The legacy and lineage in the Pattammal family continues to the fourth generation through the high voltage power packed singing of the young Lavanya Sundararaman who is making waves in the field of music as an up and coming musician. A very promising singer with a melodious and energetic voice with a breath taking range carries the torch of pristine clear rich music of Smt D K Pattammal as her great grand daughter. She deems it a great honor to have performed as the fourth generation of the DKP parampara in the concert held at Music Academy in the year 2000 when she was only 8 years old and Pattammal 80!
Great Grand mother and me
IN MY OPINION
My great grand mother likes female children in general and she was more delighted when I was born as the first great grand daughter in the family. My mother recalled with excitement that Pattamma (as we all call her fondly) sang Sri Venugopala in the raga Kurinji by Muthuswamy Dikshitar during my cradle ceremony and blessed me from the bottom of her heart that I should become a renowned carnatic vocalist.
When I was 4 years old, she taught me songs like Sri Guruguha by Dikshitar in the raga Sudha saveri, Sri Rama Sri Rama and Vandanamu by Thyagaraja in the raga Sahana, Sujana Jeevana by Thyagaraja in the raga Kamas, etc.
I sang in the Parampara concert conducted by Hamsadhwani when I was 8 years old. Pattamma took personal interest in preparing me for this special concert and only then did I learn different talas like Ata tala (Sankarabharanam Varnam) and Misrachapu tala. The list of songs sung in this concert included Enneramum by ShyamaSastri in Poorvi Kalyani and Maamava Pattabirama by Muthuswamy Dhikshithar in the raga Manirangu.
My passion towards music drove me to take the decision of making music my career. Whenever I learnt new kritis either from my grand mother and guru Smt. Lalita Sivakumar or my mother, Gayathri Sundararaman, I would sing it before my great grand mother. After intensely listening to my rendering, she would modify and fine-tune it and explain in depth the nuances and intricacies of that song.
I learnt a Pallavi for a competition from my guru Smt. Lalita Sivakumar in 2007. After much preparation, I went to DKP Amma enthusiastically and sang before her. I was asked to sing Tanam first and then the Pallavi. She mentioned to me, “This is just an introduction and you need to learn more Pallavis”. She then sang the Pallavi - Velavane – ninadhu padhame tharavenum mayil natana in Todi in 3 kalai – chathusra thriputa tala (Adi) in a single beat. When I was attempting to understand the rhythm and pattern of the pallavi, she explained that it could be rendered in a single beat, even though it is set in 3 kalai. Out of curiosity, I asked her if it is possible to sing the same Pallavi in 1 kalai and without a pause she rendered it with the precision of a mathematician. Such was her proficiency of kanukku in Talas. I still wonder how she was able to impart the knowledge of complexities of Pallavi with such exemplary ease to a beginner like me. By demonstrating this, she made me realise that Ragam Thanam Pallavi is not something that one can take lightly and it is one genre which had a lot of scope for infinite development, provided you go deep into the subject.
I am very fortunate to be born in this much revered family, sing with 'Kollu Patti' (great grand mother) on the same stage and also to have her as my guru, and a loving friend. Having said that I do shoulder the great responsibility of continuing the family legacy and tradition and wish I would be able to accomplish this task with God’s divine blessing and my dear Pattamma’s “Aaseervadham”(Blessing).