About Me

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I am a singer-researcher with expertise in Karnatik Music and Early Opera. I discuss intercultural music-making contexts. My work is available at www.charulathamani.com and at www.youtube.com/isaipayanam

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Isai Payanam at Karthik Fine Arts


I performed on 28th December at Valliammal College Auditorium, Anna Nagar for Karthik Fine Arts in their Music Season Tamil Isai Festival. The ticketed concert had a packed house, most of the audience being first timers for Isai Payanam who were very enthusiastic and enjoyed the concert.
I presented ragas Hamsadhwani, Hindolam, Shanmukhapriya in their classical hues and film songs that are based on them. I presented Parvati Nayakane as the main piece of the evening, and Pazham Nee appa, Muthaitharu, and Maraindirunde paarkum were received with thunderous applause. Rasikas love vintage stuff. There were lot of young people in the audience, this was indeed a refreshing sight. I presented Suttum Vizhi a ragamalika of Bharatiar, an abhang of Tukaram in Revati raga, Revati Thillana by Lalgudi Sri Jayaraman, the crowd favourite Maadu Meykkum Kanne, and finally Karpagame in Madhyamavati.
The concert was covered by kumudam.com. I shall share the link here for my cyber-music-lovers when it is ready.

Isai Payanam @KartikFineArts photos at galatta.com:


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aaravadhu Vanam

The film Aaravadhu Vanam, had its audio release last week. The music is composed by Haribabu, a talented music director. The song I have sung is a pacy number with Velmurugan.

S.R. Ashok Kumar writes in The Hindu Metroplus, "MRG Films International's 'Aaravadhu Vanam' has six numbers by new-find R. Haribabu. The best in the album is ‘Mayiley Oh Mayiley' sung by Sri Madumita and written by R. Bhuvanesh.

After the hit song ‘En Uchi Mandela', Charulatha Mani gets to sing ‘Andaa Gundaa' with Velmurugan, written by R. Bhuvanesh. J.K.V. Roshini sings ‘Vinmeena Pidichivandhu', written by R. Bhuvanesh. Muthuvijayan's ‘Kannale Kannale' is sung by Bellie Raj while ‘En Uyire', written by Kugai Ma. Pugazhendi, is sung by Prasanna and Deepa Mariam. ‘Yarodu Yaridam' sung by Mukesh and written by R. Bhuvanesh is a moving number."

Listen to it here

Isai Payanam - 19th December- Tilang, Kharaharapriya & Yamunakalyani

It was a bright Saturday morning, and I took stage at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium for my Isai Payanam concert. The hall was teeming with people and I was excited as I always am before concerts, and this being the music season, is more special to me.

I presented raga Tillang, the classical pieces based in it, including the favorites such as Sri Ganesha, Prabho Ganapathe, and Shanti Nilava Vendum, popularised by D K Pattammal amma. The film pieces that followed included the famous Indru Poi Naalai Varai from Sampoorna Ramayanam, and Manadil Urudhi Vendum from the film Sindhubhairavi.
The main raga was Kharaharapriya, and I enjoyed exploring its various facets and presenting them to my audience. Thyagaraja's Chakkani Raja, Pakkala Nilabadi and Samanamevaru stood out with regality, while Papanasam Sivan's pieces Senthil Andavan and Janakipathe were well received.
In the film segment Madhavi Pon Mayilal is a song that I have been waiting to present to the audience and those moments when I sang it on stage were unforgettable. Maharajan from Karnan and Mayavalayil from Kulebagavali were other classics.
Suttum Vizhi Chudare from Ghajini was well-received by all too.
The final raga, Yamunakalyani was handled by me in a sedate fashion, bringing out its innate fragrance through pieces like Bhavayami Gopala, Krishna Nee, Tunga Teera, Uyyala luguma Sri Satya Sai. The film pieces included Sakthi kodu from Baba.
I was happy with the tremendous response and the enthusiasm which my dear rasikas showed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sriragam Fine Arts concert at Music College

The Chennai Music College is a heritage building built in the 1700s with lovely halls, high ceilings, lake view, and a tranquil atmosphere. It was formerly known as Brodie's Castle, after its owner, James Brodie, an Englishman who worked with the East India Company in Madras. He drowned in 1802 while boating on the Adyar river. Ramakrishna Mutt road in fact used to be known as Brodie's Road.

The audience included eminent vidwans who form the faculty at the college and enthusiastic students with the will to learn and listen. The hall was fully packed with eager faces. Many of them wanted to know about film songs based on the Classical ragas that I was to handle and the request had already reached me prior to the commencement of the concert.

I started the concert with the Gambhiranattai piece "Sri Vigna Rajam" of Oothukadu Venkatakavi, went on to Saramati raga and "Arula Vendum Thaaye" of Madurai Sri Somu. This was followed by "Subramanyena" of Dikshitar in Suddhadhanyasi raga, all with swaras. I also presented GNB's "Ranjani Niranjani" this being the centenary year of his birth. The main piece of the evening was "Kapali" in Mohanam of Papanasam Sivan. Post-thani, I presented "Kanden Seethaiyai" in Bhagesri raga, and other lively items.

Very responsive and enthusiastic audience, good ambience. I congratulate the organiser Kalamamani Vazhuvoor Ravi for his efforts. I was accompanied by B. Anantakrishnan on the violin, Thirunageswaram Manikandan on mridangam, and Papanasam Sethuraman on kanjira.

Audio clips:

BVB Concert 7th December 2009

It was a pleasant evening on 7th December 2009 as I took stage at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Main Hall, Mylapore. The hall was full even when I started the show, and outside the organisers had thoughtfully installed projectors for viewers seated on chairs outside to watch and listen to the concert. I was accompanied by B. Anantakrishnan on the violin, and Arjun Ganesh on mridangam.

I started out with Sadachaleswaram, the Bhupala Raga kriti of Muthuswamy Dikshitar on the lingam seen at Thiruvarur. I handled swaras at "Kamala Vijaya kara", the madhyama kala passage in the charanam.

This was followed by the Varamu kriti of Papanasam Sivan, "Thunai Purindarul".

I then explained the meaning of the song "Samukhana Nilva" in Kokilavarali Raga of Thyagaraja and sang this piece peppered with a short alapana and swaras.

I then presented Raga Purvikalyani, the piece being "Deva Deva" of Swati Tirunal with niraval and swaras.

Then came "Akhilandeswari" of Dikshitar in raga Dwijavanti, on Ambal at Thiruvanaikavil.

The main piece of the evening was the emotive kriti "Muruga Muruga" of Periasamy Thooran in Saveri raga.

The tail pieces included a Sai Bhajan in Raga Kapi,  "Chitravati", and "Theertha Vittala" an abhang of Namdev, and finally "Bhaktha jana vatsale" an abhang in Brindavani Raga. I was inspired by Aruna Sairamji when I sang the abhangs, I thank her for her guidance in these pieces.

The response was very good. Yet another eventful music season at Chennai is in swing.

Audio Excerpts (MP3):