Posts Tagged ‘Rajam100’

Here is an illustration of the Tyagaraja Kriti – Muchata Brahmadulaku – A rare song in praise of Lord Shiva.

Inspired by the painting posted earlier, I’m posting a recording of the song depicted in the painting. This is from a concert in Montreal in early eighties. Recording Courtesy: Yessel Narasimhan.


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My apologies for not posting it everyday, although I have been posting it in FB everyday.

Rajam100 – 26 of 365

Here is another cover from Vanoli, depicting the Sangita Pitamaha Purandaradasa.


Rajam100 – Song 26 of 365

Rajam’s greatest passion was to learn kritis from various sources. He had the opportunity of learning songs from very authentic sources (Ambi Dikshitar, Gowri Ammal, Madras Lalithangi) and in some cases from the composer himself (Muthiah Bhagavathar, Papanasam Sivan). He stayed true to his patantharam in his renditions but never disrespected other sources and variations. He was critical if a rendition was totally against the idea of the composer (e.g. Nagumomu in Abheri) but in general was not critical of improvising or embellishment with new sangatis.

He was meticulous in knowing the meaning and the intent of the composer. Compositions that often suffer from butchering can be found rendered with appropriate splitting of the words (Example Manasuloni Marmamulu). His repertoire of the compositions of the trinity was enormous. But what was amazing was his penchant to learn compositions of his contemporaries and his juniors. Once, when I visited him, he was winding up a class for his student Akshay Padmanabhan. After the student left, he spoke with pride for over ten minutes about the tillana Akshay had composed. he would often remark, “AIR might not have given me a lot of money. But it gave me immense satisfaction to learn and propogate rare songs. The famous Purandara Dasa song “Srikanta Enakishtu” is usually sung in raga Kanada. However, a young girl from Mysore had come for a recital and had sung it in raga Kannada. I learnt from her and rendered in my concerts as well. It was only AIR that gave me such opportunities.”

For a long time, I couldn’t find this recording. I found it recently on Facebook through Mr. Subramanian Krishnan. I thank him for sharing this rendition. 



Rajam100 – 27 of 365

Another work from 40’s inspired by Bharathi’s verses.

theeradha vilaiyaattu

Rajam100 – Song 27 of 365

Today we present a full fledged RTP in Gowrimanohari from an AIR concert.


Rajam100 – 28 of 365

Here is another rare painting from 1939, when he was still a student.

For a long time, I couldn’t locate where this painting was published. A Few days back, Thank to Mr. Aravind Swaminathan, I came to know that this was published in the “Hanuman”.


Rajam100 – Song 28 of 365 – AtukaradhA – Manoranjani

Another recording illustrating why Rajam was considered a genius when it come to handling Vivadhi Ragas.

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Here I present Rajam’s depiction of Panchalinga Kritis along with his unplugged versions.

Akasha Lingam

panchalingam akasam.jpg


Tejo Lingam

panchalinga tejo


Prithvi Lingam

panchalingam prithvi


Vayu Lingham

panchalingam kalahasthi

Jambu Lingham

panchalingam jambu

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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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