/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": May 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Musical Downpour called Madurai Somu


Our blog rasikas have already rejoiced in two full concerts we have posted before, of Vidwan Madurai Somasundaram from the '70s. Simply put, come spring and summer, Mysore waited for Somu, or in other words a downpour. And Mysore is known for its early showers around Ramanavami, showers that cool down the whole town and instil a sense of well-being in people. Like the proverbial peacock whose dance heralds rain, Vidwan Somu invariably brought rain with his music at Parvathi. It was perhaps an example of what Karl Jung called synchronocity, the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner.

We think the best way to describe Somu's music is to call it a musical downpour. The way rain builds up, from a patter to a drizzle to a downpour and finally a roar. Music that floods our consciousness like an overflowing Cauvery. Momentarily we forget the raga, the song, the tala, and experience the pure joy of musical expression. His voice may be husky, his words may be indistinct, his phrases may be sporadic. Yet the music takes us to a different plane.

We experience this at many places in the current concert (1973). We must warn you that the actual downpour (=rain) that day disrupted the recording many times and therefore you get to hear only a truncated version. There are some gems nevertheless. Evarani, Ragasudharasa, and a lovely Kalyani. Both Lalgudi Jayaraman (a bow that stresses its beauteous presence like Mysore jasmine) and Palghat Raghu (what a stamp of emphatic percussion!) have given superb accompaniment in the concert, and Kalyani brings it all together uniquely. Apparently it was Somu's own composition in Kalyani, wrought in Trishra Nadai, full of evocative words to worship the mother goddess:

Paradevathe Sowbhagyavathi Maam Pahi Rajarajeshwari Kalyani

Surasevithe Sukumari Gowri Aravinda nayani Atmarupini

Karakamali Kamani Katyayani Chamundeshwari Amba

Chandrakaladhari Sringerivase Vagaeeshwari Shyamakrishnasodari



The Concert Details

Madurai Somasundaram ---- Vocal
Kazhugumalai Kandaswamy ----- Vocal Support
Lalgudi Jayaraman-------Violin
Palghat Raghu-------------Mridangam
Vinayakram--------Ghatam

On April 11, 1973 at Ramanavami Festival, Parvathi.

Song List

01-Mahaganesham-Jaganmohini-TBD-I *** 02-Pranavaswaroopa-Triveni-TBD *** 03-Krupajuchutaku-Chayatharangini-Thyagaraja *** 04-Paradevathe-Kalyani-TBD *** 05-Evarani-Devamruthavarshini- Thyagaraja*** 06-Ragasudharasa-Andolika-Thyagaraja *** 07-Raga-Kharaharapriya-I *** 08-Marudamalai-Darbarikanada-TBD *** 09-Bhajore Bhayya-Desh,Mand-Kabir *** 10-Nadabindu-Jinjhuti-Arunagirinathar *** 11-Elloru Varingal -continued *** 12-Rajarajeshwari Stotra-Ragamalika *** 13-Pavamana-Saurashtram-Thyagaraja ***

(I – Incomplete, TBD – to be determined)

( Please Note: The player does not roll over to the next piece of music. You may have to do it manually by clicking the right arrow )