Alathoor Vijayakumar first learnt to play the
Vina from his sister Sumitramma and
later under his Guru, Sri Venkataramayya, who gave him a very good
foundation in the theory of music. For a short while he also learnt under
the renowned Vainika, Chittibabu. However he could not take up music as a
career due to other commitments. |
It was in 1985 that Vijayakumar started promoting experienced and new artistes through
biggest of them was D K Jayaraman's Navavarana kriti presentation at Narada Gana
Sabha to an over-crowded hall.
Vijayakumar started the now-popular Kalavardhani cassettes in 1993. His first
composition "Sankara Gurum" in Raga Sankarapriya was
composed in 1994. As on date he has composed about 80 songs, of which several are in
new ragas. While most of the ragas have been taken from Nadamuni's
treatise, "Sangeeta Swaraprastara Sagara", he also has
discovered some ragas like Gayatri and Balamurali. Fourteen of his
compositions in such new ragas have been compiled in cassette as well as
CD format. (REC183 - Apoorva Raga Manjari)
- Institution of the Sahitya Priya
award, through Jan Kalyan.
- Publication of several books like (a) Melakarta Chart (b) Applied
for vocalists, which would help them with their pronunciation in alien languages.
- Fundamental research in various aspect
of music, which has resulted in publication and application of the
- Mathematical appreciation of Sruti
bhedam (Note: This will appear in Carnatica in the month of
January with audio samples).
- Development of mathematical formula for
assessing the vocabulary of vaggeyakkara-s.
- Derivation of Algebraic formula for
determining the relationship between laya and sahitya in Carnatic
- Development of Sadesa Swara
Ragamalika and recording it in cassette format.
About Apoorva Raga Manjari:
It contains fourteen songs, the details and
audio samples of which are given here:
- Sringara Ganapate: This is a Narma
stuti (humorous prayer) song in which Lord Vinayaka is treated as a
Sringara nayaka. This is justified by the fact that Dikshitar referred to Vinayaka
as Vallabha Nayaka. Vinayaka is also believed to have Siddhi and Buddhi as his two wives. Audio Sample
- Sankara Guruve is a song on Sri
Jayendra Saraswati of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, with references to the
Paramacharya, Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati and Sri Vijayendra
Saraswati also. This was Vijayakumar's first full-fledged composition
and happens to be the theme song for Jan Kalyan too.
- Rama Ravikula contains the Sampoorna
- Prasantinilaya is on Satya Sai Baba. There is a
sloka in Sanskrit that contains guidelines for composers as to where in an octave should a song start to set the right
mood. This song is a successful experiment to prove that for shanta
rasa, it will be right to start with Panchama. Audio Sample
- Bhanupriyasini is a sthala purana
on Goddess Saraswati, whose only temple is in Otta Koottanur. It is also an
experiment which proves beautiful music can be produced out of a raga
which is a janya of a totally Vivadi swara raga. Also, Bhanupriya has no swaras in the
uttaranga (latter half of the raga scale). This situation is used to
advantage in describing a mute poet getting his voice and starting to
praise the Goddess . Click
for Audio Sample
- Sri Hanumanta is the first
ever kriti in praise of Nanganallur Hanuman. Raga Tapasvini sung
with a Hindustani touch in a slow pace makes the song apt for the
awe-inspiring idol of Lord Hanuman. Audio Sample
- Madhavo Madhava
addresses Lord Ayyappa in a new name of the same phrase which means son of
Vishnu and Siva.
- Raga Anchanavati is ideal as an early
morning raga, and the song Meluka in it is on Goddess Meenakshi.
- Devasenapate is a kriti on Lord
Muruga at the shrine in Swamimalai. Audio Sample
- In the song Ramachandra, the
Pallavi uses rhyming samyuktakshara-s to bring out the beauty of
Sanskrit. Audio Sample
- Adigitina is a vanchana stuti
geetam (getting a boon from God by deceitful praise).
It is composed in proper Gamakakriya (Gamakakriya is often rendered
as Poorvikalyani). Audio Sample
- Tyagaraya nagara is in
praise of Lord Venkateswara at the TTD Temple in T Nagar, Chennai. Audio Sample
- Haripriye is a song on Goddess Lakshmi. Audio Sample
- Prasiddhi Gananatham is in
praise of Patala Vinayaka of the Kalahistiswara temple. Audio Sample
Note: All the above ragas are taken from
Nadamuni Pandita's "Sangeeta Swara Prastara Sagaram" published in 1914.
For further details, contact:
40, Sri Venkatesa Perumal Nagar,
Chennai 600 106, India.
Telephone: (44) 475 3499