R. Vedavalli

Carnatic Musicians
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Post by prashant » 25 Jul 2006, 13:54

Since I couldn't find a thread dedicated to Vedavalli Amma, I thought I would start one to discuss this senior musician and great repository of the musical wealth handed down by Mudicondan Sri Venkatarama Iyer and Madurai Sri Srirangam Iyengar.

Apart from a few lec-dem recordings, I had never heard her live until I had the chance to attend a private concert of her in Boston in 2001. Her chaste rendering of krithis and attention to diction, pronunciation and pristine pATantaram grabbed me from the get-go. I cannot forget a short but sweet guruguhAya in sAmA that she rendered that day.

She's well-known for rendering complex pallavis with nonchalant ease - a sankIrNa tripuTa [tisra gati] pallavi 'aLikulavENi kIravANi bhavAni' rendered by her in Mumbai in 2002 was amazing in it's concept and execution, not to mention the extensive tani by Sri Easwaran for this unusual tALa. Her renderings of dIkshitar krithis especially are beautiful and she has taken care to maintain and preserve the beauty of these krithis that she has learnt from great sources. The nIlOtpalAmbA krithi in kannaDagowLa, the sahAnA navAvarNam rendered in vilamba kAlA tisra tripuTa, kshitijA ramaNam, tyAgarajam bhajEham in yadukulakAmbOdhi, pAhimAm ratnACala in mukhAri, to name a few, all sparkle in her hands.

Her tAnam singing and her approach to the RTP suite in general is a model for all students and rasikas of serious Carnatic music. Of course, her lecdems are also extremely informative and useful for learning.

Recordings of Vedavalli Amma are relatively tough to find, so hope others can share their experiences with her music as well as recordings that are not in the commercial space already. I have serious upload constraints, but I will be happy to share what I have in my collection [a fair amount of which is thanks to the benevolence of Sri Kulkarni].
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Post by rbharath » 25 Jul 2006, 18:28

I am immediately reminded of her strict adherence to traditional paadam.

There was a concert on the theme "popular kritis in authentic tunes" which he sang in IIT Madras last year or so. I have always found her to sing real nice concerts...
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Post by n_anush » 25 Jul 2006, 19:51

can u please post some songs sung by vedavalli amma

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Post by rshankar » 25 Jul 2006, 21:23

This should be a good place for all of Smt. Vedavalli lovers to start from:
http://www.khazana.com/et/products/prod ... sku=&List=

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Post by Lakshman » 25 Jul 2006, 21:40

Many of her songs are available for listening here:
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Post by rbharath » 26 Jul 2006, 10:02

n_anush, here is the song list.

Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. R. Vedavalli - Vocal
Smt. Usha Rajagopalan - Violin
Neyveli Sri Narayanan - mrUdangam
Smt. Sumathy Krishnan - Vocal Support
Smt. Usha Padmanabhan - Vocal Support & Tambura

Music Club IIT Madras, 09 March 2005, 7:15 pm

Thematic concert on "popular kritis in authentic tunes"

srI mahA gaNapati - gauLa - misra cApu - dIkshitar (svarams at 'modaka prakAsakarO')
baNTu rIti - hamsanAdam - dEsAdI (svarams at pallavi line)
sItamma mAyamma - lalitA
nagu mOmu - AbhErI
g~nAna mosaga rAdA - shadvidamArgiNi (AlApanai)
krishNAnanda mukunda - gauDipantu
cEtulAra sRNgAramU - kharaharapriyA (AlApanai, neraval and svarams at 'aNi mutyAla')
snatches of rAmA nIyaDa - dilIpakam, nAda lOluDai - kalyANavasantam, nAda tanumanisam - cittaranjani
ninnaruLAn gatiyinRi - vEdAnta dEsikar pAsuram in dhanyAsi, varALi, sahAnA, nAdanAmakriyA, nIlAmbari, Ahiri
gatita samaya - Ahiri - jayadEva ashtapati
mODi jEse - khamAs jAvaLi
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram

a more detailed writeup of the concert is found here: http://me-and-music.blogspot.com/2005/0 ... adras.html
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Post by rajeshnat » 26 Jul 2006, 13:22

Vedavalli Madam is to me a remarkable personality. When she sings there is so much humility and grace in her approach . Once I attended a dikshitar memorial concert . Posted that in the site under maintenance. Reposting again

Smt Vedavalli @NGS (Mini) on Oct 30,2005
She was accompanied by RK ShriramKumar - Violin and Vellore Ramabadhran - Mridangam. The occassion being described as a
Muthuswami Dikshitar Day , predictably all krithis were of of Dikshitar

1. Vathapi Ganapathim (NS)- Hamsadhwani
2. Sri Nathadi Guruguho Jayati (NS) - MaayaMAlavaGowlai
3. Sri Kalahasti (RS) - Huseni
4. SriVidya RAja Gopalam - Jaganmohanam
5. Subramanyena (RS) - SuddaDhanyAsi
6. Ehi Annapoorne- PunnagaVarAli
7. ?SriVamshavathi Sivajuvathi?- ??
8. Raagam Taanam in Shanmughapriya
9. EkAmesha (N,S) - Shanmughapriya
10.PranAthARthi HarAya- SAmanta
11.Slokham in the lines "Naagamithanam Naajatyan Yogam???" - SAveri +SahAna + VarAli +KAnadA + ShreerAgam
12 Shree Abhayamba - ShreeRAgam

When she participates in lecdems, there is an entirely different Smt Vedavalli Madam(too difficult to map back the singer).Well I remember once when there was some kind of patti manram where she took the topic lakshya vs lakshanam . lakhanam was chaired by pitamaha SSI's sishya Shri Subramaniam and the lakshya was chaired by Smt Vedavalli . Even the moderator Dr Srivastava could not do anything . She was very sharply focussed straight to the point spade is a spade individual and was
pragmatic to the core.
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Post by kiransurya » 26 Jul 2006, 13:44

?SriVamshavathi Sivajuvathi?- ??
It is Vamsavathi Siva yuvathi in the raaga Vamsavathi..
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Post by rrkaushik » 20 Oct 2006, 20:02

Greetings and Happy Deepavali greetings to all fellow rasikas! This is my first post in this forum - thanks to all the knowledgeable folks who interact here. Of course I share the deep respect and awe for Ms. Vedavalli's erudition and serious vidvat.

Would like to point to the beautiful lec-dem on "Manodharma through Varnams" available at Sangeethapriya lec-dems section. If the kind soul who posted that (or other Vedavalli students) could upload other such lec-dems by Ms. Vedavalli, it would be most useful to music rasikas everywhere.

Thank you.
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Post by meena » 26 Jan 2007, 06:51

Last edited by meena on 06 May 2008, 04:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by sumram99 » 25 Jul 2007, 21:25

I am working on arranging a workshop by Smt. Vedavalli Amma in NJ as she is here until the end of August. I thought this will be a great opportunity to for people to learn from her. I am looking for help from people here in NJ for arranging the same.
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Post by meena » 25 Jul 2007, 22:31


i have merged ur thread on Smt R Vedavalli.
Pl. search the forum before staring a new thread. thanks
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Post by rajeswarisatish » 12 Aug 2007, 05:57

I have been trying to get something organised here in NJ as well. Unfortunately Smt. Vedavalli is leaving NJ this weekend for India due to unforeseen circumstances. We will have to wait until her next trip.
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Post by bala747 » 12 Aug 2007, 18:03

I found Vedavalli to be too much of a 'traditionalist' in the sense that she seems to have rather 'strict' (in my view at least) views on how ragas should be interpreted and how thanam should be sung. I admire the woman's immense knowledge but I really think for example Asaveri should be sung with both rishabas and other syllables are permissable in thanam as long as it doesn't lose its identity as thanam.

But otherwise her music is perfect for someone who is both a novice to learning music and has a LOT for the musically knowledgeable as well to learn from. In the world of snazzy female 'artistes' she still stands tall as the grand matriarch of real, traditional and chaste carnatic music.
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Post by sbala » 12 Aug 2007, 21:55

That's probably because she has done lot of research and is not just a performer. If you have researched and explored topics in depth, you tend to develop strong opinions on those subject areas and some innovations or changes might appear frivolous.
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Post by vasanthakokilam » 12 Aug 2007, 22:25

Good point sbala on that aspect of Smt. Vedavalli's background. While strongly opinionated people are dime a dozen (in forums such as this or elsewhere online/offline ), it is only a few who can back it up with stuff. Her knowledge is a great combination of her own vidwat, her close interactions with other musicians and scholars over the decades and her own research and exploration. She has earned the right to be opinionated on such things.
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Post by neelotpal.m.s » 26 May 2008, 21:24

if you want to liisten to a sublime TODI, go to sangeetapriya and listen to Vedavalii amma.Her 'dakshayani' of dikshitar glows in all its glory as lustrous as the goddess parvati who is extolled in that kriti.never have i heard in recent times such a beautiful and delightful swarakalpana and niraval in todi.specially,vedavalli ammas essays in kizhstayi are amazing and her sruti suddham shows her being a true'sangita kalanidhi'. nowadays even seasoned artists falter onm sruti alignment.they maintain it in first two pieces of their concerts,but slowly deviate from it.it is like a ',gopuccha yati',that part of prosody in which words are employed in abundance in starting phase but get shortened alike the tail of cow,which is long at the end and slowly becomes thin as it goes .
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Post by Vocalist » 03 Jun 2008, 17:45

There was one songlist that was posted up a long time ago that I kept and wished I'd heard the concert in person based on the review. In any case, I'll post that up once I find it.
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Post by rajeeram » 03 Jun 2008, 22:24

That indeed is a sublime todi from Smt. Vedavalli. Thanks for the pointer, neelotpal.m.s.

Her music is majestic as well as calming, very peace-inducing.
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Post by ragapriya » 10 Oct 2008, 22:47

Can somebody give me the link to Smt Vedavalli's lecdem on 'Manodharma through varnams'. I couldnt locate it in Sangeethapriya.

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Post by sankirnam » 11 Oct 2008, 02:46

Vedavalli mami is one of my favorite female artists, I always make it a point to attend her concerts during December.. I will never be able to forget her Music Academy concerts from the past two years, and her Ragasudha concert in 2006... the way she sang the Dakshayani in 2007 and Shri Subramanyaya (with thanam) are forever etched in my mind.

The nadai pallavi she sang last year the Music Academy was so grand, and her thalam control is immense (of course being Mudicondan Venkatrama Iyer's student it is no surprise).
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Post by prashant » 11 Oct 2008, 18:36

What a pallavi that was, sankIrNam!!! 'rAmA abhirAmA pari pAhi, sIta samEta shri', in khaNDa triputa [khaNDa gati], right? Your Guru provided some sparklingly intelligent accompaniment for that pallavi...
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Post by sankirnam » 12 Oct 2008, 01:09

Yes the pallavi is that thalam only, if i remember right, the eduppu was 1/2 aksharam (2 matras) from samam, and arudhi karvai was 3 aksharams.

I'll never forget the thani Narayanan sir played for Vedavalli mami's 2006 Academy concert, the pin-drop silence in the hall, and especially the tisram!
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Post by prashant » 12 Oct 2008, 08:45

IIRC, sankIrNam, this is the structure of the pallavi

khaNDa tripuTa [khaNDa gati] - 9 beats x 5 aksharams per beat - eDuppu 1 aksharam after samam.

rA - 4 mA - 4
a - 1 bhi - 1 rA - 4 mA - 4
pa - 1 ri - 1 pA - 4
hi - 6 [arudi]
sI - 3 tA - 2
sa - 3 mE - 2 ta - 3
shri - 2
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Post by vijay » 12 Oct 2008, 13:01

True - it was a rather knotty Pallavi. Prashant thanks for the structure
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