Thursday, May 7, 2015

Guru Sri.Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan - A Tribute











(Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan : 
4th May 1934 - 3rd May 2015)                                               













It is never easy to decipher precisely as to what one feels for one's first formal Guru. There is reverence, helplessness and most importantly, a void that seems like it could never really get filled. Just a sum of what I am going through now, with the passing away of Sri.Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan, a selfless human being and a teacher, who, in his quiet unassuming manner taught me a whole lot of valuable lessons - that have stood me in good stead through my musical journey thus far, as well as in life..

A trip down memory lane....

We were living inside the IIT Campus when I, as a little school-going girl, started my formal music lessons with Sir. My mother also learnt from him during this period and there are no words to describe this golden period during my musical learning. He was Producer at All India Radio Madras and he had dedicated his entire life to teaching. His disciples were everything to him. After each class for me, he used to teach my mother and this way, I indirectly learned all those songs that my mother learnt from him.

I started performing in 1986 and there has been no looking back since then. He immensely encouraged me and helped me meticulously prepare for each concert. He was instrumental in increasing my repertoire of compositions of various composers and gladly taught me whenever I needed specific compositions for the competitions that I used to take part in.

 
There were many occasions when he used to make all his disciples sing together. He taught us many great compositions for these special occasions.
(In the middle is my mother and I am seen to her left. Others in the picture are some of his other disciples.)



 




The very first Kriti that I learnt from him was 'Maha gaNapatE' in natanArAyaNi of Muthuswami Dikshitar. A staunch follower of the Semmangudi school and having been one of his prime disciples, the kritis that I subsequently learnt from him undoubtedly bore the Semmangudi stamp, be it Dinamani Vamsa, Pankaja Lochana, Brochevaarevvare, Deva Deva Kalayami and so on.





 
On numerous occasions, my mother and I had the fortune of sitting behind him on stage during his concerts and sing Kritis with him. 








It was on 5th May, 1994, that my first audio cassette (there were no audio CDs then) was released under the auspices of Nadopasana. The cassette was under the banner of Kalavardhani.






My Guru spoke on the occasion and blessed me.
This was at Srinivasa Sastri Hall, Luz.










 (This was taken a few years back when I had taken my daughter to meet him and get his blessings.)









 

The only thing that he always used to say whenever we went to him for blessings was 
 "நீ க்ஷேமமா இரு. கற்பகாம்பாள் உன்னப் பாதுப்பா"












I can go on and on writing about him, but sometimes, no words would suffice the emotions that one goes through.

One thing that has always struck me in all these years is that, my Guru never seemed to have got the recognition that he so richly deserved. He never went in search of name or fame. Selfless service had always been his motto till his end.   
 
Rest In Peace Sir.  My humble Pranams at the feet of my revered Guru, Sri. Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan.

I share this loss with all his other disciples as well as his family.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Report on Lec Dem Mela in Sruti Magazine


A report of the Lecture Demonstration on  "Different Aspects of Siva Bhakti" that I had presented on the 14th of December 2014, jointly organized by Sruti and Karnatic Music Forum, has been given on Sruti's online blog, written by Smt.Gayathri Sundaresan of Sruti.


















The link of the same is given below:

http://srutimag.blogspot.in/2015/01/lec-dem-mela-part-6.html


Monday, January 12, 2015

The December 2014 Music Season - a quick rewind (part 3/3)


Meenakshi Sundararajan Trust : 22/12/2014 :
Venue: Meenakshi College for Women, Kodambakkam






Co-Artists:
V.V.S.Murari - Violin
Shertalai Ananthakrishnan - Mridangam
Trichy Krishnaswamy - Ghatam










Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)

1. varNam - kAnadA - ata
2. shakti gaNapatim - nAtai - rUpakam - harikEsanallUr muthiah bhAgavatar (S)
3. hiraNmayeem - lalitA - rUpakam - muthuswamy dIkshitar (R,S)
4. keesu keesendru - bhairavi - misra cApu - ANdAl tiruppAvai (R)
5. sharanam vijayasaraswati - vijayasaraswati - desAdi - harikEsanallUr muthiah bhAgavatar
6. saravanabhava guhanE - madhyamAvati - Adi - pApanAsam sivan
7. swAgatam krishna - mOhanam - tisra Adi - Oothukadu vEnkatakavi
8. ennALu oorakE - subhapantuvarALi - misra cApu - tyAgarAja
9. virutham, irakkam varAmal - bEhAg - rUpakam - gOpalakrishna bhArati
10. tambUri meetidava - sindubhairavi - Adi - purandara dAsa
11. mangaLam



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha : 23/12/2014 :
Venue: Vidyabharati kalyana Mantapam, Mylapore




















Co - Artists:
Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan - Violin
B.Sivaraman - Mridangam
K.V.Gopalakrishnan - Kanjira








Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)


1. dEva dEva - mAyAmAlavagowla - rUpakam - Maharaja Swati Tirunal (S)
2. rAma nAma amruta - kamAs - Adi - pApanAsam sivan
3. parama pAvana guNasAli - pantuvarALi - misra cApu - tyAgarAja (R,S)
4. sukhi evvarO - kAnadA - Adi - tyAgarAja (S)
5. srikAnta - bhavapriyA - dEsAdi - tyAgarAja (S)
6. sri subramanyAya namastE - kAmbhOji - rUpakam - muthuswamy Dikshitar (R,N,S,T)
6. sri mAdhavA - behAg - Adi - pApanAsam sivan
7. tillAna - kamAs - Adi -

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brahma Gana Sabha : 24/12/2014 :



Co-artists: 
Sri.B.Ananthakrishnan - Violin
Sri.Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan - Mridangam
Sri.Trichy Krishnaswamy - Ghatam
 










Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)

1. Viribhoni(Varnam) - Bhairavi - Ata tAlam- Pachaimiriam Adiappayya
2. Sri Parvati Parameshwarau - Bowli - Muthuswami Dikshitar
3. nannu brOva - Abhogi - Adi - Tyagaraja (R, S)
4. saravana bhava guhanE - Madhyamavati - Adi - Papanasam Sivan
5. pankaja lOchana - Kalyani - misra cApu- Maharaja Swati Tirunal(R,N,S,T)
6. Sandhehamunu Deerpamayya - Ramapriya - Desadi - Tyagaraja
7. RTP-Natakurinji - Kanta Triputa (Daasarathe maam paalaya dayaanidhe inakula tilaka)
8. Virutham followed by Kaliyuga Varadan - Brindavan Saranga - Adi - Periasami Tooran
9. Jaya Jayati - Pantuvarali - Misra Chapu - Traditional Bhajan
10.Tamburi meetidava - Sindhubhairavi - Adi - Purandara Dasa


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Narada Gana Sabha and Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust : 25/12/2014 :

Venue: Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall

Special RTP concert - Hamsanadham Ragam - Hamsanadham Tala Pallavi :





Co-artists:
B.U.Ganeshprasad - Violin
B.Sivaraman - Mridangam
Trivandrum Rajagopal - Kanjira







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

rasikas.org - Gobilalitha Remembrance Concert : 29/12/2014:

This concert was in memory of Sri.S.K.Balasubramanian (Gobilalitha), a great music rasika. It was organized by his family.  

It was a great honor for me to perform on this occasion, a concert dedicated to a great soul.




Co-artists:
Mysore Srikanth - Violin
Neyveli Skandasubramaniam - Mridangam
N.Guruprasad - Ghatam










Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)


1. Varnam - Sahana - Adi - Tiruvottiyur Thyagayyar
2. mOkshamu galadA - sAramati - Adi -tyAgarAja
3. vEnkataramaNA - latAngi - rUpakam - Papanasam Sivan (R,N,S)
4. marivErE gati - Anandha Bhairavi - syAma sAstri
5. telisi rAma - purnachandrikA - Adi - tyAgarajA
6. chakkani rAja - Kharaharapriya - Adi - tyAgarAja (R,N,S,T)
7. bhAvayAmi raghurAmam - rAgamAlikA  - rUpakam - Swati Tirunal
8. Om Namo nArAyaNA - karnaranjani - kanta cApu - Smt. Ambujam Krishna
9. cinnanchiru kiLiyE - rAgamAlikA - Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi
10. tillAn - sindubhairavi - Adi - Oothukadu Venkatakavi


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Award Function - Brahma Gana Sabha : 1/1/2015 :

It was a great beginning to the New Year ! - I was fortunate to receive the "Washington Professor Shivakumar Endowment Award" for the Best Female Vocalist on January 1st 2015, at the inauguration of the Dance Festival at Brahma Gana Sabha.
















Monday, January 5, 2015

The December 2014 Music Season - a quick rewind (Part 2/3)


Lec-Dem Mela "Shambho Mahadeva" conducted by Sruti and Music Forum: 14/12/14:




Co-Artists:

Mullaivasal.G.Chandramouli - Violin
S.Balashankar - Mridangam









The theme that I took up for this multimedia presentation was " Different aspects of Siva Bhakti".

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Music Academy : 16/12/14 :

Co-Artists:
Idapally Ajithkumar - Violin
Poongulam Subramaniam - Mridangam
Bangalore.Rajasekhar - Morsing





























Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)


1. varNam - ranjani - Adi - G.N.Balasubramanyam
2. karuNAkara - bEgadA - rUpakam - Maharaja swAti tirunAl (S)
3. teliyalEru Rama - dEnukA - dEsAdi - tyAgarAja (R,S)
4. jambUpatE - yamunAkalyANi - kanta Ekam - Muthuswamy Dikshitar
5. nambikkettavar - hindOLam - Adi - pApanAsam sivan
6. akshayalinga vibhO - shankarAbharaNam - misra cApu - Muthuswamy Dikshitar (R,N,S,T)
7. nirAmayE niranjanE - kuntalavarALi - tisra Adi - harikEsanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar
8. RTP - Ranjani Mala - Kanta 2 kaLai
9. KalyANagOpAlam - sindubhairavi - kanta cApu - nArAyaNa teerthar
10. tillAnA - vAsanti - misra cApu - Lalgudi Jayaraman
11. tiruppugazh
12. Siva pancAkshara stOtram

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chennai Cultural Academy : 17/12/14 :

Co-Artists:
B.V.Raghavendra Rao - Violin
Poongulam Subramaniam - Mridangam
Sree Sundarkumar - Kanjira

















--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lecture Demonstration at Music Academy - 18/12/14 :

Topic taken up was "Sankirtana RatnAvali" - a work by the composer Tiruvotriyur Tyagayyar.































---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mylapore Fine Arts Club : 19/12/14 :



Co-Artists:
Mysore Srikanth - Violin
Poongulam Subramaniam - Mridangam
Sree sundarkumar - Kanjira








Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)


1. varNam - AbhOgi - Adi (S)
2. dEvAdi dEva - sindurAmakriyA - dEsAdi - tyAgarAjA
3. enraikku siva krupai - mukhAri - misra cApu - neelakanta sivan (R)
4. sudhAmayi - amrithavarshini - rUpakam - harikEsanallur muthiah bhAgavatar (N,S)
5. kAmAkshi gowri - sAvEri - Adi - pApanAsam sivan (R,N,S,T)
6. bhOgindra sAyinam - kuntalavarALi - kanta cApu - maharaja Swati Tirunal (S)
7. RTP - hEmavati - tisra triputa
8. jagajjanani - ratipatipriya - Adi - Ghanam Krishna Iyer
9. tillAna - kamAs - Adi - Lalgudi Jayaraman
10. Mangalam

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Deiva Tamizh isai Vizha : 21/12/14 :

This was a thematic concert of all Azhwar Pasurams.





Co-Artists:

Usha Rajagopalan - Violin
Neyveli Skandasubramanian - Mridangam
Nerkunam Shankar - Kanjira









Saturday, January 3, 2015

The December 2014 Music Season - a quick rewind (Part 1/3)


The Music Season began on an auspicious note on the 8th of December, the day on which I received the award "Sangeetha Sapta Saagara" instituted by Shanthi Arts Foundation and Endowments(SAFE). This function took place at Srinivasa Sastri Hall, Luz.

 


Sri.Y.Prabhu, Secretary, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, giving the award.












All the awardees













(Photo courtesy : www.sabhash.com)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mudhra : 9/12/14:

My first concert for December was for Mudhra. This is one of the most successful and popular Sabhas in Chennai, run by the musician-couple, Sri.Mudhra Bhaskar and Dr.Radha Bhaskar.

Co-Artists:


Dr.Hemalatha – Violin
Ganapathiraman - Mridangam
Nerkunam Sankar -  Kanjira


















Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)

1. Varnam-Sudhadhanyasi –Adi -  Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar
2. varavallabhA ramaNA – Hamsadhwani – Adi – G.N.Balasubramaniam (S)
3. mAdayai – Vasantha – Adi – pApanAsam sivan
4. Sri Sugandhi Kunthalaambike – KuntaLam – Tisra Ekam -  Muthuswamy  Dikshitar (R)
5. Karunakarane Sivasankarane-KeeravANi – Adi – pApanasam sivan
6. dAsarathi -tOdi – Adi -  tyAgarajA (R,N,S,T)
7. kanakasaila vihAriNi - punnAgavarALi – Adi – shyAmA sAstri
8. RTP-AndOlikA   Khanda Triputa (Tisra, chatusra and  khanda nadai)
9. eppadi pAdinAro - karnAtaka dEvagAndhAri - Adi - sudhAnanda bhArati
10.kannanidam eduththu solladi – rAgamAlikA -  Adi - Ambujam Krishna
11. Tamboori meettidava – Sindubhairavi – Adi – purandara dAsa
12. Mangalam
 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Karthik Fine Arts : 10/12/14 :

This concert was held at Narada Gana Sabha Main Hall. Excellent audio system.

Co-Artists:


V. Sanjeev - Violin
Poongulam Subramaniam - Mridangam
Harihara Sharma - Kanjira


















Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)

            1. SaraseeruhAsana priyE -  nAtai –Adi - PuliyUr  DuraisAmi Aiyyar (S)
 2. nAda murali gAna vilOlA- hamIrkalyANi – tisra Adi - OottukkAdu vEnkata Kavi
 3. abhayAmbA nAyaka  - kEdAragauLa – Adi -Muthuswami Dikshitar (R,S)
 4. brOvavammA tAmasamElE – mAnji  - misra cApu - syAma sAstri
 5. nenarUnchi nAnu – mALavi – Adi - tyAgarAja
 6. ninnE nammitinayya – simhEndramadhyamam- misra cApu -Mysore vAsudevachar(R,N,S,T)
           7. tillAna – kamAs – Adi – Sri. Lalgudi Jayaraman


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Shanthi Arts Foundation & Endowments (SAFE) : 11/12/14
      Venue: Srinivasa Sastri Hall, Luz


       Co-artists:

 V.Sanjeev – Violin
 B.Ganapathiraman – Mridangam




     













    
     Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)


     1. Varnam – AndOlikA – Adi – G.N.Balasubramaniam (S)
     2. gAnamUrtE – gAnamUrti – Adi – tyAgarAjA
     3. kannai tirandhu – bilahari – Adi - OottukkAdu vEnkata Kavi (R)
     4. tAyE EzhaipAl – bhairavi – Adi – pApanAsam sivan
     5. manavi cEkonavayya – sarasAngi – rUpakam – patnam subramanya iyer (R,N,S)
     6. virutham, ranganAyakam – nAyaki – Adi – muthuswamy dIkshitar
     7.sarasa sAma dAna – kApinArAyaNi – Adi – tyAgarAja (S)
     8. pankaja lOcana – kalyANi – misra cApu – swAti tirunAL (R,N,S,T)
     9. virutham, unnai anri – bhavAni – rUpakam – dandapANi dEsikar
     10. mangaLam
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rasika Ranjani Sabha : 12/12/14 :

Co-Artists:



Mysore Srikanth – Violin
Chidambaram.S.Balashankar – Mridangam
N.Guruprasad – Ghatam





















      
       Song List: (R- raga alapana, N-neraval, S-swaram, T-tani avartanam)

      
      1. varNam – sAvEri – Adi – kothavAsal venkatarama Iyer (S)
      2. nAn enna tavam seidhEnO – KhamAs – Adi – Oothukkadu Venkatakavi
      3. marivErE gati – Anandabhairavi – misra cApu – syAma sAstri (R,S)
      4. sarasa sAma dAna - Kapi Narayani – Adi – tyAgarAja (S)
      5. shambhO mahAdEva – pantuvarALi
      6. amba neelayadakshi -  neelAmbari – Adi – muthuswAmy dIkshitar
      7. Illai enra sol – KharaharapriyA – Tisra Adi – pApanAsam sivan (R,N,S,T)
      8. kaNNA vA – rAgamAlikA – Adi – ambujam krishnA
      9.  tillanA – madhuvanthi – Adi -Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman