CHENNAI: To preserve our rich heritage and to promote rural tourism, Prakriti Foundation is conducting ‘Festival of Sacred Music’ at Thiruvaiyaru, the home of Saint Thyagaraja, this weekend. This festival aims to help artisans find more opportunities to increase revenues and get local musicians to perform more at Thiruvaiyaru. Nithyasree Mahadevan, one of the performers at this year’s festival had a chat with City Express.
Importance of Thiruvaiyaru
It is a historically significant place for Carnatic music and it exudes years of positive vibrations stored there. A tennis match can be played in any court, but a game played in Wimbeldon is as special as the aradhana in Thiruvaiyaru. Saint Thyagaraja, who all Carnatic musicians are thankful to, lived and composed his keerthanais in Thiruvaiyaru where five rivers meet.
I was born in Thiruvaiyaru. When my mom was pregnant, Palghat Mani Iyer, my maternal grandfather wanted to perform Thyagaraja keerthanais at the place where he lived — Pushya Mandapam Road.
On Saint Thyagaraja There has not been a day I have lived without his keerthanais. He wrote lyrics and even composed the tunes for his songs which have been handed down through guru shisya parampara. Those songs have stood the test of time. Also, each raaga has a grammar that a musician has to follow. Suppose I have a few doubts in the raaga Sahana, I sing Thyagaraja keerthanai of that raaga and all my questions are answered. All ideas, be it philosophy, musical, emotional, intellectual, are embedded into his songs.
About being a single mom
My children are in their growing stages. My family members, especially my mother has helped me a lot. I plan everything extensively before-hand which has aided me.
Relationship with music
Music is my dearest friend. I can’t be without her at all and I go to her in any mood. When I’m with music I feel I am sleeping on the lap of my mom. It makes me zero.
What to Expect?
26 February: Bhajans and Kirtans by Dr Mukundraj Maharaj at the courtyard of an old Maratha Palace
27 February: Fusion concert by Aditya Prakash Ensemble at (Pushya Mahal Ghat), on the banks of river Cauvery
28 February: Vocal concert by Nityashree Mahadevan at Panchanatheeswara Temple
All performances will start at 7 pm
(For details about the event, call Prakriti Foundation at 8754415362/8608685156)