TM Krishna in New Jersey

Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
appasruthi
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#1 TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by appasruthi » 20 Oct 2018, 06:42

T. M. Krishna vocal
R. K. Shriramkumar violin
Arun Prakash Mridangam

We attended a TM Krishna concert in New Jersey a few days ago (October 6, 2018). It was our first TMK concert. A thrilling experience. What we did not anticipate was the power in his voice. Even though we've listened to so many albums and recordings, we just did not anticipate hearing such a powerful voice. Almost 4 hour concert. Here is a list of songs:
1. Hamir kalyani. Venkata shaila vihara. Thyagaraja
2. Narireetigowla. Iruttaikum kural undru aandhai..a song on the owl, by perumal murugan.
3. Sri ragam. Endaro mahanubhavulu and later a varnam in Sri.
4. Thodi. Gajavadana sammodhitha...asura kula.....
5. Sarasa samadama... kapi narayani
6. Meithodavu nandikeshwaranai kai thodavu kanavu kanden (I think). Kunnankudi mastan seth. A sufi saint from Thodiarpet. Devagandhari. Set to music by R. K. Shriram Kumar.
7. Behag. Pannen Unakkaga poosai ondru. Could be begada. Composer Tayumanavar.
8. Kaligiunte Kadha kalgumo kamita balada. Keeravani. Thyagaraja.
9. KuvalaYakshiro..muvva gopala rayapuride. Gowlipantu. Kshetrayya.
10. Dayavilla ... dayave beku sarva...by basavanna..followed by vaishnavo janatho.
11. Somaskandam swanandha kamakashi..dikshitar. Nottuswaram
12. Panchakshara swaropa guruvaram..dikshitar. Nottuswaram
13. Allah tero naam, ishwar tero naam...

We wanted to hear his Hamir Kalyanai, Narireetigowla, and Behag. Tick for all three (assuming Pannen Unakkaga Poosai is in Behag). I did not cath the lyrics of Perumal Murugan's song sufficiently - if someone has the entire lyrics/meaning, please do let us know. In fact, Perumal Murugan was in the audience for the first three songs. "Pannen Unakaga Poosai Ondru" was extraordinary. He seems to have sung the same song earlier this year in West Mambalam. Bharat Sundar has also sung it on occasion. I was hoping that the Narireetigowlai would have been Neelotpala Nayike. Minor gripe. On the whole, the best carnatic music concert I've attended. I hope CMANA will make the video available for viewing.
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rajeshnat
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#2 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey - Oct 06 2018

Post by rajeshnat » 20 Oct 2018, 06:54

appasruthi wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 06:42
Almost 4 hour concert. Here is a list of songs:
...
6. Meithodavu nandikeshwaranai kai thodavu kanavu kanden (I think). Kunnankudi mastan seth. A sufi saint from Thodiarpet. Devagandhari. Set to music by R. K. Shriram Kumar.
Appasruthi,
This is your first review, Thank you. All things inclusive of musicians panorama of views is only possible when concerts range some where between 3 to 4 hours. Keep writing more reviews from your area.CMANA, SIFAS,Sankrithilaya, Toronto, Auckland and Adyar River side Parivadhini , sarvani sangeetha sabha and Mudhra are all biggies that needs to be written in rasikas. God Bless CMANA team

Kunnakodi mastan seth a sufi saint has internalized on Devagandhari . I am assuming the song central theme is on nandikeshwaranai

Please reedit the master post and add time stamp please like what I did.
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appasruthi
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#3 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by appasruthi » 20 Oct 2018, 07:39

Thank you very much Rajeshnat. Yes, this is my first review. Hope to attend lot more concerts in the NYC-NJ area and report here. Regarding Kunnakudi Mastan Seth's song - I think the theme was on Nandi. Though I speak tamil, it is not good enough to keep track of more than a few words of the song! That is why I am unsure of Perumal Murugan's lyrics too.

The CMANA team did do a great job with the concert.
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sankark
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#4 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey - Oct 06 2018

Post by sankark » 20 Oct 2018, 11:48

rajeshnat wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 06:54
Please reedit the master post and add time stamp please like what I did.
Whats this - school assignment? And whats with the hang-up on duration to min/sec?
One can have a 4 hour karnakatUram or 4 min manOranjanam.

appasruthi - welcome.
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rajeshnat
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#5 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey - Oct 06 2018

Post by rajeshnat » 20 Oct 2018, 12:09

sankark wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 11:48
rajeshnat wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 06:54
Please reedit the master post and add time stamp please like what I did.
Whats this - school assignment? And whats with the hang-up on duration to min/sec?
One can have a 4 hour karnakatUram or 4 min manOranjanam.

appasruthi - welcome.
Putting date means -Easier to reference later , google index loves that way ,that is all. Either him or Mods can do it. Let us move on.
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iamsundar
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#6 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by iamsundar » 20 Oct 2018, 23:22

#3 Sri ragam. Endaro mahanubhavulu and later a varnam in Sri.
Just to clarify: Was the sequence - Raaga Alapana + Pancharatnam Krithi + Varnam?? If so, that's "interesting" even by TMK standards ;).
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Sivaramakrishnan
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#7 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by Sivaramakrishnan » 21 Oct 2018, 12:47

If TMK really intends to popularise the lyrics of Perumal Murugan, ragas like Naari reetigoula may not be the right choice IMHO. Instead, Kapi, Pantuvarali, Kalyani, kamboji or even Harikamboji would easily register in the minds of listeners.
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appasruthi
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#8 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by appasruthi » 22 Oct 2018, 03:02

iamsundar wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 23:22
#3 Sri ragam. Endaro mahanubhavulu and later a varnam in Sri.
Just to clarify: Was the sequence - Raaga Alapana + Pancharatnam Krithi + Varnam?? If so, that's "interesting" even by TMK standards ;).
Yes, indeed. My wife, who is far more knowledgeable about such things, was surprised too!
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appasruthi
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#9 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by appasruthi » 22 Oct 2018, 03:07

Sivaramakrishnan wrote:
21 Oct 2018, 12:47
If TMK really intends to popularise the lyrics of Perumal Murugan, ragas like Naari reetigoula may not be the right choice IMHO. Instead, Kapi, Pantuvarali, Kalyani, kamboji or even Harikamboji would easily register in the minds of listeners.
The song + ragam were quite good actually, at least for this rasika. I wish it were easier to access lyrics and meaning. TMK did sing a Perumal Murugan song on water in hamir kalyani, one on wind in nalinakanthi - at other performances.
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iamsundar
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#10 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by iamsundar » 22 Oct 2018, 04:26

appasruthi wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 03:02
iamsundar wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 23:22
#3 Sri ragam. Endaro mahanubhavulu and later a varnam in Sri.
Just to clarify: Was the sequence - Raaga Alapana + Pancharatnam Krithi + Varnam?? If so, that's "interesting" even by TMK standards ;).
Yes, indeed. My wife, who is far more knowledgeable about such things, was surprised too!
Thanks, Appasruthi. Surprising indeed.

"Because I can" - that's perhaps the justification for such TMK actions, that are seemingly without any clear goal or purpose. :lol:
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thenpaanan
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#11 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by thenpaanan » 22 Oct 2018, 22:52

iamsundar wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 04:26
"Because I can" - that's perhaps the justification for such TMK actions, that are seemingly without any clear goal or purpose. :lol:
I have wondered about how innovation happens in these highly traditional genres. People have continuously added new items to concerts, pallavis in Hindustani ragas and abhangs being the latest, without too much controversy or the tradition integrity being questioned. Where is that boundary of incremental change?

As an apropos, I remember reading about the furor kicked up by critics during GNB's time about the fact that he wanted to sing pallavis in "minor" ragas like Saraswati. One uncle of mine was beside himself because some concerts these days don't start with a Ganesha kriti. He was ok with dropping the varnam but not the statutory obeisance to Ganesha. :-)

-Thenpaanan
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sankark
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#12 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by sankark » 22 Oct 2018, 23:06

thenpaanan wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 22:52
iamsundar wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 04:26
"Because I can" - that's perhaps the justification for such TMK actions, that are seemingly without any clear goal or purpose. :lol:
I have wondered about how innovation happens in these highly traditional genres. People have continuously added new items to concerts, pallavis in Hindustani ragas and abhangs being the latest, without too much controversy or the tradition integrity being questioned. Where is that boundary of incremental change?

As an apropos, I remember reading about the furor kicked up by critics during GNB's time about the fact that he wanted to sing pallavis in "minor" ragas like Saraswati. One uncle of mine was beside himself because some concerts these days don't start with a Ganesha kriti. He was ok with dropping the varnam but not the statutory obeisance to Ganesha. :-)

-Thenpaanan
Anything goes in the name of innovation, is it? So start with srI rAgam (any rAgam), thAnam, a song and follow with a varNam and then round it off with perhaps another song in the same rAgam and call it a day & go with the title innOvat(sh)ikAmani?

So why not start singing the varNam p, ap, mukthAyi, charaNam, chittai and then reverse it and then end with p. Or do it the other way around - start with end and end with start. Mix and match chittaiswaram from diff varNams - thOdi, sAvEri, kalyANi, nAttaikurinji say for example.

And for those that feel left out on the laya aspect, lets mix n match tAlams to create tAlamalikai - start with simple Adi, switch to rUpakam for ap and then each charaNam in the remaining 5 of the sulAdi 7.

Let's let our hair loose and show creativity!
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yeshprabhu
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#13 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by yeshprabhu » 22 Oct 2018, 23:46

iamsundar wrote:
#3 Sri ragam. Endaro mahanubhavulu and later a varnam in Sri.
Just to clarify: Was the sequence - Raaga Alapana + Pancharatnam Krithi + Varnam?? If so, that's "interesting" even by TMK standards


I attended the T M Krishna concert at the West Windsor Plainsboro Middle School, arranged by CMANA. Regarding the Shree Raga he sang(Item number 3): He started with Taanam in Shree raga instead of alapana, and then sang Sri Thyagaraja Pancharathna kriti Endaro mahanubhavulu. He sang the entire kriti twice, and ended with another round of taanam: So there was a kind of symmetry to what he did.

This was one of the best concerts of TMK I have attended. Both Sri R K Sriram kumar and
Sri Arun Prakash accompanied him wonderfully. Usually when Arun Prakash accompanies artists, there are long periods of silence, when he literally stops playing bridangam (until he gets back in the mood again, I suppose); but not at this concert. He played continuously.

Regarding the Devagandhari raga kriti, Maithadavu Nandikeshwaranai, by the Tamil sufi saint, if I heard TMK correctly, he said the kriti was set to music by Sri Arun Prakash, and Arun Prakash smiled and bowed his head in acknowledgement. After the concert I talked briefly with all three artists and congratulated Arun Prakash for setting the kriti to music.

The main item of the concert was Sri Thyagaraja’s kriti Kaligiyunte in Keeravani raga. But there was neither introductory alapana, nor kalpana swaras for this main item, and only thani aavarthanam. If there was no thani aavarthanam, I would not have surmised that this was the main item of the concert. On the whole, a most unusual format for a concert from a vocalist famous for coming up with unexpected and unusual formats. The most notable thing in this concert, however, was his divine, bewitching voice that hurtled from the stage and reverberated in the hall. I have never heard him singing with so much energy and power.

I am not a Tamilian, and so as I took notes about the kritis he sang, there were gaps: I could not decipher the words. Had he sung only the Trimurthy kritis and Purandara Dasa and Papanasm Sivan krithis, the notes I took would have been complete. So, because of this, I refrained from writing a detailed concert review. And as I drove home from the concert, I was more convinced than ever before that Sri TMK reveals to us, at each of his successive concerts, a “new and improved version” of himself. I think there is no musician quite like him on Carnatic stage now: He is alone, all by himself, and no one anywhere near him, and no one to compare him to, except to Narada himself. That is what I said once before, almost a year ago, and that is what I am compelled to say it again. I left the hall simply awe struck. A most wondrous and satisfying concert indeed.
Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania
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thenpaanan
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#14 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by thenpaanan » 22 Oct 2018, 23:56

sankark wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 23:06

Anything goes in the name of innovation, is it? ...
Let's let our hair loose and show creativity!
But that is exactly my question! I don't see any rules, even notional ones, that say what is ok and what is not in CM innovation. Traditional genres place great importance on tradition, which is an uplifting word for history. Things that we take as commonplace today were once hotly contested when they happened (e.g. singing a concert with purely Tamil songs was a big deal once upon a time) but we don't have the same fine-grained view of historical process that we have of contemporary events. So it is not easy to see how these changes/rule violations got accepted.

So to boil it down to the point -- what would your rules be for acceptable innovation?

-T
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sankark
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#15 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by sankark » 23 Oct 2018, 08:10

thenpaanan wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 23:56
sankark wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 23:06

Anything goes in the name of innovation, is it? ...
Let's let our hair loose and show creativity!
But that is exactly my question! I don't see any rules, even notional ones, that say what is ok and what is not in CM innovation. Traditional genres place great importance on tradition, which is an uplifting word for history. Things that we take as commonplace today were once hotly contested when they happened (e.g. singing a concert with purely Tamil songs was a big deal once upon a time) but we don't have the same fine-grained view of historical process that we have of contemporary events. So it is not easy to see how these changes/rule violations got accepted.

So to boil it down to the point -- what would your rules be for acceptable innovation?

-T
Only one rule: no rule. What stands the test of time. In TMKs case, *I* doubt if any will.

Tamil: pure prejudices broken rather than innovations IMO. The original innovation lies with muttutAndavar for p/ap/c structure
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sureshvv
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#16 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by sureshvv » 23 Oct 2018, 09:16

thenpaanan wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 23:56
So to boil it down to the point -- what would your rules be for acceptable innovation?
Intention and Motivation are important gauges. If the intention is to just challenge the status-quo or conventional wisdom, innovation only goes so far. If it is to help build on the tradition in new and seldom heard ways, it will be appreciated and encouraged widely.
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iamsundar
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#17 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by iamsundar » 23 Oct 2018, 09:38

Thenpaanan - I see your rules (or lack thereof) of acceptable innovation a bit differently.

My kindergartner niece routinely insists on having curd-rice before rasam-saadam. After a while, her mom gave up the daily 5-minute dinner melee and convinced herself - “as long as she has her food, what’s the harm? Let it be..”. The family did not glorify the structural menu re-ordering as “dramatically creative” or “truly innovative”. Just different, perhaps dismissing it as the little one’s silly personal preference - that’s all.

Sankark summarized “Innovation” so succinctly as “what stands the test of time”. And I agree…. Such mumbo-jumbo (menu) re-ordering is unlikely to stand the test of time IMO.
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iamsundar
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#18 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by iamsundar » 23 Oct 2018, 09:46

sureshvv wrote:
23 Oct 2018, 09:16
thenpaanan wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 23:56
So to boil it down to the point -- what would your rules be for acceptable innovation?
Intention and Motivation are important gauges. If the intention is to just challenge the status-quo or conventional wisdom, innovation only goes so far. If it is to help build on the tradition in new and seldom heard ways, it will be appreciated and encouraged widely.
Wisely put, Sureshvv.

As an aside - there's a popular blog on "15 definitions of Innovation"; originally meant for Corporate settings, but could be tweaked and applied to "art" and "art forms" as well.
https://www.ideatovalue.com/inno/nicksk ... efinition/
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sureshvv
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#19 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by sureshvv » 23 Oct 2018, 14:07

Another aspect of sustainable innovation is that it happens ever so slowly that you do not realize when it is happening. It is not as if one fine day some artiste says I will sit down and innovate now.
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ram1999
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#20 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by ram1999 » 23 Oct 2018, 16:49

Innovation is too big a word for what krishna is upto. It is nothing but an abstract form of presenting some music.

Ariyakudi's concert format was a well thought of, structured, tested and sustained for many years AND followed by 100s and 1000s of musicians, including likes of maverick musicians such as Balamuralikrishna.

Krishna's format is followed by only krishna and not even by his students.

doing anything for the sake of doing is just an activist attitude with no clear vision or objective.
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sruthi234
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#21 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by sruthi234 » 23 Oct 2018, 21:03

I attended this concert also...One of the very fulfilling concert...I don't want to get into the argument of what he is doing is innovation or not... traditional or not etc...just listened to the music and his powerful voice filled the auditorium and ragas presented is very contemplative mood...just enjoyed...that is all
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SrinathK
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#22 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by SrinathK » 23 Oct 2018, 22:27

Who said that is innovation? A better term for that is dissolution. Freedom...
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arasi
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#23 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by arasi » 24 Oct 2018, 08:43

ram1999,
Interesting to note that the disciples follow only the Ariyakudi format...
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ram1999
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#24 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by ram1999 » 24 Oct 2018, 16:15

Post #21
Looks like an ID created specifically to affirm that the concert was good and format does not matter :lol: :lol:
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thenpaanan
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#25 Re: TM Krishna in New Jersey

Post by thenpaanan » 25 Oct 2018, 02:35

Looking at all the impressions here about what TMK's concert presentations prompts a series of questions. Any such art form as ours is bound to have irrepressible proponents who having soaked in the tradition for a while nevertheless seek to break the bounds or rules of the art form as commonly perceived.

In CM we have had Purandaradasa, .... Tyagaraja, ..., Ariyakudi, Dhanammal, GNB, MDR, Mali, BMK, etc who were all radically different from their peers in some way. Today we call them 'mArgadarshI" -- path seers (or to be more accurate path show-ers). What made them so? If the answer is "only time will tell" then we have no option but to reserve judgement on contemporary rule-breakers like TMK and let future generations make that judgement.

Second, how did these greats go about their radical presentation? Did they present it fully formed all at once, or did they experiment a little bit at a time here and there until they figured out the whole thing? If the answer is the former, were they accepted right away as novel but yet considered true to the tradition by the bulk of the opinion makers? If the answer is the latter, did the audience get slowly used to the experimental stuff so that over time it was seen as the "new normal"?

Finally if someone who was once squarely in the tradition is seen as now breaking the rules, do we exclude the creative effort as being "outside the tradition"? If so where would they go -- to Bollywood? (And this is not idle speculation -- BMK who was an SK did go to films after he was shunned by the establishment and then came back to the fold after he regained acceptability).

-T
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