Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Carnatic Musicians
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advaitin
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#51 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by advaitin » 18 Jun 2011, 07:55

sivachinta
not heard anything on this one, this is news. any idea whose concert or any such background?
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vs_manjunath
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#52 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by vs_manjunath » 18 Jun 2011, 08:10

rajeshnat wrote:Agreed singing with a low pitch is a problem.
I think the pitch of Balamurali must be less than one kattai.
Has PMI accompanied Balamurali ??
Inputs by rasikas r welcome.
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sivachinta1965
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#53 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by sivachinta1965 » 19 Jun 2011, 15:24

dear Advaitji

During one concert at Mullakkal where both PMI and PSP were on mridamgam( yet to be confirmed, such a situation where two starwalts sitting face to face!!1). PMI had a big show and PSP waited and when PMI stock was over PSP asked "Can I start? and had another show. I was told that after this incident PMI never challenged PSP and they became good friend!

Somebody to research on ths!

Sivaprasad
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Ramasubramanian M.K
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#54 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 22 Jun 2011, 07:45

Sivachinta: To my knowledge,PSP and PMI never had a Mridangam duo. As noted by me in the PSP thread,PSP has accompanied PMI on the Kanjira. To my knowledge the first time they played on the stage was for GNB(with Rajamanikkam Pillai on the violin) was in the Shanmukhananda sabha in April 1950(my father was the Secretary at that time and the Sabha's finances were none too sound those days to be able to afford such a "Jama Pandhi" as they call it --my father took a gamble and the sabha membership grew exponentially after the concert. PSP matched sollu for sollu on the Kanjira and PMI did not relent either. I have also narrated in the PSP thread how he played kanjira for Alathur,TNK and PMI at my sister's wedding in Abbotsbury Teynampet in 1954(PSP had just finished accompanying [email protected] vani mahal(about a mile from Abbotsbury) insisted on playing for my father(such were the bonds of friendship in those days between artistes and commoners like us).In all PSP played for over 7 hours that day between mridangm and Kanjira.

PSP's unfulfilled wish till he died was that PMI should play the Kanjira with PSP on the Mridangam. he mentioned it to my father several times and my father despite knowing PMI would not go along, still broached it several times with PMI only to get the polite dismissive laughter from PMI.

Re' PMI's playing for female artistes,my understanding was that when the female vocalists all had high ruthis(4 kattai and higher) PMI found the mridangam sound especially with the chapu(full as well as Half) sounded too shrill. When DKP MLV all lowered their sruthis he was more comfortable. The only mridangist(incidentally had the same Guru Tanjore vaidyanatha Iyer) who played for MS Mami and simultaneously played for the Vocalists of those times was TKMurthy .

PMI was a man of integrity and if he spouted his views on any subject you can bet you can take those views at their face value--no hidden agendas or innuendos. he was supremely confident of his stature and did not mind the controversies swirling round him be it the microphone/recording issue or accompanying female vocalists.

My father used to tell me about PMI's integrity. Whenever my father sounded him about PMI's availabiliy for a concert to accompany a SSI or ARI or GNB if that date was not suitable to him(because of prior engagement in a small town sabha in Tamilnadu) PMI would simply refuse the engagement despite the fact that he could get a higher remuneration from the Bombay sabha and also the small town sabha could easily be persuaded to hold his concert for the following week.. PMI would not even remotely hint that he was free the next week. had he done so the vocalists would have easily rearranged their schedules so that PMI could accompany them. BUT PMI's post card would simply say he is not available because he has accepted a previous engagement--no mention of whom he is playing for or where he is playing . The man's handwriting was sharp and unequivocal as was his temperament!!!My father used to say 9 out of 10 artistes would suggest alternate dates when they are available!! Likewise PMI was a very practical man--after a concert he hated to hang around on the dais when the sycophants come pouring on to the stage-- he used to say 'in Tamil which if roughly translated would be "before the sweat in your palm dries out take your sanmanam--remuneration and run!! This should not be interpreted as a mercenary comment .

More on this aspect in later posts!!

In my opinion so much needs to be written about PMI--my father and myself with the help of my brother who was a disciple of PMI were planning to follow up after our earlier book Musings on Music and Musicians released in 2003 my father's 90th birthday in Chennai We were to start the work in October 2006 but he died on Sept 3,2006 after a two-weeks of indisposition.I have not given up on the idea yet and I am scrounging my family archives to gather materials/scrapboooks. But that is a story that needs to be told.
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mohan
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#55 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by mohan » 22 Jun 2011, 08:44

Thanks for sharing these incidents. I have heard of an incident that when PSP first played kanjira with PMI on mrudangam, before the concert started PSP occupied the place of the mrudangam artist on the dias since he was the senior artist. PMI objected saying that the place belongs to the instrument not the artist.

Is this a true story or just an urban myth?
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MaheshS
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#56 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by MaheshS » 22 Jun 2011, 14:05

Mohan -

That was Dakshinamurthy Pillai on the Kanjira not PSP. Chembai was the vocalist IIRC. This anecdote features in the Garland series of books.
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mohan
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#57 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by mohan » 22 Jun 2011, 15:10

Thanks Mahesh
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cacm
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#58 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by cacm » 22 Jun 2011, 19:35

Dear M.K.R.,
BALIAH arranged a wedding concert with PSP on Kanjira & PMI on Mridangam which ALL the artists-MMI & LGJ being the other artists- was hailed as one of the best acc. to the artists themselves!.............VKV
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Ramasubramanian M.K
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#59 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 23 Jun 2011, 04:00

CACM Thanks for the info--Baliah was a great cm aficionado. On the subject of 'seating" of the Kanjira player,there has been no consistent guideline or practice:

1. When PMI was coming up he and Dakshinamurthy Pillai (DP) had a number of concerts together. PMI has described these "encounters" as baptism under fire. yet they had the best possible relationship. In each of these concerts DP was in the forefront with PMI at the back between the Thambura player and DP--slightly to the front(unlike the Ghatam Players who are traditionally behind --with the vocalist having to strain themselves to look at the Ghatam player!!)). PMI had no qualms about it and accepted the fact that seniority trumped the instrument(kanjira,Moharsing,Ghtam were all considered Upapakkavadyams whereas mridangam on par with Violin was considered Pakkavadyam). Here both the percussionists(PMI and DP) were right-handed.

2. When PSP played the Kanjira opposite PMI ,the convention of the seniority of the Kanjira artist relative to the violinist was maintained so long as the violin accompaniment was not a senior--TNK or Lalgudi--for example in the case of Alathur concert @ my sister's wedding in 1954)-- I had referred to this in the earlier post(#54),where TNK was the violinist PSP sat in the front ahead of TNK facing PMI squarely across..

3. However in the case of the GNB concert in 1950(mentioned in the same post#54) in Bombay where Rajamanikkam Pillai was the violinist -- by protocol PSP would have had to sit behind the violinist as Rajamanikkam Pillai was much senior to PSP. But Rajamanikkam Pillai --the ultimate epitome of grace and dignity--suggested PSP sit ahead of him--the fact that Rajamanikkam Pillai was a towering giant metaphorically and physically dwarfing most musicians incl PSP made this gesture moot but none-the-less commendable!!!

While on this subject of placement of Kanjira player,this has always been a ticklish issue for organisers who do not know whose sensibility is going to be ruffled no matter what they do by way of the dais placement. An anecdote involving PSP as told to me by my father(noted in his book "Musings on Music and Musicians):

Once in the fifties for a concert in Bombay(for Alathur) PSP was to play the mridangam. PMI suggested to my father to give a chance to Swaminatha Pillai(Son of Dakshinamurthy Pillai) for Kanjira. Swaminatha Pillai had the previous day played for another artist (I do not remember). originally PSP alone was to play the Mridangam and Swaminatha Pillai was NOT scheduled to play the Kanjira. My father decided to heed PMI's request(PMI held DP in high reverence despite the fact that in his early days DP had made it tough for PMI and wanted to help DP's son who I believe although not as brilliant as his father,played the Kanjira reasonably well. When my father broached this last minute idea to Alathur they agreed readily seeing no conflict/ As a matter of courtesy my father mentioned this proposal to PSP considering PSP's stature and need for protocol. PSP hesitated for a while and saying this will not happen. My father asked WHY--PSP said he(Swaminatha Pilai) will NEVER agree to sit behind the violinist and will insist on being seated opposite myself(PSP) and that is not acceptable to me--PSP had the highest regard for DP(as PSP's father Palani Muthiah Pilai and DP had the same guru Manpoondia Pillai) and yet he did not have high regard for Swminatha Pillai (for a variety of reasons which PSP explained later). My father approached Swaminatha Pilai and made the proposal who immediately asked to be seated opposite PSP ahead of the violinist--instead of grabbing a chance to play opposite PSP or expressing gratitude for having thought of this idea -- at that time Swaminatha Pillai was not well known despite being DP's son and the few concerts he had were the courtesy of PMI. My father could not accede to his request(did not tell him about PSP's objection as it was obvious and how untenable Swaminatha Pillai's request would seem. My father with the tail between his legs(as he described it to me!!) went back to PSP and told him about the demand and how he(my father) could not accede to it . PSP the gracious man he was did not even attempt a friendly taunt of "I told you so and did not want to see your nose cut) and reassured my father not to feel bad about the incident and went on to narrate how bad Swaminatha Pillai(addicted to alcohol--the son of one of the most pious and dignified artists) behaved and how he had disgraced DP especially in his last days ending with a story about how one day Swaminatha Pilai was brought home absolutely{sauced" late night after an alcoholic binge and left on the steps of DP's house. When DP was returning early morning after an absence of many days,what he saw was his son sprawled across the front doorstep totally unconscious having had too much to drink. DP it seems stroked himself on his bald pate exclaiming in sorrow"Hey Palani Andava what have I done to deserve this from my only son. PSP concluded the anecdote with the observation that this was a poignant event till DP's death.

I am curious to know WHAT is the protocol that the current "senior" artists are following--say if Arun Prakash plays the Mridangam and where would a Senior Kanjira artist(if there was one) sit?

Forumites experinces welcome!!!
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mohan
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#60 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by mohan » 23 Jun 2011, 05:43

Ramasubramanian M.K wrote: I am curious to know WHAT is the protocol that the current "senior" artists are following--say if Arun Prakash plays the Mridangam and where would a Senior Kanjira artist(if there was one) sit?
In most concerts these days that feature an upa-pakavAdhyam (kanjira, ghatam or morsingh), that artist is seated slightly behind the mrudangam artist. For a vocal concert, I have never seen a a violinist sitting behind with an upa-pakavAdhyam artist in front.
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annamalai
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#61 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by annamalai » 23 Jun 2011, 08:38

I have heard that PMI (Mridangam) and PSP (Kanjira) performed for Ariyakudi a few times.
There is also a very nice photo in the web, Ariyakudi, TNK, PMI, PSP and a young B. Rajam Iyer (nice viboothi) and KVN on Tambura for vocal support for Ariyakudi.
TNK sitting behind PSP.

There is Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar concert in Sangeethapriya - with TN Krishnan, PMI (Mridangam) and PSP (Kanjira) - RTP - Saveri, I think.

Swaminatha Pillai has played Kanjira for Alathur Brothers in many concerts - esp. PMI, Swaminatha Pillai fireworks for Endundi Vedalithivo (Durbar) is very nice.
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mohan
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#62 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by mohan » 23 Jun 2011, 10:15

annamalai wrote: There is also a very nice photo in the web, Ariyakudi, TNK, PMI, PSP and a young B. Rajam Iyer (nice viboothi) and KVN on Tambura for vocal support for Ariyakudi.
Image
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sureshrtuticorin
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#63 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by sureshrtuticorin » 23 Jun 2011, 16:37

Here is an interesting article:
http://www.carnatica.net/ariyakudi.htm
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sivachinta1965
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#64 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by sivachinta1965 » 23 Jun 2011, 17:19

"PMI's playing for female artistes,my understanding was that when the female vocalists all had high ruthis(4 kattai and higher) PMI found the mridangam sound especially with the chapu(full as well as Half) sounded too shrill. When DKP MLV all lowered their sruthis he was more comfortable"

I read somewhere that PMI started mdridagam accompaniment for female artists ( to DKP first) after marriage of his grandson with the grand daughter of DKP

Sivaprasad
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veeyens3
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#65 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by veeyens3 » 23 Jun 2011, 21:42

I think PMI's daughter married DKP's son!
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anandasangeetham
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#66 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by anandasangeetham » 24 Jun 2011, 10:30

Yes. Sri. PMIs daughter SMt. Lalitha is married to Smt.DKPs son Sri.Iswaran and their daughter is Smt.Nithyashree mahadevan
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mahavishnu
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#67 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by mahavishnu » 24 Jun 2011, 20:49

Sorry, DKP's son is Sri I. Sivakumar. Sir Ishwaran is his father and DKP's husband.
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anandasangeetham
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#68 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by anandasangeetham » 25 Jun 2011, 11:32

Thanks Mahavishnu....in a hurry i misquoted the names....
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semmu86
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#69 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by semmu86 » 23 Jul 2011, 09:19

vs_manjunath wrote:Has PMI accompanied Balamurali ??
Inputs by rasikas r welcome.
I doubt about him accompanying BMK, but i heard, they had heated exchanges through an organiser. Not sure about the authenticity of this one.

BMK is supposed to have said "If PMI keeps on adjusting the sruthi of his mrudangam while am singing the alApanA, (If you all can notice in some old recordings, PMI and PSP both have this habit of meddling with the mrudangam, while singer is singing), then i will start shaving during his thani avarthanam".... :lol:
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rajeshnat
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#70 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by rajeshnat » 26 Jul 2011, 12:10

Semmu86
I do know and have heard this meddling habit of mrudangam by PMI, it is news to me that even PSP has the same habit. One anecdote i heard thru grapevine

TM Thyagarajan (TMT) was performing in a concert with PMI in mrudangam. PMI was constantly cross checking the nAdham of mrudangam during the alapana rendition of TMT. When PMI got his chance of playing tani avartanam ,as a return of thanks TMT took the tambura and was constantly tuning during PMI's tani.
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srikant1987
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#71 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by srikant1987 » 26 Jul 2011, 12:38

Strange. Weren't TMT-PMI mostly pre-electronic-shruti? Because in that case, as TMT re-tuned the tambura, PMI would have had to re-tune the mridangam accordingly.

But let us remember that PMI was KVN-the-shruti-demigod's guru. :D
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rajeshnat
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#72 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by rajeshnat » 26 Jul 2011, 15:23

shrikant1987
As PMI was constantly tapping the mrudangam during TMT's alapana singing, TMT did the same as he was vexed with PMI's earlier action.
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semmu86
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#73 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by semmu86 » 27 Jul 2011, 21:34

Rajesh, you can listen to any old MMI/GNB concert with PSP and you can listen to the constant meddling... Unfortunately (to be brutally honest), they took advantage of their seniority and hence this habit. One can always argue that they are epitome of perfection (which i also dont deny at any cost), but you can hardly hear that meddling when PMI/PSP accompany seniors like iyengArvAL..
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advaitin
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#74 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by advaitin » 28 Dec 2011, 06:08

2012 being the centenary year of Palghat Mani Iyer, following events have been so far arranged at the mentioned locations. Future updates should be available at http://www.palghatmaniiyer.org

Chennai - Sri. Umayalpuram Sivaraman @ the Music Academy - Jan 28th.
Mumbai - Sri. Karaikudi Mani @ Shanmukananda sabha - Feb 24th.
Palghat - Sri. Trichy Sankaran - March 2nd
Palghat - Sri. Umayalpuram Sivaraman - March 3rd
Palghat - Sri. Haridwarmangalam A.K. Palanivel and Ustad Zakir Hussain - March 4th
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thathwamasi
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#75 Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Post by thathwamasi » 05 Jan 2012, 15:03

Today, I was listening to paramathmudu sung by Alathoor brothers accompanied by Palghat Mani Iyer. He played a brilliant misra nadai in the charanam. It was stunningly beautiful. Just at that time, I saw a friend online and I told him out of complete amazement. "Man..You have to listen to this misram. I think '7' sits much better in Mani Iyer's hands than it does between 6 and 8".

Both of us enjoyed the statement so much that I thought I will share it with fellow Mani Iyer admirers.

Regards
T
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