S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Parassala B. Ponnammal

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Veteran singer Parassala Ponnammal rose to stardom after her maiden concert at the historic, hallowed Navaratri Mandapam at Tiruvanathapuram in 2006, when she was well into her eighties. (The place is by now globally talked about as a ‘made-for-music venue’ with its special indigenous acoustic set up. Her guru Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer created a record of sorts by performing there for about 60 years).

At her maiden Chennai concert a few years ago, Ponnammal sang Irayimman Thampi’s pada varnam Amba Gauri (Arabhi) raga with such ease that many a rasika found it difficult to believe that it was in tisra triputa tala. When she sang Sreepatey Sreenarayana of Keerikattuthopil Gopala Pillai, another in the audience exclaimed he was listening to ‘Mukhari of a lifetime’! Dayapayonidhey in Jaganmohini.

When Parassala B. Ponnammal – ‘the grandma of Gaanakairali’ – rose to receive the prestigious T.T.K. award at the Madras Music Academy on New Year’s.

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