Song of Surrender

Monday, 6 November 2017

T. R. Mahalingam

6.11.1926 - 31.5.1986
Birthdays & Anniversaries

In 1937, after listening to T.R. Mahalingam for the first time, Mysore Vasudevachar is reported to have observed : "We all go in search of tala, but [Mahalingam] is like Lord Krishna the tala goes in search of him." Even as a child Mahalingam astounded everyone with his superb sense of rhythm and the intricate permutations and combinations of the beat of music that imparted an exciting pulse to the melody he wrought out of the simple bamboo.

Pudukottai Dakshinamurthi Pillai and Palghat Mani Iyer were the incarnations of tala who, to use the great Karnataka composer's figure of speech, went in search of Mahalingam.

Asked once why he was willing to play with Mahalingam who couldn't be depended upon to fulfil his concert engagements, Mani Iyer had retorted with a rhetorical question : "Who else is there who can provide me work for my mind and hands in such a glorious manner?"

Mahalingam and Mani Iyer were made for each other. Their combination clicked most perfectly. Child prodigies and masters of laya both, they rode together the waves of musical creativity with the precision as well as the excitement of champion surfers.

As far as the public knew, his death was sudden and most unexpected. And most tragic.


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