Saturday, April 25, 2020

V for Violin - My favourite things to counter COVID-19 stress

(This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. I am writing this month on activities that keep me refreshed during these depressing days. It's Day 22 today.)

I would have been playing the violin now if I had set apart some time to pick up from where I had left during my violin classes in school. After school, somehow, circumstances were never conducive for me to pursue this passion.

My father used to play it; in fact, right till about two months before he passed away in November 2016 at the age of 87. It's never too late to learn anything. The violin is still there at home. Since it is a very old one, which my dad bought in the 1960s, it might need some fine-tuning. I have to check that.

Meanwhile, I keep listening to violin recitals on YouTube. Some of the best-known names I have grown up listening to are Lalgudi G Jayaraman, M S Gopalakrishnan, L Subramaniam, T N Krishnan, V G Jog etc.

But the most entertaining among them all was Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan. His animated recitals of some popular film songs made him popular even with people who are not Carnatic music fans.

Here is a YouTube clip of him playing Maruthamalai Mamanniye, the famous Tamil song. (The video begins at 50 seconds.)

The modern-age equivalent of Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, if I can say so, was Balabhaskar, a child prodigy who got on to state at the age of 12, and became the youngest music director in the Malayalam film industry at the age of 17. He popularised fusion music in South India, and I don't think there has been an artiste as popular as him in recent years in Kerala.

Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. The car in which he, his wife and one-year-old daughter were travelling was involved in an accident in Thiruvananthapuram on September 25, 2018. The daughter died on the spot, while he passed away on October 2.

Here is a YouTube clip of Balabhaskar playing Malar Kodi Pole, the famous lullaby sung by S. Janaki in the film Vishukani.

Here is the song from that 1977 movie.

My eyes well up while listening to both.

22 comments:

  1. Oh I love the Balabhaskar's video, lovely music. I so admire people who know how to master this instrument so perfectly.
    V is for Visual Texture

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  2. Hari OM
    Wonderful sounds reaching into the heart's strings... YAM xx

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  3. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan is the violinist who made ordinary person, who had no music knowledge, to stop and listen to his music

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  4. Hi Pradeep - wonderful to know you have his genes ... and at some stage will take the time to take up the violin again - and to play his beloved one. Loved seeing him playing ...

    How very sad about Balabhaskar ... desperate loss to India and its music ...

    Take care - all the best - Hilary

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  5. Violin invokes very intense emotions whenever and wherever it is played. I remember an old Hindi song, "Ek Pyaar ka nagama hai" from movie Shor. It has violin track that's soul searching.
    Though I dont know much about Balabhaskara, its sad to know about his untimely demise. A talent is lost at the hands of the car accident is heart breaking.

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    1. Hi Anagha - I must listen to that Hindi song. Thanks. :-)

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  6. Thank you for introducing me to Balabhaskara...such a soulful rendition..I find violin very soothing yet haunting

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  7. I do love music but never learnt any instrument. However, I have wanted to learn one. It is said that one good session of music practice could be as good as meditating. Thanks for this post buddy.
    -- rightpurchasing.com

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  8. The backbone of the orchestra.

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  10. Music itself is mesmerizing. What you said is correct, Pradeep, the instruments like violin,yes, allthe instruments take us to a world in which we forget everything and relax. Balabhaskar was not a bala(child) but an ace in violin from childhood itself.It is a loss, a great loss for music lovers.

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  11. This is the first time I've heard of Balabhaskar. Such a sad story of his accident.
    He leaves behind an impressive musical legacy for one who died so young.
    Will be listening to more of his music. The little I heard now is beautiful.

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  12. Very melodious clip,I enjoyed it,so soothing.No wonder it was a lullaby.

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  13. Oh, I hope you pick up playing again. ~nods~ And that's so tragic about Balabhaskar. How sad. Take care!

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  14. I have been to Kunnakudi's live concert many years back. That was two hours of bliss! I tried learning Veena, but it was too complex for me. Someday, I want to learn to play the piano.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Hi Rajesh - Hope you will be able to learn piano ... I too like piano.

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  15. I love the sound of the violin and flute. I love the violin music in an orchestra and Andre Rieu's music.

    Suzy Someday Somewhere Letter V

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  16. I have been to Balabhaskar's live concerts. He was such a protege. Every time I hear about violins, his face and music comes into my mind. It was such a tragic loss. Too soon. Too sudden.

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  17. Violin evokes very deep emotions from within.. I can get carried away listening to music on Violin. Glad to know your dad played Violin and I have no idea of any of the Violin players mentioned here.. thanks for sharing... I am learning so much.

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  18. I don't know how to play the Violin.
    Great songs! Really talented.

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