/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": August 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Instrumental Innovations in Carnatic Music

Kadri Gopalnath Saxophone, 1982

Reflections by Shri R. Sachi

( Photo courtesy: The Hindu )

Carnatic music gives a prominent role to melodic instruments and instrumental innovations. Since the time of Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar, the western instrument violin has been embraced and enhanced in our music. The traditional veena and flute have undergone many innovations. In addition, the clarinet, the mandolin, the guitar, and even the keyboard have all made inroads into Carnatic music. Most importantly, the saxophone has made an emphatic entry as early as in the 1970’s, and its synonym is Vid. Kadri Gopalnath.

Born into a Nagaswara vidwan family in Mangalore (1949), Kadri was fascinated when he heard the saxophone in the Mysore Palace band. He took to the instrument, tamed it to Carnatic ways, and has an impressive list of admirers over the years, from Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer to A R Rahman. He has been conferred a doctorate by Bangalore University, the title Sangeetha Kalashikhamani from Indian Fine Arts, Chennai, and most recently the Veene Sheshanna Memorial national award. He underwent advanced musical training under Vid T. V. Gopalakrishnan (this year’s Sangita Kalanidhi designate by the Madras Music Academy.) Whereas some purists may criticise the saxophone as being less than perfect in microtonal raga and gamaka reproduction, there cannot be any debate regarding Vid. Kadri Gopalnath’s contribution to popularising Carnatic music and the instrument saxophone especially among lay audiences of this generation.

We reproduce below an extract from his concert review in the New York Times, 1987:

" KADRI GOPALNATH plays South Indian classical music on the alto saxophone. A western listener, trying to imagine this, might expect something like the sinuously bluesy playing of a few jazz saxophonists, notably John Handy, in encounters with Indian musicians. But Mr. Gopalnath's approach is quite different. He originally played the nadaswaram, a large, throaty South Indian reed instrument, and has been able to transfer the bends, slurs and quavers of the traditional instrument to the western one with remarkable thoroughness. He is more or less reinventing the alto saxophone, using it to do things neither its western classical exponents nor the jazz players who have perfected it as an expressive instrument could have imagined. "

Vid. Kadri Gopalanath has been popular among Parvathi audiences, especially youngsters and lay listeners. We are glad to share some excerpts from his 1982 concert held during Ramanavami celebrations.

Concert Details:

Kadri Gopalnath ---- Saxaphone
A,R.Krishnamurthy --- Violin
P.G.Lakshminarayan -- Mridangam on 9-4-82 at 'Parvathi'

Song List

01 Srichamundeshwari-Bilahari-Mysore Vasudevacharya *** 02 Panchashatpitharupini-Devagandharam-Muthuswami Dikshitar *** 03. Nanati bratuku- Revathi-Annamacharya *** 04. Baro Krishnaiyya- Ragamalika- Kanaka Dasa *** 05. Smara Varam varam – Bahudari- Sadashiva Brahmendra *** 06. Venkatachalanilayam – Sindhu Bhairavi – Purandara Dasa ***

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2014 - K.Puttu Rao Memorial Music Festival

An Invitation


Its getting close to that time of the Year again !

Spring-summer time and with it a celebration in Carnatic Music !

Please welcome once again to Mysore !

To the 2014 K. Puttu Rao Memorial Festival !

Music's Bylanes X : Ways of Honoring A Parent

[ 1996: K. Puttu Rao-Palghat Mani Award to Guruvayur Dorai ]
[ Lalgudi Jayaraman Presides ! ]
[ First 3 Images are all Courtesy: Percussive Arts Center,Bangalore ]
[ Music Research Library ]

Aug 21, 1955 - Visionaries All !
K.Puttu Rao with Sir. M. Viswesvaraya & Governing Council Members
National Institute of Engineering, Mysore

A Building to Behold

Among the many spectacular monuments, buildings, temples and architectural pieces that India projects in its landscape, there is one that is a great testimony to India’s modern architecture.

This is the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, one of the many attractive buildings in the design of an entirely modern city. The city as we all know is Chandigarh, and its famous architect was Le Corbusier, a French Architect.

[ Courtesy: Punjab and Haryana Government Web Page ]

We also show you (below) the very rich and attractive type of tapestry that Corbusier himself created, one to each courtroom, to cover the entire rear walls. Le Corbusier encapsulated a number of symbols of man, earth, nature, emblems of India and the scales of justice in abstract, geometric patches. They were also created in this way for acoustical reasons.

[ Courtesy: Punjab and Haryana Government Web Page ]

While readers may be wondering what all of this has to do with Music? (and Carnatic Music so down south), we just wanted to tell you of a spontaneous discovery that we made in our Internet world:

“ The High Court was the first building to be made wholly of concrete. A sum of Rs 4 Million (then) was spent on its construction. The commendable success for the completion of the building by the target date was entirely due to the able administration of Shri P L Verma, Chief High Court building under construction Engineer and Secretary Capital Project and his assistant Mr R C Singh, Executive Engineer.

The construction of this unique building, which opened a new phase for concrete construction, was done by Messrs Hindustan Construction Corporation Ltd. Bombay under the supervision of Shri K C Iyya.

It is one of the most beautiful High Courts in India with 40 spacious and luxuriously furnished courtrooms; 3 Bar rooms; a well-equipped Judges' library, a dispensary and a very good canteen. Its location in the lap of Himalayas beyond the limits of the city, beside Assembly Hall and Sukhna Lake adds to its beauty."

Amongst the many things, we just wanted to introduce you to Shri K. Puttu Rao’s First Born. With this we have come somewhat full circle in a mention of all of the nearest family members, directly or indirectly, in our pages.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Shiva and Vishnu- Aspects of the Same Divinity

Vid. Papanasam Ashok Ramani
Excerpts from "Parvathi" 1995 & 1999 concerts

A concretisation by Shri R. Sachi

We are pleased to share with rasikas worldwide excerpts from two concerts held in Parvathi in the nineties, featuring the vocalist Vid. Ashok Ramani, who is the grandson of the great composer of the twentieth century, Sangita Kalanidhi Papanasam Sivan.

Born in 1964, Ashok Ramani commenced music training at a very young age with his mother Dr. Rukmini Ramani (daughter of Papanasam Sivan). Subsequently he was under the tutelage of Dr. S.Ramanathan, Calcutta K.S.Krishnamurthy and Bombay Ramachandran. He was a disciple of Palghat K.V.Narayanaswamy for over 17 years and has been training also under Vidwan P.S.Narayanaswamy.

( Courtesy: shivanisai.org )

Ashok Ramani has produced a multimedia CD Rom and related material on the great composer Papanasam Sivan for the Cleveland Aradhana in 2001.

( Courtesy: Sruti website )

Vidwan Papanasam Sivan (1890-1973) is one of the most respected composers in Carnatic music. Coming from humble beginnings, he learnt music and Sanskrit more as a spiritual pursuit. At the request of Smt. Rukmini Devi, he taught small school children of the Besant Theosophical School in the 1930’s the basics of Carnatic music. He shone later as an exemplary composer in the Classical field as well as classical music–based films. In fact he has composed in several languages, principally Tamil and Sanskrit. Great musicians like KV Narayanaswamy, DK Pattammal, DK Jayaraman, MS Subbulakshmi, have all learnt these compositions directly from him. Even at the height of his fame, he used to lead bhajans at the Kapaleeshwarar Koil temple in Mylapore. He was awarded the Mahamahopadhyaya title for his mastery of the Sanskrit language. The Madras Music Academy distinguished itself by conferring the title of Sangita Kalanidhi on Sri Sivan in 1971.

Let us look at this beautiful composition of Papanasam Sivan in Hindolam, sung by Ramani ( text and meanings from Karnatik.com ):

raagam: hindOLam
taaLam: roopakam
Composer: Paapanaasam Shivan
Language: Tamil


maa ramaNan umaa ramaNan
malaraDi paNi manamE dinamE


maara janakan kumaara janakan
malai mEl uraibavan paarkaDal
alai mEl tuyilbavan paavana


aayiram peyaraal azhaippinum
aayiram urumaarinum - uyar
taayin migu dayaaparan padam
tanjam enbavarai anjal enraruLum


The one married to Lakshmi (Vishnu) and the one married to Uma (Siva), I bow down to your feet as beautiful as a flower, my love, every day.

Father of the god of love (Vishnu), and the father of Murugan (Siva). The one who lives on the mountain Kailaash (Siva), even the one who lies on the waves of the ocean of milk(Vishnu) upon his snake, I worship you.

Even if I call you with a thousand names (done for Vishnu), even if you change forms in a thousand ways (Siva), with more loving compassion than even one’s mother, you bless all at your feet. One who surrenders oneself at your feet will not be afraid, because you will bless and take one with you.

This clearly shows that the quarrels of misled devotes about Shiva and Vishnu are extremely puerile. Both in the Vishnu Sahasranama and in the Bhagavadgita, there are ample assurances that God is one and we simply choose to worship different aspects as suitable to us.

Come, let us enjoy the great music offered by Vid. Ashok Ramani. The accompaniments in both concerts are excellent and enhance the musical experience.

Part I

Ashok Ramani ----- vocal
S.V.Narayan ------ Violin
P.G Lakshminarayan --- Mridangam
0n 14-4-95 during Ramanavami at "Parvathi", Mysore

Song List

01 Tulasidala-Mayamalavagowla)-Thyagaraja ***
02 Enduku nirdaya- Hari Kambhoji- Thyagaraja ***
03 Maa Ramanan-Hindolam- Papanasam Sivan ***
04 Maname Kanamum - Bhimplas-Papanasam Sivan ***
05 Krishna mukunda murare-Yaman-Papanasam Sivan ***
06 Sloka(Ragamalika)-Rama namam-Desh-Tanjore Sankara Iyer ***

Part 2

Ashok Ramani---Vocal
S.V.Narayan ---- violin
G.S.Ramanujam --Mridangam 
Srinath ---- Ghatam on 3-4 -99 during Ramanavami.

Song List

01 Sarasuda(Varna)-Saveri-Kothavasal V Iyer ***
02 Rama Bhakti-Shudda Bangala-Thyagaraja ***
03 Tanavari Tanamu-Begada-Thyagaraja ***
04 Charukesi RTP (Only Pallavi & ragamalika) ***
05 Saravanabhava-Shanmukhapriya- Papanasam Sivan ***
06 Aaneyu karedare-Narajanma bandaga-Madhuvanti-Purandara Dasa ***
07 Karpagame-Madhyamavati-Papanasam Sivan ***
08 Mangalam ***