A tribute to two musicians

Lakshmi Devnath profiles Tanjore Kalyanaraman:

He tuned the ashtapadis of Jayadeva only in Hindustani ragas, incorporating his unique touch. After all, wasn’t Jayadeva from Orissa? Kalyanaraman’s recitals of these included fast-pace taans too. Listening to his disciple sing Suddhananda Bharati’s ‘Nilayam Onru Enukku Arulvaai,’ GNB walked up to him and demanded, “Teach me this and give me the notation.” And that, one supposes, is the final word.

Sriram Venkatkrishnan, in his Encore piece, profiles a musicians’ musician  of the bygone era, Sabhesa Iyer. As usual, Sriram’s piece contains some hard to come by nuggets of information — like this one, for example:

Padinaindu Mandapam, or the street of fifteen pavilions, is in Tiruvaiyaru. At the instance of King Tulaja II of Thanjavur, Rama Brahmam, Tyagaraja’s father, was entrusted the responsibility of distributing the houses on this street to learned Brahmins who specialised in Varuna Japam, the chant that induced rain. One of the families that benefited from this munificence was that of Nayam Venkatasubba Iyer, a vainika in the Thanjavur Court. His grandson was ‘Pallavi’ Doraiswami Iyer. He was a vaggeyakkara also, composing songs with the mudra ‘Subramania.’ He was also a talented painter and did watercolours for the themes of his songs. Some of these have survived and are with his descendants.

Take a look!

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