Binny Subba Rao’s 74 th Rama Navami Festival!

Sankaran Namboothry @Coimbatore

Sankaran Namboothry ‘s concert on the 7th April at Binny Subba Rao’s 74th Rama Navami Celeberations at RS PURAM was cool in a hot summer evening!
Yesterday’s sought after prodigy, brought out brilliance of his Guru, TVG in Vathapi
(Hamsadwani) and from Entha bhagyamu in Saranga onwards, it was all the way a Thiagaraja Day and aptly so!
Aparama Bakthi in Panthuvarali was followed by
Endaro Mahanu bhavu: (this was in Milwaukee) 

Sive pakimam is a rare Kalyani krithi by Thiagaraja on His most revered Dharma Samvardini, who is  across the Cauvery on the northern side of Thiruvaiyaru , was well rendered, except that Sankaran has this habit of closing his left ear often, we don’t know why?
Inthakananandamemi in Bilahari followed by
Palukavenina – Poorna Chandrika and Nee dhayaravale in thodi as the main Raga, were good !
A great atmosphere at Binny Subba Rao’s house with cool sands and chairs to sit brought back memories of Temple concerts of Yesteryears!
Long Live Subba Rao’s Rama Navami! 


ஏதையா கதி by Ranjani and Gayatri


Ranjani gayatri kutcheri
Charumathi Raghuram
Saigiridar /Chandrasekhar Sharma

@Bharat Sangeeth Utsav @Coimbatore

Ranjani n Gayatri

Ranjani n Gayatri

A full house at Kikani School awaited the ever ebullient Ranjani and Gayatri who gave a brisk DEVAMANOHARI – YANAI MUKATHONE by DDDESIKAR start.
Followed by Gauthamalar – sarasamukhi
and a kalyana vasantham – nadaloludai -made every one ‘Attain Supreme Bliss in Nadam’ as professed by Thiagaraja! Next was a Chala Nattai of a great Vaggyakara from my place, Kotiswara Aiyer’ஏதையா கதி ‘ brought memories of MLV.

The main raga in kalyani  with Mohanam Sruthibedham reminded me of GNB openly questioning the Sruthibedham, as an excuse of a great Vidwan accidentally transgressing! Not sure whether it is True but Dikshitar’s Bhajare re chitha balambikam
Baktha kalpa lathikam was a master piece indeed!
பாடி ஆடி நின்றிறுந்து -in Todi and  bahudari – raga malika virutham ended with a question இனிஎன்ன செய்வேன் in Karnataka Devakanthari and as expected by me she admired Sudhanandha Barathi’s ‘ எப்படி பாடினரோ’ in a style none can equal!

An Abhang to finish was an amazing concert that I sincerely prayed for their continuing success, as their father Balu is my close friend from  Matunga Bachelor days, a man with immense Carnatic music knowledge & responsible for dragging us all to Shanmukananda Hall!

I attended their inaugural violin concert years back in Hamsadwani, Adyar Chennai when he introduced me his daughters in a small crowd of hardly 25! When they became so famous, I met him again  in Mylapore Fine Arts when he was holding his grand kid, he said ‘They have worked very hard under the tutelage of PS Narayanasamy to reach such heights! “

God bless them!

About Koteeswara Aiyer :

Koteeswara Aiyer-A Graduate in those days!

Koteeswara Aiyer-A Graduate in those days!

Koteeswara Iyer (1869 – 1938), was  a grandson of Kavi Kunjara Bharati(1810–1896) born in Nandhanur to Nagarathinam iyer who was a Sivagangai Samasthana Sangeetha Vidwan Kotiswara Aiyer has the Mudra ‘Kunjara Dasa’ as a tribute to his Guru & Grandfather. He spent most of his life under the patronage of the Sethupathis of Ramnad. He was also learning under Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, Asthana Vidwan of Sethupathis in Ramnad. Music is the life-line of the family. He has composed in all the 72 Mela kartha Ragas He has sung in praise of Sri Tyagaraja also  in his ‘Ininamakkoru kavalaiyumillai’ – meaning henceforth we have no need for any worry . Popular singer, K. Veeramani is a grandson of Kotiswara Aiyer!

சந்திரன் ஒளியில் அவளைக்கண்டேன் by Sanjay Subramanian


Swami Sadatmananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam

Swami Sadatmananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam

Sanjay Subramanian is always a rare treat for his sincerity and hard work. His inaugural concert at Bharat Sangeeth Utsav @Coimbatore was as usual unique! When generally Bharathiar Songs are sung as Thukkadas, his ‘சந்திரன் ஒளியில் அவளைக்கண்டேன்’  as the 3rd song was innovative and sung in Malayamarutham brought the beauty of Bharathi’s Lyrical genius and Devotion for Bharathi’s Ishta Deivam!

After a Saveri Varnam, a Jaya Manohari – Sri ramyachithalangara, Bharathi’s சந்திரன் ஒளியில் அவளைக்கண்டேன் was followed by Dikshitar’s Masterpiece on Guruvayurappan in Djavanthi – Setha Sri Balakrishnam baje- took a house full audience to a different world!

Sanjay Subramanian @Coimbatore

Sanjay Subramanian @Coimbatore

A Bilahari tribute to Chamundeswari by Mysore Vasudevachariar – Sri Chamundeswari Palayamam and a 
kapi narayani for a thirsty audience  – தில்லை சிதம்பரமே was brought before them by the Sangita Kalanidhi!
A Varali RTP – அம்பிகை ஜகதம்பிகை வராளிதோ- with Sahana and nalina kanthi was indeed superb with S. Varadarajan and Neyveli Venkatesh, Chandrasekhara Sharma excelling in every aspect. Earlier Swami Sadatmananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam inaugurated officially the yearly Bharat Sangeeth Utsav @Coimbatore, ably organized by Sashi Kiran of Carnatica Bros. Please listen to the beautiful lyrics of சந்திரன் ஒளியில் அவளைக்கண்டேன் by Barathi as sung by Singers from Isha Yoga :

Scintillating Bhajans by Suryagayatri!



A 10 year old Suryagayatri from Vadakkara, Kerala is already quite famous thro her Mudakaratha Mothaham and Hanuman Chalisa in the You Tube! Thanks to Sashi Kiran, Carnatica presented her Bhajans as a prelude to this year’s Carnatic Music Festival at COIMBATORE.
She enthralled the overflowing audience with some divine bhajans, from Ganesha Pancharatnam to Laxmi baramma, demonetising the ever memorable MS’ in every aspect, at such an young age of 10.
She was accompanied by her father Anilkumar on Mridangam, her uncle on Violin. Her father takes her 4 days in a week to Kozhikode, nearly 200km from her house for Music Training.
God bless this young Talent!

Andavan Pichai Tableau @Chintadripet Temple

Andavan Pichai Tableau @Kaliikambal Temple, George Town 

Her (Suryagayatri’s) உள்ளம் உருகுதையா made famous by TMS brought me memories of a great devotee of Mahaperiyava, Maragathambal who wrote many poems and உள்ளம் உருகுதையா being one of the most famous. She was an Ambal Upasaki.
Maragathambal was blessed by Mahaperiyava, giving her a new name Andavan Pichai,due to her Lyrical Talent.
She used to sing in Kalikambal temple, George Town where she sang this famous உள்ளம் உருகுதையா once in 52. When TMS went to Palani for Darshan, he saw a beggar murmuring this song and he copied it and made it a super hit!
You can see Andavan Pichai plaque with the Lyrics of உள்ளம் உருகுதையாeven today in Kalikambal Temple.(see the picture above) 

Proud of our Culture 

Mandolin Magician Sadhgun Aithal @Shenbagam

I call Sadhgun Aithal, a 13 yr old, a Mandolin Magician, because :
1.He doesn’t even look at the Mandolin even once during the concert. The finger does the Magic!
2.He enjoys Singing almost for all Songs! Rarely you can come across artists Singing, especially at this speed, playing the instrument, that too such a tiny tool , simultaneously!

Sadhgun n Nikshit

Sadhgun n Nikshit

God Bless this talented youngster, Sadhgun, from Mangalore, who entertained the Elders of SHENBHAGAM Senior Citizens Estate, for the second Day of Navarathri Festival!
After a Viruboni Varnam by Panchiriyam Adiyappa-Sadgun enjoyed a rare Sri Vigna rajam Bhaje in Gambira Nattai by Oothukadu!

Sadhgun adorns all his concerts with rare ragas like a rathnangi-similar to ganamurthe” Kalasavardhijam ” of Thyagaraja Swamigal as his next piece!
Thanjavur Sankara Iyer’s Ranjani mala-in ranjani- Sri Ranjani, megaranjani-jana Ranjani was beautiful for a Navarathri evening!
His favourite, Nasika bhushani – mara vairi Ramani of Thiagaraja was followed by
a quick fire Thelisirama in poorna chandrika!
The main Raga Charukesi cdn’t have been rendered better than Sadhgun on Mandolin, I felt,  with an innovative raga maliga on Adamodi-like jog – varuna priya – Sarasangi, elevated Sadhgun to Srinivas Level! NIKSHIT PUTTUR On Mridangam is the main Inspiration for this Magician. Nikshit constantly advises through his eyes a Dynamic Sadhgun!
A  Thirupukazh and  his favourite kurai onrumillai, followed by a Brindavana saranga bhajan, Thillana of Lalgudi in revathi, made the elderly audience of Shenbagam to give a Standing Ovation!

Mr. Vishwanath a RESIDENT Honoured Sadhgun with a nice Shawl with Mahaperiyava Picture and His Blessings will take this Gifted lad of 13 to much Greater Heights, I am sure!

Sanjay’s Darbari Kanada@Coimbatore!

Sanjay Subramanian
SV/Neyveli Venkatesh/Thirupanithura RADHAKRISHNAN

Sanjay @Rajalakshmi Fine Arts Sept 16

Sanjay @Rajalakshmi Fine Arts Sept 16

Sanjay’s Kamboji varnam of Thyagaraja(சல) gave a great opening like a first ball Four!
Sanjay’s concert never fails because of (1)His hard work (2)Meticulous preparation. When he took us back to 16th century (சிவசிதம்பரமே தரிசிக்க) in Bahudari of Muthu thandavar, the entire atmosphere was suddenly sublime! Many don’t sing this rarity from Muthu Thandavar (1525 – 1600 CE) a great composer of Carnatic music and an early architect of the present day Carnatic kriti(song) format, which consists of the pallavi(refrain), anupallavi and charanam. He lived in the town of Sirkazhi in Tamil Nadu. His contributions to Carnatic music have been largely forgotten and not many of his kritis are in vogue today. Muthu Thandavar, along withArunachala Kavi (1712–1779) andMarimutthu Pillai (1717–1787) are known as the Tamil Trinity of Carnatic music.

Next, ‘Kanugonu sowkyamu-Thiagaraja-in Nayaki followed by
‘Nandagopalan of Dikshitar’s in Yaman Kalyani brought out the Sangeetha Kalanidhi in him!
The main Raga – Thodi alapana reminded me of the great Madurai Somu and Sanjay disappointed me for going for another Thiagaraja (Unnooravana vibhishana sri Ramachandra) instead of a ‘Karthikeya or Sarvanabava’ !
Chenchu Kamboji – (vara raga laya GNB’s favourite) was chiselled to perfection!
Papanasam Sivan’s Abheri – kandA vandaruL tharalAhAdA gadhivEREdu -to some extent satisfied my disappointment in Todi!
RTP is Sanjay’s trumpcard! Sriranjani (பெண்மயே சக்தியடா அதைவணங்கும் பெருமையே புத்தியடா-
நரமனிதா-) with ragas-
Amir kalyani -kannada-hamsanandi-ananda Bhairavi – hindolam – (ragavardini) – darbari kaanada-took us to a different world! Again in Darbari Kanada he reminded us of ‘மதுரைமலை மாமனியே முருகையா by Madurai Somu – amazing to end a Day of Musical Magnificence!
(We senior citizens come from Madampatti go back by 8:45 due to distance and cdn’t stay for the thukkadas!)

திருவடி சரணம் to TMKRISHNA


TMKrishna /Bhaskar/Mela cauvery Balaji /PurushotamanOn9-9-16@Coimbatore

TMKrishna @Rajalakshmi Fine Arts Sept 16

TMKrishna @Rajalakshmi Fine Arts Sept 16

Magasay master , TMKrishna was honoured @Rajalakshmi Fine Arts and A smooth, MDR style Nilambari to start with was a great way to start a concert! I don’t see TMKrishna starting with Varnams nowadays as you can see my last year’s review too!
TMKrishna disappointed me when he started the RTP next of the same old RTP of last year of ARUN PRAKASH :
” பிரதான மானது மனிதநேயம்
வாழினில் அனைவருக்கும் “
Luckily the ragas were different starting with Begada,
Amir kalyani–
Ananda Bhairavi –
Kalyani – suruti -Hari kamboji- Vagadeeswari-kapi-s bairavi –
The subtle elegance of each raga in an MDR way was compensating adequately for his RTP repetition for this COIMBATORE crowd!
A Sahana-‘முடியாத துயரில் நான் மூழ்கி தவிக்கின்றேன்’
and Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s
” திருவடி சரணம் ” In Kamboji was the pearl of the concert!
When varali was indicated, I told my wife, who was attending the first concert in COIMBATORE for the first time , it must be” Syama Sastris Kamakshi! “
and TMKrishna didn’t disappoint me, as I have always seen him singing atleast one on his favourite Kamakshi inin most of his concerts, like the excellent Swarajati in Bhairavi Last year!

TMKrishna Last year @COIMBATORE
Due to Vinayaka festival, we arrived late for the concert due to Traffic Jams and were pleasantly surprised, TMKrishna arrived later still!
There is nothing like pure sublime music, whoever it may be, wherever it may be…. I will walk an extra mile for listening to such Music!
God Bless us all!