Damal Krishnaswami Pattammal , one of the finest and legendary exponents of Carnatic Classical Music made her rasikas ,right from a common man to connoisseur literally to go into a trance with her music in its pristine purest form like the Ganges flowing from the Shiras of Lord Shiva.
There was a chaos in Devalokam with a lot of heated arguments as to which is the most enchanting music! Is it the sunaadam from the strings of Goddess Saraswati or the melodic outpour of music from the flute of Venugopala or the majestic rhythmic beats of Nandikeswara's mridangam or the Tinkling anklets of Lord Shiva which shakes all the 14 Lokas! Lord Brahma created a musician endowed with all these divine aspects and with the final touch of Goddess Saraswati , DKP was born in Kanchipuram, the abode of Goddess Kamakshi, named as Alamelu by her parents but later created history as the one and only Pattammal. Though this is my Wild imagination , her rasikas would not deny that her music was out of the world and really divine and ecstatic.
Endowed with a unique, majestic and incomparable voice through which she could produce chaste music void of frills and fancies.. The inimitable voice production with utmost sruthi alignment, tonal quality, the same stamina lasting till the end of the concert, uniformity of the body of the notes on all octaves with precision which was her speciality...and what not. The respect that she commanded from great connoisseurs, knowlegeable musicologists and almost all musicians of various styles and also genres was indeed amazing.
She brought about a revolution soaked in Sampradayam through her rich music. A trail blazer , a revolutionary, pioneer , courageous patriot and freedom fighter by singing Desa Bhakthi Krithis in her concerts in Pre Independence Era.Pattammal's sweet disposition and humble nature belie the fact that she started these highly revolutionary trends in Carnatic music. She was the first Brahmin woman to have performed carnatic music publicly, both on stage and on air in a period when the society considered it taboo for a Brahmin woman to perform on stage. If today Vidhushis are able to sing with dignity it's only because of the untiring efforts of Pattamma Amma by breaking the hurdles in a genuine and forthright manner. Furthermore, Pattammal was also the first woman to have sung Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi set in intricate thalas and in apoorva ragas like Jaganmohini, Manirangu. Etc., Before Pattammal, it was classed as a male stronghold.
Her forte was her Keerthana Rendition and she had a penchant and an unquenchable thirst for widening her ocean like repertoire even in her ripe old age.Through her precise Kalapramamaanam , perfect enunciation , lilting bhakthi bhavam and the raga bhavam , She literally made all the krithis that she rendered as her master pieces. She would sing the keerthanas again and again and render them as polished dazzling diamonds.
She always insisted on the importance of lyrics and emphasised that a small mistake would result in a big blunder . She would give the example of Nasham (disaster)and Nasam( nose) though very close have different meanings. Her Neraval and kalpana Swarms were sung aptly without being harsh to the ears. According to her, "if kalpana swaram is sung at Anaatha (anupallavi of Vinayakuni in Madhyamaavathi) and not completing it with Rakshaki it is actually very pathetic to listen to it", The proportion of kalpitha and kalpana Sangitham was just right in her concerts-Nothing in abundance nor in scarcity! It is really not possible to describe the grandeur, genius , prowess or the excellence of her divine Music in few lines !
Like how her music evokes indescribable emotions in the minds of the listeners her character and personality can be compared to a Jasmine flower emanating the fragrance of love , affection and genuinity. She was an embodiment of love and sweetness . Draped in a traditional Kanchipuram silk saree with a bright incomparable smile and with Lakshmi kataksham , and Saraswati Anugraham , Devi Kamakshi in her Hridayam ,to come across such a divine personality is indeed a rarity.