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Friday Review » Music

Updated: September 19, 2013 14:23 IST

Musical journey with Paramacharya

GEETHA VENKATARAMANAN
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Gnana Darisanam
Special Arrangement Gnana Darisanam

Lilting tunes and strong narration are the high points.

Here is one more for the collection, a Paramacharya devotee would love to add. ‘Gnana Darisanam’ is an audio CD that narrates the life of the Sage of Kanchi, from the initiation of young Swaminathan into sanyasa to his siddi.

The story and events may be wellk-known but to a devotee this is narration in a new format. Songs set in appropriate ragas, composed and rendered by Mohan Vaithya, describe the events that are highlights in Paramacharya’s life. The seer’s concern for human welfare and spiritual propagation and his knowledge of science and music come across in a great way.

Saroja Vaidyanathan, Delhi-based Bharatanatyam exponent, recipient of Padma Bhushan, provides the narration in lucid English. The meeting between the Mahatma (preceded by strains of Raghupati Raghava’ on the violin) and Paramacharya, a staunch patriot, who organised various activities during the freedom struggle, his visit to Guruvayur, Varanasi, Tiruvaanaikka, Tiruvannamalai, etc., are traced through songs serenely rendered by Mohan Vaithya and Usha Rajan. Raghavendra has penned the lyrics that shine with the spirit of devotion.

The theme, conceived as a full-fledged dance-drama by Saroja Vaidyanathan for Ganesa Natyalaya, New Delhi, was condensed into an album of speech and 24 songs embellished with varying rhythm patterns apt for the situations. For instance, a blend of Western and Carnatic music accompany the episode describing the meeting between Paramacharya and Paul Brunton. Gambhiranattai, Subapantuvarali, Saraswati, Chakravaham and Valaji are some of the ragas effectively used.

“It is my offering to Paramacharya, about whom more and more people should know,” says Saroja Vaidyanathan, who is distributing it free to devotees.

Mohan Vaithya, who attributes everything to Paramacharya, considers the opportunity a blessing from him. A trained musician and Bharatanatyam dancer (there is ample evidence in the composition of ‘Ananda Natanam…’ that describes Paramacharya’s visit to the Brihadiswara temple and Chidambaram Nataraja temple. “My association with Saroja Akka has been long, 32 years, and fruitful. I composed music for several of her productions, including Pradosham, Aarupadaiveedu, Rudram, Panchabudham, Bishmakadha and Ganga,” reveals Mohan Vaithya.

TV host and actor, recipient of many awards, Mohan Vaithya runs Anusham Academy, where music and dance are taught. Voice culture is also imparted. For copies, contact Mohan Vaithya 96771 52715, 89392 93833.

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