Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Carnatic Musicians
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#501 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by thenpaanan » 23 Oct 2014, 01:45

rajeshnat wrote:What a lovely photograph- any photograph with chembai has so much positivity. I always think the "golden era for microphones" is this one , two kondai mikes one for vocalist with atleast 1 to 1 1/2 feet seperation , the mike has to be at that distance so that mrudangam sound is also picked up, that distance also ensures that the vocalist has to really sing not murmur. The violin has a mike at a distance . Mrudangam has no mikes ,nowadays with an extra mike even for left it just creates too much of imbalance . These kondai mikes have an arc of receptivitiy.

Instead of one sound engineer having 100 knobs and musicians making all kinds of cacophonical adjustment like reduce sharpness - increase bass etc- all of that is taken care with this simple setup of just only two kondai mikes. We only need commonsense with minimalism of two mikes and no sophistication with extra miks

There are photos of MMI-LGJ with a nearly similiar setup which is permenantly etched in my memory- now with Chembai-MSG the mike is nearly the same distance- it is just WOW . Hope some forward looking sabhas who read this forum like mudhra, nadasurabhi and few others take a cue from this and arrange this ideal "2 kondai golden era mike concerts" again.
Interesting thought. I always wondered if it would be possible to have just one mic hung up in the air somewhere in front of the stage to capture the ambient sound. Having individual mics robs the audience of the true sound of the artists. I would love to hear a mic-less concert by accomplished artists just to feel that natural sound. Sanjay S gave such a concert I believe.

Rajeshnat, Do you know if the choice in that era of two mics rather than three was dictated by some technical constraints or was an actual design choice? I have been in a situation (in the days when mics were a precious item) where we could not spare an extra mic or needed the third mic for some other purpose (e.g. it was needed for the tambura as the main artist could not hear it) but the mridangist refused to without a mic! He felt that we did not respect the mridangam enough.

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#502 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by bombal » 04 Dec 2014, 10:37

One who by comparison to his own self, looks at happiness and distress everywhere in the same manner, is a parama yogi. .. (side notes Mahavidwan Chembai bhagavathar was a very great example as mentioned by Mahavidwan Sri Palghat Mani Iyer)

"athmoupamyena sarvathra samam pashyathi yo (a)rjuna sukam vaa yadhi va dhukkam sa yogi paramo mathah."

Bible also propagates "do unto others as thou wilt be done" - we should do to others the way we want them to do to us..

..kanchi maha periyavaa.

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#503 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by satyabalu » 12 Dec 2014, 16:43

Madras Heritage and Carnatic Music
Articles on Chennai, its heritage, history and culture

Chembai and the Music Academy

When Chembai got the Kalanidhi
In a few days from now, T.V. Gopalakrishnan will be formally elected as the Music Academy’s Sangita Kalanidhi designate for the year 2014, in a quaint ritual that requires a Sangita Kalanidhi awardee to propose his name and another to second it, on the day of the inauguration. It is a throwback to the early days when the president of the Conference was elected from the floor of the house.

The general consensus is that at 82, TVG has had to wait for sometime to receive the highest accolade in Carnatic music. If TVG’s guru Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar had been around, he would have agreed. In his time, Chembai too had to wait for the award to come his way.

Chembai, born in 1895, was probably younger only to Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar when it came to the leading performers of his generation. In terms of seniority on the concert platform, he was probably ‘older,’ for his career had begun in 1904 when he was nine while Ramanuja Iyengar’s debut was only in 1913 at 23. In fact, Chembai would often jocularly remind Ariyakkudi that while he was still providing vocal support to his guru Ramanathapuram Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, he, Chembai, had already given vocal concerts and had then taken to the violin in order to tide over the adolescent period when the voice breaks.

By the early 1920s, Ariyakkudi was the acknowledged monarch of Carnatic music and remained so for years to come. So, when in 1938 he was invited to preside over the Academy’s annual conference (at that time the Sangita Kalanidhi title had not been established), everyone including Chembai applauded the decision.

Chembai, perhaps, expected that the honour would be his next, for after all he was the senior-most in age after Ramanuja Iyengar. He was, therefore, upset, when in the following year Musiri Subramania Iyer was invited to preside over the Conference. Chembai held his peace for his disciple Princess Manku Thampuran was singing at the inaugural concert. But when he was asked to felicitate Musiri on his elevation, he could not control himself. Striding to the microphone, he wished the latter well and complimented the Academy on its choice. He then said that he hoped that the Academy would invite Musiri to preside the following year too and every year thereafter! He then broke off all connections with the Academy for five years, during which time the honour went to others.

He made his peace with the Academy in 1945 and returned to perform, but the honour of presiding over the Conference, which had become synonymous with the Sangita Kalanidhi from January 1, 1943, was not to be his till 1951. During the intervening years, it went to juniors such as Semmangudi and Kumbakonam Rajamanikkam Pillai. That it rankled became evident when at a concert of his, Musiri Subramania Iyer and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer both got up in the middle and left, covering their faces with shawls. Having spotted them, he bellowed into the mike that the two Sangita Kalanidhis need not hide their faces and were free to come and go as they pleased. Nevertheless, when the title was conferred on him, he accepted it with good grace. But he would always question the remuneration the Academy gave the artists.

During the 1950s and ’60s, when the Academy struggled financially, because it was building an auditorium, Chembai willingly sang for low fees. By then he had begun diverting all his concert earnings to the Guruvayurappan Temple. He demanded and got high remuneration for all his performances, every paisa of which went to the temple.

By 1962 the Academy’s auditorium was completed and by 1969, thanks to the efforts of industrialists and well wishers, its loans were also almost repaid. On realising this, Chembai insisted on a hike in his fee. He felt that he and fellow artists had sacrificed enough over the years for the Academy. In his case, it was Guruvayurappan who was to be the beneficiary.

But the Academy would not give in. Its committee felt that it still had several commitments to fulfil. Chembai’s response was that he would wait till it had become fully solvent and be able to pay his market rates. Till then, he said, he was better off not singing for it. His last performance at the Academy was in 1970, after which he did not sing there. But that he harboured no ill will towards the institution was clear in the way he readily consented to preside over the Sadas on January 1, 1973 and confer the Sangita Kalanidhi on Prof P. Sambamoorthy."This is a forward from a post .
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#504 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by shankarank » 10 Sep 2015, 10:20

Just happened to stumble on this one:
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#505 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by Aditto » 29 Dec 2015, 09:55

Can some one post any song of Chembai in Reetigowla & Hindolam, preferably an elaborate one :) I have Chembai's varnam in Reetigowla.
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#506 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by sivachinta1965 » 14 Jan 2017, 13:23

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#507 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by Pratyaksham Bala » 14 Jan 2017, 16:23

Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar
Poomully Navarathri Kacheri 1967
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#508 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by advaitin » 23 Nov 2017, 09:05

Saw this rare black and white recording - one of the disciples of Chembai and a member of the Poomully mana. (7th thampuran - Raman )
Take a look from the 3rd minute - someone has done a home recording of him singing "kailasapathe paripalayam" , beautiful singing
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#509 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by Aditto » 24 Nov 2017, 15:39

Indeed yes :)

Have found the below list.

Wish someone has these songs

Dwaitamu Sukhama - Reetigowla (4 times)
Brochevarevare - Sriranjani
Naradaguruswami - Darbar
Ninnu cheppaka - Mandari
Namoralanu - Arabhi
Ninnuvinaa - Navarasakannada
Sriramam - Narayanagowla
Enduku Peddala - Sankarabharanam
Kanakasabhai - Surati
Intaparaka - Nadanamakriya
Evarimaata - Khamboji
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#510 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by CRama » 24 Nov 2017, 16:09

I have got many of these songs. You end me a mail through the forum. Then we will see how I can share with you. Are you in Chennai.
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#511 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by Aditto » 25 Nov 2017, 11:43

CRama wrote:
24 Nov 2017, 16:09
I have got many of these songs. You end me a mail through the forum. Then we will see how I can share with you. Are you in Chennai.
Have dropped a mail sir.
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#513 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by Vayoo Flute » 20 Mar 2018, 21:02

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#514 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by kvchellappa » 01 Apr 2018, 17:24

A special issue on Chembai Bhagavathar: ... arch18.pdf
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#515 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by sankark » 01 May 2018, 13:21 bhairavi & chEtulAra music of a bygone era.
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#516 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by karthik3 » 02 Jan 2019, 21:56

Maybe the greatest picture I have ever seen : so much greatness in this one picture, and in the way these men carried themselves.

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#517 Re:

Post by meerag56 » 19 Jan 2019, 22:01

srkris wrote:
10 Aug 2009, 13:59
sIrkAzhi gOvindarAjan at Guruvayur Ekadasi Annual (Chembai memorial) Music Festival rendering a couple of tribute songs sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s

The mridangam accompaniment by Mavelikkara Krishnankutty Nair is more than good.
Can someone please give the lyrics on the song on Chembai?
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#518 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by karthik3 » 01 Feb 2019, 11:18

The documentary on Chembai from a couple years back, titled "Chembai : My Discovery of a Legend," which received some press and acclaim is now posted on youtube.

This is a must-watch for any fans of this great master.
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#519 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by karthik3 » 17 May 2019, 11:55


Here is another favorite picture of mine. My family is from Umayalpuram Village. My grandmother Ananthalakshmi used to take care of Sivaraman thatha when he was a baby. His dad was a doctor in the village and was very strict. He would tell the girls who used to come to him with fake illnesses to begone. I wish there were more people like that in today's society.
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#520 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by rajeshnat » 17 May 2019, 12:27

This is extrordinary photo . Wow wOw woW. Where was the photo taken
Violin - Lalgudi and TNK
Mrudangam - UKS and VR

By any chance is the ghatam artist EM Subramaniam(or is that Vikku himself). See the microphone placement it is a safe distance one in front of Chembai , second in front of vaidyanatha and third slightly bit far way from bhagavathar.

@srkris would only know the accompanying vocalists. Do share the names please.
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#521 Re: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Post by karthik3 » 17 May 2019, 20:17

Well there are also Jaya-Vijaya twins for sure.

And of course Chembai could have given this concert without any microphones. Even if it lasted 10 hours he would have sang it perfectly. I hope you all know that by now.
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