Carnatic music continues to draw music lovers in Kerala, renowned musician T V Sankaranayrayanan said even as he said that he was not keen on ‘jugalbandies’.
With a keen ear for music, Malayalis make encouraging audiences for classical music concerts in the state, the maestro told reporters here.
“In fact, Kerala is my second home,” the septuagenarian vocalist said as he fielded questions with famed Violin ‘LN Sisters’ — young Dr M Lalitha and M Nandini, who are here to participate in the ongoing Nishagandhi festival, being conducted by Kerala Tourism in the state capital.
Recalling that his concerts in Kerala date to more than 50 years, Sankaranarayanan said, “There is hardly a temple where I have not performed.”
One of his initial performances in the state was at Sree Krishna Swamy temple in Mavelikkara of central Travancore.
On Nishagandhi festival, the Padma Bhushan awardee said it was ‘one of the most prestigious’ in the country. “The high attendance here shows that Carnatic music has not seen a reduction in its passionate audience,” he noted.
At 71 years, Sankaranarayanan will perform this time at Nishagandhi— aided by his son, Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan, an up and coming vocalist.
“I would not compromise on quality of music delivered,” said the veteran, a disciple and nephew of celebrated 20th centry musician Madurai Mani Iyer.
“It is another matter I am open to changes. I do allow freedom within my traditional values,” he said.
He said he was not interested in Jugalbandhis, which has caught on as a trend as he may have to compromise on Carnatic music to fit into the scheme of Hindustani or any other sort of music. “All the same, I do not mind anyone performing it,” he said.
Sankaranarayanan has won many prestigious awards, including Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Sangita Kalanidhi. He will soon receive Purandaradasa award at Bengaluru.
On the recent ‘award wapsi’, he said personally he does not believe in returning awards as it would be unfair to the organisation which presented them.
The Chennai-based violin sisters, who will stage an instrumental fusion tomorrow, spoke of their roots in Kerala, with their grandparents hailing from Alappuzha and Tripunithura near Kochi.
They said Kerala has an overwhelming presence of music lovers and the audience response is fantastic, they said.
The duo hails from a family of musicians and they are trained under iconic Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.
“Music — be it Carnatic, Western or global fusion — is ultimately God. It has its energy focused in spirituality. We will have our Lana Band being performed at Nishagandhi fest, which includes artists from Germany, Italy and Kerala,” they said.
There will also be performances by Pandit Sugato Bhaduri, Ileana Citarisi, Hema Malini and Ustad Zakir Husain on the following days.