Srimushnam Raja Rao

Carnatic Musicians
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mahesu
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#1

Post by mahesu » 29 Sep 2009, 13:59

In continuation in the thread of Sri Mannargudi Easwaran, I am adding separate topics for Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao and Sri Thiruvarur Bhakthavatchalam.

Sri Raja Rao is one of the very few mridangam vidwans who can excel using both Kuchi and Kappi mridhangams. He is able to produce great nadham from both of them

Here is a link where he uses a Kuchi mridhangam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeZvMLFpLDU

Here he uses Kappi mridhangam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3x-51GI ... re=related

Hope we all enjoy
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mahesu
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#2

Post by mahesu » 29 Sep 2009, 23:03

Another lovely piece, both by Sri VVS and Sri Raja Rao.
Looks like Made for each other.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se0V3u1QBIM
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rajeshnat
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#3

Post by rajeshnat » 02 Oct 2009, 14:27

Perhaps leaving three greats like UKS-KM-TS out, in the next gen, srimushnam is one of the finest mrudangam artist.His anticipation is superb.Few recollections of his magnificent play in random order:

1. In NCA concert madurai gs mani, he played with two other accompanist sv ramani in ghatam, morsing artist and MAs in violin. Superb anticipation and his tani was very well done. I remember gsmani holding srimushnam hands and then telling he took all these numbers because srimushnam was playing.

2. Always looking for playing strokefully even if it is a last few tukkadas. In the last kutcheri season with malladi , when malladi sang a last paluke bhangAru, his playing was superb, no just playing straight as it is close to end.

3. In the last mudhra, he teamed with suryaprakash- svramani-kbkm mr gopinAth where his play for submain in hamsAnandi and the tani at the end of sbharanam was superb all counts.

4. There is one sanjay -srimushnam combination very long ago , I think it was in kAmbhodhi as a main and he played beautifully

In commercial recordings two stand out:
1. There is a commercial recording of srimushnam with balaji shankar , in that an rtp in vachaspathi , srimushnam takes it to himalayan heights, an early nAttai of NT and a rare gowrimanOhari of dr srivastava. Superb playing by srimushnam. What a singer was balAji and how beautifully srimushnam played.

2. There is a carnatic recording of sangeet utsav where his play with suryaprakash is excellent , especially for vijayAmbikE - vijayanAgari and the rtp in revati where there is a swara ragamaliga poruttam his play is simply mindboggling.



Overall he shines in
1. Stealing strokes with his right anticipation.
2. Sound sound, no dip at all till the mangalam.
3. Incidentally one thing he does it always , when the upapakkavadhyam takes his turn at regulal intervals he plays very few gentle tappings as though he is a upa upapakkavadhyam, it just brings so much aesthetics. I remember very distinctively he did that with svramani and morsing artist during madurai gs mani concert. Does any one do like srimushnam ?

However I feel at times, his volume is very loud,at times even powerful voice musicians are drowned by his beat. Possibly if he consciously keeps the mike more far that would be wonderful.

I am assuming like easwaran , srimushnam was also shaped up the most by smt MLV.If the sound is not loud, and if shrimushnam is playing, it becomes a showcase of mrudhangam concert.

mahesu,
Thanks for your kuchi and kappi .
Last edited by rajeshnat on 02 Oct 2009, 14:42, edited 1 time in total.
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rajeshnat
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#4

Post by rajeshnat » 02 Oct 2009, 14:31

Has srimushnam played with semmangudi, maharajapuram santhanam etc? Any recordings available there

Also when does he decide when to play kucchi and when to play kappi (Attn mahesu , since his disciple R.sankaranarayanan is also there he can answer that)

Srimushnam's website is http://www.srimushnamrajarao.com/
Last edited by rajeshnat on 02 Oct 2009, 14:36, edited 1 time in total.
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mohan
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#5

Post by mohan » 02 Oct 2009, 18:12

He's a competent vocalist as well, having had training under Papanasam Sivan and Calcutta Krishnamurthy.
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rsn.mridangam
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#6

Post by rsn.mridangam » 12 Oct 2009, 02:02

yeah rajarao sir has played alot for both of them rajesh ji !!!
but got very few recordings,since sir was just 14 he accompanied several times for semmangudi mama, and he has travelled many abroad tours with santhanam sir too!!
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thanjavooran
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#7

Post by thanjavooran » 12 Oct 2009, 04:34

His tour to US with OST is memorable

Thanjavooran
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moksha
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#8

Post by moksha » 14 Oct 2009, 18:37

his wife is a singer too. details anyone?
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PUNARVASU
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#9

Post by PUNARVASU » 14 Oct 2009, 19:49

I think her name is Padma Sandilyan; heard that she is a musician too; their son, Raghavendra , I have seen him in some music competitions in the TV some years back;he was very good.
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rajeshnat
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#10

Post by rajeshnat » 14 Oct 2009, 21:32

rsn.mridhangam
I think you are r sankaranaryanan, sishya of rajarao sir, I do knew that before in your post when you corrected .I guess with your id , you are just modest not to declare, hence I am taking that privilege. Can you update all the sishyas of srimushnam raja rao sir and pass it to mohan in the mridhangam tree thread.
Last edited by rajeshnat on 14 Oct 2009, 21:32, edited 1 time in total.
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rajeshnat
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#11 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by rajeshnat » 29 Jul 2010, 14:21

I had a chance to drop Srimushnam Raja rao a week before at the end of a concert. Just few points that I heard from him.

Srimushnam rAja rao has played from a very early age as early as 7 or 9. At that young age many vidwans when they visited chidambaram area (srimushnam is close to chidambaram) , he used to get chances .He is the son of another mridanga vidwan Ramadas rao(I am assuming there is no recording of his father playing) .

I assumed he has not had a chance to play for GNB , for which he answered yes. I immediately assumed he did not play for madurai mani iyer. He told no and that he has played for just one or two concerts for shri madurai mani ,where he only played 2 or 3 songs in a kalyAna kutcheri near his home town. There was just one full length concert fixed with mmi but however mmi passed away.

He also recollected that he has played for few concerts of maharAjapuram vishwanatha Iyer.As we continued talking ,he recollected with near tears in his eyes when he said the following:

For few years when he was a teenaged boy, his playing was generally appreciated by many artists but most of the main artists would forget him. Ofcourse srimushnam sir was not complaining when he said that . But at the age of 15 or 16 , after few years gap he travelled to madras to meet Chembai vaidhyanAtha Bhagavathar with a bag of fruits. Chembai has appreciated srimushnam as he has played for him near his home town. Srimushnam was assuming that chembai like many other vidwans would have forgotten him.

Chembai recollected fondly and immediately gave him quite a lot of concerts where both teamed up together. Srimushnam said but for without chembai's benevolence he would not be what he is today. There are atleast 3 mridangists who have spoken about chembai's benevolence that I have heard one is shri UKS , second manakkAl sriram and the third Srimushnam, chembai was truly a great soul.

Srimushnam said he is longing to hear few recordings of navarathri concerts where he has played for MDR, few are holding those records but not releasing that yet. He mimicked how MDR used to talk with him during concert(with that palakkad thamizh accent). I was curious of his fathers school,He told me his play has a lot of overlap with pazhani school.

Few words of Srimushnam sir's playing:
-------------------------------------
He is to me one of the most intelligent players today ,he has a variety of patterns and his gumkhi's are really superb.At times he is definitely bit loud for few concerts , but when he gets going he pushes the main artist to be more creative . I have atleast heard two of those memorable concerts one is sanjay with srimushnam in 2009 at bharatkalAchAr and the other with suryaprakash and srimushnam in 2008 at mudhra(that day for the tani and RTP his play was really superb).He being a vocalist , his anticipation is always way ahead than most mridangists

Having said a general view point about mridangist like say srimushnam and mannargudi easwaran.These musicians have played the most with the era of musicians after the golden era , the era like SKR,TRS,KVN, MLV,santhanam etc . Unfortunately that era of musicians have not got the pull of ssi,mmi and gnb. Santhanam had the pull but certainly other vidwans and vidushis of that era did not have that pull .

So my theory is atleast vidwans like UKS, Vellore nAdabhadranR,Trichy sankaran, Palghat Raghu were branded with the big halo of ssi,mmi and gnb, where as the vidwans like srimushnam , Mannargudi Easwaran and to an extent Karaikudi mani (I hope he plays in more concerts), Trivarur bhakthavatsalam (significantly high sound) are not having that much recall with the masses. Hopefully that changes.
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arasi
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#12 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by arasi » 30 Jul 2010, 07:45

Rajesh,
How fortunate that you happened to get the chance of driving him home! A very interesting one-on-one chat which turned out to be totally different from a standard interview. We are lucky to have so much of precious nostalgia on Rasikas to savor but we don't often hear a contemporary performer sharing his experiences and feelings in a naturally flowing manner in conversation. Brief newspaper interviews with pictures across the page have very little substance, I'm afraid.
I am getting more aware of the role of a mrudangam in a concert. Even with my very limited understanding of layam, I have always liked Srimushnam's playing except when the subtleties of his playing would get drowned in noise. Yes, his anticipation is something even I don't miss. His playing for Sanjay at the YGP Hall was excellent. Wish I had heard him accompany Surya too.
sArati Rajesh brought some goodies today!
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mahavishnu
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#13 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by mahavishnu » 15 Jul 2011, 19:04

Srimushnam Raja Rao to receive the Sangeet Natak Academy award this year.
http://www.thehindu.com/arts/music/article2227028.ece

Congratulations to the maestro!
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rajeshnat
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#14 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by rajeshnat » 15 Jul 2011, 23:09

Wonderful news , a truly deserving vidwan. Congrats Srimushnam Raja Rao Sir.
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cienu
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#15 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by cienu » 15 Jul 2011, 23:22

Congratulations to Sri Raja Rao !
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Ramasubramanian M.K
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#16 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 16 Jul 2011, 09:29

Richly deserved recognition for an artist who came up the hard way without any backing. He first visited the USA in the early seventies accompanying Tanjore Kalyanaraman--first visit for all of them(violinist was T.Rukmini)--a series of 25 to 30 concerts throughout the US and distinguished himself with his artistry. Subsequently in the early stages of the Cleveland Aradhana, he was very helpful as the Chennai liaison--in getting visas for the artists(and acting as their "drill sergeant" to keep them all in line!!!)--Point: very responsible and entrusted with a task one could count on him to complete it without any excuses or flaws.
He is a good singer as is his wife.

All told timely recognition of a deserving artist!!

Congratulations to Sri Sreemushnam!!
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Lakshman
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#17 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by Lakshman » 20 Jul 2011, 04:47

Congratulations to shri. Rajarao.
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thanjavooran
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#18 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by thanjavooran » 20 Jul 2011, 09:20

Most deserving vidwan. Congrats to Srimushnam Raja Rao Avl
Thanjavooran 20 07 2011
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arasi
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#19 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by arasi » 22 Jul 2011, 18:44

Heart felt congratulations to Sri. Raja Rao! He is truly a master and I appreciate him more and more as my sense for the subtletie sof tAlam gets better bit by bit. Once he is on stage, yes Rajesh, he plays with the same involvement from the beginning to the end of the concert. Being a musician himself (and his repertoire is vast), he maps each song along with the vocalist, like a guide walking with us with the map ready in hand. When I see his name as the accompanist for a concert, I look forward to go to the concert, and hope that the volume is not going to come in the way of my enjoyment of the concert (happy to say, haven't come across one in a long while!).
What a musical family! His wife a singer and teacher, and his son, a promising vocalist! Wonder if he has any other children who sing (play) too.
Congratulations again to the ace mrudangist!
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Nick H
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#20 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by Nick H » 22 Jul 2011, 22:32

Being a musician himself ...
tut tut, arasi ;)
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ajit
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#21 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by ajit » 05 Aug 2011, 05:02

I heard Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao is getting the Sangeetha Choodamani Award also this year.
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rajeshnat
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#22 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by rajeshnat » 05 Aug 2011, 08:01

Yeah Sangeetha choodamani from SKGS , congrats Raja Rao Sir
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tkb
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#23 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by tkb » 05 Aug 2011, 09:15

pranams and congratulations to Raja Rao sir!
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sudhir
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#24 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by sudhir » 26 Aug 2011, 17:47

Gr8 Artist. I have been listening to srimushnam for more than 10 years. Absolute nadham when he plays. he has gr8 anticipation and really plays well as an acompaniment. I also have the Balaji Shankar commercial recording (that Rajeshnat talks about) where he really mesmerizes in the RTP on Vachaspathi. I rate him among the top5. However when i listen to his thaniyavarthanam i have always felt wanting more. Wish he played an elaborate thaniyavarthanam. He always rushes to do a brisk ending to a thani. Not that his thani is lesss enjoyable or something. it is so gr8 that i always want him to play more and more but he dissapoints by ending quickly. Perhaps he is more accomplished as an accompaniment than a thani specialist. Dont see many of his thalavadya kutcheris or recordings like other mridangam stalwarts like KKM etc. Wish he played a more elaborate thani and do misra koraippu etc. i have only seen him perform simple koraipus. Maybe i need to listen more of his live concerts to check out. But he is brilliant. he just leaves me wanting for more.
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carnatricks
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#25 Re: Srimushnam Raja Rao

Post by carnatricks » 26 Dec 2011, 19:08

indeed a wonderful artist. i remember some of his concerts on the 1983 tour with sri.tns and sri.sdsridhar violin. was very nice. havent heard a tns svrr comnbo of late.
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