Biography / Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani


Mani's inherent desire to propagate the highly sophisticated structure of South Indian Rhythm and present innovative rhythmic ideologies led him to set up the Sruthi Laya percussion ensemble. This was supported by a large orchestra. He gave importance to taalavadya concerts and released CDs namely Sruthi Laya Vol 1 and 2, Laya Chitra, Laya Priya, Pushkaram, Melodessey etc. .

With these unique ensembles, the talavadya instruments and thani avartanam concerts gained respect and elevated Mridangam to a different league. This awareness gave a thrust to many contemporary artists to bring out audio and CD albums. .

Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani was the pioneer in bringing Mridangam to the centre stage. He also gave a new dimension when he fusioned Mridangam with other traditional instruments such as Thavil and Chendai. He has presented many Lec-Dem programmes all over the world. Students and enthusiasts have greatly benefited from these. .

This venture was well received by Carnatic fans and critics. Such talavadya cutcheri's (percussion ensembles) have contributed significantly in raising the profile of Indian percussion both in India and worldwide. His aptitude as a composer as well as a music director was coming to the forefront. .

The one aspect of the South Indian classical music field Mani's influence had not reached was the dance field. However, recently he has extended the rhythmic repertoire in the classical dance industry. Along with renowned Bharathanatyam dancer Smt Rajeshwari Sainath, who is Mani sir's niece and student. He has introduced new concepts (rare varnams, innovative jathi's rare thalams) in the dance field. Performed by Smt Rajeshwari Sainath, Guru has produced dance programmes that combine melody, rhythm and dance like never before. .

Many would have thought it unlikely that such a pious Carnatic classicist would move into fusion music. However, his approach to fusion is methodical and produced after much research, planning together with innovative ingenuity. He believes that fusion is not just the coming together of musical instruments but the fusing of musical systems done by musicians who have sufficient expertise to produce music that is inseparable. A notable aspect of Mani's fusion is the technical perfection that is maintained with the fusion adhering to the rules of classical music at all times. .

Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani has performed with many international artists like Paul Grabowsky of Australian Art Orchestra, Eero Haemmeneimi of Finland Naada group, Elio Marchesini La Scala percussionist and Livio Magnini of italy, Paul Simon of USA and with Finland Philharmonic Orchestra. A piece called Layapriya was performed with Finland Philharmonic Orchestra which was later performed by the Battery Dance Company as a dance ballet. .

The Australian Art Orchestra has adapted his Bahudari and Ranjani compositions into Jazz syle and released it as 'Into The Fire'. The Naada group of Finland has converted the Behag composition into Jazz orchestrization and released it as 'UNMATCHED'. It is his greatness as a percussion maestro that made Eero Haemmeneimi dedicates 4 compositions in mani's name. .

Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani's, innovative mind, with a desire to explore fresh avenues, has been responsible for the enviable slot that he occupies in the field of percussion. His latest venture titled, 'Amrutham - Fusion for Freedom' is an imaginative, novel effort that has captured many fans. Apart from that, he has also collaborated with Japanese musician JOHN KAIZAN NEPTUNE to create an album named 'Steps in Time10/17/2013. In this album, Guru Kaaraikkudi mani has created a unique synthesis of shakuhachi and Indian percussion.