Pondicherry P. M. Saravanan
Thavil is a traditional drum, a percussion instrument of South India, played along with the nadaswaram. It is played with a small stick on one side, and with fingers capped with specially made finger caps on the other side. The body of the thavil is made of Jackfruit wood, with one side of it covered with thick skin of buffallo and other side with that of goat’s skin. Nadaswaram and thavil form an essential part of all South Indian weddings, and without that no Hindu marriage is performed in India. Nadaswaram is also called mangala isai; the term mangala in tamil means ‘auspicious’, and isai means ‘music’. The music was initially played in temples, and whenever the presiding deities of the temple go on a procession around the temple or village for any functions or celebrations, and later adopted to all traditional functions of the community.
47 years old, Saravanan, like all traditional musicians, hails from a family in South India who have been thavil artists for more than ten known generations. He learnt the art from his father Mannappan from the age of eight. He had his maiden stage performance at the age of 14, and since then, he is playing thavil in various concerts, festivals and functions. Saravanan mastered the art under the able guidance of renowned thavil artist P. N. Krishnamoorthy in Tamilnadu, and later perfected it to advanced levels under the tutorship of leading thavil artist T. K. Krishnamoorthy. He has played along with the leading nadaswaram artists across South India and also gave several international concerts. He has performed in Singapore, Canada and various other countries till date. Both the hands, performing different beats in unique sequence, creating a drum beat is a classic version of the South Indian music and it is a treat to listen the beauty of thavil by Saravanan.
Current as of July 2015