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Prince Rama Varma

Carnatic Musicians
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sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 16 Mar 2017, 11:26

Playlist of more than 40 compositions of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... TRo9B4vfSZ

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 22 Mar 2017, 23:58

Excerpts from the teaching session at Hyderabad.

Ahir Bhairav Thillana
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6rwG46RbXk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rps57_yzzck

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 29 Mar 2017, 11:28

From Swathi Sangeethotsavam 2017.

Deva Deva Kalayami
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhPqEqAYhQM&t=866s

Smara Janaka
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcG14mTJxwM

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 06 Apr 2017, 10:26


sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 10 Apr 2017, 11:41

The unedited interview

1. You seem to be multi-faceted and have won appreciation for the multitude roles you play. How is the feeling when such salutations come your way, every other day?
I would say I am more hard working and focused than just talented, because I know many many people who are much more talented than me. Things come to me usually very slowly. I read somewhere that one should not let failure go to one's heart or let success go to one's head. Since I have had my share of both, I guess I try and retain some sort of a balance and try not to be too depressed or too arrogant.
2. A Carnatic vocalist, veena exponent, music teacher, musicologist, writer and orator. Given an option, which one would be your preferred choice and why?
These are the things that people see. But what they don't see and what happens for around 25 days a month, is that I learn, learn, learn! I read, read, read....and listen to hours and hours of good music....and I definitely enjoy these intakes the most.
3. How does it feel when for one who has won international accolades and from every quarter, you are still referred to as a direct descendant of Maharaja Swati Tirunal and Raja Ravi Varma? After all, a sense of individual identity is what matters most for artistes of every genre.
You are absolutely right. Though I started to sing in public, from 1990, it wasn't until 2010 after the advent of youtube that I started earning some sort of recognition for my own individual worth, after people started to watch my videos. It seems to be part of the Indian mindset to connect things to the past. When Balamurali Sir started to display his genius at a very young age, people said that he was Sri Tyagaraja reborn. And what about Sri Tyagaraja? They said that he was Valmiki in his previous life! So we just have to be resigned to the fact that there would always be one set of people who view things this way.
4. You have spent 18 years learning music from reverred gurus like Vechoor Harihara Subramanya, MD Ramanathan and Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna. Was this meant to be a step by step progression or is it that you preferred the patented styles of the famed composers trinity at different phases of the learning experience?
I learned from Vechoor Hariharasubramania Iyer Sir from 1982, until his demise in 1994. I learned veena for 5 years from Sri R.Venkataraman and then from his legendary Guru Prof.K.S.Narayanaswamy, for ten years until His demise. I learned music for 18 years from Dr.Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna. I have never had the privilege of meeting my Manasika Guru and all time hero Sri M.D.Ramanathan, who was the reason why I became attracted to Carnatic music in the first place. Vechoor Hariharasubramania Iyer Sir was chosen by my Great Grandmother, Amma Maharani Sethu Parvathy Bayi and it was absolutely the most wonder choice possible. Everything else that has come susequently, has been built upon the Rock Solid classical foundation that he gave me. My veena gurus gave me an insight into the subtler aspects of Gamakas (ornamentation) that was just unparallelled. My learning French and falling in love with the poetry and passion in the lyrics of the Belgian poet Jacques Brel further added to the package. And all this together equipped me to be an ideal receptacle for the music and lyrics of my fourth brilliant Guru Dr.Balamuralikrishna Sir.
If the whole musical edifice can be compared to a tree, Vechoor Sir was like the root and the main stem while my veena gurus were like the branches, the leavesand the flowers.....and Balamurali Sir like the sweet fruit.. neither of which (the flowers or the fruit) would be there without the roots and the main stem.
5. Was there any specific reason for you to delay marriage plans?
It was after my first Guru passed away that I found myself at a really frustrating point in my life, when I didn't have a guru, I hadn't started to teach yet and I hadn't started my January festival either. To add to this, I didn't have a job Or wife either. In short, I was around 26 years old and almost a complete Zero.
Later I realized that before a tree makes an appearance, the roots do a lot of work under the ground, unseen by human eyes, but I didn't know it then. When I joined Balamurali Sir, I discovered that there was this entire Ocean of material that he had......in the form of his own compositions as well as the compositions of dozens of others that he had set to music, that most people didn't seem to be aware of. So I put Everything else on hold and concentrated on just learning as many of these rare gems as I could. By putting everything else on hold, I don't mean just marriage, but also normal things in the Carnatic music repertoire like the Pancharathnams, Navagraha Krithis and so on, which I can learn even now. More music lovers seem to be aware of the value of the rare Murali material than actual practicing musicians.
6. You seem to possess a uniquely unusual choice for inspirations, like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, KL Saigal and even Kishore Kumar, who is not a trained classical singer. Could you please elaborate?
These are some of the famous people in the music field that you have mentioned. I gather inspiration from anybody, anywhere, who inspires me, really. Bruce Lee is a classic example. His writings are just so awesome and the truth contained in them is so universal that one can apply his distilled kind of wisdom in Any chosen field of activity. Here is a very small glimpse into his mind here.
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/auth ... e_lee.html
7. In an age when most musicians just render their performances and go, you have blazed a new territory with your efforts to explain the lyrics and backgrounders to the audience. How and when did you conceptualize this process of connect with the masses? Was it the teacher in you that helped you pioneer this style?
It is actually the Student in me which did this! The right kind of techology came at just the right moment really. The option to enter "Krishna Nee Begane Baro Lyrics and Meaning" and search in google for example, is available to most of us who have a basic education and an internet connection. It is upto each of us to make the best use of it really. I find that the deeper one goes, the more pleasure one gets where finally the beautiful use of even a single Word could drive one into raptures!
8. Your maiden performance was eight years after having undertaken training. What made you to launch your first CD at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 1998 and not on Indian soil?
"He released his first CD at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London" may sound rather exotic, yes. But the reasons are rather less so! When the organizers heard a recording of a live concert of mine in a cassette and invited me to sing in London, they requested me to bring a CD for sale too. I didn't Have a CD at the time, so I made one and sent it to them, which got released by the wonderful Dr.John Marr, whom I love dearly and respect a lot too.
9. Having been a big hit abroad and having interacted with some of the contemporary best, do you feel that Indian classical music enjoys a niche abroad or is it that mostly Indians turn up at the shows? The question is linked to your statement made earlier where you have said that being born in the times of Internet has been a boon. Does it hurt that it took the technology medium to spread your reach nearly two decades from the commencement of your fascinating career?
It is different in each country. For example, one could expect a lot of Malayalees in the Gulf countries and a lot of Tamil, Telugu and Kannadigas in the usual Carnatic circuit in the U.S. But one gets German audiences in Germany, French audiences in France and so on.
Different people measure success with different yardsticks. Having had a ringside view of how things work in my field....as indeed, in many other fields too...I have seen that much of the time, it is Whom you know that can make more of a difference in one's career than What you know.
Be it with an individual, a race, a religion, a political party, a nation, an institution....you name it.....coming into power, enjoying success and power for a long time and it's consequences are startlingly common. I have always stayed far away from power......be it powerful people or attempts to become powerful myself.....because I have seen what power does to people.
Since I have always stayed away from powerful people and people who are used to having others dive at their feet, they wouldn't invite me for concerts and some would try to spread the word that being born in a certain family, I was very arrogant or unapproachable or whatever. Once youtube came, people could see for themselves 1) The quality of my music and 2) Whether I was a scary guy or not. Thankfully there seem to be people who like my singing and my company and these days I get more invitations to teach and perform than I can handle. But yes. If the internet had not come, I guess I would have stewed away in my own juices just like many others have in a similar position.
10. People are in awe of you because you are humility personified and never carry any airs of royalty. It is somewhat difficult to believe it and that too after having earned reputation as one of the finest exponents of Carnatic music. Has it been imbibed in you by any guru or has it come from the essence of music that spreads compassion, the spirit that you extol?
I honestly wouldn't rate me either as humble or arrogant. I just go around doing my work, as best as I can, that's all. As I mentioned earlier, I gather what wisdom or inspiration that I can, from wherever I can....not just from my music gurus. There was a lady from the Cochin Royal Family called Rathnam Thampuran. She was around 60 years older than me and one of the most complete human beings I have ever met! Wise and compassionate beyond words. I had a Russian friend too who was around the same age, who was endowed with similar qualities. I can never forget the kindness they treated me with, when I was just a child. In my own family, the women hold the money + the power and above all, the Identity. Being a male child in this matrilineal and matriarchal setup can be quite tough for anyone who wishes to do something significant with their lives. It was because of this that I was denied even a single meeting with my idol Sri M.D.Ramanathan.
So I decided that if I ever succeeded in making something of My life, I would always be nice to people, the way Rathnam Thampuran or my Russian friend Mischa were with me. They were never condescending. Just kind and nice and treated me like an individual, long long before I had become one or even Tried to become one.
11. What, according to you, has been your most satisfying, momentous and touching incident during your remarkable career?
I would have to write my autobiography, to answer this question really! The most satisfying is to observe someone I have been teaching, guiding or mentoring blossom and reach great heights. I get this satisfaction from my student Amrutha Venkatesh whose singing, veena playing and personality seems to get better and better day by day.
One of the most momentous incidents in my career would be when Pof.T.V.Gopalakrishnan heard me sing at home and insisted that I should sing in public. My family didn't want me to sing in public and neither did I! But TVG Sir insisted for more than three years, until I was finally allowed to give One concert, on May 1st, 1990.
The second momentous incident in my career would easily be the arrival of youtube!
There are so many touching incidents really, but probably one of the most touching incidents happened even before my career began! This was when my Guru Vechoor Hariharasubramania Iyer Sir had a chance to move to another city. But he stayed back in Trivandrum just to teach me, because he detected some sort of passion in me that he hadn't seen with others until then. At that time I had just been studying music for two years or so and had never even Imagined singing in public! Whenever my students or accompanists tell me how kind I was to them, I always remind myself that it was just what my own Guru had done to me.
12.Are the Swathi Sangeethotsavam that you organise in Thiruvananthapuram in the first fortnight of January and Navarathri Mandapam concerts held in Trivandrum during Navaratri festivities your chosen platforms to bring together outstanding talent closer home?
The Navarathri festival has been happening for more than a century and I have been privileged to do my bit, to be part of it. My Great Grandmother had a great vision and she was hugely responsible for not only building up and structuring the Navarathri festival but also the popularity that Maharaja Swathi Thirunal enjoys. She invested in so many young talents who became some of the all time greats of Carnatic music. After her time, things had started to go down quite a bit and I am glad that I was able to do some nice things to the festival myself, like allowing women inside the Navarathri Mandapam, which was never done before.
The Swathi Sangeethotsavam is a different thing altogether. This is the place where I put into practice a whole lot of things I feel strongly about.
I give the artists a full, three hour time slot, for their concerts.
The sound system is excellent.
The entire sound and light is run on a generator for all ten days, so that there is never any danger of a power cut or even voltage fluctuation, which could easily happen otherwise.
I never encourage musicians to apply for the festival and I go and approach the musicians myself. The oldest musician I have invited was 90 and the youngest, 14!
I invite musicians who take the effort to learn lesser known compositions of Maharaja and sing them at other places too.
I give the artists excellent photos and video recordings of their concerts.
All music lovers are allowed to attend the festival and there is no dress code or any kind of restriction based on religion, race or whatever.
I co ordinate with the artists several months in advance and ensure that at least 60 compositions by Maharaja are sung every year.
The dates are always from January 4th to January 13th every year.
The atmosphere is very different from how it is, not just at the Navarathri Mandapam but from most other festivals that I know of.
13.How do you compare the talent that exists now and what it was during your learning days, particularly with regard to availability of qualified and qualitative gurus?
Raw talent is abundantly available always. The question is how much of focus and commitment there is or not. Ideal gurus are rare. Ideal disciples even more rare.....and the combination of an ideal guru and the right disciple coming together, something akin to a Miracle! And when it does happen, it is always a cause for celebration.
14.Considering that you achieve nirvana from music as we understand, how do you measure the satisfaction or joy you may have felt when you successfully prevailed upon the authorities to allow women inside Navarathri Mandapams, both as performers and listeners? After all, you were breaking a tradition that dated back to three centuries.
I honestly feel that things happen when they are meant to happen and I was just extremely fortunate to have been instrumental in this particular event. While this received a lot of publicity, I feel a quiet kind of satisfaction about a lot of Other things which don't come into the public domain, like fighting for and succeeding in hiking the remuneration not just for the artists, but also for the cleaning staff and so on, during the Navarathri festival. Be it a festival, a film or so many other things, it is the result of the efforts of So many people; many of whom are invisible....and I always try and do my best to give everybody their due, in whatever way I can.
15) We rarely see the kind of camaraderie on stage that you share with your accompanists, in a normal concert of classical music. What is the secret?
I am a die hard fan, admirer and well wisher of the Amazing artists who play with me regularly. They each are completely aware of this too. So we each inspire and encourage the others and the concert turns into a celebration rather than a competition.
16. What next from the great maestro whose sublime renditions draw people from all walks of life and from cross the seven seas?
When I read the description in the question, I feel, you are talking about somebody else! Since life is such a fragile and uncertain thing and since it is all over before we know it, I hope to learn, preserve and share as much good music as I can, during the little time available to me. Apart from my major obssessions like Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, Dr.Balamuralikrishna and M.D.Ramanathan, there are so many other amazing composers whose compositions I try to highlight as much as I can during my concerts as well as during my lectures. A few of these would be Sri Purandara Dasa, Sri Annamacharya, Bhadrachala Rama Dasa, Prayaga Rangadas and Kaiwara Amara Nareyana. If you search for my name and the names of these people on youtube, you can already enjoy quite a few compositions by them.

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 12 Apr 2017, 15:24

As part of Sri Ramothsava and Sangeethotsava organized by
Sri Ramabhyudaya Sabha, there will be a concert by Varmaji, with
Violin: Sri T.K.V. Ramanujacharyalu
Mridangam: Sri Tumakuru B. Ravishankar
Ghatam: Sri S. Manjunath
Morching : Bhagyalakshmi
at 6:30pm tomorrow (April 13th) at
Srimathi Allammanavara Chatra,
Kunchitigara Sangha, Srirampet, Mysore.

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 14 Apr 2017, 23:10

Varmaji to sing at Mumbai on Maharaja Swathi Thirunal's Birth Anniversary.

April 16th.

http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/m ... 023107.ece

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 15 Apr 2017, 09:45

The full article from Varmaji's fan page on facebook.

Swati Tirunal, Maharaja of the princely state of Travancore, created over 300 classical music compositions in Carnatic and Hindustani styles in his short lifespan of 33 years. The multi-faceted monarch, whose interests ranged from dance to world languages and astronomy, possessed a universal and inclusive spirit and invited artistes and scholars from all over the world to his court. Two centuries later, Swati Tirunal’s descendant, renowned Carnatic musician and musicologist Prince Rama Varma, has been carrying forward his ancestor’s musical legacy in more ways than one. Unlike the Maharaja who was bound to his kingdom due to his royal responsibilities, Varma travels across the globe performing and teaching the compositions of his forefather, his own Guru Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna and several other composers.

Prince Rama Varma will present a concert in Navi Mumbai on 16 April, organized by Sopanam Fine Arts Society to mark the birthday of Maharaja Swati Tirunal. “Unlike other great Carnatic composers like Tyagaraja, Maharaja Swati Tirunal, being the ruler of a kingdom, did not have a shishya parampara – a lineage of disciples”, says Varma. Thus, many of his original tunes were sadly lost with the passage of time. With the mission of preserving and propagating the Maharaja’s works, Prince Rama Varma organises two major annual music festivals in Trivandrum – one during Navaratri at the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, and the other from January 4-13 at the Kuthiramalika, the palace where Swati Tirunal worked on many of his musical creations. The Swati Sangeetotsavam or the Kuthiramalika festival has become a popular pilgrimage destination of sorts for musicians and music lovers from all over the world. The performers range from budding artistes to veterans in the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions, handpicked by Varma himself based entirely on their talent and their commitment to present rare and diverse compositions of Swati Tirunal.

Prince Rama Varma’s passion for unearthing and perpetuating musical treasures is not limited to his ancestor’s works. Any seasoned Carnatic concert-goer who listens to Varma’s performances would instantly notice that he rarely repeats a composer in his concerts unless it is a thematic event. His repertoire includes the works of lesser-known composers such as Prayaga Rangadasa, Mallekonda Ramadasa, M. D. Ramanathan and Kaiwara Amara Nareyana as well as rare compositions by legends such as Tyagaraja, Purandaradasa, Annamacharya, Bhadrachala Ramadasa and Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna.

Prince Rama Varma’s renditions are marked by startling clarity of both notes and lyrics, and his insightful and articulate explanations of every composition. His love for languages manifests itself in the near-native perfection with which he enunciates lyrics of any song, be it Rabindra Sangeet in Bengali, a Jacques Brel poem in French or a popular Telugu composition like Endaro Mahanubhavulu. The extent to which he delves into the meaning and spirit of every song is reflected in a video he shared recently on YouTube after hunting down and visiting the little village of Gudimellanka in Andhra Pradesh, which is repeatedly mentioned in the compositions of Prayaga Rangadasa, the grandfather of Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna.

Varma, who started vocal lessons at the age of 14 under the eminent musician Sri Vechoor Harihara Subramania Iyer, also studied the Veena under Trivandrum Sri R. Venkataraman and Prof. K.S. Narayanaswamy. Later, he went on to become a senior disciple of Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna. He describes his own uniquely effective teaching methodology as an amalgam of what he has imbibed from each of his Gurus. In Varma’s classes, which are popular in locales as diverse as Amsterdam, Singapore, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam and the tiny town of Perla in the Kerala-Karnataka border, he unravels the beauty and depth of classical ragas and compositions through an uncanny mix of patience and meticulous perfectionism.

Against the backdrop of hierarchy, hegemony and sectionalism that characterise today’s society in general and the art ecosystem in particular, Varma holds on to his conviction that music and language should serve to unite rather than to divide. Not a surprising thought - emanating as it does from the descendant of Maharaja Swati Tirunal who perfected the global mindset long before the internet shrank the world, and the disciple of Dr. Balamuralikrishna who shot into national fame for his part in the rendition of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, India’s unofficial national integration anthem. “To get the next generation attracted to the wonderful art form called music, and to get music to unite us all – that is my little mission in life”, says the self-effacing musician. The success of his “little mission” is evident from the fact that Musiquebox, the channel that uploads his videos on YouTube, has attracted more than 6 million views, establishing that pure music with mass appeal need not be an oxymoron.

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 19 Apr 2017, 07:14

http://www.sankritilaya.org/ to host a U.S. tour of Prince Rama Varma,
accompanied by Sri S.R.Vinu, Sri B.Harikumar and Dr.S.Karthick

They plan to have concerts on Saturdays and Sundays and teaching

sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Here are a few videos of their concerts from youtube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... s.karthick

and a playlist of

swaram exercises

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... d677jLPe8p

and

song lessons

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... wVzhxg9mDv

and mosly music related articles by Varmaji

http://ramavarma.yolasite.com/the-writer.php

These are some of the confirmed dates.

April 22, 23 - Workshop -

San Jose - www.sankritilaya.org


April 27 - Workshop and April 29 concert - Phoenix

www.azfinearts.org


April 30 - Concert at San Jose

www.sankritilaya.org


May 2nd - Concert at Pittsburgh -

http://www.cmu.edu/


May 4th Workshop and May 6th Concert at Washington DC

https://www.ssvt.org/


May 7th - Concert at Dallas

www.ifaadfw.org



May 11th Workshop and May 13th concert at Denver

http://coloradofinearts.org/wp-content/ ... A-2017.pdf


May 14th - Concert at St.Louis

www.sangeetha.org


May 20 - Concert at Detroit

www.glacmichigan.com


May 28 - Concert at Chicago

http://chicagotyagarajautsavam.org/


June 1st Workshop and June 3rd concert at Seattle.

http://www.abhinayfinearts.org/


June 4th - Concert at Edmonton Ragamala Society, Canada.

http://www.edmontonragamala.ab.ca/


June 7 and 8 - Workshop at New Jersey

June 10th - Concert at New Jersey

Vocal Concert - June 10th @ Sri Guruvayurappan Temple
Workshop - June 7th & 8th @ Monroe
Concert Tickets and Workshop registration before April 30th
https://billetebox.com/PrinceRamaVarma/

June 11th concert and 13th Workshop at Kansas.

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 19 Apr 2017, 15:51

Report about Bombay concert from Prince Rama Varma public group in Facebook.

A little belated and very long report on the Mumbai concert :) Happy to see so many pictures and reviews already!
The banner on the stage read, "Classical Music Concert by Prince Rama Varma with his Dream Team" - and that set the mood for the evening. The event started with a function where Harikumar Sir was presented the Sopanam Award by Varmaji. There was a surprise treat for those of us who love to listen to Varmaji talk - his Chief Guest Address :) He said that while Harikumar Sir was getting one award, he himself was getting 3 awards since he was singing with Vinu, Harikumar and Karthick :) He was happy to be chosen to present the award for 2 reasons. Firstly, there is no percussionist who can present the award to Sri Harikumar since he is the best. Secondly, he (Varmaji) qualifies for the honour as Harikumar Sir's No.1 fan! :)
The concert started with the varnam "Amma Anandadayini", which was preceded by a very insightful introduction. Earlier, the organizers had announced their plans to organize teaching sessions by Varmaji in Mumbai. Varmaji quipped that he was bringing out his teaching side in view of these plans:) He explained how the thaalam structure of this varnam was different from that of most varnams, and pointed out that Balamuralikrishna Sir had set one letter of sahityam for each swaram in it. The varnam rendition, as always, was marked by startling clarity even at the higher speeds. The dream team made sparks fly with the charanam "Shive Shive"! The already excited audience started applauding even before the charanam could end :) After the rendition, Varmaji explained that the powerful, profound lyrics were much more than a naamavali - and then he went on to recite just the lyrics without any tune. The effect was almost hypnotic and elicited another huge round of applause - what an amazing and responsive audience it was!
In his introduction to MDR's Gajavadana, he remarked that Sri Patnam Subramania Iyer had the fortune of having a "Tiger" and a "Poochi" (insect) as his disciples - MDR's guru Tiger Varadachariar who got the prefix on account of his fierce gestures while singing, and Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar who came to be known as Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar because of his superfast renditions reminiscent of buzzing insects :) The swaram round was literally bursting with joy. For diehard Varma fans, the highest point of his swaram rounds - the part they wait for with bated breath - is when he touches the lowest notes! The lower octave Sa was greeted with gasps and applause and was followed by more swaram fireworks and a very soulful aalapana by Sri Vinu.
The meltingly beautiful Sadhu Tada from Kuchelopakhyanam came next. A remarkable thing about Varmaji's concerts is that no matter how many times you may have heard the same composition from him, each time you end up discovering something new. This time I got to know from his introduction that the Hindustani equivalent of Vakulabharanam was Basant Mukhari. After the song, Karthickji whispered something to Varmaji, and Varmaji refused with a shy smile :) Then Karthick announced that the song was tuned by Varmaji himself and that it was one of the most beautifully tuned Swathi kritis :)
Next was the rare, sweet song Raminsuvarevarura which always has any audience tapping their feet! While the song is in Tishra gati, the beautiful chittaswarams have been set in Chaturashra gati (hope I got that right) by Dr. Balamuralikrishna.
It was now time for the main piece - according to Varmaji the main piece would be the Thaniavarthanam, preceded by a little song :) The Kamavardhini aalapana was incredibly sensitive, starting at a sedate pace and gradually intensifying into a beautiful conversation between Varmaji and Vinu. I have always felt that in his aalapanas, Varmaji gets so intensely engrossed that he transcends even his own identity and becomes an embodiment of the raga itself! He lingered in the lower octave for a long stretch with remarkable clarity – by now, I had lost track of the number of times the audience broke into spontaneous applause! The biggest surprise for me was the rendition of Saroruhasana Jaaye, Swati Tirunal’s 6th Navarathri krithi. I always had this impression that Navarathri krithis were very sober and mellow – I would have never imagined little kids and dancing to such a kriti! It really had to be seen to be believed – the team created so much energy during the jatis that almost the entire audience was swaying along 😊 I am so glad to see that Dr. Karthick’s konnakkol has become a regular feature in Varmaji’s concerts these days. Just like the vocal and violin aalapana, the thaniavarthanam too was in a different plane altogether – one that went beyond rhythm and mathematics, and can be explained only in the language of brilliance! The almost incredible konnakkol, Harikumar Sir’s flying fingers, Karthickji’s joyful explosion on the ghatam… Varmaji later said with typical modesty that while in usual concerts people start leaving during thaniyavarthanam, when the Dream Team was performing, fans came in just to listen to the thani 😊 In response to this, Harikumar Sir very sweetly grabbed the mic and quipped, “We are able to perform like this only because Thirumanassu (His Highness) has a kind manassu (mind)” 😊 It was such a moving gesture, really!
After the main, came a few delightful and popular little songs – Pankajamukha, Chandamamanu, Sri Rama Namam and Kadanakuthuhalam thillana. There was a very sweet new sangati in Sri Rama Namam – at “Govinda nevela golutam golutam”, Varmaji sang 3 repetitions of “golutam” instead of the usual 2, eliciting instant appreciation from the accompanists 😊 As the concert ended, the artistes were given a standing ovation – and the applause just went on and on 😊 As the organizer said in his Vote of thanks, the whole musical feast felt like a helping of “Ambalapuzha Paal Paayasam” 😊 I guess nobody could have expressed the feeling better than a little boy of six or seven who was sitting next to me. After clapping almost non-stop till the main piece, he told his father, “Appa, I want to clap more but my hands are hurting. Can you clap for me now?” 😊 😊
1. Amma Anandadaayini – Varnam in Gambheeranatta – Dr. Balamuralikrishna
2. Gajavadana – Hamsadhwani – M.D. Ramanathan
3.Sadhu Tada – Vakulabharanam – Swati Tirunal
4. Raminsuva – Suposhini – Tyagaraja
5. Saroruhasana Jaaye – Kamavardhini – Swati Tirunal
6. Pankajamukha – Nottuswaram – Dikshitar
7. Chandamamanu – Folk version of Kharaharapriya – Kaiwara Amara Nareyana
8. Srirama Namam – Bhadrachala Ramadasa
9. Thillana – Kadanakuthuhalam – Dr. Balamuralikrishna

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 12 May 2017, 22:52

An addition to the 2017 Spring concert tour of Prince Rama Varma
Sunday May 21st ,
Prince Rama Varma and team at Sri Guruvayurappan Temple, 11620 Ormandy Street , Houston ,TX

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 03 Jun 2017, 00:05


sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 16 Jun 2017, 21:31

Saradhi Academy's second session of Music Journey

Unfolding the magic of two great composers

Bhadrachala Ramadasa and Prayaga Rangadasa

Sangeetha Rathna Prince Rama Varma

Date :26th Monday June 2017

Time:10am to 5pm.[9.30 Registration]

Venue:AV Hall Bhavan's Vidyashram,Kilpauk,chennai-600010

For Registration contact:044 2600609
9841176816

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 21 Jun 2017, 10:04


sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 30 Jun 2017, 02:07

Prince Rama Varma ; One Day Music Camp at Irinjalakuda,
near Trichur, in Kerala. On Sunday, July 2nd.
For registration, please call +91 99958 34829

melam72
Posts: 379
Joined: 02 Nov 2016, 16:12

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by melam72 » 30 Jun 2017, 14:09

@Sweetsong: does HRH have any intentions of having a sabha honouring him with a title?

Nick H
Posts: 8316
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 02:03

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by Nick H » 30 Jun 2017, 16:25

What, by royal command, or something? :lol: Not his style at all.

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 05 Jul 2017, 16:26

Rare and beautiful song by Sreepadarayaru, taught a Irinjalakuda.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83FOBAqJHfQ


sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 13 Jul 2017, 00:14

A few songs from the camp.

Kadanakuthoohalam Thillana by Sri T.V.Gopalakrishnan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fYXhsyDD7M

Maname by Sri M.D.Ramanathan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w32BzbyB2rY&t=16s

Siddhar Paadal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbQbWdrK2KM


Sri Gayatri by Ogirala Veeraraghava Sarma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVVSLlKHPF0

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 13 Jul 2017, 13:21

Teaching session at Hyderabad on Saturday and Sunday, July 15th and 16th at the Saptaparni Institute at Banjara Hills.
Music lovers who are interested to participate, are welcome to call Ms.Jyotsna Kompalli who is one of the organisers, at +91 9989780160

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 30 Jul 2017, 05:25

Excerpts from a Kapi teaching session at Hyderabad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbwdIHj1ufA

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 03 Aug 2017, 12:24

Prince Rama Varma, Sri S.R.Vinu, Sri B.Harikumar
and Dr.S.Karthick, to give a concert at Saptaparni,
Road number 8, Banjara Hills, at
6:00pm on Sunday, the 6th of August.
Music lovers welcome.

sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 09 Aug 2017, 00:39


sweetsong
Posts: 381
Joined: 29 Nov 2009, 16:48

Re: Prince Rama Varma

Post by sweetsong » 11 Aug 2017, 02:02

Writeup in the New Indian Express
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/ ... 40382.html

Some songs that the children sang along with, on International Friendship Day.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... CGJuS8QZSR

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