Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Oman- Marathon Musician  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 16/04/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) It seemed almost a foregone conclusion that Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan would find his calling in music.


Rhythm had come to him early. At the daily evening ''concerts'' at home, where his mother and sisters would sing.


At his father's feet, listening as his fingers drummed timbered notes out of his mridangam (a traditional percussive instrument). The pampered youngest child, doted on by five older sisters, Ramakrishnan preferred carefree play to demanding tutorials and long practices after school. ''I would even cry at times during the practice sessions,'' he said.
Musician

The musician feels it is easier to connect with the audience through rhythm than music (Muscat Daily)

''I was not very interested. It was my father who was determined to make a musician of me. ''The part I played in my becoming the artiste I am now is negligible. I owe everything to my father.'' And so the practices went on. And the recognition came. A state-level award while still in school. A big deal for his small village in the south Indian state of Kerala, but its import was lost on the teenager who thought his playing ''just a hobby''.


The worries of his middle-class upbringing weighed heavy. ''Being the only son and, with a sister still to be married, I was going to work after graduating. My father convinced me not to.''


Some 30 years on, Ramakrishnan is a record-setting mridangam exponent who brings the sonorous yet somehow still subtle pleasures of his art to crowds bigger and more far-flung than his first audiences at home. Earlier this week, he made his first visit to Muscat.


But in those early years, it was steady, if unspectacular, going on the concert circuit, and Ramakrishnan was content to hone his skills in the security of anonymity. ''I didn't think I could incorporate my culture and tradition into the instrument and I wasn't bothered about doing anything more.''


That changed in 2004, when he had to watch his sister suffer from and finally succumb to lung cancer. He wanted to honour her memory through music. ''I wanted to do something that people would talk about. And when they did, they would think of r.''


For a day and half, accompanied by 130 vocalists, Ramakrishnan played the mridangam without pause. His first marathon performance.


A year later, against medical advice, he would set the bar higher, frenetically doling out beats in a 101-hour concert over five days. He had set a Guinness World Record for the longest solo performance on a hand drum but couldn't remember doing it. ''It seemed at times that my hands have a mind of their own. They were not following the orders my tired brain was sending them. After the first three days, I was in a different world, completely unaware of what was going on around me. People were setting off firecrackers in celebration and I didn't even know what notes I played.''


The Guinness regulations allowed for only a 15-minute break after every eight continuous hours of play, during which he would seek medical treatment for the pain shooting up his back and the angry blisters on his hands. He would revisit that trance-like state two more times in the years to come.


In 2008, his performance clocked in at 301 hours over a period of nearly two weeks. The ''longest hand drum performance'' ever and it was considerably easier, he said, than the first time. A revision of the rules allowed for a 20-minute break every four hours C if only after the first 100. ''I was just thinking about harmonising the rhythm of my playing with the heartbeats of those watching it. Everything has its own pre-set rhythms and it's easier to communicate with the audience through rhythm than music. When people clap in tune with the rhythm, it's an indication that they are enjoying it.''


In this way, he said, it's a way to bridge hearts and cross divides. That was the rationale for his idea for ''rhythm therapy'' as a way of using the heartbeats of the musician and his instrument to heal the audience.


An idea he first tested out at the hospital where his sister died. Over three weeks in 2009, near five years after her passing, Ramakrishnan put on a 501-hour performance for both patients and the general public. It is, and will likely remain, the longest solo performance by an artiste. The spotlight brought out as many accusations as accolades. Charges of commercialising and cheapening music were thrown, but, Ramakrishnan contends, the marathons ''just happened''.


''I did not learn or practice the mridangam with the idea of achieving a Guinness world record. That would not have been why I attempted the performances four times in spite of the physical hardships.'' That motivation has gone, he said, rejecting the possibility of another attempt.


''Today, I usually perform for two hours (the performance here lasted 15 minutes) but it doesn't matter how long you are performing. All that matters is if you are able to win the hearts of the people

 


Muscat Daily




  MENA News Headlines
 Jun 28 2016 - US dollar stable against Kuwaiti dinar at KD 0.301, euro rises to KD 0.334Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT, June 28 (KUNA) -- The US dollar on Tuesday stabilized against the Kuwaiti dinar at KD 0.301, as the euro rose to KD 0.334, compared to Monday''s trades, ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Kuwait- His Highness Premier Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak hosts outgoing Armenian ambassadorKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT, June 28 (KUNA) -- His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah received on Tuesday the outgoing Armenian Ambassador to the ...

 Jun 28 2016 - 8 wounded in Turkey car blastKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) ISTANBUL, June 28 (KUNA) -- A booby-trapped car blew up in Diyarbakr in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday wounding at least eight persons, the Ekhlas news agency ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Juncker calls on Cameron to clarify situationKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) BRUSSELS, June 28 (KUNA) -- President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said here Tuesday that he will ask British Prime Minister David Cameron ...

 Jun 28 2016 - French shares rebound strongly after early steep lossesKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) PARIS, June 28 (KUNA) -- Share prices on the Paris Stock Exchange rebounded strongly by almost 3.0 percent in morning trading Tuesday, following a lost of nearly ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Kuwait Foreign Ministry condemns bombings in LebanonKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) KUWAIT, June 28 (KUNA) -- The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed strong condemnation of the terrorist blasts that occurred close to the Lebanese custom ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Kuwait's Al-Najat Charity offers Eid aid to Syrian refugees in JordanKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) AMMAN, June 28 (KUNA) -- Kuwait-based Al-Najat Charity on Tuesday started offering relief aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan for the Muslim holy fasting month of ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Jerusalem holy site closed to non-Muslims after violenceThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Israeli security forces stand guard at the entrance of theAl-Aqsamosque compound in Jerusalem''s Old City, on June 27, 2016, following a second day of clashes between Israeli ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Suicide bomber kills nine at Iraq Sunni mosque: officialsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Baghdad:A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Sunni mosque near Baghdad where worshippers were gathered for prayers, killing at least nine people, officials said ...

 Jun 28 2016 - Assad's uncle charged in Paris with corruption: anti-graft groupThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Paris:Paris prosecutors have charged the uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with corruption, an anti-graft group said Tuesday. Rifaat al-Assad, 78, who was ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help