Tag Archives: Music

Kadri Gopalnath on Sax @ Festember 09

There could not have been a better start for Festember ’09, The National Level Cultural Festival of NIT Trichy. The mind-blowing performance on the saxophone by Dr. Kadri Gopalnath left the audience speechless and craving for more. He was accompanied on the violin by A. Kanyakumari and on the Mridangam by Harikumar. We also had on stage Sriram on keyboard, Raj Ganesh on Ganjeera and Raja Sekhar on the Moursing.

Kadri Gopalnath on the Saxophone

The evening was greeted by heavy showers. Incidentally, the first song was Sarasiruho Janani, set to ragam Amruthavarshini – The ragam that brings rain. With a short but kalpanaswaram, it was a testimony to the fact that the artiste was no ordinary person, and that we all have loads to learn from such stalwarts. The next song was Raghuvamsa Sudha, a refreshing piece meant for instrumentalists. The song was presented brilliantly, with an unbelievable co-ordination between sax and violin.

The main song was “Enna Thavam”, set to ragam Kapi. A brief raga elaboration was followed by the song, which brought out the emotions of the perfectly. And then was the thaniaavarthanam, which was so brilliant, the likes of which most of the audience have never heard of. The audience were tapping their feet and clapping their hands till the thaniaavarthanam ended. Anyone who had heard the rendition would have forgotten all their worldly worries and plunged into the divine world of music.

Then there were a series of light-classical songs, the first among them was “Anjali Anjali”, a song which is very famous, especially among the students of NIT Trichy. Then he performed “Kurai Ondrum Illai”, composed by Rajaji. The audience had requested him to play the theme music of the movie ‘Duet’, which he rendered immediately after. And then came the famous Tamil cine song, “Kaatrinile Varum Geetham”, which was followed by “Alaipayudhey”, set to ragam Kaanada. Then came another audience request, “Brahmamokate” in Bowli ragam. Then he performed the ragam Punnagavaraali, on which the snake tune is based. The concert came to an end with “Muthai Thiru”, a Tiruppugazh.

To summarize, it was a roller-coaster ride for all of us. A musical journey which transported all of us to an entirely different world. A world where music was eternal.

Sirkazhi Govindarajan

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part VI

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

Sirkazhi Govindarajan
Sirkazhi Govindarajan

MOHANAM

Mohanam is present where beauty and love coexist. Mohanam is a mellifluous ragam. It filters out the ill-effects of Kamam, Krodham and Moham bestowing immense benefits on the seeker. ‘Rama ninnu nammina’ by Tyagaraja, ‘Gopika manoharam nagalingam namami’ by Muthuswamy Dikshitar, ‘Mayil Vahana’, ‘Kapali’ by Papanasam Sivan and ‘Ramanai Kannara Kandena’ by Arunachala Kavirayar are some of the melodious compositions often heard.

In cinema, ‘Giridhara Gopala’ in “Meera” sung by M.S., ‘Aaga Inba Nilavinile’ in “Mayabazar”, ‘Thillayambala Nataraja’ in “Sowbagyavathi”, ‘Malargal nanaindana paniyale’ in “Idhayakamalam”, ‘Ninnu Kori Varnam’ in “Agni Nakshatram”, ‘Andanal mudal indanal varai’ in “Pavamannippu”, ‘Pazhaga theriya venum’ in “Missiyamma” and ‘Thiruchendoorin kadalorathil’ in “Deivam” are some of the super hit songs set in Mohanam.

MAYAMALAVA GOWLAI

‘Maya Malava Gowlai’ counters pollution. It can be called the gateway to Carnatic music. Sarali varisai, Jantai varisai, Keezh sthayi varisai, Melsthayi varisai, Alankaram, Geetham, Varnam, Keerthanam, Ragam, Thanam, Pallavi, Kalpanaswarangal and Neraval form the base of Carnatic music learning. The history of Carnatic music says that the system of Mayamalava Gowlai was introduced by the blessed musician, Purandaradasar. This raga has the potency to neutralise the toxins in our body. Practising this raga in the early hours of the morning, in the midst of nature, will enhance the strength of the vocal chords. Music composers of the south have used this raga to sweet effect. ‘Madura marikozhundhu vasam’ is a popular village folk song in Mayamalava Gowlai.

« Part 5

G N Balasubramaniam

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part V

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

G N Balasubramaniam
G N Balasubramaniam

ANANDHA BHAIRAVI

My father was the guiding force in my research studies. When he was ill he had more faith in the curative power of  music than the medicines administered to him. I was once preparing to show the remedial power of Ananda Bhairavi. Kannadasan had challenged in public to test his blood pressure after hearing Ananda Bhairavi from my violin.

He had promised to preside over a function but became ill with hypertension. Cajoled by the organisers he reluctantly came  and to my utter surprise requested me to render any raga, which could soothe him. I played Ananda Bhairavi elaborately.

At the close of the concert, Kannadasan came up to the dais and announced that he was feeling much better. Ananda Bhairavi has such soothing effect. Saint Tyagaraja in ‘O, Jagadambha’ prays for the deity’s blessing.

Muthuswamy Dikshitar underlines the importance of concentration and focus in `Manasa guru guha kripam bajare; Maya mama hrith thapam thyajare’ indicating Ananda Bhairavi’s close link to matters of the heart.

Tamil Odhuvar Moorthigal generally use Ananda Bhairavi in rendering Thevaram, Thiruvachakam and Dhivya Prabantham in temples.

DESH

The suppression of the senses releases a negative force. The process of sublimation needs a spiritual path. Rag Desh can provide that. Its positive energy gives one serenity, peace, inner joy, right valour, universal love and patriotism.

The mellifluous ‘Vande Matharam’ has been aptly composed in Desh. ‘Vaishnava Janatho,’ Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite, is set in Desh, which is a favourite in both Carnatic and Hindustani streams of music.

‘Shanthi nilava vendum,’ ‘Inda ulagil irukkum mandaril ezhil udayon engal tamizhan’ (M.M. Mariyappa for the film “Kanjan”), ‘Leelaigal purivane’ in the film “Meera,” ‘Thunbam nergayil’ in “Or Iravu,” ‘Maadu meykum kanna’ sung by Madurai Somu, ‘Muthamizhil Pada Vanden’ — that I composed for “Mel Nattu Marumagal” are well known examples in Desh.

« Part 4

D K Pattammal

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part IV

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

D K Pattammal
D K Pattammal

AABERI

Once upon a time it was considered a sacrilege to use Carnatic music ragas to compose film songs. This in spite of the fact that artistes were chosen only based on their training in classical music. Stories were narrated mainly through dance and music. Thus Carnatic singers made an entry into cinema and became quite popular. Carnatic ragas were adapted with telling effect. One of them was Aaberi. Almost all the songs set in Aaberi were super hits. `Nagumomu’ of saint Tyagaraja is still a popular choice of Carnatic lovers. Mysore Vasudevachar has presented `Bajare manasa’ in the same raga. Both ragam and the lyrics are bound to give a healing touch to the perturbed mind. ‘Singaravelane Deva’ (“Konjum Salangai”), ‘Vaarayo Vennilave’ (“Missiyamma”), ‘Amaidhi Illada Maname’ (“Pathala Bhairavi”), ‘Malarndum Malarada’ (“Pasamalar”), ‘Kannodu Kanbadellam’ in “Jeans” and ‘Gomatha Engal Kulamatha’ (“Saraswathi Sabatham”) are some of the enchanting songs set in Aaberi. I have a special love for Aaberi because ‘Thiruparang-kundrathil nee sirithal’ was a curtain raiser to my cinema entry!

CHARUKESI

The raga rejuvenates the mind helping one to age gracefully. It enlivens the singer and the hearer. The success of the song, `Manmatha leelayai’ sung by MKT confirms Charukesi’s poetic and phonetic vitality. `Adamodi kalathe’ by Tyagabrahmam. `Kripaya palaya’ by Swathi Thirunal are noted for their aesthetic values. `Aadal Kaaneero’ in “Madurai Veeran,” `Vasanthamullai pole,’ `Adal Kalaye Devan Thandadu’ in the film Sri Ragavendra, `Unakkum Enakkum Isaindha Porutham’ (of Ramalinga Adigal) are some of the hit songs in Charukesi.

« Part 3


Sri Madurai Mani Iyer

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part III

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

Sri Madurai Mani Iyer
Sri Madurai Mani Iyer

KALYANI

Kalyani dispels the darkness of fear. It gives motherly comfort and increases confidence. Kalyani means Mangalam. Recited with faith and devotion, the raga is believed to clinch marriage alliances. There are many authentic reports about the raga’s power to destroy fear which takes many forms, fear of poverty, of love, of power, of ill health, of death and so on. The great Tamil poet, Muthuthandavar sang “Chidambaram Ena En Manam Maghzinthida Japam Cheyya, Kodiya Janana Maranam Ozhinthidum” in Kalyani. Tyagaraja, unmoved by the request of the King of Thanjavur to compose a song in his praise, instead sang ‘Nidhi chala sukama, Ramuni sannidhi seva sugama’ in Kalyani. The raga bhava suits its emotional keerthana bhava. Shyama Sastri in ‘Himadrisude Pahimam’ appeals to Devi for a continuous flow of energy. Muthuswami Dikshithar has given a treasure in the Kamalambal navavarnam which acts as a shield, protecting one from the ill effects of planetary movement. In those days, Kalyani was very popular in the film industry. Pakshi Raja Films produced a film, “Kannika”, for which Papanasam Sivan wrote ‘Sundareswarane’, a super hit. I tuned a devotional song, ‘Kaatchi Thanthu Ennai Aatchi Seyvai Amma’, in the raga. ‘Chindanai Sey Maname’ and ‘Mannavan Vandanadi’ are some of the famous songs in Kalyani.

KARAHARAPRIYA

Karaharapriya is an excellent remedy for worry, distress and neurotic disorders. Tyagayya dissolves himself in the raga as he sings “Chakkaniraja.” ‘When the royal road is available with all the comfort, why do you opt for dreaded lanes and bylanes’ asks the saint.

Another Karaharapriya song ‘Mithri Bagyame’ counts the blessings of Sita and Lakshmana for being lucky enough to be nearer to Rama for his beck and call, and longs for the same proximity. Muthuthandavar sang in ecstasy, “Maayaviddhai Seigiraane Ambalavanan.” Many music composers have used Karaharapriya in their films to convey sentiments. Rajeshwara Rao used it to express the lovers’ mood in the song `Ariya Parumavada Madana.’ Earlier, ‘Bagavan Avatharippar’ composed by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu for the film “Valmiki” was also a hit. Another superhit is ‘Madhavi Ponmayilal.’ For “Agathiyar,” I composed ‘Esayay Tamizhay Iruppavane.’

« Part II

Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part II

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer

SHANMUGAPRIYA

Shanmugapriya has the effect of sharpening the intellect of the singer as well that of the listener. It instills courage in one’s mind and replenishes the energy in the body. This is not surprising. Shanmugapriya being the beloved raga of Shanmuga, who was born out of the blazing wisdom-eye of Shiva. I would attribute the success and prosperity I have attained in life to the constant chanting of Shanmuga stothrams in the Murugan temple of Kunnakkudy. “Parvathi nayakane,” “Saravanabhava Ennum Thirumanthiram” of Papanasam Sivan are known for their sparkling verses. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar’s “Vallinayakane” is another example. Shanmugapriya was beautifully used to make the song “Maraindirundu Paarkum” in the classic “Thillana Mohanambal” immortal.

SANKARABARANAM

The power of Sankarabaranam is incredible. It cures mental illness, soothes the turbulent mind and restores peace and harmony. Sankarabaranam, if rendered with total devotion for a stipulated period, can cure mental disorders said to be beyond thescope of medical treatment. Arunachala Kavirayar, Muthuthandavar, Suddhananda Bharathi, Marimutha Pillai and Mayooram Vedanayakam Pillai, have rendered many sweet compositions in the raga. Sankarabaranam has the power to shower wealth. Papanasam Sivan’s `Mahalakshmi Jaganmatha’ is a gem in this raga. Muthuswamy Dikshithar equates Sankarabaranam with `Akshayapathram,’ which supplies endless bounty in all forms. `Akshaya Linga Vibo’ composed by him is a popular kriti.

« Part 1

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part I

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar

BHILAHARI

BHILAHARI is associated with love.  ‘Naajeevadara’ of Tyagaraja in this raga has always been popular. The saint, it is said, composed this in order to alleviate the acute stomach pain a man was suffering from. His prayer was answered and the man had relief. ‘Krishnaleela Tarangini’ of Narayana Tirtha has the song `Poorayamamakamam’ in Bhilahari. The saint cries out, “Hey! Gopala, bestow me with all the goodness so that I can continue to sing your praise”. This Bhilahari song ensures one vigour and good health.

In “Konjum Salangai” Ramalinga Adigalar’s bakthi verses ‘Orumayudan Unadhu’ set in Bhilahari and rendered by Sulamangalam Rajalakshmi was a popular hit. Another popular song is ‘Unnai Kandu Naan Ada Ennai Kandu Nee Aada’ from “Kalyanaparisu”. “Thalaiva  Thavapudhalva,” the song I composed for the film “Agathiyar” was set in this raga. The Hindi song “Korakagaz” (“Aradhana”) owes its melody to the charm of Bhilahari.

RATHIPATHIPRIYA

Rathipathipriya adds strength and vigour to a happy wedded life. This five-swara raga has the power to eliminate poverty. The very prayoga of the swaras can wipe off the vibrations of bitter feelings emitted by ill wills. ‘Jagajanani Sukavani Kalyani’ composed by M. M. Dhandapani  Desikar is a very popular song in this raga. Singing or listening to Rathipathipriya bestows on one happiness and has a stimulating effect.