Maestro Doraiswamy’s Fine Balance
Today (August 11) is the birth anniversary of vainika Doraiswamy Iyengar. Here is a short note of appreciation from back in 2008.
When I left for Middlebury, I took along with me a Meltrack tape which had Veena Doraiswamy Iyengar’s “Maestro’s Choice” recorded on it. It was one of my most favourite. Yesterday, long after the tape deck met its demise I bought the CD. And as I listen to it, I finally understand why I love the album so much.h
Apart from music being so pleasing in itself, what strikes me is that every piece feels about the same length, and every piece makes you lose track of time. You look at the CD cover and think “I can’t believe the Hamirkalyani piece was only 14 minutes, and that Ghana Ragamalika Tanam — did it really last 22 minutes?”
Each piece, in other words, is perfectly balanced, of perfect proportion. There is the right amount of improvisation, whether alapana or swaras, and the right amount of composition. Even the Ghana Ragamalika Tanam, all improvisation, lingers for just the right amount on each of the six ragas. Each piece is complete, but never repetitive. It leaves you sated, beaming, but not full.
Here is the album: