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When Ilayaraja’s music inspired Lalgudi Jayaraman

B. Kolappan
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Music Composer Ilayaraja handing over a copy of the book 'An Incurable Romantic’ to Krishna Raj Vanavarayar at the book launch function in Chennai on Thursday. Also seen is author of the book Lakshmi Devnath.- Photo R. Ravndran
Music Composer Ilayaraja handing over a copy of the book 'An Incurable Romantic’ to Krishna Raj Vanavarayar at the book launch function in Chennai on Thursday. Also seen is author of the book Lakshmi Devnath.- Photo R. Ravndran

Both of them were trailblazers in their chosen fields and violinist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman and music director Ilayaraja had constant exchange of ideas.

On Thursday, Ilayaraja realised the late violinist had composed a keerthana in the ragavarthini raga, the inspiration for which came from his own composition on goddess Meenakshi of Madurai.

He made the discovery while releasing a biography on the violinist — An Incurable Romantic, The Musical Journey of Lalgudi Jayaraman. Ilayaraja said, long ago, he had sung his keerthana — manamurugi unnai — for the violin maestro during Navrathri celebrations at his house. “He meticulously listened to every swaram of the song and appreciated my efforts. Today, I am proud to know that my song had inspired him. But I am not qualified to speak of his greatness,” said Ilayaraja.

Ilayaraja said the violin exponent’s keerthanas and thillanas embodied pure feelings that could not be explained in words, proving time and again that works of music could not be claimed by anyone as intellectual property.

The personality of the violinist, his passion for music, his love and care for his disciples and his respect for elders were reflected in the book, authored by Lakshmi Devnath, he said.

Krishnaraja Vanavarayar, chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore, who received the first copy of the book, said Lalgudi Jayaraman respected all forms of art and had an ear for good music. “He had the humility to listen to and learn all kinds of music,” said Vanavarayar.

Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi said her father spotted talent in young musicians. Thursday’s event ended with a performance by Mandolin U. Srinivas who rendered a few of Jayaraman’s thillanas .


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