Mysore M Nagaraj and Dr Mysore M Manjunath rendering violin duet at the Percussion Arts Centre | EPS
Percussion instruments were earlier considered as an accompaniment with the main instrument. As this continued for many years, Palghat Mani Iyer, a legendary Mridangam artiste brought a new wave into the world of music by providing proactive support to the artistes.
This legend who passed away in 1980 set a trend for young and aspiring percussionist.
Many students and connoisseurs of music couldn't accept his death for a long time. One among them was late Bangalore K Venkataram, a ghatam maestro.
Though he was formally trained by K S Manjunath, he was inspired by Mani Iyer's style. It was then in 1981, he started Palghat Mani Iyer Memorial Art Centre.
In 1985, it was named Percussive Arts Centre. V Krishna, ghatam artiste, son of Bangalore K Venkataram and also the executive director of The Percussive Arts Centre under the Presidency of M R Doraiswamy Iyengar and chairmanship of Dr R K Srikantan conducts various activities to support young aspirants of carnatic classical music.
In an interaction with City Express, V Krishna spoke about the activities of The Percussive Arts Centre and their future plans. The centre conducts Talavadyotsava, a five-day annual percussion art festival.
"On special occasions, we extend the festival for eight days. This year, in 2012, an eight-day percussion art festival was conducted to commemorate the birth centenary of the legend Palghat Mani Iyer," said Krishna.
The centre also conducts National Seminar on percussion where senior percussionists come together to discuss about the nuances of percussion instruments.
Krishnotsva, a five-day art festival is conducted to encourage the budding artiste and provide them a platform to exhibit their talent.
Siri Chiguru, another festival is conducted exclusively for children.
"We feature both budding and the established artistes in the industry. Artistes like Lalgudi Jayayraman, Balamurali Krishna, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, R K Srikantan and others have performed in our centre.
Many established artistes of today, like Sanjay Subramanium, Bombay Jayashri, Nityashree Mahadevan, Abhishek Raghuram and many others have rendered their concerts here," he added.
The centre has also volunteered to document the life-history of Anoor Ramakrishna, V Doreswamy Iyengar, A V Anand, Dr R K Srikantan and R R Keshav Murthy.
The centre accommodates over 92 life members and also consists of a Managing Committee.
"This managing committee comprises of musicians like M S Sheela, Dr T S Satyavathi, Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma, H S Sudhindra and Padma Gurudutt," he said.
When asked about the future plans of the centre, Krishna explained, "We are planning to make the website more interactive and educative. We also aim to document the life history of legendary musicians of today. But, the problem lies in collecting the funds and we lack manpower," he concluded.