Music from India

Dhruvam Melam

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  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:04:29

  • Cultures

    Kerala (Malayalee)

  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 03

  • Recording date

    1995-11-18

  • Recording locations

    Triprayar Ekadasi Temple Festival, Kerala.

  • Performers

    Chakkam Kulam Appu Marar, Kombath Kuttan Paniker, Kummath Raman Nair, Mani Nair, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, Peruvanam Satheesan, Cherussery Kuttan Marar, Madthil Gopala Marar

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    A large orchestra, conducted by the well-known centa melam bandleader Chakkam Kulam Appu Marar, plays the rarely performed melam called dhruvam during the annual Ekadasi temple festival in Triprayar (central Kerala). A melam can be performed with a variety of rhythmic structures and cycles, but each performance is regarded as the ritualistic and cultural climax of any temple festival in Kerala. The dhruvam melam could be depicted in a pyramid form; it starts in a very slow tempo with long musical cycles, and finishes with a short, fast and powerful climax. Usually Kerala musicians explain the symbolic meaning of the melam structure as follows: the broad basis of the first stage symbolises the ordinary life of men, while the peak of the last stage shows the ideal human or divine aspect of reality. The rhythmic cycles of this melam contain 64, 32, 16, and 8 beats. This recording has been taken from the end of the performance, which uses the 14-beat rhythmic cycle and ends with fireworks. The orchestra consists of 13 centa drum (treble), 25 centa drum (bass), 20 iltalam cymbal, 14 kulal oboe, and 14 kombu horn players. Leading artists: Chakkam Kulam Appu Marar, Kombath Kuttan Paniker, Kummath Raman Nair, Mani Nair, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, Peruvanam Satheesan, Cherussery Kuttan Marar, and Madthil Gopala Marar. 18-11-1995, Triprayar Ekadasi Temple Festival, Kerala. The artists speak the south Indian language Malayalam.

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Dhruvam Melam

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