S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Dhruva Nakshatram

By Charukesi
Biographies of musicians are rare in Tamil. The reason may be the lack of archival material on artists. Lalitha Ram, who has authored an excellent book on GNB, has now come out with a biography of mridanga maestro Palani Subramania Pillai.
N. Murali, President of the Music Academy lauded the effort of the author while releasing the first copy of the book to musicologist B.M. Sundaram, to whom it has been dedicated.
It was Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar who promoted Palani, a left handed mridanga vidwan, when violinists refused to change their place in the dais. Kumbakonam Rajamanikkam Pillam offered his place to Palani and sat on the right side of the vidwan, so that valanthalai of the mridanga could face the audience.
Murali recalled that Chembai offered four tani avartanams to Palani in his concert, impressed by his mridanga excellence. He quipped that the time taken by Palani for all the four tani-s then was now taken by the present day mridanga vidwans for a single tani.
Sangita Kalanidhi-designate Trichy Sankaran spoke reverentially about his guru Palani and dwelt on his honesty and integrity. His guru and Palakkad Mani Iyer had mutual respect, he added.
B.M. Sundaram, known for his forthright views, asserted that Palani was number one in his art.
Lalitha Ram acknowledged the role played by K.S. Kalidas, B.M. Sundaram and others in shaping the book and thanked the publisher Solvanam Publications, Bangalore.
Sruti Janaki was the master of ceremonies.

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