Archive for பிப்ரவரி, 2019

The picture obviously needs nno explanation. It is from Muthuswami Dikshitar’s life, when he sang Anandamruthakarshini and brought rains.




Rajam100 – Song 18 of 365

Except for a couple of compositions, it is rare to find compositions of Tirupathi Narayanaswami rendered in a concert. Here is a rare song in Shakunthalam – a rare raga and a janya of Harikambhodhi.

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Rajam’s depiction of the carnatic music trinity is extremely popular. Here is a different take on them!



Rajam100 – Song 17 of 365

Another underappreciated facet of Rajam were his tuning for compositions. Raam had been a part of several programs at the AIR and that provided him an opportunity to tune several songs. He had meticulously maintained two notebooks archiving the programs that were conducted by him. They contained over 600 songs. Most of them were tunes by him and in rare ragas. The most popular song tuned by him is in raga madhuvanti – Sarvam Brahma Mayam.

Here is a composition from the same series in raga Yagapriya

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This was an advertisement for 1956 Deepavali Special Issue. At first glance, a simple line drawing, actually has several layers of details on the lifestyle and the festival.



A rare composition of Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan in Vachaspati.

Rajam had himself said that GNB and Madurai Mani influenced him a lot. One would think that the GNB influence would be in raga alapana and the MMI influence would be in swara singing. Interestingly, in Rajam’s case, the exploration through shoprt phrases, focusing onthe swara sudhdha and the kaarvais are elements that are found in MMI’s alapana, where as the vocalisation, crisp sangatis and sarvalaghu swaras of Rajam are more reminiscent of GNB style.

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Although the print quality and the scan resolution are not great, I post this as this is one of my favorites.

I love the blank canvas and the multiple images running through the mind of the painter during conceptualization in the background.

Published in late fifties in Kalaimagal.



This was part of a lecture concert on Dikshitar kritis. An effortless rendition interspersed with crisp insights makes it a valuable recording especially for students. Even in his last days, Rajam sir would talk about Naina Pillai’s rendition of this raga.

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In his formative years, Rajam visited the frescoes in temples such as Kailasanatha Temple, Panaimalai, Sigiriya etc. In some places, he even tried to copy and recreate a portion of it.

Today we present one such attempt of Rajam from 1944. This is part of the Sundarar Panel in Thajavur Brahadeeshwara Temple.

chola master piece


Rajam100 – Song 14 of 365

Another Kotiswara Iyer classic that was brought into the concert circle by S.Rajam. His raga development through short yet beatifully connected phrases, clean sangatis and crisp neraval/swaram makes it a delightful listen despite recording glitches.

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Although Rajam was known for his works based on literature, mythology and classical music, one can find several works based on contemporary themes as well.

Even in such themes, he is true to his style. Here is one such from 1955.



Rajam100 – Song 13 of 365

S.Rajam’s most known contribution is his efforts in popularizing the 72 melakartha kritis of Kotiswara Iyer. However, he has sung several other kritis of the composer. Here is a rare one rendered in a AIR concert in Raga Khamboji.


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As promised yesterday, I’m posting the remaining portion of the similie sketches published in the early 1940s.

selected 3


The song Manasuloni is often mishandled. Especially the word “marmamulu” is split wrongly as “mar” and “mamulu” to incorporate sangatis. This is a private recording of a teaching session to Smt. Gomathi where Rajam shows the right way to render the song despite the cascading sangatis.

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