Saturday, January 10, 2004

Appreciating Laya

Rhythm is omnipresent. There is rhythm in the movement of heavenly bodies just as in the life cycles of micro organisms. It is only natural that man is endowed with it. Whenever we listen to music, we look for the rhythmic movements in it and then find ourselves tapping our feet or clapping our hands or even dancing to it. But what exactly do we mean by rhythm?
Rhythm can be defined as a process in which the nuclei of attention are separated by individual parts of time. Whenever we listen to music, we cannot but perceive rhythm. Rhythm gives stability and form to music. It can be described as the tangible gait of any musical movement. In Carnatic music, this is referred to as Laya. The common fallacy is that rhythm or laya is confined to percussion instruments and the rhythmic patterns produced therein. But laya is not limited to just that. It is present not only in melodic compositions, which usually have a rhythmic metre in an apparent manner but also in the creative aspects, sometimes conspicuously (like in Neraval or Kalpanaswara) and subtly at others (Raga alapana and Tanam).

Current state

The Music Season of Chennai is world famous. Earlier only 3 sabhas were hosting this event, but now several sabhas participate. Artistes take pride in the number of concerts performed, but in my view, the quality isn't being maintained. I am not able to understand as to how those rasikas who appreciate good music are also able to appreciate the gimmicks of certain musicians. As far as thani avarthanam goes, if the artiste plays with concentration, audience appreciate this. Organisations in the name of Art have become totally commercialised. In spite of the growing no. of sponsors, the remuneration offered to the artistes is very low, for most of the sabhas are busy filling their coffers. Another sad trend is that of NRI performers paying money to have their program staged. Critics do not criticize constructively & it is not clear how & on what basis awards are given. Just as the Ganges retains her purity in spite of all dirt & grime flowing into her, the grace that is inherent in the Season is also being maintained in spite of all these happenings..

Music and Astrology

Astrology, an empirical science, is conditioned by astronomical calculations. Music, a fine art, is qualified by the imposition of rhythmic limitations. Each science has an inherent artistic or aesthetic element and every art has a scientific or mathematical base. Arts and sciences are mutually complementary. Where do astrology and music interface? More Details>>

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Sokkajeyu Mridanga Talamu

Yes, Mridangam playing is not just for "sogasu", but is also sokkajeyu Mridanga talamu ! Enthralling ! I say this with all pride having experienced a little of the immeasurable ocean of Laya & having befriended the divine instrument called the Mridangam. - Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani

Karaikudi Mani Web Details :

Website : Karaikudi Mani
Wiki : WIKI