Monday, July 8, 2013

Let's talk Music - 1

In this series , l will narrate my love for music, the steps I followed in gathering the knowledge on music and share the knowledge I gathered.

During school days , they used to organize concerts in temple festivals in my native place Theni. Was fascinated by the "Alaipayuthe kanna" song ( Mahanadhi Shobana's rendition ) played in such concerts. It created an interest in carnatic music. Didn't have an opportunity to learn music,but started to feel like a musician.Used to be proud that my native is near Ilayaraja's native(Pannaipuram). The first time I saw a mirudhangam in a +2 class mate's home,I tried playing the Ayiram thamarai mottukkale song's opening thala (between 0.23 to 0.38 secs). The pleasure of playing was on till my classmate pulled the mirudhangam saying "Don't break it".

Of course you couldn't have seen me taking a dinner break after typing the "Don't break it" in the previous line. The same classmate once told me a peculiar incident in which his cassette player tape got reversed and the Varudhu Varudhu song played like Dhuruva Dhuruva in reverse.

During college days met a junior friend Sarath Chandran who was trained in Carnatic. Have a good habit of befriending people skilled in Arts, especially music. Had an opportunity to learn a carnatic song (Ninnuvina Namadendu) from him along with a senior in an open terrace. Sharath Chandran was our college Yesudas,because of him the malayalam song Sagarangale padi became my favorite. Sarath Chandran was fond of my poems. Was happy one day he tuned one of my songs and we recorded in a tape with his voice and my mirudhangam style thalam in a big mechanical engineering book.Luckily the owner of that book didn't pull it while playing. Years later I sang and recorded that song (Nakkeeran maruthaalenna) with my own music and my own voice.

In the final year, we went to Ettayapuram, the birth place of Poet Bharathiyar for an NSS camp. Came to know that they would conduct a song competition and only 2 singers (Sarath Chandran and Pichiah who used to sing "Chinnachiru pen pole" in resounding voice) had enrolled.Hoping for a sure third place I enrolled with confidence. Chose the song Nalladhor veenai seidhe for the competition. Requested and arranged for few junior friends to clap for the aalaapana (at 1.53) in the middle of the song. While singing that aalaapana those friends lost themselves in my song (?!) and forgot to clap. Had to gesture by hand to signal them and they clapped successfully. Was disappointed that only 2 prizes were given. When I checked with Ehiraj Sir about this his reply was "Vasi, paduvangalukku thaan prize (prize for only those who sang)".

During college days, when doing third year, got an interest to play flute. I would have thought playing flute must be easy by seeing its holes. Bought 2 things, a flute and a flute music cassette by Mali, the carnatic flutist. I didn't know that I was trying to swim just by listening the sound of somebody swimming. In the first attempt, I didn't even get the whistle sound from the flute, forget playing carnatic music.

The next attempt was buying a book Pullangulal vasikka katru kollungal (Learn to play flute) by Manimegalai press. It was a wonderful book (it got the Tamilnadu state award, not because I bought it), covered many things about carnatic music. It surely through some light (sound actually) on carnatic music.

During my college work life , the program broadcasted in Madurai station was useful, not during the show, but later. Each wednesday at 8.00a.m, they featured a carnatic raga and played film songs set in that raga. Very sincerely used to take notes about the ragas and the film songs every wednesday. The fun was, I was not aware of what a raga while taking down the notes. Our mind is capable of collecting information at present for using in the future.

                                 .... More later ....

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