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Saturday, September 12, 2009

I wonder if there are any atheist or even agnostic musicians from India in the last 50 years (post-Darwin, generally speaking) whose legacy is half as impressive as that of Ilayaraja's or Rahman's or Balamuralikrishna's or M.S.Subbalakshmi's. I wonder if there's a direct relationship between submitting oneself to the divine and creating divine music.

6 comments:

venkatramanan said...

Prasad! Remembered about this topic in our discussions! Read in a Balakumaran novel about this ("இன்னும் பாலகுமாரனை விட்டு மாறலியா நீ?!") he actually observed this - Those who opposed Atheists took advantage of music to reach people & spread about God!

And seems Anjali makes both of you to realize new things in life! Happy parenting!

Venkat

Prasad Venkataramana said...

Venkat,
You're reading too much into my post - this has got nothing to do with my religious beliefs upon Anjali's arrival. But I agree with you that Indian classical music has many pieces (that move me to tears just like that) that are the result of composers melting themselves to seek the blessings of a supernatural entity. I distill the music from the meaning in order to not decry the ludicrousness of the lyrics. At least as per the law of averages, we should soon have an atheist musical genius.

venkatramanan said...

Prasad! My comment //seems Anjali makes both of you to realize new things in life! Happy parenting!// has got nothing to do with this post!

I made this comment on your other posts (Then why in this post? Because I read all your posts in the feedreader during the weekend & hence a consolidated(?) comment!)

Vidya said...

"I wonder if there's a direct relationship between submitting oneself to the divine and creating divine music."

"I agree with you that Indian classical music has many pieces (that move me to tears just like that) that are the result of composers melting themselves to seek the blessings of a supernatural entity"


True. Every time I hear the rendering of 'Kuraiondrum illai' by M.S.Subbalakshmi, tears roll down my eyes.

Prasad Venkataramana said...

Vidya,
The answer eludes me. It's quite possible that there's a magnificent musical genius who happens to be an atheist in the west. The level of education and social outlook in western countries make it a bit easy for someone to question and easily move away from theism. But I don't have it my genes (or I'm yet to be musically conditioned) to appreciate western music that moves me. Indian culture doesn't allow any leeway in this regard - my wife's biology teacher also taught moral science and treated as if they were mutually exclusive.

When it comes to Indian music, which is the only music I get, I want to listen to the compositions of someone who is unencumbered by any supernatural devotion, I want to listen to free music, that's created for the sole purpose of joy to humanity.

Vidya said...

Not clear how a beautiful yet devotional composition stops you from listening to it as free, whole music? Not sure if i made the point. Have you listened to priya sister's rendering of Asai mugam marandhu poche, or Aruna Sairam's Maadu meikkum kanne? The Kanna, could be anyone, anything right?

That said, I think Indian (classical)music (Goddess Saraswathi personified!) does not see these two apart. I will never be able to find a music teacher/school for my children if I were to hunt on your lines.

Okay, is my confusion apparent?:-)