 5, at Kamarajar Hall, Teynampet.

Organised by Abbas Cultural, the singer will be have orchestral support from Ganesh-Kirupa Orchestra.

Nithyasree will presents old Carnatic-based numbers such as ‘Mannavan Vandaanadi’ (Kalyani), ‘Pazham Neeappa’ (Shanmukhapriya), ‘Anandha Ragam’ (Simhendra Madhyamam) and ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ (Hindolam).

She will also perform her own hits such as ‘Minsara Kanna’ and ‘Kannodu Kaanbathellam’.

Her co-singers for the evening are Kovai Murali, Ananthu, Lavanya Sundararaman (Nithyasree’s disciple and niece) and Anusha Karthick and others.

The programme is dedicated to the memory of V. Jayaraman, secretary, ABBAS, who passed away recently.


25th March 2009, 02:11 PM
SPB, naturally

The singer reveals little known things about himself

On a high note S.P. Balasubramanium

S.P. Balasubramaniam looked a bit groggy as he stepped out of an early morning flight in Kochi. But, after getting into the car, he got to do something he loves to - talk. As he once said, he loved talking and making friends, for he did not "want to turn into an island".

"The flight was okay. For me business or any other class is all about the size of the seat," he laughs. "Very often I ask them to give me the adjacent seat, if it is free." Has he always been like `this'? "No. As a child I was skinny, almost malnourished. Putting on weight was because of the lifestyle - not eating on time and junk food, perhaps."

But a `pucca' vegetarian and junk food? "Anything not cooked at home is junk food to me. In Chennai and Hyderabad, I get homecooked food. But in Bangalore and other places, it is hotel food - the same rotis, curries and all. I stick to one hotel wherever I go; at least you have the regular, familiar, junk food."

"I remember Naushad saab telling me about Mohammed Rafi saab. The singer once complained of pain in the knees. Naushad saab asked him to cut down on his weight, and try exercises such as playing badminton regularly. In fact, I remember how meticulous Naushad saab was with his daily walk - even when he was well past eighty." Does he try some sort of workout? "No. I have never tried anything. Call it sheer laziness. I used to be quite agile, despite the weight, but of late I become breathless when I take a flight of steps. I think I must get working on my fitness."

Rafi saab

"I met Rafi saab only once. It was at Prasad Studio where he was recording, and I was there too. I was recording for Ilaiyaraaja, and as soon as I completed a song, ran to where Rafi saab was. They were having a break. I rushed in, touched his feet and literally ran back. I was told Rafi saab had asked who that young man was. That was the only meeting with the great man."

Among his many `avatars' one that is quite surprising is that of a dubbing artiste. And like everything else, SPB has plunged into it with unbridled enthusiasm. A clear voice, excellent diction and his uncanny ability to empathise with the character for which he lends his voice, SPB is now a much soughtafter dubbing artiste in Telugu.


"It is great fun, and I enjoy it. I don't do anything that I don't like. Dubbing happened by chance. You could say I was trapped. The puja for the film `Manmadha Leelalu' was on, and I went there. Even before this, the people involved in the film had sounded me on this possibility, but I had politely refused asking them to give me songs instead.

"At the puja, they were running a scene, and asked me to read out a dialogue, which I did. At the end of it, the people around clapped, and said my voice was recorded. They also told me that I could not go back now, and had to do the whole film. Gradually, I began enjoying this."

SPB has been the Telugu voice for Kamal Hassan, with `Dasavatharam' being the biggest challenge. "Except for the three characters that speak English, I dubbed for the rest, including the female voice. I have often asked Kamal why he does not go with his voice for the dubbed versions when he does it for the original Telugu films. His reply was, why should he do it when I was there."

SPB has dubbed for stars such as Mohanlal, Bhagyaraj, Salman Khan, Gemini Ganesan, Nagesh, Nagarjuna, Girish Karnad, and Ben Kingsley (in the dubbed version of "Gandhi"). "I just did the dubbing for Anil Kapoor in `Slumdog Millionaire' (Tamil)."

The car draws up the porch of a heritage hotel. Stepping in, SPB stands in awe of the sea, a stone's throw from his balcony.

"This is wonderful. I would now simply relax here listening to Naushad saab's classic `Kal raat zindagi.' I don't know how many times I must listen to it to sing it anywhere close to the way Rafi saab has."


30th March 2009, 03:36 PM
[tscii:b0ae966703]1. It rained thumris and taans
HINDUSTANI Shehnai maestro Pandit Krishna Ram Choudhary and sitar player Irshad Khan played with effortless ease at the Gharana Music festival. Gowri Ramnarayan


2. That special touch
IMPRESSION Sudha Ragunathan’s concerts, dedicated to RRC, are always memorable.


3. Reign of ragas
Hindustani Mala Ramadorai’s exercises were delicately feminine and artistically structured making the listening ethereal.


4. Rendered with finesse
The concerts of Varalakshmi and Bangalore Shankar were enjoyable.


30th March 2009, 03:43 PM
Graceful notes
Little Ananya's dance showed high level of involvement and Ravishankar Mishra's recital had an alluring simplicity

31st March 2009, 12:51 PM
[tscii:1d3c806b52]1. Mozart and more
The Madras Chamber Orchestra is back with a


2. Global local
Lakme Fashion Week’s grand finale today will feature the works of Anamika Khanna


3. A different tune
Audio of “Alaiyodu Vilaiyadu” was released


4. Prints charming
Of saris in block prints


31st March 2009, 12:58 PM
[tscii:1b40f5484e]T.M. Krishna, Bombay Jayashri, Priyadarshini Govind and Leela Samson created an unforgettable experience.

A moment to cherish T.M. Krishna, Bombay Jayashri, Priyadarshini Govind and Leela Samson during the performance.

Samyukta, the creative collaboration envisioned by Seher, featuring Carnatic musical giants T.M. Krishna and Bombay Jayashri interacting with two of the top names in Bharatanatyam, Priyadarshini Govind and Leela Samson, was what dreams are made of. Not since Hafiz Ali Khan and the Dagar Bandhu provided music for the Kathak Kendra’s productions over half a century ago, or Ravi Shankar and Timir Baran’s music for Uday Shankar’s ballets, have musical greats participated in live dance performances. One lauds the open-mindedness and innovative zeal of the two musicians by agreeing to ‘call the tune’ for dance.

An overflowing audience at the India International Centre fountain lawns watched the innovative Krishna/Priyadarshini interaction which accommodated compositional integrity with creative improvisational flourishes, with the more structured dance construct and the freewheeling music aspirations finding space. The mallari start visualised a temple procession within the Tiruvalur temple complex, the interspersed dedicatory Sanskrit passages (composed by violinist Ramkumar), having Tyagesha the main deity, offering homage at the shrines of Vallabha Ganapati, Achaleswarar, Durga, Kamalamba and Neelotpalamba, and Nandikeswarar, the varied pacing of the sequences indicating the location of the procession.

The piece-de-resistance was the Shankarabharanam ragam-taanam-pallavi, the crisp raga alap by Krishna and Ramkumar (violinist) followed by the impromptu ecstasy of the taanam, Krishna’s forte, the dance after each sequence exuberantly visualising a jati each of three, four, five, seven and nine syllabic permutations highlighted through Balakrishnan’s excellent nattuvangam with Vijayaraghavan’s mridangam.

The pallavi line composed by Ramkumar “Sri Krishnapaatuyushmaan kamaneeyavatara” became an elaborative music/dance treat. “Malleshailendra Kalpaha” inspired by the Krishnakarnamritam episode of how the assembled elders, maidens, Kamsa and the wrestlers in Kamsa’s court respond to young Krishna as he enters, saw soaring music from Krishna, with Priyadarshini keeping pace with impromptu interpretative elaborations. The singer was in his element in Kshetrayya’s “Kuvalayakshiro” in Gaulipantu with the dancer seated miming the nayika’s full confidence despite the sakhi’s tales about various escapades, that what Krishna and she had shared was special. Through the overpowering sweetness of Krishna’s Behag in “Vagaladi”, Priyadarshini performed abhinaya. A tani-avartanam nritta conclusion, set to notes of Nalinakanti, formed a wonderful end. Against artistry with mathematical rhythmic challenges, Priya managed to hold her own.

Sans introductory preludes after the almost loquacious earlier pair, Leela Samson’s recital was more in the traditional margam vein and one bowed to Bombay Jayashri’s humility in making no effort at projecting herself separately. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s “Ardhanareeshwara” in Kumudakriya was followed by the varnam in Natakuranji “Chelamelajesevaiyya”, the nayika yearning, asking the Lord (in the charanam refrain) if he finds her devotion a burden “Nannu brova neeku bharama?”

The strongpoint of the recital was the excellently balanced accompaniment, the nectarine melody of the veena (now rare in Bharatanatyam) by Anantakrishnan adding a new dimension. Notwithstanding shaky balance, Leela’s simple intensity was powerfully communicative, reaching its peak in the item visualising the descent of the Ganga, Jayashri’s meditative singing having the added thrust of Sheejith Krishna’s nattuvangam, emotively potent in tonal variety.

Jayashri was in full flow in the javali “Smarasundaranguni” in Paras, with Leela’s savoured abhinaya of the swadheenapatika nayika supremely confident of her enamoured lover. The piercingly melodic singing of the Kamas javali “Janaro ee Mohamu sahimpalene” had the dancer equally involved.

The music concert of the two vocalists, starting with a Muthuswami kriti in Lalita, excelled in the Bhairavi Shyama Sastri swarajati “Amba Kamakshi”, the interaction, with one singing the swara passages and the other the sahitya, complementing each other — raga and bhava finding the combined richness of two artistes who derive creative inspiration from each other. Long will one remember the ashtapadi “Priye Charusheele”, Krishna’s rendition in Mukhari and Jayashri’s in Sivaranjani mesmerising in pleading appeal, the alternate singing not disturbing the flow even while keeping to respective raga domains. What many felt on the final day could become a recipe for disaster, with one artiste too many, worked, because of the artistes’ accommodating spirit. With both singers rejoicing singing the Navaragamalika Dandayudapani Pillai varnam “Saamiyai azhaittodi vaa”, both dancers presenting individual interpretations and jatis stuck to their respective styles providing a contrast — the younger physicality and exuberance with ‘paichals’ (leaps) and mandi adavus and sarukkais and the more experienced, centred, underplayed, tradition-oriented strength. Leela’s gut emotions communicated while Priyadarshini’s abhinaya, her strong point, looked forced.

Dharmapuri Subbarayar’s “Sakhi Prana” in Senjurutti saw the singers in full play, and the tillana in Kamas was a deft interlacing of two Kamas tillanas by Patnam Subramania Aiyer and Lalgudi Jayaraman.


6th April 2009, 03:36 PM
1. Relevance of Ramayana
A three-day seminar saw eminent scholars share their views.


2. Distinctly mellifluous
LEC-DEM The discerning audience enjoyed every moment of the all-Telugu music session presented by Balakrishna Prasad of Tirupati.


6th April 2009, 03:50 PM
1. Lively and unusual
The French musicians' concert was unabashedly appealing

2. Sisters in concert
Music And more music

6th April 2009, 03:54 PM
1. Going steady
Kannada journal turns 35\


2. Music festival
Weeklong music programmes


3. Songs all the way
Check out all the unusual concerts during this Ramanavami music season


6th April 2009, 03:56 PM
When four was more
Vocalists did Carnatic music proud.


8th April 2009, 12:21 PM
[tscii:16e5b6e3e0]1. Enlightening literary meet
The meet effectively highlighted the human values in our ‘puranas’.


2. In honour of a doyen
A festival lauded the efforts of Gutala Krishna Murthy towards promoting and preserving Telugu literature.


3. Befitting World Theatre Day
‘Raaga Vaasistham’, scripted and executed with finesse, was a treat for theatre lovers.


4. For inner peace
Renu Jain strikes a chord with her sitar recital at Ravindra Bharathi.


5. Universally adored
The celebrated story of Rama appeals to the common humanity of the people.


8th April 2009, 12:57 PM
A legacy lives on
Padma Subramaniam remembers her abhinaya guru, Gowri Amma.


8th April 2009, 02:28 PM
[tscii:838b62ac16]கலையின் பரிமாணங்களைப் புரிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டும்!

தெளிவான பேச்சில் இழையோடும் தன்னம்பிக்கை. சங்கீதம், வரைகலை இரண்டிலும் ஆழ்ந்த ஞானம். உளவியல், ஆங்கில இலக்கியத்தில் பட்டப் படிப்பு. செதுக்கிச் செதுக்கி வார்த்தைகளை வடிக்கும் சிற்பியாய் நமக்குத் தெரிந்தார் கர்நாடக இசைப் பாடகி சவிதா நரசிம்மன். இனி, உங்களின் செவிகளைக் குளிர்விக்க அவரின் குரலோசை!

‘‘சங்கர சர்மாதான் என் முதல் குரு. இவர், சங்கீத உலகில் புகழ்பெற்று விளங்கிய ஆலத்தூர் சகோதரர்களில், சுப்பைய்யரின் தகப்பனாரான வெங்கடேச ஐயரிடம் சங்கீதம் கற்றவர். சர்மா சாரிடம் எட்டு வருடங்கள் சங்கீதம் கற்றுக்கொண்டேன். தில்லி ராகவன் சாரிடம் திருப்புகழ் சொல்லிக் கொண்டேன். சென்னையில், ரமா ரவி, ரவிகிரண் ஆகியோரின் மாணவி. எனது தகப்பனார் சிதம்பரத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர், அழகாகப் புல்லாங்குழல் வாசிப்பார். தாயார் காஞ்சிபுரத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர். நன்றாகப் பாடுவார். எனது சகோதரிகளும், சர்மா சாரிடம் கற்றவர்கள். எங்களது இல்லத்தில் சங்கீத சிரோன்மணிகள் வருவதும் தங்குவதும் பல காலமாகவே நடைபெற்றுக் கொண்டிருந்தது. சங்கீதத்தின் புனித மணம் எங்கள் வீட்டில் எப்போதும் வீசிக்கொண்டே இருக்கிறது.

என்னுடைய முதல் முழு அளவிலான மேடைக் கச்சேரி 1995-ஆம் ஆண்டு திருச்சியில் ரசிக ரஞ்சனி சபாவில் நடந்தது. அதே வருடம் நங்கநல்லூரில் உள்ள ஆஞ்சனேயர் கோவிலில் பாடினேன். அதுவரை ஒரு சேம்பர்- வீட்டளவு கச்சேரி கூடச் செய்ததில்லை. இந்த நிகழ்ச்சிகள் சிறப்பாக அமையவேண்டிச் செய்த அப்பியாசம், தனியான தயாரிப்புகள், வரவேற்று ஆதரித்த தேர்ந்த ரசிகர்கள் கூட்டம் எல்லாமே மறக்க முடியாத அனுபவங்கள்தான்.

அலர்மேல்வள்ளியின் நாட்டியத்திற்கு 1997 முதல் 2001 வரை பாடியுள்ளேன். பின்னர் நான் பிஸியாகிவிட்டதால், நீண்ட பயணங்கள் அவருடன் மேற்கொள்ள இயலவில்லை. மேடையில் நடனமாடுபவர் மூலமாக, அவரது பாவத்தையே நாம் பிரதிபலிக்க வேண்டும். நடனக்கலைஞரின் உணர்வின் அளவும், பாடுபவரின் உணர்வும் ஒன்றியிருத்தல் மிக அவசியம். நடனத்திற்குப் பாடுவதால் கச்சேரியில் மிகுந்த பாதிப்பு ஏற்படும் என்பதெல்லாம் வீண் பேச்சு. அறுபது எழுபது ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னர் சிறந்த வித்துவான்கள் யாவருமே டான்ஸுக்குப் பாடியவர்கள்தான். ஒரே வரியை- ‘தெருவில் வாரானோ', என்பதையோ, ‘நடமாடித் திரிந்த' என்பதையோ, எண்ணற்ற முறை, அழகு நடையுடன், அலுப்புத் தட்டாமல் பாடும் விதத்தை இது கற்றுக் கொடுக்கும். பல நீண்ட நேர ஒத்திகைகளுக்கு ரெடியாகவும் இருக்கணும்.

ரவிகிரண் சார் தில்லிக்கு வரும்பொழுது எங்கள் வீட்டில் தங்குவது வழக்கம். அப்பொழுது நான் சின்னப் பெண். எனது பெற்றோர் ரவிகிரணின் முறை, பாணி ஆகியவற்றால் ஈர்க்கப்பட்டு, அவரிடமே நான் கற்கவேண்டும் என்ற எண்ணத்தை வகுத்து வைத்திருந்தார்கள் போலும். 1994-ல், நான் சென்னை இசை விழாவிற்கு வந்திருந்த நேரத்தில் அவருடன் இரண்டு அமர்வுகளுக்குப் பிறகு அவரிடமே முழு நேர மாணவியாகச் சேர்ந்தேன்.

நமது சங்கீதத்தின் மரபுத்தன்மை குன்றாமலும் சற்றும் சிதையாமலும், கற்றுக் கொள்பவரின் குணவாகுக்கு ஏற்பவும் கற்றுக் கொடுக்க வல்லவர். ஒரு நவீன கண்ணோட்டத்துடன் கண்டு கூறும் தனித்துவம் மிக்கவர்.

‘‘இசை தொடர்பான தொழில் நுட்பங்கள் பற்றி முதலில் கற்றுக் கொள்ளுங்கள், அடுத்து விடாமுயற்சியுடன் மேற்கொண்டு அதில் ஒரு நிபுணத்துவம் பெறுங்கள். பின்பு அதை மறந்துவிடுங்கள். அதைத் தாண்டி நிற்க வேண்டுமென்பது உங்கள் இலக்காக இருக்கட்டும்'' என்பார். அவருடைய கருத்தாக்கத்தில் உருவான நமது வாக்கேயக்காரர்களின் உயர்ந்த உருப்படிகளது தொகுப்பைக் கொண்ட குறுந் தகட்டிலும், ‘காஸ்மோஸ்' என்று வெளிவந்த மற்றொரு குறுந் தகட்டிலும் பாடும் கௌரவம் எனக்குக் கிடைத்தது.

2006-ஆம் வருடம், க்ளீவ்லாண்டில் பல வித்துவான்கள் முன்னிலையில் பாடினேன். அங்கு வந்திருந்த சங்கீத கலாநிதி உமையாள்புரம் சிவராமன் என்னை வெகுவாகப் பாராட்டிப் பேசியது எனக்குக் கிட்டிய அரிய சான்றிதழ். சமீபத்தில் ‘கல்கி' விருதை நான் பெற்ற பின் செய்த கச்சேரியைக் கேட்க, எம்.எஸ். அவர்களின் குடும்பத்தினர் அனைவரும் வந்திருந்து வாழ்த்தியது, என்னை ஆனந்தமடையச் செய்தது.

அமெரிக்கா, ஐரோப்பிய நாடுகள், கானடா, சிங்கப்பூர் ஆகிய நாடுகளில் கச்சேரி செய்து அனுபவம் பெற்றுள்ளேன். அந்த அரங்குகளின் இருக்கை அமைப்பு, எல்லா இடங்களிலும் நாதம் ஒரே சீராக இருக்கும் வண்ணம் செய்யப்பட்டிருந்தது. மைக்கை துல்லியமாகக் கையாளக் கூடிய நுண்பொறியாளர்கள் ஒவ்வொரு அரங்கிலும் இருப்பார்கள். பாடுபவரின் குரலைக் கேட்டு அதற்குண்டான அளவு ஒலியைக் கூட்டவோ குறைக்கவோ செய்து, ஒரு நாதானுபவத்தைக் கொடுக்கிறார்கள். கண்ணும், கருத்தும், கவனமும் இதற்காக நிறையவே செலவிடுகிறார்கள். இந்த விஷயத்தில் நாம் பின் தங்கிதான் இருக்கிறோம்.

அப்பியாசத்திற்கு ஒதுக்கவேண்டிய நேரம், நீண்டதா அல்லது குறுகியதா என்பதெல்லாம், சங்கீதப் பயணத்தில் ஒருவர் இருக்கும் நிலையைப் பொறுத்தது. ஆரம்ப நாட்களில், சுமார் 7 அல்லது 10 வருடங்கள், கட்டாயமாக ஆறு அல்லது எட்டு மணி நேரம் கொஞ்சம் வருத்திப் பயிற்சி செய்தாக வேண்டும். பயிற்சி இல்லாமல் குரல் வளம், இயற்கையாக அமைந்த திறன், இவற்றை வைத்து கோட்டை கட்ட முடியாது. நமது இசையின் ஜாம்பவான்கள் இதைத் தாரக மந்திரமாகக் கொண்டதனால்தான், உயர்ந்த நிலைக்கு வந்தார்கள். அவர்களுக்கென்று தனிப் பாணிகளை உருவாக்கினார்கள்.

பள்ளியில் 12 வருடங்கள் படிக்கிறோம். உடனே பலனை எதிர்பார்க்கிறோமா? எந்தக் கலையை கற்பதிலும் இதே அணுகுமுறை தேவை. கலையின் பரிமாணங்களைப் புரிந்து கொள்ளுதல் என்பது இன்றியமையாத ஒன்று. இரண்டு வருடத்தில் அரங்கேற்றம் என்ற ‘பாக்கேஜ்' முறையில் செயல்பட்டால் அரங்கேற்றத்தோடு நின்றுவிடும். கச்சேரி செய்வதிலேயே நாட்டம் என்றில்லாமல் இசையைக் கற்பதிலே நாட்டம் செலுத்த வேண்டியதை ஆசான்களும், ஏன் பெற்றோர்களும் இன்றுள்ள இளைஞர்களுக்கு வலியுறுத்த வேண்டும். அப்போதுதான் தன்னூற்றாக அவர்களின் உள்ளிருந்து வெளிவரும் சங்கீதம் உயர் தரத்தில் இருக்கும்.''


15th April 2009, 01:43 PM
High on emotion
Both music and dance lovers had something to look forward to in Mysore last week


15th April 2009, 01:50 PM
[tscii:ebec40c898]1. Seventy and going strong
Gandharva Mahavidyalaya’s festival saw both seasoned and young dancers in excellent form.


2. Tell me a new one
Impresario India should rethink its role as a catalyst.


15th April 2009, 01:54 PM
[tscii:3b3a7687a9]In search of a miracle
“Chimte Wale Baba” asks questions about the nature of spiritual pursuit and what nature does to men.


15th April 2009, 02:02 PM
[tscii:4d289c37eb]Absorbing offering
Ananda Shankar Jayant presented episodes from the epics.

2. A showcase of dance traditions
Nritya Sangam was a confluence of dances, much to the delight of connoisseurs.


3.Ballet on the battle
Dancers transported audience to Ashoka’s kingdom.


17th April 2009, 01:28 PM
Bangkok goes Balle Balle
The Zee Nite Bangkok 2009 saw Indian singers and dancers set the Bangkok stage on fire.


17th April 2009, 01:32 PM
[tscii:4192536510]1. Howrah Bridge (1958)
Madhubala, Ashok Kumar, K.N. Singh, Madan Puri
Cassettes CDs


2. Cassettes CDs

More than her singing, her lyrics hold forth. A young Lily Allen is a thinking artiste. Each of her songs in this album, her second, is a slice of her thought, the things that you think when you are in your ’20s.

Though the first ... [/tscii:4192536510]

17th April 2009, 01:34 PM
[tscii:3da3e52d88]1. Light of Ray
The subtleties of Satyajit Ray’s movies were revealed at a three-day film festival.


2. Indo-Russian bonhomie

Indian and Russian artistes came together in a true tradition of sharing


3. Couplets in the air
Jashn-e-Bahar celebrated its 10th anniversary with an international mushaira.

17th April 2009, 01:37 PM
[tscii:fbc4f25716]A riveting play
Social drama ‘Rallaku Kanneellu’ was well enacted.


24th April 2009, 02:21 PM
[tscii:d99ef82292]Pooja’s devotional chord
With her heart and soul in music, Pooja Prasad says music holds a primary place in her life.


4th May 2009, 04:47 PM
I would like to introduce my cousin

Niveditha narayanan.

disciple of K. N. Shashikiran.

She is giving concerts and has few albums to her credit


She comperes a tv show in podhigai 'புதுப்-புனல்' (introducing new singers of classical music) On wednesdays 9 pm to 10 pm


(thats one of her tv shows)

her blog link


Do visit her blog to get more details about her.

5th May 2009, 10:14 AM
nice to know that SP :D

//are you referring to the musician, sashikiran called Carnatica brothers//

5th May 2009, 10:25 AM
yeah shankar :)

5th May 2009, 11:06 AM
great SP :D

she has also sung Telisi rama in Purnachandrika. it is the favourite of many a doyens. saw the guru kripa song list. Sri Ganapti, valli kanavan are my favourites. :)

5th May 2009, 11:54 AM
thanks (on her behalf)
telisi rama enakkum pudikkum :)

8th May 2009, 01:25 PM
[tscii:d976b47b2f]RECOGNITION: Maadhu Balaji with the ‘Nataka Ratna’ award conferred on him. ‘Crazy’ Mohan, Madhan, AVM Saravanan, Kathadi Ramamurthy and Raadhu are with him.

With 5000 stage shows around the world, over 500 weeks of TV episodes, couple of films and the responsibility of being executive producer of a leading drama troupe for over 30 years, Maadhu Balaji got his first major honour on May 1, when Nataka Acad emy conferred the ‘Nataka Ratna,’ title on him.

Raadhu, president, Nataka Academy, said that he was happy to bring Maadhu Balaji to the forefront. ‘Crazy’ Mohan humorously mentioned that most people used to think Balaji was Mohan and so he has to put an extra effort while performing on stage to make people recognise him as ‘Crazy’ Mohan. Balaji has been the cementing factor in running the troupe as one cohesive unit for 30 years, Mohan said.

Kathadi Ramamurthy said he felt honoured when Maadhu Balaji said he drew inspiration from him (Kathadi). Cartoonist Madhan showered accolades on Balaji’s penchant for action cum reaction.

AVM Saravanan, presiding over the function, felt that Balaji’s clear cut decision to give preference to Stage as against films has benefited Tamil theatre.

Maadhu Balaji, responding to the felicitations, attributed his success to the strong and well-knit team behind him. The occasion was marked by the staging of the troupe’s 175th show of ‘Chocolate Krishna.’


29th May 2009, 10:56 AM
Festival time
An evening of dance


29th September 2009, 02:25 PM

Fascinating work on Tyagaraja

23rd February 2010, 08:50 AM
K.J. Yesudas live - at Thiruvarur:


23rd March 2010, 12:52 PM
12 languages, one theme…


Aikya India 2010 promises to be a musical tour of India.

CULTURAL RENDEZVOUS: Aruna Sairam, Thota Tharrani and Ranjini Manian.

If the recent ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' video proved that music is a binding force, so will Aikya India 2010, a musical offering by Global Adjustments.

The show that will see the vocal powers of Aruna Sairam blend with the creative eye of Thota Tharrani and the wordplay of Ranjani Manian, will unfold on March 27.

The concert is for a cause, and in this case, it's Smrutha Dhvani, an initiative of Interface, an NGO, and Global Adjustments, to care for retiring or retired artists in the field of the performing arts.

The format is the brainchild of Aruna Sairam. “Actually, while in college, we used to host what we called the Magic Carpet show, where songs from various Indian languages would find a place. That theme seemed perfect for Aikya India 2010.” This also gives Aruna a chance to showcase a wide repertoire of songs that she has learnt over the years travelling the length and breadth of India.

She recalls, “While living in Rajkot, I once heard a Rajasthani musician sing a local folklore with just an ektara to keep beat. The song moved me so much that I decided to learn it at once.” Similarly, she found herself “in the midst of thousands of devotees during the magnificent Rath Yatra of Puri Jagannath and heard the Oriya bhajan. I managed to get somebody to write down the lyric and learnt it. The Bengali bhajan I learnt is sung at Kolkata's Mahakali temple at 3.30 a.m. daily.”

Melodies such as these from 12 Indian tongues including Sanskrit, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and of course, Tamil will be presented by Aruna on March 27. As Aruna adds, “The theme is unity in diversity, but the underlying bhava will be bhakti.”

Setting the stage

Lending an aesthetic air to the proceedings will be the simple yet striking stage decoration by Thota Tharrani. “White, the colour of divinity, purity and peace, will envelop the stage. I plan to use letters of the alphabet from various languages to illustrate the theme. And maybe light it from below to create the right atmosphere,” is how Tharrani chooses to describe his vision of the sets. “The set should be such that it does not distract . In fact it should complement the music.”

Playing sutradhar will be Ranjani Manian, the moving force behind Global Adjustments. “We have all along been playing cultural connectors to expats and have helped them see India. To that effect, we plan a multimedia presentation of photographs of India as perceived by expats.” There will be eight accompanying artists.

Ranjani will take the audience through Aruna's songs, and in the process showcase a nation that moves forward in spite of and because of its multi-cultural ethos.

[The Aikya India 2010 show, sponsored by The Standard Chartered Bank, will be presented on March 27, 7 p.m., at MVSR Hall, Lady Andal School, Harrington Road, Chetpet. Donor passes (Rs.2,500, Rs.1,000, Rs.500 and Rs.250) are available at Global Adjustments, No.5, 3rd Main Road, R.A. Puram; Landmark (all outlets); Odyssey (Adyar and R. A. Puram); Chamiers; and Amethyst (Gopalapuram). Book online at www.indianstage.in. For details, call 98800 36611.]


23rd March 2010, 12:54 PM
[tscii:69b9a76fbf] Rich in classical content

A two-day music festival, featuring captivating vocal concerts of musicians, was organised by R.R. Sabha, Tiruchi, in memory of Maharajapuram Santhanam.

Photos: R.M. Rajarathinam

Soulful interpretation:(From left) Maharajapuram Srinivasan, Prapancham Mukyaprana, Vasudha Kesav and Maharajapuram Ganesh Viswanathan.

R.R. Sabha, Tiruchi, conducted a two-day music festival in memory of Maharajapuram Santhanam, in association with Maharajapuram Santhanam Foundation and Nadhadweepam Trust at the FGN Hall, R.R. Sabha, recently.

N. Sekar, secretary, R.R. Sabha in his welcome address, thanked all the associate organisations for making the festival a success.

The inaugural was presided over by Maharajapuram Nagarajan, who lauded the enthusiasm and interest of the Sabha in spreading the cause of music through such festivals.

Pleasant rendition

This was followed by Maharajapuram S. Ganesh Viswanathan's vocal concert. He began with a varnam in Sunadhavinodhini, indicative of the rich fare that was to follow. His rendition of ‘Sogasuga' in Sriranjani had all the curves and twists and the kalpanaswaras were imaginative, without being repetitive. He took up Vachaspati (‘Kanta Joodumi') for raga alapana, which was a great listening pleasure with a lot of classical content and bhakti element. Thodi (‘Sri Krishnam') was the main course and the elaborate treatment of the raga was inspiring.

Sparkling swaras

The next concert was by Vasudha Kesav, who with her mature voice, sruti alignment and gnanam captivated the audience. Her choice of Hamsadhwani to commence the concert was good with sparkling niraval and swaras. She sang ‘Ranganadhude' In praise of the presiding deity of Srirangam. Her attempt of raga Ramapriya for the kriti ‘Smaramyagam' was praiseworthy. ‘Marukelara' was a filler with a neat rendtion. Kiravani (‘Kalikiyunte') was the main raga taken up with all the ingredients, and was bhava laden.

The two concerts were accompanied by Tiruchi Govindarajan and Koviladi Madhwaprasad, who greatly contributed to the success, with their spirited performance.

The flute concert by Prapancham Mukyaprana was noteworthy for its gentle and sweet flow of music, with the natural sound of the bamboo holding sway. The blowing was perfect and the melody and fragrance had an enduring appeal.

He began with ‘Gajavadana' in Sriranjani and the swaras were delineated in great detail. Manoranjani had a brisk pace and was followed by ‘Narayana' in Suddha Dhanyasi, popularised by the late maestro Maharajapuram Santhanam.

The structuring of the raga was neat covering the entire gamut of the raga. The lower region was attempted through the use of the long bamboo and the effect was mesmerising.

The main piece was Kalyani (‘Etavunara') which was short but sweet. The swaras and kuraippu were done briskly.

Rare kriti

The concluding concert by Maharajapuram Srinivasan with vocal support by his son was outstanding. He began with a Durbar varnam and the invocation to Lord Vinayaka with a rare song. It was ‘Panchmatanga Mukha' by Dikshitar. The swaras were apt and crisp. ‘Ragunayaka' in Hamsadhwani was the one taken up for the warm up session and the long kuraippu and the final climax held the listeners' interest.

The audience was thrilled with the rendering of ‘Nenarunchi' in Malavi. Hindolam was taken up as the sub main and Srinivasan painted a colourful canvas of the raga. Sankarabharanam (‘Rama Ninnuvina') was the central composition and the raga was built by the father-son duo as a monumental edifice.

The powerful voices merged in unison and the rich antaragandhara of Sankarabharanam stood out and shone like a pearl.

The everlasting melodies of Maharajapuram Santhanam were taken up to the delight of the gathering and concluded with ‘Bho Sambho.'

The support by N.C. Madhav and Tiruchi Rangarajan for both the concerts was phenomenal and deserves special mention.


21st May 2010, 11:14 AM
[tscii:edf91cce9a]Legend remembered
Rich tributes were paid to Sheikh Chinnamoulana.


CD released

I nnovative harmoniser par excellence M.B. Srinivasan's (MBS) Madras Youth Choir recently released a CD titled ‘Pallu Paduvome' at a function held at TAG Centre, Alwarpet.

Releasing the CD Justice K. Chandru stated that as a rare ...

Young talent to the fore
Four youngsters showcased their musical skills at Utsaha, the festival organised by the Sumanasa Foundation.

Elaborating with elan
CD Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, well known for his expansive raga portrayals, does full justice here.

21st May 2010, 11:41 AM
Music legends on DVD
VISUAL `Vandanam' throws light on the life and times of four music legends.

Manavur, a village, that lies 54 km off Chennai (rail en route Chennai Central-Arakkonam), dates back to the 7 {+t} {+h} century AD when the Kurumbas ruled the ancient Thondai Mandalam. They divided it into 24 divisions of which Manavur ...

Anusha Jayanthi

Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Bhaktha Jana Trust, No.4, K.V. Colony, III Street, Chennai-33 (ph: 23711971; M.C. Mouli - 9884495578) celebrates its 19 {+t} {+h} Maha Anusha Jayanthi Mahotsavam, from May 21 (today) to June 2, at Sri Ayodhya ...

Rustic and original
Children's talents came to the fore at Marabu Foundation's workshop.

Treat of Tyagaraja kritis in Texas
Many eminent Carnatic musicians regaled audiences in Houston.

4th June 2010, 10:26 AM
1. Notes on the nagaswaram
T. S. Latchappa Pillai recalls the glorious days and elaborates on the nuances of playing the instrument.

2. Rendezvous with culture
The Summer Festival 2010 held in Thanjavur showcased various folk dances from India.

3. Village comes alive with music
Come May and the laid back Nidle in Karnataka becomes a beehive of activity.

23rd August 2010, 02:22 PM
[tscii:236ef15ca7] Drama festival

Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, (Ph: 94447 01446), as part of their 110th year celebration, inaugurates their 12-day drama festival on August 23. On the inaugural day the annual drama award of the sabha, ‘Sangeetha Kalasarathy' will be conferred on veteran dramatist A.R. Srinivasan, for his dedicated and continued service to Tamil theatre. Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti will give the award. Mohan Parasaran will inaugurate. Veteran actor M.N. Rajam and S.Ve. Shekher offer felicitations to ARS. The inaugural function will be followed by TV. Varadharajen's ‘Neradi Oliparappu' at 6.45 p.m. The festival will be held in two parts – from Aug. 23 to 29 and from Sept. 5 to 9 and at two different venues. .

The following is the list of the line-up to be held at Narada Gana Sabha Hall. Aug 24, 6.45 p.m.: Mother Creations' ‘Priyamudan Appa'; Aug. 25, 6.45 p.m.: Rail Priya's “Ennakkul Iruvar'; Aug. 26, 6.45 p.m.: New Creation's ‘Edhirpaaradhadhu'; Aug. 27, 6.45 p.m.: Stage Creation's ‘Neenga Yaar Pakkam'; Aug. 28, 4.30 p.m.: Dummies Drama presents ‘Ardhanari'; 6.45 p.m.: ‘Crazy' Creations ‘Chocolate Krishna'; Aug. 29, 10.30 a.m.: UAA presents ‘Swadeshi Aiyar'; 4.25 p.m.: Navabharath Stage's ‘Kaasikku Pona Ganapathy'; 6.45 p.m.: Natakhapriya presents ‘Yaamirukka Bayamaen.'

The following plays will be staged at Mylapore Fine Arts Club Hall.

Sept. 5, 6.45 p.m.: Kovai Paddhu's ‘Pavithra'; Sept. 6, 6.45 p.m.: Sathiya Sai Creations' ‘Mama Maaplae'; Sept. 7, 6.45 p.m.: Gurukulam Boys' ‘Yaadhumaagi Nindrai'; Sept. 8, 6.45 p.m.: Amrutham Gopal's ‘Lakshmanakodu' and Sept. 9, 6.45 p.m.: Mali Stage presents ‘Sattam Yaar Pakkam.'


23rd August 2010, 02:30 PM
Passion lives here
A series of interesting cyber talks, here is one by novelist Isabel Allende


23rd August 2010, 02:42 PM
Melody match
For Carnatic music students Dance India


Utsav Academy of Dance celebrated Independence Day through the art of expression.


23rd August 2010, 02:54 PM
[tscii:bd6b6aa4a6]1. Sharp manodharma
Dwaram Lakshmi's concert showed her prowess.

2. A festive week
The seven-day event witnessed flawless concerts.


3. Devotional fare
‘Sai Bodha' has Shirdi Sai Baba songs by eminent vocalists.

4. Princely charm
Prince Rama Varma enthralled with his flawless rendition.

5. Eclectic vocal recital
Predictable in parts, but it was a sweet melody dished out by Sri Ranjani.
Mellifluous melody

6.T.V. Sankaranarayanan and his son Mahadevan gave a skilful perf ormance as part of Spic Macay's ‘ Virasat 2010'.


7. Sticking to tradition
N. Subbalakshmi's vocal recital was expansive and creative.


3rd September 2010, 10:18 AM
[tscii:268312cb4e] PBS to be felicitated

P.B. Sreenivos turns 80 and Kannadigas gear up to felicitate him

Ramya Cultural Academy is organising a felicitation to the legendary playback singer P.B. Sreenivos on September 25 at Town Hall, Bangalore, 6 p.m. The singer turns 80 on September 22 and the film music lovers, artistes and dignitaries will be present on the occasion.

P.B. Sreenivos (PBS), has been singing since 1951. He has sung in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam films. Sreenivos is known for his playback singing in the Kannada film industry for Rajkumar and other leading stars. PBS is fluent in eight languages (Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Urdu, English and Sanskrit) and has penned several ghazals in Telugu. Sreenivos sang with Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Jikki apart from leading a chorus song. He was introduced in Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu simultaneously in the movie “Jathaka Phala” (Jathakam) by R. Nagendra Rao.

His songs for Rajkumar in films like “Gandhada Gudi”, “Bhaktha Kumbara”, “Nandi”, “Gandhinagara”, “Bangarada Manushya”, “Kasthuri Nivasa”, “Bhaktha Kanakadasa”, “Santa Tukaram” and several others which haunt the Kannada listener to this day. Apart from singing, he wrote and composed innumerable ghazals and directed music. He was the first to write a song in English, compose music and release an LP Record. This rare singer with over six decades of playback singing has won innumerable awards.


3rd September 2010, 10:19 AM
TFA awards
Toto Funds the Arts calls for entries


For this weekend
Screening of a Kannada film


3rd September 2010, 11:57 AM
[tscii:c112966cd3]1. Annual awards

The Mylapore Academy (ph: 24939352) conducts its 41 {+s} {+t} annual awards function, for Tamil drama and Television serial ‘Bests' of 2009, on September 5, 6.15 p.m. at Narada Gana Sabha, Alwarpet. N. Gopalaswamy, former chief election ...


2. Scholar remembered
Tribute was paid to Dr. Raghavan.


3. Consecration of Sholinghur temple

Two hill temples – Narasimhar Hill or Periya Malai and Siriya Tiruvadi or Small Hill -- and a temple in Sholinghur Town are attributed to Yoga Narasimhar.

Of these, the hill temples are more famous. An imposing Anjaneya adorns ...


4. Kathakali festival

A five-day kathakali festival, ‘Bhava Bhavanam,' will begin from September 4 (daily, 6.30 p.m.) at Rukmini Arangam, Kalakshetra, Tiruvanmiyur. Entry is free.

The event opens with ‘Psyche' by Kalakshetra and directed by ...

5. Consecration of Sholinghur temple

Two hill temples – Narasimhar Hill or Periya Malai and Siriya Tiruvadi or Small Hill -- and a temple in Sholinghur Town are attributed to Yoga Narasimhar.

Of these, the hill temples are more famous. An imposing Anjaneyar adorns ...


3rd September 2010, 12:05 PM
Beyond familial bonds
Nupur and Mohit Lal on the festival they organise in memory of their father Pandit Durga Lal, coming up this Wednesday.


Twin stories
Ketaki Sheth's images of Patel twins first seen in 2000 are still relevant.


3rd September 2010, 12:09 PM
[tscii:664dca6b8a]Devotional endeavour
‘Sai Bodha' provides a gist of Shirdi Sai Baba's teachings and philosophy in a lyrical form.


8th September 2010, 01:39 AM

Violin Maestro's 80th Birthday celebration: Chennai

Grand Feast for Rasikas. Celebrations in Large scale.

Lalgudi JAYARAMAN -- Multi-programmes in SEPTEMBER 2010



16th September 2010, 06:29 PM

Evergreen QUEEN of Carnatic Music

-- Birthday Reminiscense - September 16.



29th October 2010, 12:15 PM
[tscii:57591dbc9b]1. Book release

The Department of Vaishnavism and the Department of French and Foreign Languages, University of Madras, in collaboration with Sri Vedanta Desika Research Centre, will release ‘Tresor de Sages Maximes,' the French translation of Swami ...


2. The winners…

The following artists have been declared winners in the 22 {+n} {+d} Spirit Of Youth festival of music and dance held from September 24 to October 3 at the Kasturi Srinivasan Hall:

Madhvi Chandran (Bharatanatyam); Jyotsna Krishnamurthi ...


3. Nattuvanars take centre stage
This arangetram in Coimbatore was different. But will it have takers in the future?


4. Honour for artists

Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai, will be conferring its birudhu, ‘Vani Kala Sudhakara' (together with a cash award) on the following artists during its annual Music Festival in December 2010:

Sanjay Subrahmanian (vocal), ...


5. Straight from the maestro
N. Ramani has chosen songs not found in commercial recordings.


6. November Fest
5000 musicians on stage

The Art of Living is organising Naada Vaibhavam, a grand symphony of 5,000 Carnatic musicians on January 30, 2011, in Chennai. This programme hopes to make classical music accessible to the masses and offer a spiritual experience. Those ...


7. Pavitrotsavam

Pavitrotsavam is being celebrated at Sri Ambujavalli Nayika Samedha Lakshminarayana Perumal Temple, in Akkoor Village, Tiruvannamalai – 631701, till October 31.

Pavithram Samarpithal is today at 8 a.m., kalasa tirumanjanam is on ..


29th October 2010, 12:17 PM
[tscii:2af6d93d83]Messages behind the mausoleum

Built by Shah Jahan in 1642 as a memorial to his adored wife, the Taj Mahal in Agra is more than a beautiful mausoleum. Discovery Channel's Discover India unearth's the ‘Mystery of the Taj Mahal ,' October 31 at 7 p.m. It is also a ...


29th October 2010, 12:20 PM
Grand finale to a musical celebration
The soothing tenor of Sreevalsan J. Menon's voice enhanced the contemplative style of his rendering.


Chaste and classic ragas
The annual concerts at the Navarathri Mandapam in Thiruvananthapuram are a much-awaited music fiesta that is a fine blend of melody and devotion.


With devotional fervour
The Navarathri fete at the Karthyayini temple, Thrissur, featured vocal concerts by stalwarts and youngsters.


7th January 2011, 06:24 PM
"The master's voice"


18th January 2011, 10:10 AM
[tscii:d0a48a008c]Sudha Raghunathan. Musically Yours
[Thursday, January 13, 2011]

Sudha Raghunathan is a Carnatic legend. But she is also an icon for popular music lovers. Her two most recent films songs “Yeno Yeno Panithuli” from ‘Aadhavan’ and “Enna Kuraiyo” from ‘Mandhira Punnahai’ are recent testimony for her popularity on this part of music world. The perfect blend of tradition and modernity can bee seen in her.

Not that all she also runs Samudhaaya Foundation, a social initiative to commit to serve society by pledging to donate organs.

Sudha Raghunathan speaks on her music and social initiatives in this special Pongal show. Professionally and personally, she is serving the society. You’ll agree when you watch this IndiaGlitz exclusive.

Send in your feedback on this video and your stars will see them and may even respond to your comments.

Happy Pongal to you all.


30th January 2011, 03:37 AM
"Journeys In Music" (From The Hindu)






23rd April 2011, 09:39 AM
கர்நாடக சங்கீத ரசிகர்களுக்கு :

பாடும் கலையில் "ஜி.என்.பி" எப்படி நாதஸ்வர பாணியை கையாண்டார் என்பதை இஞ்சிக்குடி சுப்ரமணியனின் துணையோடு திருச்சூர் வி ராமச்சந்திரன் இங்கே (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaSWtp9vqfU&feature=related) விளக்குகிறார்.

15th September 2011, 09:30 PM
Grand finale to a musical celebration
The soothing tenor of Sreevalsan J. Menon's voice enhanced the contemplative style of his rendering.


Chaste and classic ragas
The annual concerts at the Navarathri Mandapam in Thiruvananthapuram are a much-awaited music fiesta that is a fine blend of melody and devotion.


With devotional fervour
The Navarathri fete at the Karthyayini temple, Thrissur, featured vocal concerts by stalwarts and youngsters.


The Navaratri Mandapam kutcheris have lost their earlier standard. The Swathi music festivals are a shade better now.

25th November 2011, 12:00 PM
Melodic sojourns

FETED: Vani Jairam receiving Sangam Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award from Mr. K. Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu. Photo: Special Arrangement

Vani Jairam is continuously active on the concert circuit both here and abroad. Beginning with her show of exclusive Tamil hits at Harrow, London, the past few months have sped past at a frenetic pace for the prodigious singing talent. “It was held to collect funds for a dilapidated school building in Sri Lanka. The cause made it heart-warming, and singing to a packed auditorium was rewarding,” says Vani.

The crowning glory of the houseful show of her Telugu hits organised by Sangam Academy at Ravindra Bharati Auditorium, Hyderabad, was the Life Time Achievement Award that she received from K. Rosaiah Governor of Tamil Nadu. Vani stayed back to conduct two workshops for children belonging to an international school there. Recordings for devotionals in Tamil and Sanskrit brought her back to Chennai, after which she flew to Dubai for a Malayalam concert for a television channel. Another Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to her a couple of months ago by yesteryear veteran actor A. Nageswara Rao, at his birthday celebrations in Hyderabad.

Guru Purnima Day saw her performing at the Ramakrishna Mission, Mumbai. Devotionals in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Gujarati held the audience in thrall. Vani’s Hindi and Gujarati recitals in Ahmedabad that followed were equally well-received. It was the same at her recent devotional concert in Kerala. The songs were predominantly in Malayalam, though Vani also included other language songs on these platforms.

The linguist-musician’s next halt was Australia. “Vijay Yesudas, Chinmayi and Haricharan accompanied me. The concerts at both Sydney and Melbourne were a sell-out,” informs Vani.

“The feedback was overwhelming. Surely she would continue enthralling us with her music for the next 25 years,” says one of the many fan mails, she points out to.

Keywords: Vani Jairam


26th November 2011, 12:26 PM
The Sangita Kalanidhi Award 2012

Trichy SankaranMridangam artist Trichy Sankaran has been chosen for the coveted Sangita Kalanidhi title by the Music Academy in Chennai and he would be honoured during this year's festival on January 1st,2012. dr.Trichy Sankaran will also chair the 85th Annual Conference of the Music Academy being held from December 15th this year.

Dr. Trichy Sankaran is a globally-respected artist, composer, educator, and cultural ambassador, who consistently demonstrates mastery, creativity, ingenuity, humility, and devotion. Since his professional debut at 13, Trichy Sankaran has had a prolific international performing career, appearing as a featured musician at major music festivals and cultural events in Europe, Australia, North America and Asia, including the highly celebrated World Drum concerts at Expo 86 (Vancouver), Expo 88 (Brisbane) and Expo 2000 (Hanover). As an active contributor to the music scene in Canada, he has composed a dynamic body of work that bridges the musical traditions of both India and the West. Collaborations include performances with New Music, jazz, Western Classical world fusion and internationally-recognized Carnatic and Hindustani musicians. As an Indian music scholar he has contributed to many learned societies across the globe and has authored textbooks. As an Indian Music Scholar he is held in high esteem by his students and colleagues at York University. Over the years Dr Trichy Sankaran has bridged

Eastern and Western pedagogical styles and has influenced generations of students who have become noted performers,composers and music educators for the past 4 decades.

26th November 2011, 01:40 PM
Gharanas may not retain their identity: Pandit Rajan Mishra

The legendary gharanas of Indian classical music may not be able to retain their distinct identity in the contemporary age where electronic media and rampant bombardment of music is the norm of the day, say two celebrated singers.

Speaking to reporters Friday at the 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), renowned exponents of the Benaras gharana of Hindustani classical music, brothers Rajan and Sajan Mishra said that classical music as a whole is becoming increasingly popular and that swelling audiences were the barometers of the popularity.

"Gharanas were made to preserve a certain style of music. But in this age of electronic media and television and radio, it is difficult to maintain the gharana system now," said Pandit Rajan Mishra.

In Hindustani classical music, the gharana system involved distinct genres of music, in which a collective of classical artists adhered to by lineage or apprenticeship.

Some of the famous gharanas in India are the Benaras, Kirana, Patiala, Jaipur.

The Mishra brothers, who are also Padmabhushan awardees, played the main protagonists of a documentary film `Adwait Sangeet` made by Pune-based film-maker Makarand Brahme, which was the inaugural film of the Indian Panaroma (non-feature) section at the Goa festival.

"While western India is influenced by the Kirana gharana, the Mishra brothers are from the Benaras gharana, which is one of the most influential gharanas in the country. The Benaras gharana has given us two Bharat Ratna awardees (Ustad Bismillah Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar) and 32 Padma awardees," Brahme said.

"The Benaras gharana is perhaps the only one which patronises performing arts like vocal, dance form, percussions," he said.

According to Rajan Mishra, classical music was on an upswing in India, much against the popular perception that the form of music was on the decline.

"You see, earlier in Delhi there was only the Sapru auditorium for classical music and it was often empty. But now you have so many other avenues like the Siri Fort auditorium, which houses 3,000 people, and they even have big screens outside and there are open part shows. Public interest in classical music is increasing," he said.


27th November 2011, 11:26 AM
Viswa Kala Bharathi awards

Swami Dayananda Saraswathi on Saturday called for preserving “Bharathiya” culture. “It is in our dance, music, literature, costumes and even food,” he said at the inauguration of the silver jubilee Margazhi Mahotsav and Nalli Sangeetha Nrithya Vizha of Bharat Kalachar.

He congratulated Bharat Kalachar and its chairman Mrs. Y.G.Parthasarathy for working to preserve Indian culture and for encouraging artists since its inception. “An artist is one, who is born with talent and is one who brings along with them certain innate capacities.

These capacities have to be tapped and marshalled, for which a guru is required. To become an artist, one must work intelligently with the help of a teacher,” he said.

In her silver jubilee address, Mrs. Y.G.Parthasarathy said that Bharat Kalachar was started 25 years ago by Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and her husband YGP. “Bharat Kalachar was started with an aim to provide a platform for talented youngsters to perform before an audience,” she said.

Bharat Kalachar Secretary Y.Gee Mahendra, cultural consultant Madhuvanthi Arun and Joint Secretary Sudha Mahendra also spoke. Various awards were presented to over 40 performing artists on the occasion.

The annual souvenir was released by Rajiv Gupta, Zonal Manager, Bank of India, and the first copy was received by Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti.

Gnana Kala Bharathi award was presented to mridangam maestro Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman; Viswa Kala Bharathi award went to Mandolin U.Shrinivas, Sudha Raghunathan, Alarmel Valli and Malavika Sarukkai; Natya Kaladhar award to O.S.Arun; Acharya Kala Bharathi award to Srimushnam V.Raja Rao, Anitha Guha; Kala Seva Bharathi award was presented to Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti and the Nadaga Kala Bharathi went to R.Neelakantan (Neelu).

Bharat Kalachar's Velli Vizha Sangeetha/ Nrithya Kala Bharathi awards instituted in memory of YGP and Semmangudi R.Srinivasa Iyer by Mrs. Y.G.Parthasarathy, were also presented.

The awards went to Neyveli R.Santhanagopalan, P.Unnikrishnan, N.Vijay Siva, R.K.Shriram Kumar (violin), B.Kannan (veena), Sriram Parasuram and Anooradha Sriram, J.Vaidhyanathan (mridangam), S.Karthick (ghatam), B.S.Purushotham (kanjira) and K.S.R.Aniruddha.

Priya Sisters -- Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya -- and Kalpana Raghavender also received Velli Vizha Sangeetha Kala Bharathi awards.

Velli Vizha Nrithya Kala Bharathi awards were presented to dancers Meenakshi Chittaranjan, Priyadarshini Govind, and Urmila Sathyanarayana.

Young achievers

The Yuva Kala Bharathi Awardees 2011 were Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan (Carnatic vocal), S.Mahathi (Carnatic vocal), V.Deepika (Carnatic vocal), Cuddalore S.J.Jananiy (Carnatic vocal), Shreya Devnath (violin), Trichy S.Krishnaswamy (ghatam), Mylai R.Mahendran (Nadaswaram), K.Sathyanarayana (keyboard), Deepika Potarasu (Kuchipudi), Revathy Kumar (all rounder in Bharathanatyam, vocal and nattuvangam), Navia Natarajan (Bharathanatyam), Aishwarya N.Balasubramanian (Bharathanatyam), and Ritwika Ghosh (Bharathanatyam).


27th November 2011, 09:58 PM
"Music in the air, will decorum follow?"


28th November 2011, 02:43 PM
As the music of India permeated the Western world and gained popularity in the 1960s, many Westerners, like The Beatles' George Harrison, began to study this intricate music.

According to Taoseño Phil Hollenbeck, who was first introduced to the study of classical Indian music by Ravi Shankar (Harrison's teacher) in the late 1960s, Shankar said that it would take about 25 years of dedicated study before a student would begin to understand the music. Hollenbeck, who has been perfecting his ability to play classical Indian music for four decades, said Shankar was right - it was at about the quarter-century mark that he began to grasp its musical depths.

"Ragas Performed on Sarode and Pakhawaj" is a concert that pairs two highly accomplished musicians well-versed in the Dhrupad style of music, an older form of classical Indian music that is not often performed today. Hollenbeck will be joined by David Trasoff in a concert where they will perform both traditional classical and light classical folk ragas Sunday (Nov. 27), 7 p.m., in the Arthur Bell Auditorium at the University of New Mexico's Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux St.

Hollenbeck explained that classical Indian music was developed over centuries by yogis (spiritual practitioners) who were exploring the vibrational qualities of sound. With origins dating back more than 3,000 years to the Vedas (ancient Hindu spiritual texts), the music is considered highly beneficial for spiritual development. From a basic understanding that all forms of the material world are in essence vibrations of sound, the texts speak of music as the divine creative language.

Structurally, classical Indian music is based upon ragas (melodies) and talas (rhythms). Trasoff describes on his website (www.davidtrasoff.com), that "a raga is formed from a series of ascending and descending notes selected from a given music scale. Within this skeleton, the musician brings out the melody that gives a particular raga its character and mood: Joy, sadness, romance, or a combination of these and other basic emotions. In a classical performance, the raga is presented in two sections. In the first part, called alap, the musician plays unaccompanied and presents the notes contained within the raga, proceeding until all the notes and their interrelationship are explored. This allows the character of the notes and the raga to be shown in a framework free of a fixed rhythmic structure."

The percussionist then enters into the mix to lay down a rhythmic structure. Trasoff further explained that the architecture of classical Indian music makes it possible for musicians to easily improvise with one another.

"On the one hand, the forms are very specific and there is a lot of learning that goes into them," Trasoff said. "But once we're within those forms we're free to improvise and create the music as we go. So, musicians can come together and create a program - it's not that we have to have a fixed set of pieces like you would for a Western recital. We basically create the music with each other and also with the audience and with the setting."

Their Taos concert at the Harwood marks the first time that Trasoff and Hollenbeck have performed together, though they first met as beginning students in the early 1970s.

"This is going to be an interesting program," Trasoff said, "and a little different than other programs of Indian music that people have seen because Phil and I both have training in an older form of the music than what's usually heard on stages today. We're going to certainly play some in that form (Dhrupad)."

The musicians will also play some lighter, folk pieces. In addition to playing together, Trasoff and Hollenbeck will illustrate the subtleties of their unique instruments in solo performances.

The sarode is a relatively new, stringed instrument in the classical Indian repertoire. In the 20th century, Ustad Allaudin Khan (father of the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) made changes to the Afghanistan rubab and its playing style and developed today's sarode which is played with a coconut plectrum or fingernails on a fretless, steel fingerboard. The sarode is deeper in tone than the popular sitar. Ali Akbar Khan, considered by many to be the best classical Indian musician of his time, was Trasoff's teacher. Ustad is a title of honor meaning "master." It is used in reference to Muslim musicians of Indian music. Pandit is a similar title used for Hindu musicians.

North Indian classical music used to be referred to as Hindustani music, but Hollenbeck said that because the music is played by Indians of all religious backgrounds, it is now more often referred to as North Indian classical music. The music is historically from North India, Pakistan, and to some degree Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. It is distinct from the music of Southern India.

The pakhawaj is a double-sided drum of North Indian music. It is said to have originated thousands of years prior to the tabla and is played in a vast number of styles of music across South Asia. The drum is hollowed out from a section of the trunk of a hardwood tree. Both ends are covered with three layers of skin. The resulting drum can be struck with the fingers and palms to produce more than 20 basic sounds. The pakhawaj is known for its warmth and expressiveness and is played in classical dances, Dhrupad music, temple or devotional music and solo performance.

North Indian classical music is taught as an oral tradition, passed from teacher to student through repetition. Hollenbeck explained that when he began his studies in Varanasi in 1969 under the tutelage of late Pandit Amarnath Mishra of Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, he worked with him one-on-one. Mishra played a piece of music, and Hollenbeck repeated it, as best as he could. Gradually the pieces became more and more complex. Hollenbeck described the process:

"You stick one-on-one with a teacher and you try to basically follow and imitate what they do," Hollenbeck said. "There's not a whole lot of explanation at first because at first you're just learning rudiments and that goes on for a few years."

Hollenbeck explained that there is a verbal language for teaching the rhythm called bols ("bol" means "word"). A teacher will use this language to recite a phrase of rhythmic pattern and the student must repeat it. Gradually the recital of the phrases increases in speed, but initially the teacher repeats it slowly to allow the student to hear the musical pattern completely - with all its subtleties. Hollenbeck explained that this language describes the weight and tone of the sounds, and that teachers will take one phrase and play it several different ways, emphasizing different beats or compositional parts to further illuminate the piece.

Hollenbeck admitted that the study of classical Indian music is difficult at the beginning, but he said it has given him a lifetime of satisfaction. "The study of Indian music gives you a framework to understand a lot of the traditional music of everywhere."

Trasoff has appeared in concert in arts centers, universities, conservatories and festivals in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has made numerous performing tours in India. He has also composed and performed music for film, theater and dance projects, including an award-winning Los Angeles production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the award-winning documentary "Broken Tail's Last Journey" and the acclaimed Indian art film "Leela." His recordings include a CD of North Indian classical music recorded with Ustad Zakir Hussain.

Hollenbeck is said to be the most senior Pakhawaj/Mridang artist in the Western world. He is a professional accompanist in both the Dhrupad and Odissi styles of pakhawaj, accompanying vocalists, instrumentalists, and dancers of many traditions. Hollenbeck also performs with South Asian folk and devotional artists and with Western jazz, world-fusion, and other traditional musicians and dancers.


29th November 2011, 07:13 PM
December season 2011

CHENNAI: Over the years, the December season has become the ground for showing, new and experimental work, which promises a trajectory that is exciting. The music season in Chennai will be abuzz with activity this year, both on the listeners as well as performers front.

Today, audiences are larger, keener, more enthusiastic and appreciative. The number of impresarios and concert organisers too are on the rise. Often, they come out with innovative ideas in programme planning and presentation to attract more listeners. Large commercial and business houses and even some newspapers and networks have joined the fray. Of course, they have come to regard music as a means of business proposition.

The pursuit of music and dance is now considered a sign of culture and personal adornment. The number of young artistes, participating have been on the rise in the recent years, bringing out a wealth of aspiring talent to public view (like SR Veeraraghavan, senior disciple of Balamuralikrishna, Mambalam Sisters, Nisha Rajagopal, Sriram Gangadharan to mention a few).
Get ready to soak in the spirit of Margazhi

Harikatha too is being encouraged, for preserving and promoting the arts, in their pristine purity, cultivating among the public, a deep appreciation of the unique heritage of ours. While the quality of the performances are on the increase, it is becoming an increasingly tough task, to select the toppers from among the short listed.

Some of the finest specimen of gushing, over brimming musicality are to be seen, some of them being encouraged rightly by Sri Ramjee of Isai Mazhalai group. Bharath Sundar, Vidya Kalyanaraman (vocal), Parur Ananthakrishnan, KP Nandini (violin), NC Bharadwaj and Harish Kumar (Mridangam) are among those artistes who need to be watched.

One cannot help mentioning premier institutions like Sonal Mansingh’s Centre for Indian Classical Dances, Kalakshetra, Saila-Sudha (the academy of Excellence in Kuchipudi and Bharathanatyam), Kala Priyadharshini (Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala) creating remarkable platforms, to showcase the holistic nature of the art, indicating the signs of the time.

The top musicians, of course, are no longer the proverbial ‘penniless wretches’. The avenues of their earning have multiplied. The fees of musicians, in good demand, have sky rocketed. Let the top musicians, realise that love of the ‘pelf and profit’ should not relegate, all finer considerations of ‘art for art sake’ by increasing the number of concerts during the season, even when ‘vocal chords’ do not co-operate.

The advent of sponsorship as a phenomenon is a good sign, but the companies must be careful about whom they fund, particularly when this funding goes to ‘fly by night’ operators, during the music season. Music buffs like Mrs YG Parthasarathy and Sri A Natarajan (former Director/Doordarshan) opine, that though proliferation of number of programmes do help the artistes, but yet the remuneration to the artiste should not become a pittance, when compared to the generous inflow of funds from the sponsors, taking advantage of the plight of the upcoming artiste.

Let a thousand voices echo across the city, let a thousand ankles chime and let us say with a nod ‘let happiness and pain become a music in their string, fill the mouths of heaven, with their tongue’.
Contradictory view points have been expressed regarding proliferation of programmes, but let not the condition be that there is apoplexy at the extremities (too many concerts) while there is sheer anaemic at the centre (no audience).

29th November 2011, 07:22 PM
New Guinness World Record by students of M.S.Martin's Academy

A new Guinness World Record was created by 109 students from Chennai, who are students of M.S.Martin's ''Mellifluous Melodies". Together, they created a Carnatic Symphony on the Keyboard for 15 minutes at the Music Academy, on Sunday 27th November evening , to break the existing Guinness record for largest keyboard ensemble. Ascintillating Carnatic music performance for 2 hours followed.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, November 28, 2011 /India PRwire/ -- The adjudicator, from the Guinness World Records, Mr. Jack BrockBank from UK was present and handed over the certificate in presence of Music Maestro M. S. Vishwanathan, Legendary Carnatic Vocalist, Aruna Sairam and Mr. N. Murali, President,Music Academy. Awarding the certificate to Mr.M.S.Martin, Mr. BrockBank said "I am impressed by the stunning performance of the students and the dedication they have shown for creating this record .I am confident that this group will create many more records in future and wish them all the best ".

Notes to Editor

The earlier record was created on 25th September 2004 by Billy Joel , which consisted of 107 participants who played "Piano Man" for five minutes at the opening of The Shoppes at Cross Keys , Florissant , Missouri ,USA.

Earlier, in 2009 , 75 children from M.S.Martin's school created a Limca Record by performing on a single stage.The key person involved is M S Martin who is a gold medalist in B A Music and was bestowed the prestigious award of ISAIMAMANI in the year 1993 by Annamalai University. He has been training children in carnatic music over the last 14 years.

2nd December 2011, 06:48 PM
For Sudha Ragunathan, the year ends with six more awards, thus making her already enormous list of laurels longer.

She came! She sang! She conquered! That was the order of the day in the late 1970s when a young girl with sparkling eyes and a friendly smile, clad in a half-sari represented Ethiraj College, and won almost every inter-college classical music competition she had participated in. Her oratorical feats saw her through many debates too victoriously. Adjudged ‘The Most Outstanding Student' of her college for three consecutive years - a hat trick that remained unbeaten for years, her next playfield was the yearly music competitions held by various sabhas in Chennai and the outskirts, as a curtain raiser to the December music season. Here too the story was no different.

Success never went to her head and her polite and humble demeanour won her many hearts. It is no wonder that the number of her admirers has always been on the rise to date.

This writer has keenly been observing the growth of this budding artist who transformed into a globally accomplished vidwan – the seamless metamorphosis from Sudha Venkataraman to Sudha Ragunathan.

“I still continue to analyse whether I am worthy of the lauded admiration, be it national or international,” Sudha begins at her new house ‘Vasantham' named after her guru M.L. Vasanthakumari that bears testimony to her guru bhakti.

More credits

At the end of the last quarter of 2011, Sudha would have created a record of sorts when six more accolades would have been added to her already enormous list of laurels. On September 30 and October 22 she received the commemoration award of Rs. 1 lakh from the Dr. Sir Rajah Annamalai Chettiar Trust and a memorial award from the Sri Maharajapuram Santhanam Trust. By the time this article goes to print ‘Vishwa Kala Bharati' from Bharat Kalachar (November 26) would have been added to the list with three more to come by December – ‘Tamil Isai Vani' from Maximum Media at their first Tamil festival on December 18, ‘Isai Perarignar' from Tamil Isai Sangam on December 21 and ‘Tamil Isai Vendhar' from Kartik Fine Arts on December 25.

How will she manage all the above alongside her numerous concerts aligned one after the other? “It is indeed mind boggling but extremely exciting too! I will strive to live up to the reputation that I have earned over the years as an artist who delivers.” And she adds with a lilt, “did you notice that four of the accolades are for Tamil Isai propagation?” She starts to hum raga Maand and begins to sing ‘Aarumo Aaval,' one of the favourites of her guru – on my request she completes it - a definite bonus.

“I bow my head in obeisance to the Almighty and my guru for all their blessings and of course my well wishers. It is their constant support and feedback that has kept me racing forward,” she says.

As it can be seen at the end of every one of her concerts, Sudha is normally swarmed by a host of rasikas ages ranging from three to 80, asking her several questions from why she chose to sing a particular raga that day to enquiring about her saris and when she would sing Manirangu or Kaapi. An extremely patient and affectionate Sudha, with an effervescent smile takes the effort to answer every question whilst shaking hands and posing for photographs. Aren't all these causing a huge strain? “No way” she asserts and continues “it is my duty to make all such rasikas feel ‘at home.'” This is also true of her concerts wherein on various occasions, she would extend beyond four hours, meticulously rendering every kriti requested by her rasikas.

“God has blessed me with a wonderful family. Be it my husband, Ragunathan or my son Kaushik or my daughter Malavika, they have never been demanding and have always proved to be understanding and supportive of every endeavour of mine, whether it concerns with music or social welfare. Since family time is extremely important, I make it a point to travel out of the country on a long vacation with no concerts, and we end up having a whale of a time!” answers Sudha when this writer queries about the time they spend together.

Sounds like fairy-tale success, does it not? Nothing can be further from the truth, according to her. “What I am today is just not by the wave of a magic wand. It has taken 30 long years to have come this far and I feel there is still plenty to achieve and a long way to go. Or as Robert Frost would say, miles to go before I sleep…", says the philosopher in Sudha.

4th December 2011, 08:13 PM
When he sings a Thyagaraja kriti in his majestic voice and clear diction, listeners get to experience the true spirit of the composition. Veteran musician Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, who has the credit of popularising several of the saint-composer's pieces through such renditions, was honoured with the ‘Thyagaraja Seva Rathnam' award at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha here on Saturday.


5th December 2011, 03:27 AM
One of the best speeches by a Carnatic exponent, young and hugely talented Mr. T M Krishna. I loved every moment of this video and his command, forward looking thoughts about art, artists, classical music and how it should be moving forward. Wow! take a bow Mr. T M Krishna :notworthy: At the end of this programme, he sang 'Vandhe Matharam'. No words to describe that. I have already become a huge fan of him. :grin: Hope you too appreciate this video and his thoughts.


7th December 2011, 06:53 PM
OST's memories of chennai music

O.S. Thyagarajan on the enduring appeal of Margazhi, the simplicity of vidwans and why he made the city his home

My journey from the national to the cultural capital was not about traversing geographical distance, it was a voyage of self-discovery, an artistic expedition but more importantly, it was a travel back in time to soak in the sampradaya of Carnatic music.

Before settling down in Madras, every year I would gladly leave behind the biting winters of Delhi to enjoy the misty Margazhi air, take part in the annual music celebrations and witness the largest gathering of rasikas here. You may be busy performing through the year, but Margazhi kutcheris have always had a special appeal and flavour.

The Season then meant a few prominent sabhas, many restful sessions of music and relaxed and discerning listeners who savoured and analysed every note. The audience knew what to expect from each vidwan, who had remarkably distinctive styles. They had some compositions and ragas as their specialities… rather a concert trademark. There was an unspoken understanding between stalwarts; they would never tread into each other's area of specialisation.

Mention Karaharapriya ragam or ‘Chakani Raja' and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer immediately came to mind. Listeners flocked to hear Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar's rendition of ‘Sree Subrahmanya Namaste'. Rasikas could never have enough of Madurai Mani Iyer's ‘Sarasa Sama Dhana' in Kapi Narayani while ‘Radha Sametha Krishna' in Yaman was a favourite of G.N. Balasubramaniam.

Artistes performed only when invited. Seeking opportunities was unheard of. They chose the time and date of their kutcheri. Their concert calendars were never crammed. And they ensured there was enough time between performances to unwind and prepare.

Hearing these musical giants meant free lessons on aesthetic sensibilities and developing a sound understanding of the various aspects of this classical art. There was mutual respect and admiration among the old-world artistes, who when not performing could be seen sitting among the first few rows at kutcheris of their contemporaries or sometimes would even come to listen to a promising youngster.

Apart from hard initial training under my father O.V. Subramaniam, Tiger Varadachariar and Tanjore Ponniah Pillai, it was the valuable guidance, encouragement and support of generous masters such as Lalgudi Jayaraman and T.M. Thygarajan that earned me the reputation of a musician with undiluted values. They approached teaching in a holistic manner. It was not just about preparing students for stage performances. Vadyars ensured understanding the art in its totality and groomed thinking musicians.

The legends of the past remain so because of their vidwat, sense of dignity and a modest vision. I have seen Madurai Mani Iyer going to a kutcheri sitting in a mattu vandi with Lalgudi Jayaraman and Pazhani Subramania Pillai walking behind. Umayalpuram Sivaraman once arrived for a concert lugging his mridangam in a cycle rickshaw. The most touching moment was when at a Music Academy concert, M.S. Anantharaman put down his violin as a mark of appreciation after I sang a Bhairavi piece. It was heartening when many of the acclaimed names accompanied me on stage — Lalgudi Jayaraman, Palghat Raghu,

Trichy Sankaran, M.S. Gopalakrishnan, M.S. Anantharaman and Karaikudi Mani. They even took time out to help me embellish my music with their valuable inputs. Lalgudi sir would invite me home for long discussions. Such was their involvement and large-heartedness.

At one of my initial concerts at Krishna Gana Sabha as part of their talent promotion series, I was highly-appreciated for my rendition of ‘Nidhi chaala sukhama' in Kalyani ragam and also for some of my GNB-inspired technical flourishes. A landmark concert, it proved to be a turning point in my career as other sabhas took notice of this and invited me to perform. I owe it to the late Yagnaraman, the secretary of Krishna Gana Sabha, who after hearing me on the radio, called me in Delhi and offered me a prestigious platform.

The experience was overwhelming. Heart is where art is — with each passing year I became eager to shift base and I finally did. To sing to audiences in Madras, hear stalwarts and imbibe from their music — this is the sotthu (treasure) I have earned.

I remember

It was a concert organised for a small audience by my French friends in Pondicherry. The venue was bustling with people when I arrived. The miffed security man stopped me at the gate and said I could stand at the entrance if I wanted to hear the music. Later, when he came to know I was the performing artiste, he could not hide his embarrassment.

9th December 2011, 07:25 PM
Ragam Tanam Pallavi controversy


9th December 2011, 07:32 PM
The ignorance is slowly fading to give way to realisation and action. Carnatic music is gaining popularity in the world music scene and fusion music and remixes are becoming the call of the day. We, as the youth, are becoming more open to listening to various forms of music and appreciating the nuances of them all. Carnatic music may not be “cool” yet, but it sure is getting there.


16th December 2011, 02:11 PM
Rajhesh Vaidhya, who is making a name for himself as the artist whose “fingers move at a blistering pace on his electric and amplified stringed instrument,” is in the midst of coordinating his Anusham Chamber Concerts, practising for solo performances scheduled for the Season, and working on an album. “I love this hectic pace,” says the veena whiz kid during a chat. “This is what I know best.”


19th December 2011, 02:16 PM
shubha mudgal interview http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report_creative-people-never-tune-out-shubha-mudgal_1627295

22nd December 2011, 07:15 PM
western vs carnatic music

Four Chennai musicians, whose roots are firmly in the Carnatic tradition but who experiment with new forms, will present a Festival of Parallels on western and Indian classical music. In a series of lecture-concerts from December 24 to January 2, 2012, pianist Anil Srinivasan, vocalists P Unnikrishnan and Sikkil Gurucharan and violinist Lalgudi GJR Krishnan will compare and contrast the work of classical composers from across cultures through talks and performances. Srinivasan will present western compositions, while the others will perform traditional Carnatic ones. For instance, Krishnan will talk about and perform the work of violinist and composer Lalgudi Jayaraman.

23rd December 2011, 07:48 PM
seat yourself at a Carnatic music concert and you will find that, for the first few minutes of each piece, this exercise consumes a certain section of the audience. This rasika, during the alapana, transforms into an intelligence officer gleaning meaning out of garbled transmissions. The music, at this point, isn't a portal to pleasure but an exam question awaiting an answer. Is this Shri or Madhyamavati? Twenty points. Vexed foreheads are uncreased only when the pallavi begins, whose opening words lead those with raga-identification books to rifle through relevant pages. Those without guides may corkscrew their necks in the direction of the omniscient mama behind — him of the fierce, sandpaper-voiced whisper — who is enlightening his mildly baffled wife. This acquired knowledge will then be passed on from row to row, a heaving body in a silent mosh pit, till everyone in the auditorium knows the name of the raga emanating from the stage.

These listeners have, in these furtive endeavours, missed crucial minutes of the piece, but they are not to be blamed. They are afflicted, the poor souls, with what might be called the TOUR syndrome: the Tyranny of the Unidentified Raga. It's a compulsive condition; one that convinces the rasika that the composition they are listening to cannot be enjoyed unless they know the name of its raga. They may not care whether the canteen dosa came off a multi-serve griddle or a solitary skillet, but Sheshachala nayakam, they maintain, cannot be satisfactorily digested unless they label it a Varali. Only after arriving upon this information, whose importance assumes the proportions of a sphinxian riddle to be cracked open in order to be let through, can they begin to focus on the artiste's expressiveness and phrasing, the warmth and colour of tone and timbre, the aspects of a concert that would normally attract listeners.

Technical knowledge is important — to the critic evaluating a performance; to the mature listener looking to sink deep into the music — but it is not the primary aspect of a Carnatic music concert. Like the language the composition is set in — Telugu or Kannada or Sanskrit — these details about raga and tala, korvai and karvai are essentially building blocks, with which the composition is constructed by composer and singer. The purpose of the composition, however, is to transcend these blueprints and transport the listener to a realm of emotion similar to the feeling that arises upon sighting a majestic painting, unaware of its roots in oils or watercolours, or savouring the creation of a chef before whose art the only possible response is to close the eyes. You don't need to acquaint yourself with the contents of the spice rack, just the capacity to surrender to the moment would do.


25th December 2011, 08:20 PM
classical music 2011 roundup

Chaste classicism. Uncompromising adherence to tradition. Experimentation and innovation too. Lots of fusion, and some confusion. Collaborations between genres Indian and western. Crossover music, world music… Some surprises in the tone, timbre and tenor of music. We saw all this and more in the field of classical music and dance in 2011.

Navtej JoharHowever, it was classical music that ruled the scene. Tradition remains rock solid even as transition happens. Dr Pappu Venugopal Rao, secretary, Madras Music Academy, says, “Classicism survives. Adherence to tradition is still the benchmark by which classical musicians and dancers are judged.”

Pandit Jasraj also opines, “Classical music will always survive –––– our traditions, Hindustani and Carnatic, are so great, so strong.” The venerable Jasraj himself continued to enthrall with his golden voice. Other illustrious musicians also continued to wow critics and connoisseurs –– sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, santoor player Shivkumar Sharma, vocalist Parveen Sultana and tabla wizard Zakir Hussain.
Celebrated musician duos, vocalists Rajan and Sajan Mishra, and Gundecha Brothers, cemented their reputation with riveting performances. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Ajoy Chakrobarty, Shruti Sadolikar and Shubha Mudgal also impressed.

Even as the void left by the departure of icons like Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal continued to be felt in Hindustani music, the younger generation dazzled with their concerts –– like vocalist Sanjeev Abhayankar, flautist Ronu Majumdar, sitarist Shubhendra Rao and rudra veena player Bahaudddin Dagar.

Bharatanatyam’s three reigning divas — Alamervalli, Malavika Sarukkai and Priyadarshini Govind –– awed audiences with their outstanding talent. Shobana presented her latest creation ‘Krishna’, a musical which amalgamates film and classical dance, to widespread appreciation in Chennai. Teacher-dancer Anita Guha once again won praise for her choreography skills. Among the abundant talent of the younger generation, Mythilli Prakash once again garnered critical acclaim.

Kuchipudi’s doyennes like Shobha Naidu, Manju Bhargavi and Vyjayanthi Kashi also came up with impressive performances while the legendary Vempati Chinna Satyam’s son Ravi Shankar worked hard to keep his father’s great legacy going. Swapna Sundari presented widely appreciated performances of ‘Vilasini Natyam’. Kuchipudi dancer and scholar Alekhya Punjala released a full-length DVD presentation of the popular Kuchipudi dance-drama ‘Bhamakalapam’.

Interestingly, while Bharatanatyam is going ahead with more dance-dramas, Kuchipudi, which originally drew mostly on these items, began to head more towards solos, as Dr Pappu observed.Shobhana

In Kathakali, which is gaining increasing visibility in the past few years, we saw many an absorbing performances. The art which has gained from the Kalakshetra association also saw the highly accomplished Leela Samson and maestro Sadanam Balakrishnan star in a widely appreciated production, ‘Lavanasuravadham’. This was the year when that rare breed –– female Kathakali artistes –– also made their presence felt.

As always, we saw eminent Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan come up with interesting shows. A Kathak duet between Jyoti Manral and Seema Malhotra at Lalitarpan Festival in Delhi drew the praise of connoisseurs, including Shovana herself. Malabika Mitra, Aloka Kanungo and Prerna Shrimali also displayed their mettle as did other talents of this genre.

Odissi virtuoso Sonal Mansigh continued to draw crowds with one of her recently choreographed pieces, ‘Shiva Shringar’. And Ratikant Mahapatra, son and student of the late legendary Odissi guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, presented ‘Samsmaranam’, a tribute to his father.

It was gratifying for senior Mohiniattam artistes to see a growing number of youngsters take to the lasya-dominant art. “It is wonderful to see their enthusiasm. I also find that many artistes in this genre are exploring newer dimensions,” exclaimed Mohiniattam doyenne Bharati Shivaji. They even performed alongside dancers of other genres.

In fact, one noticed some interesting productions which presented an anthology of classical dance styles, though not all of them were harmonious or successful. Institutions like Kalakshetra, Jawaharlal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy, Kalamandalm and ITC Sangeet Research Academy, besides Nrityagram, continued to function as great support structures for classical arts.

Well-known annual dance festivals like Khajuraho, Konark, Delhi International Arts Festival and countless others spread the fragrance of our classical arts. TTD’s ‘Nada Neerajanam’ at Tirumala too continued to showcase the country’s greatest artistes and upcoming talent in classical dance and music.

Tagore was a hot favourite this year, considering this was his 150th birth anniversary. His poems, dance-dramas, short stories and lyrics found their way into several presentations of Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi.

The current queens among female Carnatic vocalists, Sudha Ragunathan and Bombay Jayashri, came up with dazzling performances. Among the female instrumentalists, while A Kanyakumari, Sukanya Ramgagopal and Emani Kalyani Lakshminarayana ruled, younger artistes like Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi and Veena Gayathri impressed with high calibre performances.

Music colossus M Balamuralikrishna continued to mesmerise audiences with his tremendous talent and awesome creativity. Staying entirely true to tradition and displaying to the world what the grandeur of pure classicism is all about were both stalwarts and young stars.

Thanks to the proliferation of mass media, we saw classical music and dance move beyond the usual platforms to television through reality shows. It is a good augury that classical arts are finding more mass appeal. However, as Bombay Jayashri said, “This increased number of platforms for the burgeoning talent among the youth is heartening. But we must take care that the identity of Carnatic music does not suffer in the process.”

Contemporary dance is a comparatively new phenomenon in India as compared to the West, but is evolving steadily and witnessing receptive audiences today. Specially choreographed creations in the contemporary idiom were presented by Navtej Johar, Aditi Mangaldas, Anusha Lall and Madhu Natraj, and groups like Nritarutya and Jayachandar Palazhi’s Attakalari.

It is a matter of pride for us that many of our classical dancers and musicians have found platforms for their art in foreign stages too. In New York, the Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance showcased three Indian classical dance styles –– Bharatanatyam by Rukmini Vijayakumar, Manipuri by Natya Academy artistes and Mohiniattam by Mandakini Trivedi. Indian artistes also played alongside artistes of other genres –– through fusion, crossovers and collaborations. While santoor player Rahul Sharma tied up with Richard Clayderman, violinist Jyotsna Srikanth collaborated with western greats Simon Thacker and Robert Atchison.

Well, as the year is about to end, many exciting things are still happening — the Chennai Music Festival being one of them. Let’s look forward to another great year.

26th December 2011, 07:55 PM
Musicians embrace some aspects of digital technology while decrying others. Carnatic music has had its own unique love-hate relationship with emerging technologies. In the midst of a raging debate about ‘recording' and ‘reproduction', many musicians have begun teaching over Skype in the last 6-7 years.

27th December 2011, 07:07 PM
Tyagaraja kirtana background stories

A close friend of Tamil writers T. Janakiraman and Karichan Kunchu, Athreyan has written a total of 28 such stories over the years, but could trace only 12 of them and has published them in this book.

There is an apocryphal story that Madurai Mani Iyer steadfastly refused to sing Tyagaraja's Kalyani raga composition Nidhi chaala sukhama. The bard is said to have composed it after rejecting an offer from the Tanjavur king to become a court musician. “How can I sing that song when I am accepting money for my performances?” Mani Iyer would ask.

The stories in Sri Tyagaraja Anubhavangal are not his own construction, Athreyan observes. “They were narrated to me by Umayalpuram Swaminatha Bhagavatar during my student days in Kumbakonam. I used to wash his clothes out of respect. I also got to listen to many stories while I heard some conversations Swaminatha Bhagavatar had with Yagnaswami Shastri, and also from Embar Vijayaraghavachariar.”

Swaminatha Bhagavatar was a disciple of Umayalpuram Sundara Bhagavatar, who learnt directly from Tyagaraja.

“Tyagaraja had a very sensitive mind. All his compositions were born out of personal experiences, in a spontaneous outpouring. Unlike Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri, who composed to enrich Carnatic music and give shape to ragas, Tyagaraja was not driven by any such motives. His compositions are purely an outcome of sukhanubava,” explains Athreyan, singing a line or two from each composition that he speaks about.

In one of his stories, the author also expresses concern about some musicians not paying enough attention to the words, pronunciation and context of every song.

And the fictionalised versions of the real-life incidents offer some insights into Tyagaraja, a saint-composer, ardent devotee of Rama and also a man given to human emotions.

The story behind the Hindola raga composition Manasuloni is a case in point. According to Athreyan, Tyagaraja was disturbed by how his kriti Paluku kanda chakkera in Navarasa Kannada was interpreted by a group of dancers.

“He suddenly plunged into sadness, after seeing how the crowd there started celebrating the erotic postures. Spontaneously, the pallavi of Manasuloni was born. But it took quite some time for him to complete the composition,” Athreyan said.

The fact that Arunachala Kavirayar's Rama Nataka keertanas made a tremendous impact on Tyagaraja is exemplified by his Yadukula Kambhodhi song Etavuna nerchitivo.

He composed the song after spending a whole night watching Rama Natakam at an open field. When he was asked to come to the dais, he turned emotional and hugged the blacksmith who performed the role of Rama and wiped off the sweat on his body with his towel.

27th December 2011, 07:17 PM
Ravikiran on Madurai mani iyer

He is undoubtedly among the greatest India has produced. His life symbolised shruti shuddham and his music transcended the region-and-culture-specific values of the Carnatic genre. His music could sit seamlessly in the pantheon of pitch-perfect artistes in any part of the world across time. My grandfather, Gotuvadyam Narayana Iyengar, is known to have phrased it colourfully — “Even if the sun rises in the west and the oceans trip over themselves, Madurai Mani would never deviate from shruti.”

Mani Iyer's treatment of attractive non-major ragas such as Jayantasena, Kapinarayani, Ravichandrika and Pratapavarali elevated their status several notches. His mastery over the ‘big' ragas, Todi, Kalyani, Bhairavi and Kambhodhi was second to none just as his command over other popular parent ragas such as Keeravani, Charukeshi, Shanmukhapriya and Vachaspati. His concert formula (at least in later years) studiously eschewed ragas that sounded melancholic or poignant (Mukhari, Neelambari) and even when he chose to sing a raga like Varali, he preferred the crisp Kaavaava laced with swaras. His choice of rakti (evocative) ragas would lean towards Anandabhairavi, Sahana, Devagandhari, Dwijayavanti followed by kritis such as O jagadamba, Shree kamalambikayam, Seetavara or Chetashree, rendered almost cheerfully!

Madurai Mani Iyer was synonymous with swara singing and was an indisputable master of this. He could repeatedly spur even the most stoic audiences to express themselves through rounds of thunderous applause. And he didn't need to resort to a Ramanujan-level of arithmetic to woo audiences.


28th December 2011, 11:39 PM
"A genius [Palghat Mani Iyer] who redefined the art of mridangam playing"


30th December 2011, 07:34 PM
singers straddling carnatiic & film music
Many youngsters are learning Carnatic music these days, but quite a few seem to have playback singing as the primary option. Or are they eyeing the reality shows with stupendous prizes? Is it possible to be a successful classical and light music singer? Mahathi, the great granddaughter of Sangita Kalanidhi Pazhamaneri Swaminatha Iyer, trained in Carnatic music, before she sang a film song for ...

1st January 2012, 12:48 PM
"The audience today expects a full menu of different kinds of kritis" - Sudha ragunathan

18th January 2012, 12:05 PM
The humble harmonium is finally set to get its due. For the first time in India, a harmonium player has obtained a patent for developing a unique harmonium with 22 shrutis — fractional notes or microtones.

A typical harmonium has 12 shrutis, and was considered an instrument with limitations in Indian classical music, as it could not render all the nuances of Indian ragas. A complete octave (sa, re, ga, ma…) has seven notes plus 15 microtones.

Thane resident Dr Vidyadhar Oke received the patent for his ‘Improved Harmonium’ from the Indian Patent Office on December 15, 2011, five years after he applied for it.

“I wanted to prove that every microtone could be identified scientifically and played on a harmonium. The harmonium was once banned by All India Radio as a solo performance instrument because it could not play the 22 microtones,” said Dr Oke, 59, a pharmacologist, who quit his job at a pharma company in 2003 to pursue research in music.


20th January 2012, 07:52 PM
Balachander was a musician, an accomplished chess player and also contributed to Tamil cinema. Debuting as a child artist in V Shantaram's 'Seetha Kalyanam', he went on to sing, act, direct, compose music and produce films. Sampath's book, brought out by Rupa Publications, records his contributions to various fields.

Born in 1927, Balachander was a self-taught musician, a child prodigywhobegan playing the percussion instrument kanjira at the age of four. "He also learnt the tabla, mridangam, harmonium, dilruba and shehnai. But he didn't have a guru," says Sampath, who has spent the last two years working on the book. "His brother, S Rajam,was a musician and Balachander used to hover around the classroom while his brother was being taught and pickedup things."

When Vikram Sampath began researching the life of veena maestro S Balachander, he had no dearth of material. The late musician had left behind eight huge volumes filled with newspaper cuttings, programme announcements and posters of his shows abroad, all annotated with his comments.


25th January 2012, 09:52 PM
Padma awards- 2012


top class musicians :thumbsup:

Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta Art - Instrumental Music - Sarod West Bengal

Dr. Trippunithwra Viswanathan Gopalkrishnan Art - Classical vocal and instrumental music Tamil Nadu

Shri M.S. Gopalakrishnan Art - Instrumental Music-Violin Tamil Nadu

Gundecha brothers

Shri Shahid Parvez Khan Art - Instrumental Music-Sitar Maharashtra

magical musicians indeed!http://www.mayyam.com/talk/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif


30th January 2012, 08:02 PM
Shubha Mudgal is not against Bollywood, but the veteran singer with deep roots in Hindustani classical, says if everyone keeps running after creating masala songs for the Hindi industry, it may well pose a threat to other genres of music specific to Indian culture. “Today we see Bollywood music
being played in every household, mostly because it is easily accessible. I have nothing against these songs that even I enjoy. But it would be tragic if we lost out on other kinds of music, a lot of which might never come back,” says Mudgal.

The 53-year-old singer is trying to do her bit to popularise and preserve the wide variety of musical styles and genres in the country through her festival, Baajaa Gaajaa, for the past three years. She is gearing up for the fourth edition, to be held in Pune between February 10 and 12.

The festival will see as many as 100 artists from different genres of music, including rock, blues, jazz, Hindustani vocal, instrumental music, Carnatic vocal and folk music, from different parts of the country, performing on stage. "There’s a huge variety in Indian music, whether old or adapted, that highlights the diversity in our country. Mostly Bollywood music doesn’t represent the entire spectrum of Indian music,” she points out.

The magical voice behind chartbusters like Ali Mora Angana, Ab Ke Saawan and Mann Ke Manjeere has kept her presence in Bollywood strictly limited because she doesn't consider herself competent for contemporary songs.

“I’ve sung for Hindi movies occasionally but I should be able to do justice to the songs offered to me. And the kind of songs I like are not being composed these days,” she rues.

She reasons that if she is trying something that she is not comfortable with, she would fall flat on her face. Mudgal has given playback for films like Laaga Chunari Mein Daag ( 2007) Lajja (2001) and 1920 (2008). A lover of khayal, thumri and dadra, Mudgal explored Indian pop music in the 1990s in albums like Ali More Angana, Ab Ke Sawan, Pyaar Ke Geet and Mann Ki Manjeere. “I don’t agree that pop albums have lost their charm. Just like we have parallel cinema alongside with commercial cinema, there is alternative music industry that is producing, executing material of all kinds.” she says. “There are many people who are coming up original compositions.”


13th February 2012, 01:21 PM
S Balachander - perennial rebel

Storming the world of Carnatic music and Tamil cinema with his non-conformist, controversy-creating ways in the 1940s, polymath and veena exponent Sundaram Balachander steadfastly fought many "unholy cultural nexuses", earning his share of brickbats, says his biographer.

Vikram Sampath, the international award winning author of "My Name is Gauhar Jaan: The Life and Times of a Musician", has resurrected the rebel genius in his "Voice of the Veena: S.Balachander" (Rupa & Co), 22 years after the musician`s death in 1990.

"Balachander was known as a `controversy genuis`. He would often say that controversy came looking for him. Whatever he said about current issues - not personalised attacks - sparked controversy," Bangalore-based Sampath told IANS.

One of Balachander`s famous struggles was against the tradition of "inventing ragas".

"Musician M. Balamuralikrishna had once told the Music Academy - the high seat of Carnatic music in Chennai - that he had invented a new `raga`. Tamil Nadu had a ridiculous scheme that anyone who created a new `raga` would be given an honorarium. Balachander argued that these things had existed in ancient treatises. He took it upon himself to fight the `invention of ragas`," Sampath said.

Balachander launched a "media blitz" with the publication of an exhaustive booklet which he read out in press conferences, he said.

"Balachander won the debate and Balamuralikrishna had to bite the dust. Balachander had also protested the title of Sangeet Kalanidhi that the Tamil Nadu government had conferred on Bharatnatyam danseuse Balasaraswati, saying it had to be changed to Natya Kalanidhi to include theatre and other performing arts artistes. But the establishment snubbed him," Sampath said.

Balachander remained a "perennial rebel and anti-establishment", the biographer said.

His most talked-about battle was against an erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore, Swati Tirunal, whom the musician sought to remove from the pages of history of south Indian culture and arts.

Balachander alleged in a thesis that the young Travancore "maharaja Swati Tirunal (1813-1846), who was hailed a musical maestro and genius of his time, was born out of a book in 1887".

"The campaign remained his obsession for at least eight years. He wrote to the president and the prime minister of India, screamed and shouted in the press. In his later years, Balachander became a recluse and his family distanced itself from the Tirunal episode...," Sampath said.

The crusade also turned out to be his last. Balachander died during a concert in Bhilai at the age of 63 in 1990 around the time he was still sparring "about the existence of the maharaja".

Balachander`s contribution to Tamil cinema was no less than his effort in transforming the "veena" from a chamber instrument to a concert instrument.

"He made a paradigm thematic shift in Tamil cinema in the 1950s and 1960s when the mythological tales occupied the screen. He directed thrillers inspired by Hollywood classics. His movies were technically brilliant, though in terms of cinematography he was self-taught," Sampath said.

Balachander`s cinematic cornerstone was "Andha Naal (1954)" - a slickly-produced, murder mystery starring Sivaji Ganesan.

"He was an actor, director, musician, composer, script-writer and producer... multi-faceted," Sampath said.

Putting together Balachander`s life was easier than recreating Gauhar Jaan in her historical context, the biographer said.

"He (Balachander) documented his life in eight gigantic albums. He put his horoscope, press clippings and day-to-day events with annotations and personal comments in the albums that had to be lifted by at least three people... It was practically from the horse`s mouth," Sampath said.

The biographer, who had earlier authored a book on the Mysore royalty, "Splendours of Mysore: The Untold Story of Wodeyar", is planning to tap into the history of the region again.

"I want to write about Tipu Sultan but I think I will have to move out of the country before I begin the project," said Sampath, who has courted his share of controversy for his articles on the late 18th century ruler of Mysore and has seen his effigy being burnt for his stand.

17th February 2012, 07:29 PM
MUMBAI: Sitar maestro Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan passed away due to massive cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning.

Khan 74, took his last breathe in a private hospital and was buried at Marine Lines cemetery. Renowned stars of music world attended his funeral including santoor maestro Pandit Satish Vyas, sitar player Pandit Nayan Ghosh, Agra Gharana vocalist Raja Miya, tabla maestro Yogesh Samsi and Aditya Kalyanpur.

The legend was one of the finest exponent of Hindustani instrumental music and a student of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Khan was born in 1938 in Baroda into a musical family of the Agra Gharana. At a very young age, he was initiated into vocal music by his father Ustad Ghulam Rasool but in 1955 his love and passion for sitar led him to join Pandit Ravi Shankar.

21st March 2012, 02:43 PM
"Future resonance"

"Fact is, once this art form touches your heart, it becomes part of your life."


26th May 2012, 10:31 PM
"Musicscan: Larger than life"


13th December 2013, 02:23 AM
No caste, no creed, no gender

Excerpts from the book A Southern Music: The Karnatik Story by acclaimed vocalist T.M. Krishna.

The book is published by HarperCollins, and is being launched by Professor Amartya Sen on December 16, 2013, in Chennai.


28th December 2013, 07:04 AM
The Monarch musician

"The genius of Maharaja Swati Tirunal lay in his prodigious talent and innate musical sense."

“Both intellectually and morally, he was indeed far beyond his country and equals in rank; in both respects he might have taken a high place among the most enlightened of European Sovereigns had his destiny been so cast.”


5th February 2014, 10:22 PM
The artiste as a changemaker


9th February 2014, 04:18 PM
Thillana at a technology park


25th March 2014, 03:08 AM
Balamuralikrishna’s musical treat at Rashtrapati Bhavan


31st March 2014, 07:46 PM
In the service of Carnatic music

Lakshman Ragde has made it his life's mission to research on and compile lyrics of Carnatic music compositions and share it with music buffs of all kinds.

Born in Chennai, Lakshman has travelled through several career paths before finding his calling in education. Currently a resident of Canada, he retired as a high school teacher after 28 years of service. Music has been a constant in his life, while growing up in a family of musicians and even while engaged in other career pursuits. His stay in Dalmianagar and Nepanagar exposed him to Hindustani music as well. He regularly attends concerts in both styles.


Some of you know that this is the same Lakshman who posts in this forum.

23rd May 2014, 07:43 AM
RR: Thank you for this posting, which I came across only today :). Happy to know the details about Lakshman, whose postings I have read and admired a lot on mayyam.com pages. I will try to contact him personally. Thanks again.

25th June 2014, 05:15 PM
Copyright shocker on Tyagaraja kritis

Friday Review - Music; The Hindu, June 25, 2014


3rd July 2014, 06:38 PM
For the love of his father

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” -Albert Einstein

For violin maestro Dr. L Subramaniam, who will be feted at the Yagnarama Fest, music is a natural extension of his life.


Shruti Sen
31st July 2014, 05:44 PM
Saregama pays tribute to Mohd. Rafi. Calling out to all the fans! ‪View Infographic - http://imgur.com/Pkfsnkk

We are opening this new topic to bring all posts about musicians,events,anecdotes and other tid-bits, so that all of them can be found under one thread.
Please do not open new topics that do not lead to any serious discussions.
All topics with single posts and meagre responses will be brought under this topic over time.

For the articles posted in this thread please click on:

Table of contents (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/hub/lyrsort.php?t=8407)

24th November 2014, 06:47 PM
Krishna’s ‘One’ breaks new musical ground

"Carnatic musicians entertain U.S. audiences all the time. But rarely do they bring to the rasikas here an entirely new medium, format and sensory experience that enthrals and challenges their traditional sensibilities in equal measure. This mission, to break through preconceived notions in musical aesthetics, was the intention of vocalist T.M. Krishna, who this week unveiled across U.S. cities a unique Carnatic music movie titled “One,” a presentation of the artist in a variety of serene woodland settings in India, blending mellifluous ragas with the very voice of nature."


24th November 2014, 09:56 PM

New No.26, Rama Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai – 600034.
Ph:28264493 Mob: 9840072821 Email : mudhrasabha@gmail.com
Website: www.mudhra.org

6-12-2014 to 4-1-2015

At Infosys Hall, Ramakrishna Mission School Campus,
31, Krishna Street, T.Nagar, Chennai – 600 017
(opp. to Joyalukkas and adjacent to Shah showroom)

Inauguration on 6th December 2014 (Saturday) at 5.30 p.m.
Former Chief Election Commissioner of India & Chairman, Kalakshetra Foundation
Inaugurates and presents
Padma Shri Smt.Sudharani Raghupathy
(Outstanding Bharathanatyam Exponent & Guru)
Instituted in memory of Late Sri.P.Obul Reddy and Smt.P.Gnanamba by
Mr. P.Vijayakumar Reddy and Mrs. Preetha Reddy
Padma Shri Dr.Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti
Former Director, Doordharshan Kendra

For more details: http://www.mudhra.org/festival-prog.html

from www.mudhra.org

17th June 2016, 02:22 AM
Carnatic music in the digital age: e-learning is hitting the right note

Indian classical music has taken to technology like a duck to water, with apps, web tutorials and online schools now popular. Most of them have lesson plans and detailed instructions, and some even use Skype and other video-chat services.


22nd July 2017, 01:04 AM
Carnatic’s Nobel