KOCHI: Kudukka veena looks simple from outside but for a performer, it is quite complex an instrument as it needs real acumen to play and master it. One of the notable young performers of it is Devadath S Marar, who, at the tender age of 11, has proved he is in control of it and is serious about continuing his onward journey.
On the Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple premises last week, Devadath impressed the audience with a brief Carnatic performance. Be it the keerthana Mahaganapathim (Natta raga), Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma (Madhyamavathi) or devotional song Ashtamirohini Nalil, Devadath struck the right notes on the single-string instrument, which is made also using coconut shell and leather.
Devadath had learnt the nuances two years ago from his father Kavil Sundaran Marar, a percussion maestro known for his versatility and improvisation. The Class VI student had his thayambaka arangettam at the age of nine and has been joining panchavadyam on idakka at major venues.
My father began performing kudukka veena and that’s how I started developing interest. I’ve been playing idakka for sometime and it helps. I want to carry on performing both,” said Devadath.“Devadath has also been learning Carnatic music, which helps him play kudukka veena with confidence and composure. I feel happy that he’s taking interest in playing it. He stays focused, which is the key. I’ve confidence in him,” said Sundaran Marar.
Kudukka veena is considered as old as idakka, but was used as a training instrument for mastering the latter. Believed to have its origin at Ramamangalam near Piravom, Kochi, the instrument gained popularity through Thrikkampuram Krishnankutty Marar. Sidelined later, it regained attention thanks to Sundaran Marar, who learned, performed and later taught several aspirants in his native Kottuvally near Koonammavu, Kochi. And young Devadath is following in his footsteps, confidently.