M.L.Vasanthakumari

Carnatic Musicians
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sankark
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#301 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by sankark »

To summarize, when you are dogmatic to classify things into right and wrong, its little problematic. Because of such attitudes, I am afraid of some banis declining and eventually be gone. Those that adopt to a style should understand the basics of that style well and sing in adherence to that.

One: follow ones tradition and practice & sing without losing its individuality. Or, develop the ability to adapt the appropriate elements from the existing styles and assimilating it aesthetically to be ones own. No use by or of those that just want to showcase some technique.

Another thing. There are a lot of folks that depend on music for their livelihood. For them life gets tough when the wealthy come into the scene and leverage their reach. Even full time musicians have to praise sky high the music of kids of those wealthy for one or other reason, even if they don't deserve it. This leads to a dilution of the worth of the true music.

P: Shall we talk about teaching music?

M: I am very interested in teaching music. I become better when I teach. When I teach, I become my own guru too. When you teach, you evaluate whether a sangati is apt or fits that ragam. One becomes a guru and sishya at the same time.

Only when the grammar and goal are in unison, one can proceed to perfection. That perfection is always a journey to progress but not to reach, lets keep it aside. Its an ocean. We aim to reach the shores. Whether we reach it or not, one gets result commensurate to the effort one puts in. Some may get large pearls; some small ones; some nothing. As they are ordained. Like Thyagaraja sang 'sItAvara sangIta gnAnamu data vrAyavalerA'.

I believe that, if you learn a keerthanai from a guru, maximum adherence to what is learnt is necessary. There are opportunities galore to do things anew (innovate); not necessary to change the keerthanai to showcase one's talent. I think adherence to the tradition and what is received is a mark of respect to the guru (and tradition). Its essential to have guru's blessing. Chances of going wrong in a concert are plenty. We will conceive one idea. The execution could be totally different. There is lot of facilities and mechanisms available today. It may be impossible to practice gurukulavAsam like those days. But to learn through a guru is essential. Lets take Carnatic Music College. Stalwards like TMT, KVN are teaching there. Still, post getting a certificate from college, like a house surgeon or a law clerk, it is necessary to identify a guru nearer to ones heart and personally learn from that guru.
Last edited by sankark on 07 Jul 2020, 11:01, edited 1 time in total.

Pasupathy
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#302 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by Pasupathy »

MLV : About her experiences in Rishi Valley and about her Guru ( in Tamil)
1576.சங்கீத சங்கதிகள் - 238
பள்ளத்தாக்கில் ஒரு பள்ளிக்கூடம்
சாருகேசி
https://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2020/07/1576-238.html

sankark
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#303 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by sankark »

P: How should music students enrich their voice; which sruthi should they choose? Could you provide your insights about them?

M: One is fated with their voice. But they should sing open mouthed sans ugliness. Should train to throw their voice - doesn't mean they have to shout beyond their natural range. Should sing naturally, without straining. So with sruthi. Don't choose too high a pitch taking others opinion into consideration; neither choose too low. Choosing to go below 4/4.5 kattai wouldn't suit women. If you go beyond 6, its a problem for accompanists.

Hindustani musicians can go to 6.5/7 too. They have lesser restrictions. Recently some one wrote about my performance: "Why aren't our musicians able to align with sruthi with two tamburas?". Would the same critics accept if I elaborate bhairavi in mandra sthAyi for half an hour before starting viribOni? They sing like that in Hindustani.

P: What should our students do to attain great sruthi alignment?

M: While its true that gamakams have a prime place in our music, its important to practice plain swarams too. Practicing plain swarams helps in breath control and to prevent shake in voice. Akara practice is also very important. Raga exposition should be predominantly in akaram. One can use ikara ukara as necessary but that shouldn't become the mainstay. That's what ARi did. His music had no place for unnecessary or unclean. Should teach all this to our students.

P: Which languages are you fluent in?

M: I can converse fluently in tamil. english & telugu. To some extent in kannada. Hindi, even less. But, I understand the meaning of a song that I sing. I think it is necessary for the students. Even if one can't learn all the languages, should understand the meaning of the song being sung.

P: Did you start your lessons with the traditional exercises (saraLi, jantai, etc.)?

M: No. As I was surrounded with music, I just started singing.

P: Do you consider that a big drawback, that you didn't start with those lessons?

M: If someone asks me teach it, I won't be able to do so. That's the drawback. Its good that I don't teach basics.

P: Is it essential to teach kids all these?

M: Yes. but not just in mAyAmAlavagowLai but practice it in all sampoorna ragams. In akara too. That way it will help understand the swara differences across the ragams. Similarly, it is must to practice varnams in akaram.

P: There has been many recordings of your music. Isn't it?

M: The first gramophone recording of 'sarasija nAbha murArE' came out when I was 12. GNB was like 'Whats the urgency to cut a record'? And lot of recordings post that. As I had sung in cinema too, they also have come out.

As cinema songs were Karnataka music based in those days, I was able to sing in cinemas then. Stopped that when the situation changed. Even if I wanted to, I don't know if I could have sung as expected. I don't think low of light music. I like Sushieela's (P Susheela) songs very much'. Of late, few of the songs that SP Balasubrahmanyan has sung are beautiful. I don't dislike any music. I like Hindustani music too.

P: Do you believe that it would help vocalists to learn an instrument too?

M: As I had to start performing at a young age, I couldn't learn any instrument. It looks indeed so, helpful to learn an instrument.

P: Do you think you can start teaching whoever approaches you to learn? Or do you evaluate them first and then determine if they are fit to be taken as student?

M: No point in having a lot of students just to show a count once you have determined that they won't learn. Recently I got into a dilemma. A girl was sent with Malaysian Government Scholarship to be taught by me. When I was in Singapore, I had asked the girl to sing and she sang a song, pretty well. I took her in based on that.

Now I realize she doesn't even understand sa-pA. I am looking at how to return the money and send her back.

In general, I don't take fees to teach. Even if I am paid in kind, I usually buy something for them as reverse gift. If they tag along to provide vocal support for out station concerts, I ensure they are also remunerated. They get enthusiastic because of that; and the public also gets to know about that upcoming musician, isn't it?

I think its better if they are at a level, to be able to sing keerthanai's, it would be good to start teaching them.

P: That's fine for advanced lessons. What about those that come for basic lessons?

M: One can gauge to an extent. Using popular and commonly known songs. Even ask them to sing cine songs and determine if they can get into music. If one can determine that there is no natural talent or ability, no need to force feed/fit. If one starts doing so for money, it will lead to compromises. That's why I accept no fees for teaching. Slipped up in case of this girl.

P: Your disciples are known to be knowledgeable in swarams. Is there any special training for that?

M: There is a school of thought to not fixate on swarams and sing. While it is true to an extent, beyond a level, its must to have swara knowledge. I don't teach keerthanais without notating that in swaras. That was the deficiency with the girl I mentioned earlier; she will land with harikambodhi swaram while singing karaharapriya.

Few intricate sangathis and microtones are apt to be learnt through listening and through guru. Its not that they can't be learnt through notations; but needs tremendous effort.

One can also avoid moving away from the grammar of ragam for the purpose of effect, if one is knowledgeable about swaras. As an example, some sing ni da ni of shanmukapriya as ni da ni of karaharapriya. I can't accept that. A vidwan should have a balance of grammar and goal both. Isn't it so?

One should sing consciously. If some sangathis intrude unknowingly, shouldn't leave it but deliberate on the aptness of that sangathi.

In a concert, I wanted to bring nAdanamakriya through grahabhedam of simmEndramadhyamam. Having listened to that, GNB said 'Since you aimed for nAdanamakriyA, the gamakam you intoned brought keervani instead of simmEndramadhyamam. Take care'.

Simply because thOdi gAndharam has a kampita gamakam, when one tonic shifts from thOdi gAndharam, one can't ornament in the shifted rAgam, as that makes the sA of the shifted rAgam ornamented. One has to be mindful of all these and do appropriately.

P: How to teach laya related subjects?

M: It comes naturally for few. Mandolin Srinivas is like that. He won't be shaken irrespective of whichever accompanists are brought on.

Those like me, we learnt through experience. In early days, it was a little troublesome to me. Over time, I identified the weakness and closed the gaps. Now its better. What is the big deal - having sung for so many years? One should atleast realize that weakness.

(She notices that the tape is about to end. Recording and the interview ends)

Done.

RSR
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#304 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

@sankark
Brilliant work! Super-fast! How did you manage? For me, translating one of the above sections ,would have taken an entire day! Thank you very much once again.

sankark
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#305 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by sankark »

RSR wrote: 06 Jul 2020, 18:55 @sankark
Brilliant work! Super-fast! How did you manage? For me, translating one of the above sections ,would have taken an entire day! Thank you very much once again.
Most welcome.

rajeshnat
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#306 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by rajeshnat »

Sankark
Fantastic translation . I read half of thamizh and with your lovely translation I will finish soon the second half of thamizh . Your translation was gripping like mlv amma brigha filled ragamaliga

sankark
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#307 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by sankark »

Apropos to tradition, continuity, tinkering at the edges and Chesterton's Fence, here is an interesting read @https://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/201 ... u-are.html

Nick H
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#308 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by Nick H »

I am not even much familiar with MLV's music, but being able to read this is not only a window into the age it is (and perhaps more so) a window into the ageless wisdom of music told in an ageless way,

Debt is due to the original interviewer, to Lalithram's never-ending research and scholarship, and to sankark for enabling all of us who are unable to read or understand Tamil.

Many thanks to all.

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#309 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by Ranganayaki »

Nice work, Sankark, thank you so much!!!!

RSR
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#310 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

@307
@sankark
Tried to read the cited article. Too difficult. Connection with Classical music not quite evident. I would suggest that it would fit better in History and Culture section. You yourself can shift it it to that section.

RasikasModerator1
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#311 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RasikasModerator1 »

No political posting on this forum thank you.

RSR
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#312 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

@331
1) tradition and innovation- had much to do with mlv' S on the topic.
2) the link given was more to do with modern technology than politics
3) there were no names mentioned.in my post except obliquely.
4) the post could be moved to history and culture section
5) mod can give an option to the poster to modify it himself (poster)

vgovindan
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#313 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by vgovindan »

I read the whole interview in Tamil. There are three points which I would like to highlight. The relevant portions in Tamil are as under -

ரசிகர்களிலேயே பல வகையான ரசிகர்கள் இருக்கின்றனர். என்னதான் பக்தி என்றெல்லாம் சொல்லிக் கொண்டாலும், நாங்கள் பணத்திற்காகப் பாடுகின்றோம் என்பதை மறுக்கமுடியாது.  காசு கொடுத்து டிக்கெட் வாங்கி ரசிகர்கள் வரும் போது அவர்கள் விருப்பப்படி நாம் பாட வேண்டியது கடைமையாகிறது. அப்படியெல்லாம் பாடமாட்டேன் என்றால் வீட்டிலேயே பக்திப் பரவசமாய் பாடிக் கொண்டிருக்கலாம்.

காரைக்குடி சாம்பசிவ ஐயர் வீட்டில்தான் வாசிப்பார். அவரைக் கச்சேரிக்குக் கூப்பிட்டால், “நான் அதற்கெல்லாம் லாயக்கற்றவன். எனக்குத் தெரிந்ததை நான் வீட்டில் வாசித்துவிட்டுப்போகிறேன். நீங்கள் வேண்டுமானால் வீட்டில் வந்து கேளுங்கள்”, என்பார். அவரைப் போல எல்லோரும் இருக்க முடியுமா?

எம்.எஸ்.சுப்புலட்சுமி பஜன் பாடுகிறார் என்றால், அவர் அதை முறைப்படி கற்றுக்கொண்டுள்ளார். அவர் குரலுக்கு அது நன்றாகவும் இருக்கிறது. அதனால் அதை ஒப்புக்கொள்ளலாம். அதைப் பார்த்துவிட்டு நானும் பாடுகிறேன் என்று எல்லோரும் கிளம்பினால் அது அங்குமில்லாமல் இங்குமில்லாமல் குழப்பத்தில் முடிகிறது. இந்தக் குழப்பங்கள் போக வேண்டும்.

வடக்கில் இந்தக் குழப்பங்களில்லை. கஜல் பாடுபவர்கள், தும்ரி, கயால் பாடுபவர்கள், டிராமா பாடுபவர்கள், நாட்டுப்புறப் பாடல்கள் என்று பாடுபவர்கள் ஒன்றோடு ஒன்று குழப்பிக் கொள்ளாமல் தனியாக இயங்குகின்றனர்.

ஐ.டி.சி-யில் ஒவ்வொரு கரானாவுக்கும் முக்கியத்வம் கொடுத்து அதற்கென்று ஆசிரியர்களை நியமித்து, உயர்வு தாழ்வெல்லாம் பார்க்காமல் வருங்காலத்துக்கு பாதுகாக்க வழி செய்து வருகின்றனர். இங்கும் அது வர வேண்டும். திறந்த மனத்துடன் அனைத்து பாணிகளையும் அணுக வேண்டும். எல்லாவற்றிலும் உள்ள நல்லதை நாம் கேட்டு ரசிக்க வேண்டும்.

1. That there are people who have dedicated themselves to Music without any consideration to use Music for their livelihood - (or may be they have other means for livelihood) like Karaikkudi Sambhasiva Iyer. EVERYONE CANNOT BE LIKE HIM.

2. MSS sings bhajan, because she trained herself for that and her voice suits that. But seeing that if others venture into that (bhajan), it will be totally confusing. THIS CONFUSION SHOULD GO.

3. In HM, this confusion is not there because there is separate gharana for each -ghazal, thumri, khayal and these gharanas are being nurtured there. IT SHOULD HAPPEN HERE ALSO.

She has also talked about ARI standardising kutcheri format.

I observe the following -

1. Rasikas - in general - are not enthusiastic about encouraging people like Sambhasiva Iyer.
2. Because kutcheri format has been standardised, the rasikas have their expectations tuned to that format and any departure may be of no value.
3. Every style - is gharana correct? - requires different training. Everyone is not suitable for everything or everyone may not be successful in everything.
4. That there are no takers for gharanas here - both from sponsor point of view and musicians point of view - probably from rasikas point of view also.
5. The question then arises whether standardising kutcheri format is in the long term interest of CM? At the time when it was done by ARI, there was a major shake up in the society as such. Is that valid still?

Whether there are any takers for these questions are not, is not my concern. I have placed my thoughts here. There ends my job, because, through various interactions, I have found myself in absolute minority, if not total isolation.

sankark
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#314 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by sankark »

vgovindan wrote: 09 Jul 2020, 15:34 1. Rasikas - in general - are not enthusiastic about encouraging people like Sambhasiva Iyer.
Rasika's - atleast in plenty or a multitude - can't be enthusiastic about. Because if vidwans like KSI don't perform in a concert setting but sings for ones own contentment @ home, how many rasikas can partake, in times bygone.

However in the modern world, there is a way - vidwans like him can have their YT channel and record and make available what they do @ home. That will put the rubber to the road on how many takers/rasikas are there.

rajeshnat
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#315 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by rajeshnat »

Tribute to MLV amma by Trichur Ramachandran, Charumathi and subhashree in The Hindu dated 16th July,2020
https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/ ... 106054.ece

RSR
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#316 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

Smt.MLV lec-dem on GNB 's compositions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z86naQQtJEg

RSR
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#317 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

Smt.MLV lec-dem on GNB 's compositions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z86naQQtJEg

K Nagarajan
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#318 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by K Nagarajan »

Can anyone give the link for the concert
MLV-T Rukmini-Palghat Mani Iyer given at
the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha that has among other songs etuda nilachite in sankarabharanam and an RTP in bhairavi?

rajeshnat
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#319 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by rajeshnat »

K Nagarajan wrote: 31 Jul 2021, 12:22 Can anyone give the link for the concert
MLV-T Rukmini-Palghat Mani Iyer given at
the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha that has among other songs etuda nilachite in sankarabharanam and an RTP in bhairavi?
The link has the following three artists that you mentioned in youtube. This Has RTP bhairavi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5FjIhquZC0
Some one can help with better link if there is full upload of SKGS concert

K Nagarajan
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#320 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by K Nagarajan »

Thanks Rajeshnat for the link.

I have in my collection the rendering of only 'etuda nilachite' and the quality of recording is excellent
which I have shared here in mediafire.
https://www.mediafire.com/file/wh96d115 ... m.mp3/file

I don't remember from where I got it. So I sent my request in this forum for the link for the entire concert.

RSR
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#321 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

Smt.MLV at Music Academy- 1960.
viewtopic.php?p=374519#p374519

RSR
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#322 Re: M.L.Vasanthakumari

Post by RSR »

MLV was around 28 then.
------
M L Vasanthakumari - Ākāśavāṇi Radio late 1950's
https://youtu.be/1wHgXMIJp58

नादभृङ्ग Nādabhṛṅga
-----
Team Nādabhṛṅga wishes all our viewers and subscribers a very happy Pongal/Makara Sankranti. Today we are very pleased to bring you a wonderful archival gem of a recording of Sangita Kalanidhi Mahavidushi Smt. M L Vasanthakumari. This is a recording of her concert at the Ākāśavāṇi Radio Vāra Viḻā, circa late 1950's. As always, Smt. MLV is at her inspired best. This concert has been digitally re-mastered to give you a pristine listening experience.

M L Vasanthakumari
N Saraswathi - Vocal Support
Tiruvellore Subramaniam - Violin
Thanjavur S Krishnamurthy Rao - Mridangam
T S Vilvadri Iyer - Ghatam

1. Opening announcements [00:00]
.
2. Vināyaka Vighnanāśaka - Vēgavāhini - Rūpakam - Muddusvāmi Dīkṣita [00:26]
.
3. Paramapāvana Rāma - Pūrvikalyāṇī - Ādi - Rāmanāthapūram Śrīnivāsa Aiyaṅgār [08:27]
.
4. Entani Nē Varṇintunu - Mukhāri - Rūpakam - Tyāgarāja [33:01]
.
5. Anda Rāma Saundariyam - Kēdāragauḷa - Ādi - Aruṇācala Kavi [42:33]
.
6. Ramā Ramaṇa Bhāramā - Vasantabhairavī - Ādi - Tyāgarāja [49:45]
.
7. Rāgam-Tānam-Pallavi (Nandagopāla Mukunda Hare Govinda) - Kīravāṇi - Tiśra Tripuṭa (2 kaḷai) [54:06]
Rāgamālikā svara-s: Haṃsānandi, Kāpi
.
8. Cinnañciṟu Kiḷiyē Kaṇṇammā - Rāgamālikā - Subrahmaṇya Bhārati [01:27:40]
======

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