Monday, August 15, 2022

Smt. KALPAGAM SWAMINATHAN



 With Teacher

Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan (15th August 1922-6th April 2011), reverentially and fondly known as 'Teacher' strictly adhered to Veena Sampradayam. Her weighty gamakas (swara oscillations) are uncompromising, inimitable and unparalleled. A Veena Yogini who played the original acoustic Saraswathi Veena.
Sound effects and amplification tactics in the absence of Veena nadham  (as in the case of guitar-sounding Electric Veenas with magnetic strings) were of no use to her. Her powerful Veena playing projected her ethereal Veena nadham by means of the confluence of her prana and the wood grains of Veena's Jack wood. She believed in hard work as demanded only by traditional acoustic Veenas.  
The field of Veena today has original acoustic Veenas as well as electric Veenas coming under the common name of Veena. The layman is unaware of the difference as the acoustic and electric Veenas look alike. I have posted extensively explaining the significant features and dynamics that define traditional acoustic Veena in the modern field of Veena.

A quick run through-
ACOUSTIC VEENA (TRADITIONAL)-
1.Player experiences spiritual bliss. 
2.Listeners experience the same spiritual bliss invoked by the player.
3.Meant for spiritual upliftment.
4.Resonance emanates from the combined energies of the player and grains in the Jack wood of the Veena.
5.Jack wood which is divine transmits the energy derived from the gut region of the player.
6.Soft sounding instrument.
7.The gut effort of player taps kundalini (prana shakti or lifeforce energy) of the player.
8. Rendition of nuances (kuril-short and nedil-long) which are the most important features in Veena. These features bring out the aesthetics and tap the shatchakras of the player.
9.Taps the inner voice of the player.
10.Difficult to play and master.
11.Very few acoustic players today.

ELECTRIC VEENA (MODERN)
1.Looks deceptively like the traditional Veena. 
2.Entirely controlled by specially designed contact mike/pickup and mike system.
3.Requires magnetic strings.
4.The divine and vital Jack wood is rejected by a specially designed pickup/ contact mike.
5.Specially designed pickup/ contact mike contacts only magnetic strings.
6.Easy to play and extremely popular among Veena aspirants due to minimal efforts in playing.
7. Instrument provides facilities like speed and techniques designed for playing to the gallery.
8. Nuances (kuril, nedil) are partially audible, that too in rare cases.
9.The gut effort of the player is very less.
10.The sound ultimately produced is no match to an acoustic Veena in terms of divinity and aesthetics.
11. Produces an alien tone sounding like a mix of guitar-mandolin- sitar and gottuvadhyam. 
12. Absence of Veena nadham.








 

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