Category Archives: Carnatic Music

Sanjay’s Meditative Shivashakti!

Sanjay Subrahmanyan at Bharat Kalachar

Violin: M. Rajeev
Mridangam: Palladam Ravi
Khanjira: Alathur Rajaganesh

Duration: 3 hours

List of Songs:

1. Sariyo (varnam) – Begada – Raga Outline
2. Tulasi daLa – Mayamalava Gowlai – Brief Alapana – Neraval and swarams at sarasiruha punnaga
3. Bhahudhari – Alapana – Unnadiye gati enradaindhen – swarams at unnadiye
4. Kumaraswaminam – Asaveri – Alapana
5. Kallu sakkare – Kalyani – Alapana – swarams at kallu – tani
6. Jaya Jaya Padmanabha – Manirangu
7. Shivashakti RTP – Shri Chakra Raja Nilaye Sivasakti Roopini – Triputa 2 Kalai – Swarams in Ananda Bhairavi, Manorama (a ragam created by Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna), Durga, Sivaranjani, Behag, Sururtti
8. Sollavallayo Kiliye – Ragamalika – Surutti, ?, Atana, Shanmukhapriya
9. Karpooram Narumo – Khamas – Raga Outline
10. Mangalam

The best part was, of course, the ragam taanam pallavi in Shivashakti! The entire piece had a meditative touch to it with the violinist too playing really well. The ragamalika swarams, as always, left a lasting impact of the ragams even though only a few minutes of it were performed. The Manorama swarams were absolutely moving!

Other highlights of this concert were the Mayamalava Gowlai neraval and swarams and Asaveri alapana. Bhahudhari alapana, though very nice, wasn’t as engrossing as the earlier Bhahudhari elaborations Sanjay has sung.

Going Gaga over Sanjay’s Brahma Gana Sabha Kutcheri!

If you were to ask me for one venue where you shouldn’t miss Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s concert during the December Season, my instant reply would be ‘Brahma Gana Sabha kutcheri happening at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium’. Sanjay’s Brahma Gana Sabha kutcheris have always been one of his best kutcheris of the Season with it being filled with several elaborate raaga expositions aided by the lengthy duration of the concert. It has always been for at least 3 hours 15 minutes duration. Yesterday’s went on for 3 hours 30 minutes! And what a memorable musical experience did it turn out to be!

About a decade or so back, I remember how Sanjay’s voice used to have slight problems during the first couple of songs of the concert and then went on to improve as the concert proceeded, finally delivering such a great performance that you would soon have forgotten about those voice issues. Cut back to 2009 or so when Sanjay’s voice didn’t have those voice problems anymore. The results of his hard work and training has since then only reflected in his performances becoming better and better with each day.
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ARR Songs Mash-Up by Guitar Prasanna

And then there are those stunning pieces of music which leave you awestruck, mesmerized, happy and pulls you in completely into it. Now, how would you feel when several of your most favourite songs from your favourite composer are brought together and blissful parts from one song after another comes successively in your favourite instrument, guitar by your favourite guitar player? Watch Guitar Prasanna effortlessly create magic with his guitar bringing together lots of beautiful songs of Rahman:

Mindblowing! What a wide variety of songs has he chosen! This is going to be my music for the day.  


We went to Sri Srinivasa Perumal today evening at around 5:20 pm. With only a handful of people in the temple at that time, it seemed like the perfect time to pray, relax and meditate. What better company than music in the form of the divine nadaswaram and the tavil to accompany you during those peaceful moments in the temple! As the nadaswaram player started the Dwijavanti alapana, I found myself completely relaxing and lost myself in the prayers and the music. There was only inner peace prevailing. If a raagam like Dwijavanti which oozes out only beauty and happiness not relax you, then what else will!

As the song Akhilandeswari started and proceeded to the ‘dwijAvanti rAganutE, jalli maddaLa jhar jhara vAdya’ part, the inner longing in me to get back to singing returned full-fledged. Didn’t I have a voice which could easily reach those upper octaves when it was at its best and in regular practice? Even if it is not Dwijavanti, I wish I could at least sing the nursery rhymes with my children and relax!


Along comes a song like a whiff of fresh air – literally, since the music and lyrics make you feel as though you are the one who is on that fast, carefree, breezy drive having the time of your life!

வாழ்வில் ஒரு பயணம் இது

Seriously! One just doesn’t want either the music or the lovely voices and words to stop! Ever! Wish the song would just go on and on! I just love the way the word ‘viduveno’ is sung.

The lazy, leisurely pace at which the song starts doesn’t give you a clue on what’s in store as the song progresses. The song opens with the chirping of bird, distant and near, which again appears prominently when Shashaa sings

பறவை போலாகினேன் போலாகினேன் இன்று…

Apt, isn’t it?

Who would have thought that the charanam of the beautiful Valachi varnam replete with all the classical Carnatic musical accompaniments and my personal favourite Shri raagam chittaiswarams in it could so easily blend with a song like this! And did we foresee Arunagirinathar’s ‘Mutthaitharu’ on a foot-tapping instrumental making an appearance either? Wow! And not to forget the ‘Ninnu Kori’ replete with all the brighas that just pulls you even deeper into the song. Just love the blending of so many musical forms together!

முன்னும் இது போலே புது
கண்டேன் என சொல்லும்படி
இன்னும் எதிர் காலத்திலும்

Lilting words that speak of the wonderful aspects of life, the most memorable and cherishable phases of life. Shashaa’s voice oozes with the perfect emotion needed for these words.

On the personal front, this song is a perfect cocktail of my own musical taste and preferences. It has been having me humming Valachi varnam non-stop the last few days, especially the Shri raaga swarams which is probably my most favourite part of all the varnams. This song made me realize that it has been ages since I last sang it – one of my most favourite varnams to sing. This song has made me get in touch with the old-me. I just had to come out of hibernation to write about the experience of ‘Rasaali’ here. I have been listening to this song non-stop for more than a couple of hours now and I still can’t have enough of it! Only you, Rahman, can connect with your fans this way!

– A crazy Rahmaniac lost completely in the music of A R Rahman!

Ethanai Koti Inbam Vaitthai Engal Iraivaa

A lazy Sunday afternoon. Recording of Sanjay singing Bharathiar’s ‘Ethanai Koti Inbam Vaitthai Engal Iraivaa’ playing  on loop. The mind dwelling on how these very words, Bharathiar’s words, the Desh raagam on which it is tuned on, Sanjay’s singing and above all, music itself are themselves just a few of the crores of the joyful and beautiful creations of God. Indeed what’s life without music! 


Am super-excited!

It’s a Friday today and weekend is just a few hours away! 🙂
There is a T.M.Krishna’s concert today! 🙂
It is Sanjay’s first concert of the Season tomorrow! 🙂

Today morning, I had so many things to be happy about and I was, indeed, so very excited that I thought it wouldn’t be possible for me to be more excited than I already was, when I saw in ‘The Hindu”s ‘Friday Review’ that Mani Ratnam is going to be one of the guests of honour at the release of the DVD of T.M.Krishna and Bombay Jayashri’s ‘Margazhi Raagam’!!!

The day in 2005 when I saw in ‘Metro Plus’ that DVDs of Mani Ratnam’s movies are going to be launched by Mani Ratnam himself still remains evergreen in my memory, while seeing Mani Ratnam and even getting his autograph still seems like an unbelievable dream!! Despite all the excitement, there is this big disappointment that my sister is not there in India now. 🙁 She wasn’t able to come for the DVD launch of Mani Ratnam’s movies itself! 🙁 Anyway, irrespective of whether I see Mani Ratnam this Sunday or not, I am super-excited!!! 🙂

The ‘Margazhi Raagam’ DVD launch is going to happen at Cafe Ashvita in Radhakrishnan Salai on December 6th (4 pm – 5 pm). I don’t think any invite is needed for this. So, all you Mani Ratnam fans out there, mark your calendar! 🙂