The great concord of Carnatic has suddenly become numb, disturbingly silent. There is no soul in the saga, no heart in the rendition anymore. For India’s favorite son had bid goodbye. Young India is yet to understand and revel at his many contributions to the Indian music. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna, the gem of Carnatic music is no more. The soloist who mesmerized the world at large with his voice has left behind a great void that cannot and will not be filled.
Astounding vocalist, instrumentalist, musician and composer, Balamualikrishna had given the world the finest of Indian Carnatic. His works are revered to be the greatest in the history of Indian classical music. Little Bala, who began his long musical sojourn at the nascent age of six went from notch to notch, giving over 25,000 concerts all over the globe. He brought to the world the greatness of Carnatic, the inner depth and richness of Indian vocal, something that they have not experienced before. His sophistication and niche lied in combining vocals with the rhythmic patterns. People yearned to listen to that. The Telugu boy who rose from the ashes like a phoenix was the first to be featured as a soloist along with the award winning British choir. He performed the famous ‘Gitanjali Suite’, wowing and silencing the listeners with his unmatched talent.
Balamuralikrishna is not just about being Indian. He has an exquisite taste and dabbled in several languages that include French. He also went on to explore the uncharted space of Jazz Fusion, for the Malaysian Royalty.
Born into a humble and musically inclined Telugu family from Sankaraguptam in East Godavari district, Bala was exposed to the notes and tunes since birth. His parents were affluent musicians who played flute, violing and Veena. Bala learned music from the great descendant of Tyagaraja, Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu. His reverence is high on Thyagaraja Keerthanalu and Melakartha Ragas.
From concerts to cinema, from Southern India to the nooks of the world, Balamuralikrishna presented to the music lovers the soul of Carnatic that was rarely experienced prior. He inducted and incorporated the purest form of Classical vocal into the most rugged and vague alleys of entertainment music.
It would be very doubtful to say that we will see the rise of another Balamuralikrishna any sooner. The beloved son of music and the astute disciple of Ragas has breathed his last, leaving the richness of his voice to the chaotic world behind.
Rest in peace.