Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri Ramnath was conferred with the Sangita Kalanidhi award at the Music Academy on January 1.
Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi noted that by honouring Ms. Ramnath, “we honour the purity of her swaras, the sublimity of her bhava, the yogic equipoise of her singing soul and the amazing strength of her will power”.
Presiding over the ‘Sadas’ of the 97th annual conference and concerts of the Music Academy, he talked about how artificial intelligence is ushering in a revolution. “In the realm of music, artificial intelligence can do some spectacular things like removing recording flaws and can clean up scratches without trace. The Music Academy can so guide and influence the regulators that must be placed in position for artificial intelligence in the realm of music. Artificial intelligence must nurse, not doctor music,” he said.
Accepting the award, Ms Ramnath thanked her parents and gurus. “My first guru T. R. Balamani who played a crucial role in my musical journey. The great guru Lalgudi G. Jayaraman sir took me under his wings 35 years back and ever since, his tutelage, his watchful and affectionate guidance shaped me into the musician, the teacher and the person that I am today. On a personal note, a thank you to my husband Ramnath and my son Amrit for their support all these years, especially the last year without which today would have been insurmountable,” she said.
Bharatanatyam exponent Leela Samson said that the words that come to her mind when she listens to Ms. Ramnath’s are “melodious, internally powerful, inclusive, unbiased and full of love”, adding that there is refinement in every phrase of her [Ramnath’s] music.
N. Murali, president, Music Academy, said, “The festival becomes what it is due to the enriching and enjoyable experience unfailingly provided by all the musicians, other artists and experts. Ms. Jayashri would undoubtedly be at her musical best at the next season to enthral us all.”
“I must acknowledge that the recent Sangita Kalanidhis graciously and unhesitatingly stood in for her by presiding over the morning academic sessions by taking turns. Our heartiest felicitations also go to the recipients of other major awards and applaud their immense contributions to carnatic music,” he added.
The Sangita Kala Acharya award was given to Carnatic vocalist Palkulangara K. Ambika Devi and mridangam exponent K. S. Kalidas.
While Thavil exponent Thirunageswaram T. R. Subramaniyan and Othuvar B. Sargurunathan received the TTK Award, the Musicologist Award went to S. Padmanabhan.
During the occasion, several other musicians and artists, too, were awarded for the contributions to their fields.
Musicologist and veena exponent R.S. Jayalakshmi felicitated the other awardees.