Tuesday, November 22, 2016

He loved his music.

Probably I was ten years then.And those were the days when Carnatic music rasikas would exchange Music tapes, copy in a Double cassette player and return the original.My father who is a fan of Dr. Balamuralikrishna got a concert tape of Dr. Balamuralikrishna that had the jaya ragamalika Thillana .

That is the earliest memory of any  music in my life. And easily one of the best things to have happened in my life- Dr.Balamuralikrishna's music. This Thillana goes with me to my grave.

Thanum numtha dhara Thillana...

The child-like smile , the side way glances he casts at his pakka vadhya vidwans  when he enjoys his own singing are a treat to watch. The joy is infectious and leaves everyone smiling and happy.

Watch this Thamra lochani lathangi  to know what I mean.

A very fine musician indeed whose music was an aural and visual treat .

I particularly adore the way he says 'Hari' as a filler in  his songs . Here is a lovely 'Hari" in kapi Ragam.Kapi

Authentic and clinically pure music that it was, appealed to the trained and untrained ears alike.

The way he handled his critics with a sanguine chuckle and quick-wittedness was equally if not more amazing.

The rich voice , the ease with which he sings at all octaves, the confidence that oozes out as he sings and the communion with his accompanying artists made for grand performances that were always full-house and ended with resounding applause every single time.

Very late in life did I discover his compositional genius through his disciple Prince Rama Varma who has done an exceptional service to  rasikas and music students by unearthing many of Dr Balamuralikrishna's compositions. He sings them at his concerts and also teaches them at his workshops. Some of his compositions are really mind blowing.

One such song brought to light  by Prince Rama Varma is in Raga Sucharitra composed by
Dr Balamuralikrishna  on Deekshitar based on Muthuswamy Deekshitar's  Composition  on  Thiruvarur Thyagarajar in his Thyagaraja Yoga vaibhavam.,employing gopucha yati ( like a cow's tail -tapering ) and srotovoha yati ( like a river -expanding as it flows ).

A very beautiful composition by Dr Balamuralikrishna that encapsulates Deekshitar's life and times that employs the same techniques as employed by Deekshitar in his composition,


This is so very well articulated by Prince Rama Varma in this  awe inspiring educative and informative video. Sucharitra

This explanation and the song in the soulful ragam Sucharitra inspired a novice like me to pen something on Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna on similar lines. A feeble,precocious  attempt though..

Sunaada Mangalaankita Balamurali Ghanam
Naada Mangalaankita Balamurali Ghanam
Mangalaankita Balamurali Ghanam

Ankita Balamurali Ghanam
Bala murali Ghanam
Ghanam
Murali Ghanam
Manohara Murali Ghanam
Madhura Manohara Murali Ghanam
Adhi Madhura Manohara Murali Ghanam
Lokaadhi madhura manohara murali ghanam
sakala lokadhi madhura manohara murali ghanam  

These notes to myself that have remained with me since 2012 , came alive as Mahati and Lavangi. My guru  Dr Uma Ramasubramaniam has tuned this aptly in these two ragas and has rendered the same in her  lovely voice as a humble tribute to this Maestro.

Do check it out in the link below to listen to the same.

Murali ghanam in Mahati and Lavangi

Mahati and Lavangi are two of Dr.Balamuralikrishna's creations which are raga's with just four notes. Sa Ga Pa Ni  and Sa Ri Ma Da respectively.  Interesting that together they make it sampoornam!

Through Mahati and Lavangi I understood the full import of what Mozart had to say about musical notes .. "The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between"

If his music was really grand , as a person he was most humble and humorous .

It was at Chennai airport that I met him once and it so happened we were traveling to the same destination. Little did I expect that I would be traveling seated right next to him. I was just not prepared for this pleasant surprise.He was so casual and got into a conversation that made me feel comfortable.

I will cherish those moments forever in my heart, while I carry with me his autograph that he so lovingly penned aboard the flight in a book that I had...




As Oscar Wilde says , when you do what you love the universe conspires on your behalf. And that results in pure, inspired magic.

He loved his music and had no qualms expressing it. Any wonder that we love his music too ?

His 'Hari' will resonate for a very long time..

Here is a link to my attempt at verbalizing a concert experience of Dr Balamuralikrishna. Murali Ghanam.
























8 comments:

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

A very sincere tribute.
A supremely gifted musician, whose talent was matched only by his humility

Viji Ganesh said...

"A supremely gifted musician, whose talent was matched only by his humility" Very well said.

Thank you for reading Raji and leaving a comment too.

MEENAKSHI said...

Nice tribute viji. A great legend.

Panchanathan Suresh said...

What a beautiful Kapi Alapana! Shankara. I was rivetted to Lathangi. A lovely Ode to the peerless BMK.

Viji Ganesh said...

Thank you Meenakshi.A great legend.

Viji Ganesh said...

Thank you Panchanathan Suresh for reading and dropping a line on my page. difficult to choose between the Kapi and Lathangi is it not ?

Maaya said...

Lovely tribute to a legend whose music will remain with us forever.Thanks for sharing those anecdotes. Thanks to Uma of Ragasurabhi for referencing this in her weekly post.

Viji Ganesh said...

Thank you Maaya .Very encouraging words.