The most constant thing in tradition is change,” states the violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman in this lecture and substantiates the concept through his demonstration of the intricacies and nuances of the kalpitha (the composed and handed down) and the kalpana (the imaginative and creative) aspects of Carnatic music. This exposition shows how the vision and communicative skills of a genius can demystify a complex art and reach it to a wider audience.
He takes for elucidation the Ragam- Tanam- Pallavi, the highlight of a Carnatic music concert. While stressing adherence to the grammar he dwells in great detail on the wide scope for imagination. His expert handling of a pallavi in the formidable Simhanandana Talam while he was a young fledgling accompanist is legendary. His vast experience in RTPs he has played over the decades both as accompanist and solo artist and his analytical approach to the vocal and the instrumental traditions, lend weight to each of his observations.
Imagery, similes, contrasts, pithy statements and humour add spice to the delectable fare while the musical renderings, vocal and on the violin by the maestro himself and his disciples make it as rich and wholly satisfying as a full fledged concert. In his own words it is “pleasing to the ears, a feast to the intellect and an unforgettable experience that touches the heart. - Sujatha Vijayaraghavan