Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kudamaloorji's Concerts in Amsterdam

In February 2010, Kudamaloor Janardanan flew to Amsterdam for another of his concerts abroad. The concert schedule was as follows:

Thu 25 February 2010 – Tropentheater (Amsterdam)
Fri 26 February 2010 – Zuiderpershuis (Antwerp)
Sun 28 February 2010 – Muziekpodium Zeeland (Veere)
Mon 1 March 2010 – De Oosterpoort (Groningen)

The maestro played to a music loving gathering who cherished every concert of his. On the first day of his concert, almost all of his recordings were sold out, proving again that he is the favourite musician of a global audience.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kudamaloor Janardanan's Interview on Youtube

Check out Kudamaloorji's latest interview videos posted recently on Youtube:

Gokula Murali

This post is a review of Kudamaloorji's 'Gokula Murali' which appeared in 'The Hindu'. To read this in the online version of the newspaper, please go to

Kudamaloor Janardanan’s latest offering ‘Gokula Murali’ proves that in his hands the bamboo reed is transformed into a magical wand.

‘Gokula Murali’ is a collection of evergreen kritis devoted to Krishna. The first track of the CD opens with the soft tones of the edakka and the mellifluous notes of the flute. The piece ‘Sreeman Narayana,’ composed by Annamacharya in Manipravalam, opens with melodic tunes, reviving memories of the slokas of Harinamakeerthanam. ‘Swagatham Krishna,’ an evergreen composition of Oothukkad Venkittasubbair in raga Mohanam, is played with great feel by the flautist. Krishna is portrayed in different roles – as prankster, destroyer and lover.

Unique feel

The third track is a piece from Narayana Theerthar’s ‘Sreekrishna Leela Tharangini.’ ‘Govardhana Giridhara Govinda’ in Darbarikanada, set to Triputa tala, sliced in with Hindustani style, imparts a unique feel to the composition.

‘Radhasametha Krishna,’ a popular traditional composition in Yamunakalyani, is in the form of a bhajan with a lilting melody.

‘Manasancharare brahmani,’ composed by Sadasiva Brahmendra in Syama, is the next piece. The composer implores the lord to show him the path for attaining moksha. Kudamaloor’s rendering lifts the piece to sublime heights.

Subrahmania Bharati’s ‘Theeratha vilayattu pillai’ is a ragamalika comprising ragas Sindubhairavi, Khamaj, Shanmughapriya and Mand.

The last track in the CD is a composition of Swati Tirunal in Pahadi. Giving folk touches, Kudamaloor Janardanan creates a veritable landscape of romantic beauty in the piece ‘Aaj Aye Syam Mohan.’

With deft strokes on the mridangam, tabla and edakka, Vypin Sathish, Hari Krishnamoorthy and Trichur Krishnakumar respectively add charm to the rendering. Ghatam support has been provided by Kottayam Unnikrishnan.


Mohana Murali

As the name suggests, Mohana Murali is an entire album dedicated to the joy infusing raga, Mohanam. Mohana Murali uplifts you with its all four items:

Mohana Laya Tarangam
Oarsman's Ode

The varnam 'Ninnu kori', the first piece is the album deceives one's prediction by presenting an entirely different perception of the oft-heard composition, sounding almost like a melody unheard so far. As the listener realizes the innovative possibilities offered by this presumably 'beginner's lesson', 'Reflections' flows into the mind. The second piece in Mohana Murali, Reflections only cements the fact that Kudamaloorji is one of what could be called a 'natural' in music. Each phrase in Reflections is completed by one which is a mirror image of the preceding phrase! The melody is not only unhindered by this technique, but seamless.

The listener, at this point is sure to be hooked to the album when Reflections gives way to the pièce de résistance - Mohana Laya Tarangam. A beautiful name, as the beautiful music. Mohana Laya Tarangam speaks to your soul with its remarkable blend of rhythm and melody. One perceives not only Mohanam, but four other ragas, owing to the unique technique applied here, called ‘sruti bhedam’.

Mohana Murali bids a magical farewell with a folk tune, named ‘The Oarsman’s Ode’. For once, the pen is not mighty - definitely not mightier than Sri. Janardanan’s music. So, I say nothing more about this piece, except that it is an unheard melody captured, and made audible.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Newspaper Interview with Kudamaloor Janardanan

This is an interview with Janardanan which appeared on the national daily, 'The Hindu', published on Sunday, September 14th, 2008. The interview can be viewed on the online version of the newspaper on

‘Reality shows not to help music’

KOZHIKODE: Kudamaloor Janardhanan, flautist, believes that reality shows on television will not do much good to music.

“Such shows are popular and gives opportunities for new talents, but how many of us can remember the winners of a competition three years ago?” asked Janardhanan, one of Kerala’s finest instrumental musicians, at a meet-the-press programme here on Saturday.

“These shows are liked by people because it features melodious songs from Malayalam films.” Janardhanan, who was in the city to perform at the District Tourism Promotion Council’s Onam Celebrations, said there was a misconception that Carnatic music was just devotional. “Music has no religion,” he said.
He said he had always tried to stick to tradition even while attempting to create something new.

“I have never tried to gain popularity by using gimmicks in my music; that will only harm music,” he said. “And I have never been keen about fusion music.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Madhava Murali

'Madhava Murali' is Kudamaloor Janardanan's album, comprising compositions on Lord Krishna- Replete with creativity, the album is sheer pleasure to the soul.

The CD consists of six popular numbers:

  • Krishna nee begane baro - Yamunakalyani
  • Alai payuthe - Kanada
  • Karuna cheyvanenthu thamasam -
  • Krupaya palaya - Charukesi
  • Enna thavam cheythane yasodha - Kaapi
  • Raravenu gopabala - Bilahari
A Review that appeared in 'The Hindu' on Mon, March 06, 2006

(The original version is available on

The flute is an integral part of the Krishna myth. This is a collection of compositions that extol the glories of the Lord. Six popular tracks when played on the flute by Kudamaloor Janardanan acquire a different feel. The veena, mridangam, edakka, ghatam, tabla and other percussion effects provide sensitive accompaniment to krithis like `Krishna nee begane baro... ', `Alai payuthe... ,' Karuna cheyvanenthu thamasam... ,' `Krupaya palaya... ,' `Enna thavam cheythane, Yasoda... .,' and `Rara Venugopabala... ,' a popular swarajathi, with Janardanan chipping in with subtle improvisations. The superb recording quality enhances the charm of the music.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ragas in the Air- G. Jayakumar

The following review of a concert performed by Shri. Kudamaloor Janardanan at Vyloppilli Sanskriti Bhavan in Trivandrum appeared on the leading newspaper, 'The Hindu' on Friday, Jan 27, 2006. The original version could be accessed online at the following url:

With flautist Kudamaloor Janardanan it seems to be something of a mission to give the ragas their right place in music concerts.

That was clear as he played such superb ragas as Nattakurinji, Mohanam, Chenchurutti, Sarasangi, and Sankarabharanam.

Kudamaloor Janardanan began his flute concert with the raga Nattakurinji set to Rupaka talam. Without the usual lyrics, Janardanan, after a short alaap, began playing the raga as such with madhyamakala swara sancharam. As it progressed shades of Nilambari could also be felt.
The raga Mohanam wafted in the air carrying the audience to a sublime level. Set to Adi talam, resembling the varnam `Ninnu kori,' the raga was accompanied by laya jathi by Kishore. Laya jathi is the oral recital of the syllables like tha dhim tha ka dhim played on the mridangam. This added colour to the raga.

Janardanan mesmerised the listeners, mostly foreigners, with his rendition of the raga Chenchurutti. The raga, which evolved from folk tradition, was presented in its pristine form. Janardanan played the pleasing raga without any accompaniment. The raga Sarasangi set to Misrachappu talam was followed by some percussion solo on the mridangam by Vypeen Satheesh and on the ghatam by Unnikrishnan, and laya jathi. Quite distinct from the usual thaniavarthanams in Carnatic music, which lasts for less than 25 minutes and is often monotonous, here it was interspersed with the playing of the flute.

Emphasis on Melody

Janardanan started with an alaap and gradually brought forth the softness of the raga, embellishing each swara. The emphasis was on melody.

The concluding raga of the evening was Sankarabharanam based on the very familiar composition of Harikeshanalloor Muthiah Bhagavathar modelled on the Western notes Ga Ma Ga Ri Ga Sa .

True to the flautist's unconventional style, there was a near total absence of kritis, varnams and tillanas in the concert, enabling the listeners to enjoy the ragas in their pure form.

The 90-minute concert was organised by Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum.