On listening to T.Brinda and T. Mukta

Though I have listened to recordings of plenty of stalwarts since childhood, I never listened to much of Brinda and Mukta. My grandma used to tell me their Vilamba / Chowka KAlam renditions would bore me. I did listen to a few of their recordings off and on but found them drab and could never appreciate their music.

I read many articles on them and their music in the recent issues of Sruti which I bought in Chennai recently. People have talked about the greatness of their music and henced I decided to check out for myself again. Guess their music is like Scotch - one needs to acquire a taste for it. I had a set of some of their famous Padams on my IPod. I decided to listen to these first.

Kuvalakshiro in GauliPantu was the first song I listened to. I have listened to MS sing this song in one of her AIR recitals. She was a very good friend of both Muktha and Brinda and has learnt from Brindamma. I realized that MS's rendition is exactly similar to that by Brinda-Mukta. Only that 2 voices were singing in unison instead of 1. I liked it a lot. The next padam was Mosamaye in Aahiri which was equally mesmerising. I then listened to their version of Kanakanaruchira in Varali followed by ValupuDasa a padam in Varali. One of my all time favorite singers is Dr. R. Vedavalli and she was a disciple of Muktamma. I realized that her mastery over Padams has been inherited from these singers / teachers. Both sisters had long innings as performing artistes and teachers. I then listened to another padam in Ghanta - Neiyamu Kailasam followed by thier famous "Rama Rama" in Bhairavi. I next listened to BrovavammA in Manji () and Ososi in Mukhari. I have been hooked to their music.

I have been listening to them for the last 2 days and have realized that their style is indeed unique - slow, majestic, music calling for amazing lung power and breath control. They had perfected the art of Jodi singing. I found the magic missing in solo concerts by Brindamma. (After they parted pays professionally after singing in unison for 40 years, Brindamma dropped many songs from their repertoire as she felt they would be incomplete without her sister singing along with her. She was right in her analysis.) Singing off this post while listening to Moratopu in Sahana. (PusaDharamu a Padam in Thodi is next in line.)

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