I had been longing to hear some beautiful kritis and songs that I heard in my childhood through various stalwarts of yester years for a long time but many of the present day vidwans seem to be unaware or are not interested to preserve these for the posterity. It was after about 45 years, I rarely heard Sanjay Subramanian singing the famous kriti “sikkal mEviya dEva dEva” in KAmbOji, composed by Papanasham Sivan. Unfortunately I never heard this again. What a wonderful composition, like most of his, of Papanasham Shivan?
It is a misfortune that many of the present day vidwans have selective lists and do not want to explore new songs/kritis or rare ones of yester years. They repeat the same compositions from the selective list and it is a pity that rasikas are also contented with these without bothering for varieties. What is surprising is that some of these are even recognised as Sangeeta Kalanidis without any specific effort to preserve Carnatic Music! However, it is gratifying to hear still some unsung heroes and heroines singing good, unheard kritis!
It is said that Late Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar knew at least 100 kritis in ‘Todi’ ragam. It is not necessary to know so many like him but a practising or upcoming artiste must be aware of at least 10 kritis in each important ragam as to project its real shape with full bhavam and all its nuances. Personally I feel that it is very very essential to practise as many ragamalikais as possible as to know the intricacies of many ragams and also their prayogams. Nowadays, it is very rare to hear ragamalikais having more than 4 ragams mostly. One or two vidwans still sing good ragamalikais with more ragams!
I have decided to preserve the beautiful compositions of yester years that are forgotten nowadays through a special plan. Most of these are in Tamil by various well known composers. It is to be noted that most of the Sabhas are in Tamil Nadu, and especially in Chennai and it is necessary to know as many Tamil kritis/songs as possible not only to cover good Tamil rasikas but also the Tamil Nadu Government which encourages Tamil. This does not mean that you should not sing kritis/songs in other languages but if you sing in your mother tongue, you can understand the sahityam better and sing with full bhavam and richness. The following are some of the well known songs/kritis that you might have never heard from any of the present day vidwans (at least frequently):
01. Kavalaigal ini namakkedu Shankarabharanam
02. Undenru uruthi kolvay Harikambodi
03. Ayarkulattuditta Mayan Ragamalikai (Mahabharatam)
04. Ramabhajanai seydal Ragamalikai (Ramayanam)
05. Gangeya Kartikeya Sindubhairavi
06. NiyE manamagizhvodu Kalyani
07. Edu paramukham Todi
08. Buddhi idu magale Ragamalikai
09. Dandanitten enru solladi Todi
10. Karunai seyvaye Ragamalikai
12. Vandemataram Sadaham Pilu
At least there are more than 150 such songs and kritis which I want to impart to those who are interested “free of charge”. These will be taught only on Saturdays and Sundays at Kodungaiyur, Chennai. Timings will be intimated to those who are selected. Those who are really interested must contact firstname.lastname@example.org with her/his profile in Music, Mother Tongue, Languages known, years of music training completed, especially in Carnatic Music, age, contact number or e-mail id and positively a small audio clipping of their voice in MP3 format. The number of intake will be restricted to 25 initially as such only first come will be first served!
Please note that only those who are 15 years are above but within 35 years would be preferred provided they have good voice and also ability to grasp faster as well as killing instinct to master in a short time the kritis/song taught and also good training to understand. If you want to learn any such old compositions that are not sung nowadays, please include those also and the same will be taught if they are in my repertory or at least arrangements will be made to get those songs and teach. Selected persons must give an undertaking as to spread these kritis and songs to as many students they teach as possible.