Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

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rajeshnat
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#1 Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lecdem : Done by Lalitharam whose name is ramachandran , also the founder of parivadhini
Sponsors and Patrons : MMI Rasikas Association , Hamsadhwani and Parampara
Occassion : Madurai Somu Centenary
Day/Duration : Sunday / 2 hours and 20 minutes LecDem
Hall : Hamsadhwani-Adyar

MMI Rasikas Association with the support of Hamsadhwani and Parampara invited our Lalitharam for his musical lecdem on Madurai Somu . Lalitharam is so thorough in his research he spends time in collecting content , curates the content , looks at every angle both from the pro and anti gang viewpoints of every musicians . Most importantly he tries to prove every opinion of his and he liberally supports with the right contextual clip and it always becomes a factual presentation.

This writeup is long , rather very long , I am breaking the context in the flow of presentation . Whereever i feel like adding my comments will add with italics my thoughts .The last part Part 9 is my own addendum .

Madurai Somu is an exemplary maverick is what i thought . I went even before the lecdem atleast 20 mins before and I was greeted by Vishnuramprasad (the numero #1 mmi paithiyam who is below 50 years of age) and more then the welcome i also got sweet Poli and Vada as snacks . I thought that was a great gesture for them to spend for may be 200 count of max rasikas. I also thought the title Madurai Somu in the first slide was given an apt title as Isai Asuran Madurai Somu.

Introduction by Hamsadhwani Sundar- Part 1
----------------------------------------------------
#1A. Hamsadhwani Sundar started exactly at 6pm with his crisp introduction. Lalitharam was liberally introduced for his work on historic musicians . His work on GNB , PMI etc was broached and he also told that Lalitharam has started working on writing a book on Collecting content for Madurai Somu

#1B. Hamsadhwani Sundar gave an interesting recollection of a concert that Sundar attended with his family. That concert was held in R R Sabha . That particular concert Madurai somu did a mimicry for 30 mins on different artist of his era and few before his era . The mimicry was not in lighter vein or a cheap comedy. Madurai Somu took turns to only appreciate the sheer vidwat and excellence of each of the musicians that he did the mimicry

#1C. Lalithram speaking with eloquence came in very well when he explained about why he had kept "IsaiAsuran" as the title . He said IsaiAsuran is not demeaning term for any musician and should not be understood as inferior. Lalitharam said Ravana used the thalai and his hand as Veeena and said Isaiasuran also means madurai somu's devagaanam

A first kambodhi alapana clip was played in full and that was a lovely alapana . Lalitharam quipped saying that he did not know where he could stop this alapana and he decided to play in full.

I felt the asuran introduction with kAmbOdhi alapana was a great choice kind of appeared contextual

rajeshnat
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#2 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Early Years Of Madurai Somu - Part 2
---------------------------------------------
#2A.Madurai Somu parents did not have much inclination for performing music. His grandmother and grandfather were Nagarathnam ammal and Sundararaja pillai.Madurai Somu was the 10th kid and in his family no one took up music. Madurai Somu original name was paramasivam and swamimalai(near kumbakonam) was his birth place. The name Madurai Somu was christened much later from swamimalai paramasivam.
I forgot who christened Swamimalai Paramasivam to Madurai Somu which Lalitharam mentioned

#2B.Madurai Somu never learnt music till the age of 10 and he was practicing Kusti(Wrestling) and Silambu.He got acclimitized with one person by name Narayana Konar . Lalitharam gave an anecdote where Somu had visualized a Goddess Kaali and there was some vision of Kaali that Somu had . Madurai Somu initially learnt tevaram in particular Thodura seyyan . In his early days he was associated with nadaswara vidwan Madurai Ponnuswamy Pillai
I am just wondering if Kusti and silambu gave him that stamina and vigour, will today's musician learn that so that you dont sag please

#2C.Madurai Somu had a particular liking for SG Kittappa . He used to listen to a lot of SG Kitappa Recordings and he himself has said that he was heavily influenced by SG Kittapa and his magnetic voice. Somu's first and early gurus where Sesha bhagavathar, Abhirama Sastri. Somu did a gurukulavasam with Chitoor Subramania pillai for 14 years. He particularly used to meet CSP in purasaiwalkam, Chennai where many days he used to take care of the cows and buffaloes in the house of CSP . His duty was at times to milk those cows and help CSP.Somu never used to complain about long hours in doing this CSP house ordeal as in those times he used to practice longer.

#2D. Madurai SOmu completely got mesemerized with nadaswara maestro TN Rajarathinam Pillai , he modelled most of his music with TNR ideas and nadaswara pidi. Also somu used to adore GNB especially in alapana. Somu adored his gurunathar Chitoor subramania pillai and a relevant clipping singing in praise of CSP was played. That song had lines like "intha somanukku sollithantha subramaniakku " and showed how much of a guru-sishya pair they were.

Madurai Somu -Awards and key concerts - Part 3
-------------------------------------------------------
#3A. Madurai somu sang in junior slot in 1945 to 1947 in academy and his first concert in academy of 1945 even had a thamizh review . Madurai somu debut concert was held much before he came to madras
I have forgotten which was the venue of somu's first concert . With somu being born in 1919 i am assuming it happened in 1930s.

#3B. Barring Madurai somu missing out SK , somu got adequare awards from annamalai univerysity, IFA, thamizhisai and even padmashri award. Somu used to travel continously for concerts and at times he has even changed clothes in station and gone to the next concert.

Deep Look of Music of Madurai Somu - Part 4
------------------------------------------------
#4A. Madurai somu is a musician whose singing rubs the rasikas with intensity. Lalitharam said just as how language comes first and then the grammar comes next and mentioned that somu lakshyam was not strictly conventional .

#4B. Somu practically had zero inhibition . His music was not sounding arrogant and there was always immense audience connect. Lalitharam played a small clip where madurai somu while singing manirangu jovially asks one member of the audience to sit and not leave . At that time also his music was truly celebration and his music was always celebration. Somu was an intense rasika on stage and then only a musician . Somu did have excess melancholy and its associated emotion.

rajeshnat
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#3 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Alapana of Madurai Somu - Part 5
------------------------------------------------

#5A. Madurai somu voice was plaint but was always heavy.Many have misunderstood his raga alapana and lalithram played a very early day madurai somu's mesmerizing reetigowlai alapana . He showed some snippets where how somu voice joins with tambura strings

#5B. Madurai somu raga alapana was effortless in all octaves and he did showcase multiple alapanas in same ragas I cannot recollect what he meant by multiple alapanas now. Lalitharam said somu was at ease in both coventional and rare ragas . For conventional ragas he played an outstanding dhanyasi alapana and a kuvalayabharanam for the rare alapana. Somu had intense love for symmetry ragas like Sivapriya and kumarapriya . Lalitharam mentioned a rare raga by name vasukari which somu sang and also put a mention about bhavabharanam which was near equivalent of hamsaviNodhini. Lalitharam mentioned that he has referred the nadhamuni books and certain rare ragas that he sang was exactly in line with the books . Lalitharam also squashed the critics opinion that somu generally does not know the scale and raga by giving adequate examples

# 5C. Somu mastery of hindustani alapanas was showcased next . The raga dAkshaayani was played , this raga is a combo of ragas- mAndu and durga and it was superb

#5D.The human voice can exactly replicate nadaswaram and noone can bring in this theory as proof other than somu. Lalitharam explained how two nadaswara artist take turns and play and how exactly somu is doing that alapana just like nadaswaram . A brilliant and impactful shanmughapriya was played where somu and kazhugumalai kandaswamy (his sishya ) plays the nadaswara favourite shanmughapriya raga.

#5E. Madurai Soumu did not sing vivadhi ragas . Lalitharam mentioned something about manoranjani and grahabedham i cannot recollect now as what he said about grahabedham and manoranjani .

This section was the most impactful for me .Lalitharam did a brilliant job with superb contextual alapanas. For me three alapanas were out of the world. One is dhanyasi , that dhanyasi alapana was promoted to a todi status . What mastery and what an impact with pouring sangathis . Also when the dakshayani was played i was wondering how did this genius give such sheen and bring it to say a nattaikurinji status . The way somu and his sishya joined for shanmughapriya it was deep dive into sea for atleast 10 mins , you cannot hear such a shanmughapriya alapana ever from any one nadaswaram was swallowed by somu and his sishya


Madurai Somu - Krithis - Part 6
-------------------------------------------------------
#6A. Madurai Somu sang exquisite krithis of MD and T , the MD krithis came in from his ettayapuram samasthana guru training and thyagaraja krithis from his exclusive and rare Chittoor school . Certain krithis like rAnadhi ra of T were strictly sung by chitoor - somu school

#6B. Somu has indeed used few sahithya phrases as anchor points and placeholders for his extra and onspot manodharmam. Somu some times sing the same krithis in two ragas he made a mention about ninnu naaminaanu
which was sung in two ragas omkaari and suddhadhanyasi

#6C. In many of his concerts somu brought in so much of his own krithis or some vaggeyakkara who is known only to him. He usually customizes krithis to suit the nearest temple town that he is singing . There was a mention of somu singing "virainthodi vanden virali malai muruga" and in another concert he sang the same krithi as "virainthodi vanden tiruttani malai muruga" suiting that temple town and venue.

#6D. Somu indeed had a shade of idiosynchracy. But i liked what lalitharam said that we have to focus not on his 5 percent idiosynchoracy but his 95% music.

#6E. Somu once sang two concerts one from 12 to 5 and another from 7 to 1 and next day he gave a radio concert.

# 6F. Lalitharam showed a screen snapshot of songlist of two tamizh isai concerts of KVN and Somu. KVN had all the known vageyakkaras and where as somu had a longer list . Somu when he sings thamizh isai concerts he will take both evening and night slots . Somu concert of thamih isai had some composer names like sarangan, chennai lingam, vaitheeswaran , balasaheb desigar , ilankambar , CS Nachiappan .

rajeshnat
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#4 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Madurai Somu Neraval and Swaras and RTP - Part 7
-------------------------------------------------------
#7A. Madurai Somu neraval was explained with Pallavi neraval . THe lines were sogasuga mrudanga tamu where he does quite a bit of swara poruttam also.

#7B. There was one out of the world todi swaras that was played . The swaras had so many nadai changes and so many rounds of changes . The return by Lalgudi was phenomenal and only Lalgudi could give such concise and elaborate exact replica of somu

#7c. Madurai somu 29 akshara pallavi and his handling of ata , mathya ,dhruva talam was showcased with a crisp mohanam clipping

#7D. Madurai Somu did not do full justice to taanam at all . Most of his RTP was more a RP only.Ragamaliga swaras with hemavati anandabhairavi was played

Madurai somu - thukkadas - Part 8
-------------------------------
#8A. Somu extraordinary thukkada singing was covered not extensively . He played a long clip of a lovely viruththam "Arupadai vedu konda" in bhageshri , kuntalavarali , shankarabharanam ,nattaikurinji , neelambari etc

#8B. Somu rare bhajan on hare krishna was played

#8C. The song tirupati venkatesan tiruttani murugan lines were given by 2 composers and somu took each line from the two composed and stitched it as a pallavi

#8D.Somu lecdem ended with a lovely flagship tukkada in nealamani . Somu moved us with both music and emote with his enna kavi pAdinalum.

rajeshnat
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#5 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Rajesh Personal feedback for lalitharam - Part 9
-------------------------------------------------------
# Little more explanation with bit more focus on tukkadas would have helped

#. Some thoughts on his submain , his starting numbers etc . He did all this segmentation of opening numbers , submain , slow numbers etc he did that for GNB and MMI lecdems that i attended but did not do with Somu lecdem . I hope he beefs bit more content.

# Personally he thanked offline some patrons like Raju Asokan , Coolkarni. PErsonally in years 2006 to 2008 timeframe the greatest count of recordings have been put by Raju Asokan . Some clips from his collection to illustrate say his kaithalam niraithanil start in jaganmohini , a rama neepai submain in a lovely kedaram could have helped.

# NOthing to do with the feedback. Just my(rajeshnat) personal recollection of Madurai Somu . In 1980s I have seen so many times madurai somu near my home in nungambakkam . I recollect once or twice hearing him singing in a hair dressing salon . I have also gone inside few times inside his home in Lake Area as the cricket tennis ball used to go inside his house so that we continue our roadside tennis ball cricket near his house . Some time in 1988 or so i played bit of mickey where when he passes near me in the street i used to just shout "madurai malai mA maniye murugaiyya" he used to just say sabash sabash . I have heard him just once in a concert for just half of his concert some time in 80's and my parents have told me that once when i was small when i went to vadapalani temple there was a somu concert (we went to temple not to hear his concert is what my family says). All i recollect is my father who had close to zero interest in CM had some liking only for Madurai Somu.My Late father never would have heard somu for more than 1 or 2 hours max . There is Something that pulled some uninitiated rasikas like my dad and certainly only madurai somu was able to do which almost no musician did. I never knew his greatness when he was alive and all i thought was he shouts madurai malai mA maniyE murugaiyya then , but what a brilliant musician he was . Thanks to Raju Asokan (especially)and Coolkarni .


Madurai Somu , certainly has shown maximum verve and his concerts did bring in so much of originality and ragabhavam was in plenty with such intense connect . What a phenomenal singer he was and kudos to lalitha in picking up so well his viewpoints with such brilliant snippets.

All said this was truly excellent to outstanding lecdem presentation by Lalitharam .

parivadini
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#6 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

rajeshnat wrote: 03 Aug 2019, 22:48 Early Years Of Madurai Somu - Part 2
---------------------------------------------
#2A.Madurai Somu parents did not have much inclination for performing music. His grandmother and grandfather were Nagarathnam ammal and Sundararaja pillai.Madurai Somu was the 10th kid and in his family no one took up music. Madurai Somu original name was paramasivam and swamimalai(near kumbakonam) was his birth place. The name Madurai Somu was christened much later from swamimalai paramasivam.
I forgot who christened Swamimalai Paramasivam to Madurai Somu which Lalitharam mentioned

#2B.Madurai Somu never learnt music till the age of 10 and he was practicing Kusti(Wrestling) and Silambu.He got acclimitized with one person by name Narayana Konar . Lalitharam gave an anecdote where Somu had visualized a Goddess Kaali and there was some vision of Kaali that Somu had . Madurai Somu initially learnt tevaram in particular Thodura seyyan . In his early days he was associated with nadaswara vidwan Madurai Ponnuswamy Pillai
I am just wondering if Kusti and silambu gave him that stamina and vigour, will today's musician learn that so that you dont sag please

#2C.Madurai Somu had a particular liking for SG Kittappa . He used to listen to a lot of SG Kitappa Recordings and he himself has said that he was heavily influenced by SG Kittapa and his magnetic voice. Somu's first and early gurus where Sesha bhagavathar, Abhirama Sastri. Somu did a gurukulavasam with Chitoor Subramania pillai for 14 years. He particularly used to meet CSP in purasaiwalkam, Chennai where many days he used to take care of the cows and buffaloes in the house of CSP . His duty was at times to milk those cows and help CSP.Somu never used to complain about long hours in doing this CSP house ordeal as in those times he used to practice longer.

#2D. Madurai SOmu completely got mesemerized with nadaswara maestro TN Rajarathinam Pillai , he modelled most of his music with TNR ideas and nadaswara pidi. Also somu used to adore GNB especially in alapana. Somu adored his gurunathar Chitoor subramania pillai and a relevant clipping singing in praise of CSP was played. That song had lines like "intha somanukku sollithantha subramaniakku " and showed how much of a guru-sishya pair they were.

Madurai Somu -Awards and key concerts - Part 3
-------------------------------------------------------
#3A. Madurai somu sang in junior slot in 1945 to 1947 in academy and his first concert in academy of 1945 even had a thamizh review . Madurai somu debut concert was held much before he came to madras
I have forgotten which was the venue of somu's first concert . With somu being born in 1919 i am assuming it happened in 1930s.

#3B. Barring Madurai somu missing out SK , somu got adequare awards from annamalai univerysity, IFA, thamizhisai and even padmashri award. Somu used to travel continously for concerts and at times he has even changed clothes in station and gone to the next concert.

Deep Look of Music of Madurai Somu - Part 4
------------------------------------------------
#4A. Madurai somu is a musician whose singing rubs the rasikas with intensity. Lalitharam said just as how language comes first and then the grammar comes next and mentioned that somu lakshyam was not strictly conventional .

#4B. Somu practically had zero inhibition . His music was not sounding arrogant and there was always immense audience connect. Lalitharam played a small clip where madurai somu while singing manirangu jovially asks one member of the audience to sit and not leave . At that time also his music was truly celebration and his music was always celebration. Somu was an intense rasika on stage and then only a musician . Somu did have excess melancholy and its associated emotion.
Rajesh: Thanks for the detailed notes. They are actually very useful for more more than anyone else :-).

A Few clarificications:

1. Somu learnt Nagaswaram from Natesa Pillai who was Madurai Ponnusami Pillai's son.
2. The first song he learnt from Narayana Konar was "thodudaiya seviyan" - the famous devaram of Gnanasambandar.
3. Somu's debut was in 1932 at Thiruchendur Murugan Temple (before he joined Chitoor).

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#7 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

rajeshnat wrote: 03 Aug 2019, 22:51 Alapana of Madurai Somu - Part 5
------------------------------------------------

#5A. Madurai somu voice was plaint but was always heavy.Many have misunderstood his raga alapana and lalithram played a very early day madurai somu's mesmerizing reetigowlai alapana . He showed some snippets where how somu voice joins with tambura strings

#5B. Madurai somu raga alapana was effortless in all octaves and he did showcase multiple alapanas in same ragas I cannot recollect what he meant by multiple alapanas now. Lalitharam said somu was at ease in both coventional and rare ragas . For conventional ragas he played an outstanding dhanyasi alapana and a kuvalayabharanam for the rare alapana. Somu had intense love for symmetry ragas like Sivapriya and kumarapriya . Lalitharam mentioned a rare raga by name vasukari which somu sang and also put a mention about bhavabharanam which was near equivalent of hamsaviNodhini. Lalitharam mentioned that he has referred the nadhamuni books and certain rare ragas that he sang was exactly in line with the books . Lalitharam also squashed the critics opinion that somu generally does not know the scale and raga by giving adequate examples

# 5C. Somu mastery of hindustani alapanas was showcased next . The raga dAkshaayani was played , this raga is a combo of ragas- mAndu and durga and it was superb

#5D.The human voice can exactly replicate nadaswaram and noone can bring in this theory as proof other than somu. Lalitharam explained how two nadaswara artist take turns and play and how exactly somu is doing that alapana just like nadaswaram . A brilliant and impactful shanmughapriya was played where somu and kazhugumalai kandaswamy (his sishya ) plays the nadaswara favourite shanmughapriya raga.

#5E. Madurai Soumu did not sing vivadhi ragas . Lalitharam mentioned something about manoranjani and grahabedham i cannot recollect now as what he said about grahabedham and manoranjani .

This section was the most impactful for me .Lalitharam did a brilliant job with superb contextual alapanas. For me three alapanas were out of the world. One is dhanyasi , that dhanyasi alapana was promoted to a todi status . What mastery and what an impact with pouring sangathis . Also when the dakshayani was played i was wondering how did this genius give such sheen and bring it to say a nattaikurinji status . The way somu and his sishya joined for shanmughapriya it was deep dive into sea for atleast 10 mins , you cannot hear such a shanmughapriya alapana ever from any one nadaswaram was swallowed by somu and his sishya


Madurai Somu - Krithis - Part 6
-------------------------------------------------------
#6A. Madurai Somu sang exquisite krithis of MD and T , the MD krithis came in from his ettayapuram samasthana guru training and thyagaraja krithis from his exclusive and rare Chittoor school . Certain krithis like rAnadhi ra of T were strictly sung by chitoor - somu school

#6B. Somu has indeed used few sahithya phrases as anchor points and placeholders for his extra and onspot manodharmam. Somu some times sing the same krithis in two ragas he made a mention about ninnu naaminaanu
which was sung in two ragas omkaari and suddhadhanyasi

#6C. In many of his concerts somu brought in so much of his own krithis or some vaggeyakkara who is known only to him. He usually customizes krithis to suit the nearest temple town that he is singing . There was a mention of somu singing "virainthodi vanden virali malai muruga" and in another concert he sang the same krithi as "virainthodi vanden tiruttani malai muruga" suiting that temple town and venue.

#6D. Somu indeed had a shade of idiosynchracy. But i liked what lalitharam said that we have to focus not on his 5 percent idiosynchoracy but his 95% music.

#6E. Somu once sang two concerts one from 12 to 5 and another from 7 to 1 and next day he gave a radio concert.

# 6F. Lalitharam showed a screen snapshot of songlist of two tamizh isai concerts of KVN and Somu. KVN had all the known vageyakkaras and where as somu had a longer list . Somu when he sings thamizh isai concerts he will take both evening and night slots . Somu concert of thamih isai had some composer names like sarangan, chennai lingam, vaitheeswaran , balasaheb desigar , ilankambar , CS Nachiappan .
1. I meant his voice was misunderstood. People his associate his voice in the late seventies and eighties and think he always had a gruff voice. That was not true. It is another matter that he was able to weave magic in the later day concerts despite the hoarseness in his voice.
2. I meant Somu had multiple approached to sing raga alapana and did not have one template. (The Reethigowlai approach and Kuvalayabharanam approach were totally different. The Dhakshayani was completely done in Hindustani style etc.)
3. Somu did not have Ettayapura Samastana Training. I mentioned he had MD repertoire as well. In fact he had given exclusive MD concerts in Ettaiyapuram during the Dikshitar bicentennial year. There is a review of this concert published in a Tamil magazine.
4. Somu taking both evening and night slots was a comment made in jest looking at the length of the lists. That was not true though :-)

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#8 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

rajeshnat wrote: 03 Aug 2019, 22:52 Madurai Somu Neraval and Swaras and RTP - Part 7
-------------------------------------------------------
#7A. Madurai Somu neraval was explained with Pallavi neraval . THe lines were sogasuga mrudanga tamu where he does quite a bit of swara poruttam also.

#7B. There was one out of the world todi swaras that was played . The swaras had so many nadai changes and so many rounds of changes . The return by Lalgudi was phenomenal and only Lalgudi could give such concise and elaborate exact replica of somu

#7c. Madurai somu 29 akshara pallavi and his handling of ata , mathya ,dhruva talam was showcased with a crisp mohanam clipping

#7D. Madurai Somu did not do full justice to taanam at all . Most of his RTP was more a RP only.Ragamaliga swaras with hemavati anandabhairavi was played

Madurai somu - thukkadas - Part 8
-------------------------------
#8A. Somu extraordinary thukkada singing was covered not extensively . He played a long clip of a lovely viruththam "Arupadai vedu konda" in bhageshri , kuntalavarali , shankarabharanam ,nattaikurinji , neelambari etc

#8B. Somu rare bhajan on hare krishna was played

#8C. The song tirupati venkatesan tiruttani murugan lines were given by 2 composers and somu took each line from the two composed and stitched it as a pallavi

#8D.Somu lecdem ended with a lovely flagship tukkada in nealamani . Somu moved us with both music and emote with his enna kavi pAdinalum.
1. The todi piece was actually a nereval in the song "Sriranganatham Bhajeham". Where Somu sings a lot of alapana like phrases and a tnr-sque climaz and adds some nadai variations as well. Lalgudi in his turn reproduces every bit of it with gutso!
2. The pallavi was in Sankirna Jati Dhruva talam

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#9 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

Thanks again for taking the time to write this.

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#10 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by Sachi_R »

Dear Rajesh,
Exemplary effort. Thanks. Without this we would not have got an idea of what happened there that day.

Lalitharam,
You have mentioned Somu to me a couple of times. Try to make this into a presentation that can be enjoyed by older people like me who are not so mobile but are addicted to their mobiles 😀

I am no expert on Somu. I remember his electrifying the Mysore audience with just the Vanajakshi Adi tala varna in 60s. That was my first encounter.

I think Lalgudi and Vellore were perhaps accompanying him that day. Everyone except he had broken into sweat and needed a five minute rest after the varna.

He used to sing 4-hour concerts in Mysore. The pandal would be packed till well past midnight.

Somu crystallised a core idea or value in Carnatic music. The rasa and bhava are paramount. The "melody" is in "the mind". If there is rasa and bhava, the listener will go well beyond the superficial tone and window dressing that you will find in non-carnatic music. Of course Sruti cannot be jettisoned. That's all.
My suspicion is that even in non-carnatic music, the rasa and bhava will take hold of the listener after a few minutes. It is a bit like entering a historical monument without too much scenic beauty like Swiss lakes but with so much to enjoy and understand that you enter into a SUPER dimension.

Somu established instantly in his concert that he was well-trained and TOTALLY focussed on creating his own brand of magic at that place and at that time. Never a business-like musician.

When he sang O Rama Neenaamam Enta Ruchira, you knew you were in the presence of a bhakta. Not just a technician musician.

I think a number of current stars have been inspired by Somu whether they admit it or not.

Lalitharam,
I want to hear your talk and recording. Don't mind that my Tamil is poor. I will manage.

God bless.

Sachi_R
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#11 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by Sachi_R »

And who are the accompanists, here, please?
Madurai Somu - Timeless Magic of the Virtuoso https://g.co/kgs/QcXg8G

My guess... MC, TVG

malavi
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#12 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by malavi »

This Lecdem by Lalitaram was an excellent one. The way he enjoyed the music of Madurai Somu standing on the stage with such abandon was enjoyable. For the 29 akshara RTP he demonstrated the talam and his explanations were really nice.on the whole it was a pleasant experience for us who didn't know much about Sri.Somu p

rajeshnat
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#13 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Image
From Left to Right :???, Hamsadhwani Sundar, Mrs Hamsadhwani Ramachandran, Lalitharam , VishnuRamprasad
Behind : Venugopalan Sundarrajan (green Tshir-t son of Late Chitti Sundarrajan ) and Gokul (the main person who created the MMI website)
Last edited by rajeshnat on 04 Aug 2019, 21:40, edited 1 time in total.

rajeshnat
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#14 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by rajeshnat »

Image
Vishnuramprasad and Lalitharam Ramachandran(MMI and GNB Paithiyams) must have collaborated for Madurai Somu

arasi
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#15 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by arasi »

Lalitharam,
You are precious--your work has been impressive in the past decade and more. You are not merely a rasikA but a rich contributor to CM by your hard work. With serious knowledge about the artiste (s), you create and carry out with a fine aesthetic approach and care of course, your projects. The results have been noteworthy--may it be a Parlandu (Fernandez) award or filming and chronicling of legends in CM. Your focusing on nadaswaram music has made an impact already. And your tamizh writing! I should look out for it on a regular basis. pala kAlam kalaip paNi seidu vAzhndiDuga! Many more years
to you, in your contributing to the arts!

Vishnuprasad, a pleasure to see you in the pictures! And your smile :) RasikAs like you defy the saying: vAichollil vIraraDi. Empty words...Your enthusiasm for MMI has been witnessed happily by rasikAs, all these years.

Venugopal,
I missed running into you in Chennai the past two years. Good to see you and of course be reminded of your father's fine writing. You seem to have lost weight, but the smile--perhaps one should call it the MMI generated smile...

Sachi avarE! It's heartwarming to have a super rasikA AND a tamizh lover too among us, and how you enrich our lives with your input! A renaissance man, a bright spot on the horizon when we see divisions of every kind creep into our lives and frustrate us no end!

Rajesh,
Your unflagging passion for music and persistence with what you believe in can be matched, ahem, only by another Rajesh I have also seen that MMI inspired smile on your face, though you often sport that serious look :)

Above all, the adoration of two of my favorites from the past, MMI and Somu! What more can I ask for! Call me sentimental,
I don't mind. We have had our share of bashing of good music recently. Enough!

Sometime ago, I did translate some writing on Somu's music besides reviews by Kalki. Thanks to Pasupathy, another rasikA I bow to, who is tireless in bringing us good writing in tamizh--also plenty about CM, of course...

Sivaramakrishnan
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#16 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by Sivaramakrishnan »

Though I very much wanted to attend Lalitharam's presentation, I couldn't make it to the venue due to some genuine reasons. But rajeshnat's comprehensive review (like Somu's Todi) literally took me to Hamsadhwani.

Thanks rajesh for the photos too.

I had the opportunity to listen (in person) to a very few concerts of Somu, thanks to the Saivaprakaasa sabhai run by the Tamil population in Trivandrum during the seventies. I (a teenager then) remember all of them were big draws. More of Tamil songs, naturally.

At a temple festival concert in Sreekanteswaram temple, towards the end, someone from the audience requested him to sing on the temple deity (Lord Siva)and the 'nimishakavi' in him composed and rendered one instantly. The overjoyed rasika came up to the stage and garlanded him with a 'currency-note maalai' much to everyone's surprise. And Somu quipped in a lighter vein to an excited audience: ''Therinchirundhaa ellaa paattum unga saami melayee paadiyiruppeney'' (had I known this, I would have sung all the songs on this deity''!!)

Another concert was in Thripathisaaram near Nagercoil (again at a temple festival) where he sang before a large audience and the second half of the recital consisted mostly of a chain of virutthams interlinked by songs.

Sachi_R
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#17 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by Sachi_R »

This thread is indeed a breath of fresh air! God bless

bhasi
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#18 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by bhasi »

Quite fortuitously, I had come across Madurai Somu's name recently through some article and had just begun to discover him on Youtube a couple of days ago. What do I see when I check the new posts here on Rasikas? This post! Thank you @parivadini for the lec-dem and clarifications, and @rajeshnat for your assiduous chronicling of the event. I learnt a lot today from this post!

cacm
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#19 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by cacm »

I JUST WISH TO STATE:
S.RAJAM said that when SOMU WAS ON there was no one to equal him!
My last converasation with Lalgudi Jayaraman at his house covered all the GREATS he had accompanied : out of the 2 hours one hour was devoted to Somu! He played & explained what was SPECIAL that Somu did!.......GREAT PERSON TOO!VKV

arasi
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#20 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by arasi »

VKV,
vaSishTar vAyAlE--to hear it from you!

And, to hear from you :)

grsastrigal
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#21 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by grsastrigal »

Very nice review. As usual Rajeshji's explanation was top class
I also hosted Madurai Somu's live recording (under my trust-Tejomayanandam) coupled with speeches, at Indira Parthasarathy hall, Abiramapuram. Thiruvallur Parthasarathy was the chief guest. My father who breathes Somu was also present and gave a speech on Somu. Ever-friendly Yessel helped me with a vintage recording of Somu, with Manirangu (Ranidhi) and Shankarabaranam...

Rajeshji might have missed this.

cacm
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#22 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by cacm »

Dear Arasi,
THANKS.....It was nice to hear from you.....I respond now a days onlyto a few posts! VKV

CRama
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#23 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by CRama »

grsastrigal. I attended the listening session of Madurai Somu concert held in Indira Ranganathan Trust a few days ago. Glad to know that you had hosted that event. As usual, the Somu concert was spell binding. Tiruvallur Parthasarathy’s anecdotes about Somu and experiences of accompanying hundreds of concerts was much illuminating. However, the personal experiences shared by Shri Kunjithapadam, Retd Professor, National college, Trichy ( I presume he is your father) took us to the younger days of Somu and we felt as if seated in many of his concerts. Your father had a great narrative style and it carried much weight because of his intimate relationship with Somu. Because I could not identify, I missed an opportunity of saying hello to you.

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#24 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by shankarank »

Sachi_R wrote: 04 Aug 2019, 14:27 Somu crystallised a core idea or value in Carnatic music. The rasa and bhava are paramount. The "melody" is in "the mind". If there is rasa and bhava, the listener will go well beyond the superficial tone and window dressing that you will find in non-carnatic music. Of course Sruti cannot be jettisoned. That's all.

My suspicion is that even in non-carnatic music, the rasa and bhava will take hold of the listener after a few minutes. It is a bit like entering a historical monument without too much scenic beauty like Swiss lakes but with so much to enjoy and understand that you enter into a SUPER dimension.
Can you tell me how many "the so called core" Carnatic musicians among his contemporaries were really melodious? Impediment to listening to Somu is some sense of good melody? Where was that acquired in the first place and which era ( exact decades please) are you talking about?

Oh the non carnatic music and its cosmetics and window dressing! Why compare Somu only to that? Why was that not a problem for so many other "core" carnatic musicians?

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#25 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

A short clip from the presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLscFRfCzQ0

arasi
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#26 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by arasi »

Lalitharam,
Nice to see the clip and hear you speak.
The word asura can come in handy to describe many admirable qualities! Why, in music, asura sAdhakam (immense amount of practice), is a well-known expression. asura prayatna(m) is apt for describing how one tried one's best in wanting to accomplish something...

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#27 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

Another short snippet on Somu's audience connect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4OWsp1K6-4

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#28 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by Purist »

cacm wrote: 08 Aug 2019, 04:15 I JUST WISH TO STATE:
S.RAJAM said that when SOMU WAS ON there was no one to equal him!
My last converasation with Lalgudi Jayaraman at his house covered all the GREATS he had accompanied : out of the 2 hours one hour was devoted to Somu! He played & explained what was SPECIAL that Somu did!.......GREAT PERSON TOO!VKV
VKV sir, can you share some thoughts on LGJ's explaining what was special that Somu did,
would love to know.

cacm
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#29 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by cacm »

LGJ DISCUSSED THE PURITY OF TONE IN BOTH UPPER REGISTER & LOWER REGISTER OF SOMU& SHOWED THE INNOVATIONS HE HADTO DO ON THE SPOT to reproduce them on the violin.Need a violin & a great Violinist like
LGJ TO SHOW IT. MMI also stopped on his way to railway station & missed the train. He also demonstrated this with his voice1.....VKV

Purist
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#30 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by Purist »

Thanks VKV for the feedback.
One of the specialities of Somu was bringing out the Raga essence in shortest possible time
even of rare ragas. An expert in raga sketching.

parivadini
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#31 Re: Madurai Somu Lecdem by [email protected] on July 28th,2019

Post by parivadini »

Another snippet, this time from a presentation to young students who had not heard Somu before. Excuse my exaggerated gesticulations:-): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kUN-wa ... e=youtu.be

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