Calcutta Krishnamurthy (KSK mama) was a well known name in our household when I was growing up in the seventies. My uncle Suresh had learnt music from him in the sixties. KSK’s son and violinist KK Ravi, a disciple of Lalgudi Jayaraman used to play regularly for me in the late eighties. He formally introduced me to KSK mama. Ravi would talk a lot about his father and sing his tunes. I also got to meet KSK mama a few times. Then I heard him sing, was completely blown away and started learning from him. In the first concert that I heard him, he sang Aadugiraan Kannan in Kapi and I had to learn it immediately. I was still learning from my grand aunt Rukmini Rajagopalan at that time. I told her that I wanted to learn a few songs from KSK mama. She readily agreed and the first song I learnt from him was Aadugiraan Kannan, a Suddhananda Bharati song in Kapi. This song had an earlier version in Mand that was similar to another oldie – Vaanathin meedu. That is why KSK mama retuned it into a modern version and his introduction of the subtle Suddha dhaivatam at the word ‘pudimaigal kaattuvaan’ produced goosebumps for me! Also a quick fire phrase at ‘Kaattrena’ was my first introduction to the creative blending of music, melody and lyric that was a hallmark of KSK mama’s musical genius.
ஆடுகிறான் கண்ணன் (Aadugiraan kannan) – Kapi