An accommodating accompanist, classy soloist, a skilful composer, and a tunesmith par excellence, Lalgudi Jayaraman was a perfect example of a multi-tasking professional.
Violinist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman is no more. He breathed his last on Monday evening (April 22, 2013). The Carnatic music world has lost an outstanding musician. He was a versatile musician. Though known to lay listeners as violinist of repute, for the music community, however, he was a great all-rounder. An accommodating accompanist, classy soloist, a skilful composer, and a tunesmith par excellence, Lalgudi Jayaraman was a perfect example of a multi-tasking professional. Music was an inseparable part of his personality.
His demise, however, has cast a long gloom across the student community. Bombay Jayashri, Vishaka Hari, Sankari Krishnan, S.P. Ramh, Shreya Devnath, Vital Ramamurthy, Padma Shankar, Vidhya Subramanyam, Saketha Raman and the list of his disciples goes on and on. All of them are accomplished artistes. Thanks to Lalgudi Jayaraman, today they are all shining stars in the world of Carnatic music.
R. Thayagarajan, founder of the Chennai-based Shriram Group, has been a long-standing associate and a diehard fan of Lalagudi Jayaraman. According to him, the single biggest contribution of the departed maestro to Carnatic music lay in the creation of a pool of highly talented disciples which include, among others, Jayaraman’s own kids – Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi. Veena and Flute, too, come quite naturally to him. Perhaps, this all-round ability enabled him to adopt music students from assorted disciplines.
Though represented a very niche field –Carnatic music, Lalgudi Jayaraman was a global musician. From Yehudi Menuhin to Ustads of the North, he had admirers aplenty. If he was held in admiration by masters who practiced different genres of music, he was a darling to many a rasika like RT, who always made it a point to make it to his concert on the first morning of every new year at Mylapore Fine Arts. According to RT, Lalgudi Jayaraman had the uncanny ability to innovate. He did it not for the sake of innovation but to impart beauty, and redefine the whole phrase within the confines of tradition.
He created the triple V – Violin, Veena and Venu, and formed a formidable trio comprising himself, Ramani and Venkatraman. The trio had given a number of concerts across the country. His varnams and tillanas were very popular. ``Jaya Jaya Devi,’’ his dance opera, was a resounding success, and even today it was a talked about subject. Whatever he did, he had a style of his own. ``I believe, he is the musician of the century,’’ summed up RT.
What separated Lalgudi Jayaraman from the crowd of masters was the way he commanded `guru bakthi’ from his disciples. He had an astonishing ability to transmit emotional energy while communicating with his disciples, RT said. ``If the disciples get him right, he will feel so happy. When they fail to receive it, you can see the agony in his face. His passion to communicate was fantastic,’’ RT pointed out.Every thing about him – be it the person, be it the musician, and be it the teacher – was perfect. Well, many a student will surely miss Lalgudi Jayaram, the ego-less teacher. My pranams to the teacher extraordinary.