Saturday, 26 December 2015

Lec-dem on Konnakkol/ some notes

On December 24, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending a lec-dem on “Konnakkol –Most Ancient and Most Modern” by vidwan Somasekhar Jois at Music Academy.
The speaker traced the roots of Konakkol, the drum language of South India, to the times of Ramayana. 
The rishis of the yore, in their infinite grace and wisdom taught this syllabalisation to those who could not chant the Vedic slokas. 
The speaker explained that the syllables like “Thathom” represented the Vedantic teaching “Tat Twam Asi” (meaning Thou art the Infinite) and the syllables –“Dhi tha laan gu” represented Lord Shiva’s family – “Dhi” standing for goddess Parvathi, “Tha” for Lord Shiva, “Lam” for Lord Ganesha and “Gu” for Guruguha or Lord Muruga .
Jois also mentioned the contributions of Mannargudi Pakkriya Pillai popularly hailed as the 'Grandman of Konnakkol' and other such stalwarts. 
In the present day, Trichy Thayumanavar has taken it a step further by using “Om” instead of “Thom”, “Harikita” replacing “Tharikita”, thus enhancing its spiritual value. 
Nattuvanars of Bharantnatyam have played an important role in the preservation of this art. 

Padanth is the Hindusthani equivalent of the South Indian konnakkol.
The speaker also revealed the dos and don’ts of rendering the Konnakkol. He emphasized that voice modulation, accuracy, pitch control and clarity were the pillars of Konnakkol rendition. He also demonstrated on stage how Konnakkol could embellish both the vocal and instrumental concerts. 

Somashekar Jois is a national award-winning multifaceted musician who is an audio engineer ; he also performs on the Konnakkol.

 - Report by Deepa Sekar

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