Song of Surrender

Sunday, 20 November 2016

SAK Durga is no more

She was a great but humble scholar 

By Lalitharam


Lalitharam Ramachandran, biographer of GN Balasubramaniam and Palani Subramania Pillai, has written this on his Facebook page:

"Just came to know from a friend that Dr SAK Durga has passed away. I have known her for more than eight years and she was a great source of guidance in my research.

Having learnt from greats such as Madurai Mani Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Ramnad Krishnan, M Balamuralikrishna, and T Viswanathan, her width and depth in the theoretical and practical aspects of Carnatic music were hardly surprising. What was touching was her humility despite all her greatness.

I was lucky to gather her analysis as a voice culture expert, on the voices of great Carnatic vocalists of the past and the present. The other favourite topic of our discussions was Madurai Mani Iyer.

I vividly remember a couple of stunning lecdems that she gave in the past few years. One was on South East Asian music (Japanese, Vietnamese) and the other on folk music's contribution in the expansion of traditional Carnatic ragas.

I have recorded a few of our conversations. I do hope I can write them as a long interview.

RIP Dr. Durga.
(Slightly edited)

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