St.Thyagaraja’s Aaradhana (death anniversary) at Thiruvaiyaru 2015 – thoughts !

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​As for the music festival in Thiruvaiyaru, the place of composer St. Thyagaraja, please refer my piece done for Songlines magazine elsewhere in the blog.

Almost after 8 years is this trip. The ambiance outdo the music here – sitting on the banks of Cauvery ,the river in full-flow, young village kids frolicking in the currents, my back to the audience so  the music forms the backdrop, legs suspended on bank-walls, under a tree with cool breeze flowing, imagination taking back to Chola times of 1000+ years  with warriors on horse back trotting on dirt roads in the opposite bank and the trees over there having withstood and witnessed the times gone by, water snakes gliding along the shore with occasional head-pop, and a young Nadaswaram (Oboe) -student next to me talking about his single-minded approach to his dreams, travelling 140 kms. one way by bus/everyday to get to his music school and will do it for the next 3 years before his graduation, and it is a dream-come-true for him to make this maiden visit to Thiruvaiyaru along with his guru (teacher) ;

Cauveri

River Cauvery

Pancharatnas

Pancharatna in progress

The unsung musicians (pun intended) do have a better appeal for me than the crowd-pullers of Chennai sabhas (concert halls) during the December music festival, as the top acts seem to indulge in ‘talent show’, forgetting this is a dedication to a divine composer;

More than the Pancharatnas (5 gems of the composer) particularly the way it is sung in today’s timbre, the Nadaswaram session as the grand finale is indeed breath-taking but gets no appreciation as the crowd disperses once the ‘star-studded’ Pancharatnas come to an end..

St.Thyagaraja’s neighbouring villagers with their knowledge in music and on musicians could give the sabha-hoppers of Chennai a run for their money – the reach of music is a result of organising such free/mega event in such sleepy town, though once a year !

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2 thoughts on “St.Thyagaraja’s Aaradhana (death anniversary) at Thiruvaiyaru 2015 – thoughts !

  1. You are right. Show and pomp appears to have taken precedence over devotion. Musicians are more keen on smiling into the cameras while performing which is irritating to the connoisseur. I hope the knowledgeable, respectable and sufficiently senior ones tell them to devote themselves to the job on hand which is paying obeisance to Sri Tyagaraja Swamigal and not look into the camera, smile or waving your hand!

    Another thing. I think they do not allow people to perform round the clock on those Aradhana days. I wish they keep time-slots available for late [or very early morning performances]. For the true lover of music and bhakti such “unearthly” hours are the ones conducive to communicating with the Almighty!

    Well. I immensely liked reading your description of Kaveri and surroundings.

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