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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Charge of the Youth Brigade

Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan
1993 Ramanavami Concert, Parvathi, Mysore

Narration by R. Sachi

They say nature abhors a vacuum. There’s proof for this statement in Carnatic music. Just as the great doyens of the 1930’s-1950’s were winding up their act on Planet Earth, God decided to bring forth a new brigade of Carnatic stars. Between 1965-1975 (arbitrary dates), a number of future Carnatic stars were born, in different parts of India, all to converge towards great teachers of Carnatic music, hone their skills with great perspicacity, and climb on to the concert stage early and attraction attention.

This youth brigade have gone on to prime time slots in all major Vizhas and festivals. They have forayed into film music to garner Oscar nominations. They are beginning to win the Sangeetha Kalanidhi titles ahead of much older musicians. They have inspired alternative film makers. They have gone and performed in war-ravaged Sri Lanka. They criss-cross the globe, publishing their “Fall” and “Spring” tours on websites and microblogs. They explore multi-lingual repertoire. They enthusiastically feature in CM-HM_Jazz jugalbandis. They sing four-plus hour RTP concerts. In other words, they drive home the point that all’s well in Carnatic music.

A leader of this “who’s who” youth brigade is Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan. Mr. K. Srikantiah recognized his talent early and is highly impressed by Sanjay's style of singing, with his depth of classicism and brisk flow of creativity. Sanjay has sung 3-4 times during Parvathi Ramanavami celebrations. Mr. Srikantiah still remembers the 'Sahana' which he has sung in the 1993 concert we feature here.

[ Courtesy: The Hindu ]

In a recent profile, the Sruti magazine states that Sanjay was first sent to learn the violin from Vid. V. Lakshminarayana, at the age of seven. A bicycle accident and a broken wrist later, he took up vocal music. Thereafter, his grandaunt, Rukmini Rajagopalan (student of Parur Sundaram Iyer and Papanasam Sivan) shepherded and nurtured him. He later came under the dynamic guidance of the renowned musician-teacher Calcutta K.S. Krishnamurthi, who stoked Sanjay’s creative urges and groomed him to become the kind of free spirited performer he is today.

Sruti also states that interestingly, Sanjay never had the experience of a traditional gurukulam (and the resulting pathantharam or style imbibed during such an experience) for any prolonged period of time. By his own admission, he was drawn to the music of some of the most legendary musicians of earlier generations. One can sense the influences in his music – G.N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M.D. Ramanathan, Ramnad Krishnan, S. Kalyanaraman, and at times, even T.N. Seshagopalan. Nevertheless, there is not a hint of imitation in his music, only an original amalgamation and recreation of the styles which inspired him. Sanjay has of late been learning from a nagaswara exponent Semponnarkoil S.R.D. Vaidyanathan.

It is no exaggeration to say that Sanjay commands a huge and devoted fan following of three generations of Carnatic rasikas around the world.

Concert Details

Sanjay Subrahmanyan ------------- Vocal
T.T.Srinivasan ------------------ Violin
P.G.Lakshminarayan -------- Mridangam

Held on April 7, 1993 during Ramanavami festival in Parvathi, Mysore
(we regret we can’t find a photo from the concert)

Song List

01. Sarasuda (Varna)- Saveri- Kotthavasal Venkatarama Iyer *** 02. Samayamide -Kedara-Patnam Subramanya Iyer *** 03. Brochevarevarura-Khamach – Mysore Vasudevachar *** 04. Needu chranamule- Simhendramadhyama-Thyagaraja *** 05. Vandanamu- Sahana – Thyagaraja *** 06. Kaddanuvariki-Todi – Thyagaraja *** 07. Sapashyat Kausalya - Jonpuri -Panchapakesha Sastri*** 08. Jinjhuti Tillana- Veene Sheshanna *** 09. Thrippugazh - Harikambhoji- Arunagirinathar *** 10. Pavamana - Saurashtra- Thyagaraja ***

SPECIAL NOTE : We record our heart-felt condolence on the sad passing away of the great musician and teacher Prof. T.R. Subramanyam. His concert held in Parvathi in 1973 that we have shared here earlier is an all-time favourite.

We intend to post shortly another great concert of this wonderful scholar-musician. May his soul rest in peace.