Music

Propagator par excellence

Noted Carnatic vocalist Nedunuri Krishnamurthy. Photo: CV. Subrahmanyam   | Photo Credit: C_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

One more star down on the firmament of Carnatic music. Doyen Sangeeta Kalanidhi Nedunuri Krishnamurthi has just left his mortal remains as his life on earth came to an end like all lives must, one day or the other; but his golden voice and his immeasurable contribution to music will live on as long as classical music is heard on this land. He is a part of the hoary tradition, India's proud of; a cultural heritage that none can beat. He has joined the league of MS Subbulakshmi, Pattammal, ML Vasantha Kumari, Nookala Satyanarayana, Mandolin Srinivas and a galaxy of great musicians who have adorned this country, leaving a trail of both sorrow and unending admiration.

One of the prime musicians of Telugu origin, Telugu region to take a bow at the Mecca of Music at a young age and what more walk away with adulations and appreciation at Madras Music Academy, bagging the prestigious award, Nedunuri was acclaimed musician of our region who chose to make Visakhapatnam his home, despite the temptations of moving over like many other artistes to Chennai. But he had always nurtured a secret admiration for Tamil Nadu as a genuine seat of music where he always said,"not only musicians know music here; even the pamara janam (common man) have knowledge of music; the government is appreciative of music and that's the main reason why music thrives in Chennai and other places of Tamil Nadu despite all the lures of Western culture, even today." He strove his best to recreate such an environment in his own Telugu state and had meticulously prepared a draft and plan of action to foster the culture and climate of music right at the grassroots. In the number of conversations with this journalist, discussing music, he would often say, ""true, we are proud of our Telugu being the language of music with the Trinity and others before them. But they all thrived and were recognised in places other than their own native region. At least now, when we articulate that music language is our heritage so vociferously, why are we not taking steps to promote and propagate it? Are we only arm-chair speakers, crying hoarse from roof-tops that Thyagaraja is our treasure? I had this practical, yet simple plan to counsel the powers that be to tap talent on a regular basis at rural levels where a few genuine aspirants of music may be found whose passion could be honed for further development. It is like a talent hunt. And I had mentioned many ways in which this can be done.; not to undermine the urban music learners. Unfortunately the genuine music aspirants remain in the dark while the floating wood with mediocre talent gets away with undue recognition. It's been happening now and that is the reason most of the tender talent you see now will be nowhere two decades later. Music is not instant coffee; it is a life journey. Wherever or however it starts, it is an arduous travel that has to be undertaken with diligence, dedication and devotion, if this region has to contribute future musicians more than any other region of southern India and become a seat of music culture."



Later, he lamented that his efforts and counsel remained confined to the paper alone and never got translated into action. He did not allow this to disillusion him and with growing years, he became stoical, contributing his best in whatever came his way like composing music for Annamacharya's newly unearthed kritis, teaching them in tow with the TTD's music wing. By far, Nedunuri was not just a scholar in music or an excellent guru, but an ace performer which few of his age have been from our region. He pioneered Telugu musians performing at Chennai music season over the years. Soon after a morning lecdem session in 2012, relaxing in his hotel room opposite the Music Academy, he longingly gave voice to his innermost thought, "it is great fortune to be born in Tamil Nadu; just see the reverence to music here," he paused with a sweep of his hand and then, "I feel so sad that I was not born here. If I were given another janma (birth), I wish with all my heart to be born in Tamil Nadu into a musical family." May the ardent longing of his soul come true!


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 7:51:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/propagator-par-excellence/article6683085.ece

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