Friday 21, April, 2017

A tribute to Sri S. Sivavadivel Pillai (Mrdangam)

By Sangita Kalanidhi Gaayana Gandharva Sangita Saamraat Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Chennai

Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar

Coming to know through the papers and Kalki journal that Sri Sivavadivel Pillai is no more, I am sorrowful. The guru of Sivavadivel Pillai, Kuttalam Sri Kuppuswamy Pillai had been playing for me since 1914. Then it was customary that Govindasami Pillai (Fiddle), Azhagan Tambi Pillai (mrdangam), Dakshinamurthy Pillai (Kanjira) used to accompany me for the concerts. In 1920 it happened that for the first time he accompanied me on the mrdangam, in the Aryagana Sabha concert in Trichy along with Govindasami Pillai and Dakshinamurthy Pillai. Then he must be around 16. His accompaniment in the concert without any fear was much appreciated by the rasikas in the 100 pillar hall, as well as making Govindasami Pillai and Dakshinamurthy Pillai very happy. To see this and listen I was very happy too. After that he had accompanied me on the mrdangam for many concerts and for a few he played on the Kanjira, with Palghat Mani Iyer on the mrdangam, and for many on the mrdangam with Dakshninamurthy Pillai on the Kanjira.

Apart from his playing he had done research in Tamil, showed great devotion for Lord Muruga, and conducted music festivals in the mutt he established for Arunagirinathar made of Silver. He was always cordial and friendly with his associates. He had good intentions. His demise is a great loss to the concert stage.

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