Music from India

Drugaashtakam, Sopanam Sangeetam by Nyerelate Rama Pooduval

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  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:01:32

  • Cultures

    Kerala (Malayalee)

  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 65

  • Recording date

    1996-08-10

  • Recording locations

    In the house of Nyerelate Rama Pooduval, Angadipuram, Malapuram district, Kerala.

  • Performers

    Nyerelate Rama Pooduval (singer)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    Nyerelate Rama Pooduval (deceased) sings ‘Durgaashtakam’ from the sopanam sangeetam genre: “If you have any difficulties in life you should pray to Amma or Durga (the goddess)” The recordist regarded himself as lucky to be invited by Nyerelate Rama Pooduval and his family to record one of the greatest sopanam sangeetam artists in Kerala. The recordist recounts “For nearly three hours he played and explained his art to me, he was unstoppable. I left with a strange and slightly intoxicated feeling. Only three days later I saw a huge picture of the singer on the front page of the Kerala newspapers: 'The last singer of Sopanam Sangeetam died of decrepitude in the age of 71'. His son explained later to me that his father might have had a premonition of his demise and therefore spent so much energy in his last performance.” This is the last recording of this day and therefore the last song he ever played in his life. Even in his life Nyerelate was regarded as a living legend. Usually he left his home and family towards the end of the year, wandering from temple to temple, singing his devotional songs to the gods and goddesses to return only at the end of the temple festival season in May of the following year. The artist speaks the south Indian language Malayalam.

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