"Tamil music can be popularised through the songs of Subramanya Bharathi, Bharathidasan and Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram."
He is an epitome of simplicity and has a single-minded vision - to popularise Tamil music all over the world. His life ambition is to make true what eminent thinkers and educationists like the late Annamalai Chettiar, had dreamt. For him, worship to Tamil music is an honour to his mother. He resembles his father, Sirkazhi Govindarajan in all aspects, and has chosen to play the role of a guardian of Tamil art and a saviour of Tamil culture. In a tete-a-tete with M. Balaganessin, Sirkazhi G. Sivachidambaram expresses his concern over the poor quality of songs in most of Tamil films. Offering a wide range of suggestions for the restoration of glory to Tamil music, he believes temples are the best places for the promotion of the ancient culture.
It was a Sunday night, with the sky still overcast following a heavy summer shower in Tiruchi city. But many among the audience, too reluctant to part with him, lined up in a queue handing over to him a piece of paper indicating their intent interest to hear him sing for a few more hours. His presentation, with a rare combination of devotional songs set to Carnatic tunes and Tamil songs stirring patriotic fervour, made the audience awe-struck.
A young achiever blessed with a good tone and a mighty voice, Dr. Sirkazhi G. Sivachidamabram, is clear in his vision: To propagate Tamil music all over the world. A prodigy in music right from his childhood, he castigates the present-day film songs. "They are not Tamil songs at all; Tamil language is noted for its treasure of songs right from the ancient era", he says.
His ambition is to popularise the Tamil songs of the 'Old Trinity'-- Muthuthandavar, Marimuthu Pillai and Arunachala Kavirayar. "They are one-and-a-half centuries older than the Carnatic Trinity", he points out, to bring home the significance of quality Tamil songs composed centuries ago and the impact they command on the Tamils even now.
Having graduated in Classical and Carnatic Music from the Trinity College of Music, London, in Pianoforte, he is not opposed to Carnatic music altogether. "Eminent leaders and educationists like the late Rajaji, the late Raja Annamalai Chettiar, the late R.K. Shanmugam Chettiar were great visionaries in the cause of promotion of Tamil music. I, too, want to follow their footprints", he says.
Dr. Sivachidambaram is optimistic that Tamil music can be popularised through effective and intelligent use of songs composed by Subramanya Bharathiar, Bharathidasan and Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram. What worries him more is that apart from Tamil films, even many religious institutions have fallen prey to the changing trends.
"Temples are the seats for promotion of art and culture. They have been the epicentre for nurturing the talents of Carnatic and Tamil musicians. Annual festivals were arranged for the purpose. Values and objectives codified by our ancestors in the cause of music have been thrown to winds in the banner of 'Aadal Paadal' programmes, which, he terms a 'sorry state of affair'.
Temples could act as a catalyst for promoting Tamil music, by incorporating worship rituals in Tamil. 'Divya Prabandham is a diamond of Tamil art forms'.
Even at this young age, he had toured many countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, Thailand, Phillipines - to name a few on cultural conventions. His concert tour of Australia 'Isai Vasantham 2001' aimed at promoting universal friendship, devotion and world peace.
Specialist in kidney transplantation
A specialist in kidney transplantation, Dr. Sivachidambaram has been responsible for creating health awareness in rural pockets in the State. "My services for spreading Tamil music will be a fitting tribute to my father, who made me a physician singing at every nook and corner", he fondly expresses his life ambition.
He had several awards to his credit, including the 'Kalaimamani' from the State Government, the 'Music Academy Award for Best Rendering', and the 'Tamil Isai Vendhar'.
At a performance to mark the commencement of the second year of the 'Tiruchi Tamil Isai Sangam' in the city Sunday last, he explained the recognition the Tamil music enjoyed the world over. 'The signature tune of the British Broadcasting Corporation is based on the song sung by Sankaramoorthy', he said and even sang the song. At the end of another song 'Pudhiyathor ulagam seivom', he said Tamil music was easily understandable. It is a constructive tool, suited for any occasion.