Song of Surrender

Friday, 16 March 2018

VV. Subramanyam

Birthdays & Anniversaries

VV. Subramanyam is a musician who, even his worst detractors will admit, has reached regions beyond mere technique and dwells in them. As a probable corollary, he is not very facile with the world of everyday interactions. His refusal to accept anything less than perfect lies at the root of his musical achievements and that same attitude perhaps underlies what is seen as his somewhat intractable disposition towards men and matters.

A complex personality, Subramanyam has one consuming passion – music; and this has led him into deep explorations of religious belief and spiritual techniques. His is a world of mysterious connections, of kundalini yoga and mantra sastra, and, above all, nada – that all pervading, primal sound energy mentioned in esoteric philosophical traditions.

Born at Thoattuvay in Kerala on 16 March 1944, Vadakkencheri Veeraraghava Subramanyam (VVS), is among the great Carnatic musicians that verdant green country has produced.

Among VVS’s earliest memories are concert tours with his guru Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar. One of them stands out clearly: a visit, when he was barely ten, to Poomuli Mana in Kerala – a household where prosperity wafted through the air like cool fragrances. An old, orthodox namboodiri in that household murmured “Saraswati kataksham” whenever he looked at the boy VVS, convinced that he was blessed by the goddess. During that visit VVS also remembers a little girl offering him a flower as devi prasadam – Saraswati’s blessings. It all fits with his worldview: a world where the divine is as much a matter of experience as normal sense experiences.

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Bharatanatyam guru honoured

The queen receives Chamundeswari Pani

Guru  Chamundeswari with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

Chamundeswari Pani, senior Bharatanatyam artist, choreographer, guru and producer of several dance dramas in the UK,  was invited to a reception at the Buckingham Palace on
14 February 2018, ahead of the London Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be held in April.

The reception is held to recognize the achievements of "those in the Commonwealth diaspora from across the UK who have made a notable contribution to the wider community."

Chamundeswari, a disciple of Dandayudapani Pillai, left India 30 years ago for the UK after marrying  Col.Pani, a doctor in the British Army.

S R G Rajanna

                                                               Birthdays & Anniversaries


Zia Mohiuddin Dagar

Birthdays & Anniversaries

14.3.1929 - 28.9.1990
One of the foremost presentday practitioners of dhrupad, Umakant Gundecha has an interesting name for Seattle, USA. He calls the city “Dhrupad Nagari” meaning “City of Dhrupad”. For, true to its reputation of providing a vibrant blend of cultural activities that draw upon its rich ethnic diversity, Seattle is home to a large number of practitioners of the Dagarvani style of dhrupad.

It all began with the visit by an eminent rudraveena maestro from India, the late Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, who came as a visiting faculty member more than three decades ago at the invitation of Robert Garfias who headed the University of Washington’s (UW) Ethnomusicology programme in the mid 1970s. Over a period of four years spread over the mid-to-late-1970s, the ustad, a representative of the 18th generation of the Dagar family of musicians, trained several students in the art of dhrupad. He also taught khayal to beginner vocalists and trained instrumentalists who specialised in playing Indian stringed instruments such as the sitar, surbahar, violin and sarangi. Fred Lieberman and Daniel Neuman who succeeded Garfias at the ethnomusicology department at UW also actively supported the visiting artist programme. Over the years, musicians interested in learning dhrupad moved to Seattle from states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and California.

Mohiuddin Dagar groomed two disciples of Indian origin, Shantha Benegal and the late Prabha Rustagi, both committed to learning dhrupad.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

D K Pattammal Centenary

By Samudri

Sangita Kalanidhi DK Pattammal's centenary celebrations are being planned on a grand scale by a trust comprising her family, disciples and admirers. Her 100th birth anniversary falls on 19 March 2019, and the celebrations will be inaugurated on Saturday 17 March 2018 by Vice President M Venkiah Naidu at the Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai.

The year-long programmes which will reflect Pattammal's life and contribution will include the following:

A heritage walk at Kanchipuram
A ragam tanam pallavi festival
Workshop on training students to sing in Pattammal's pathantaram
Group singing of patriotic songs by children
Discussion on her film song and 78 rpm record hits
A Muthuswami Dikshitar festival
A seminar on her multifaceted contribution
A Tamil Isai festival
   The production of a documentary film on her.

The patrons of the DKP 100 committee are Sri Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Sri N Murali, Sri Nalli Kuppuswami Chettiar, Sri N Gopalaswami and Sri R Seshasayee.