Rich tributes were paid by musicians and music lovers to Madurai Mani Iyer at a function organised by the Tiruchi Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Sunday to mark his birth centenary celebrations.
Speakers described his effortless handling of 'ragams' and 'swarams' . V.V. Sundram from Cleveland, a noted musician, said that Madurai Mani Iyer founded a unique style and was gifted a special voice (saareeram).
Madurai Mani Iyer's 'raga alapanai' established a unique style in the world of music. Recalling Madurai Mani Iyer's memorable concerts in Tiruchi, Mr. Sundram referred to one such concert at the 100-pillar mandapam at Rockfort Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple. “Knowledgeable audience in Tiruchi was one factor which was quite dear to Madurai Mani Iyer," he said explaining the late Iyer's connection with the Tiruchi station of All India Radio.
V.K. Viswanathan from NASA, Los Alamos, United States, narrated several anecdotes in the life of Madurai Mani Iyer and referred to Iyer's handling of a song ‘Raattinam kodi paareer’ for about one-and-a-half hour. He had a great regard for his disciples and desisted from rendering concerts for about three months as a mark of homage to the death of his disciple Savithri Ganesan, who was killed in a rail accident in Ariyalur.
N. Gopalswamy, Whole Time Director, Dalmia Cements, played a cassette to drive home the impact of Madurai Mani Iyer's distinct style of raga alapanai.
Lalgudi G. Jayaraman had given the support on violin and Vellore Ramabadran on mridangam.
V. Ganapathy, musician, said Madurai Mani Iyer gave complete freedom to the accompanying artistes, particularly during the ‘thani’ avarathanam. He referred to Madurai Mani Iyer's meticulous handling of several ragams, including ‘Bilahari’.
T.V. Murali, secretary, and Kasim, noted musician, traced the circumstances which led to the centenary celebrations in this city.
S. Chandrakumar, chairman of the Tiruchi Kendra, was present. Later, R. Suryaprakash rendered a vocal concert. He was accompanied by M.R. Gopinath on violin, Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan on mridangam, and N.Guruprasad on ghatam.