In the world of Carnatic Music where most of the of rules are rigid, run by dogmatic individuals and where questioning is prohibited, one gentleman single-handedly revolutionized all of it with his swift smile. He literally did everything which was seen with raised eyebrows by Carnatic musicians and came out with flying colors! He made the audience yearning for more of his experiments and innovations, along with his lilting voice that gave importance not just to the technical aspects but to the Telugu diction. He is none other than the Carnatic Juggernaut Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna!
Every artist treats a raaga differently but the way Balamurali treats it makes the listener ponder about the nuances and deeper meanings of it for days. His rendition of “Sundari Neevanti” in Raaga Kalyani still remains unbeaten in terms of aesthetics, mastery and precision. His natural sense of humor at times used to creep on to the stage as well where he invented the raaga Prathimadhyamavathi- by accidentally singing the second madhyamam in Madhyamavati aalapana!
With a voice that can straight be made a musical instrument, Balamurali Krishna innovated for life. By giving new meaning to tillana renditions, bringing in rare ragas to popularity, unearthing forgotten melodies, composing new music pieces- he became the paragon of innovation. He invented the first four note raaga Lavangi- and there are many such raagas and compositions in his unique musical journey.
Balamurali is also adored for opening the doors of Carnatic music to global audience and inviting collaborations. He collaborated with Hindustani stalwarts such as Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Jazz musicians as well. The legend always proved time and again that music has no barriers or limitations.
Score remembers the greatest Carnatic exponent of all times on this special day and his music will continue to enthrall us as long as the seven notes exist.