A Blissful Journey In Search of LOVE
Emperor of Indian saxophone Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath in Colombo
Music can melt anybody’s heart; Music breaks barriers; and Music build bridges!. Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011, an enchanting carnatic music festival was organised by the Colombo Kamban Kazhagam. Once more he took us to the rich and lovely world of south Indian classical music The city of Colombo witnessed the finest carnival of carnatic music for six days. Ardent music lovers thronged and waited till late night to listen to some of the finest carnatic musicians from India.
Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath has been decorating the Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi for many years in Colombo. He walked into the Raamakrishna Mission hall in Wellawatte with glittering bottle green and gold dhoti and Kurta and a matching shawl with a long coral beads chain to decorate the grand finale of Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011. He worshiped audience, stage, accompanying artistes, the Naatha Vinayagar (Musical Lord Vinayagar0 who has been on the stage for six days and a brand new saxophone.
He played light classical music and deep improvisations on a sparkling saxophone.He beautifully and divinely played “Sinnan Siru Pen Pole”, “Salangai Katti Odi Vaa Vaa”, Kurai Ondrum Illai”, “Endaro Mahanubhavu” (Thyagaraja Keerthanai), and “Magudi” (Being played by the snake charmers to make the snakes dance to its tune) to name a few among many fusions. The festive goers began to furtively look around for an approaching snake in the Raamakrishna Mission Hall, and folded their legs to the chair.
When he beautifully and blissfully played “Kurai Ondrum Illai” ~ குறையொன்றும் இல்லை மறைமூர்த்தி கண்ணா ; குறையொன்றும் இல்லை கண்ணா ; குறையொன்றும் இல்லை கோவிந்தா !
It translates in English as follows:~
No regrets have I
Lord of the Written Word,
My light, my sight,
My very eyes
Many ardent music lovers shed tears while listening and watching him play live. These are a few examples to show how beautifully and blissfully he played from beginning till the end. An elderly lady got into uncontrollable trance.
In an exclusive interview with PassionParade while being swayed by the Sri Lankan audience, Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath mentions “The acceptance by the audience is overwhelming. I have been drawn to carnatic music lovers in Sri Lanka. They are very enthusiastic and being part of an enchanting event. They add colour and spirit to the festival”.
Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath was awarded “Padmashri” in 2004 by the Government of India for his distinguished contribution to carnatic music. Padmashri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India after the Bharat ratna, the Pama Vibhushan, and the Padma Bhushan. On ot observe, the words “Padma” ~ meaning Lotus in Sanskrit, in Devanagari appear above and below a Lotus flower. The geometrical pattern on either side is burnished bronze. All embossing is in white gold. As of 2010, 2,336 people have received the award. The first Padmashri title was conferred in 1954.
“It takes a lot of Penance to become a good musician or an instrumentalist. One cannot become a celebrity overnight. It is sad that people these days want to steal the limelight without really going through the treacherous path of studenthood. I have worked for 20 years to learn to play the saxophone in the carnatic style.The carnatic music has a bright future, but a lot of hard work is needed” continues Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath dressed in dazzling bottle green and gold attire.
Renowned film director K. Balachander has used Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath ‘s saxophonic instrumentation for the Tamil movie “Duet”. “I played some 30 ragas for A.R.Rahman. He was not satisfied. Finally, I played Kalyana Vasantham, and he said, “Thats it”! After, DUET, I became famous” chuckles Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath.
“His bold and lushly interesting stories blissfully told through the saxophone. I feel like walking smoothly on a red carpet whenever I listen to him. He makes us smell the sounds of saxophone through seven tracks. I was in search of love and I found my love through a beautiful and blissful series of saxophone” DushiYanthan could not help blushing the truth.
Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath performs at Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011 in Colombo
Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath spends most of his time in intensive practicing and innovating notes.
“I have decided to skip my dinner in order to listen and watch Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath’s live performance. I do not want to miss any moment of the show” shares Arumugam Rajaratnam.
Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath ~ charming,simple and spirited musician stole the show. Swayed audience did not want him to stop playing although the time was 10.30pm.
“It is a rare opportunity to enjoy carnatic music under one roof. Music breaks barriers. People have suffered a lot due to the three decades long war, which was brought to an end two years ago. We have missed numerous opportunities to enjoy arts and culture due to the war. Our culture and tradition is unmatched and invaluable. Now, we need to recapture what we have lost to heal our hearts and minds” elaborates Arumugam Rajaratnam with emotion and tears.
“I continuously enjoyed the six days of music held in Colombo. The evenings were enchanting. Festival such as this encourages younger generation to treasure our rich culture and tradition” shares Gayathiri Selvarathnam.
More photos and videos of the Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011 can be viewed on