Largest traditional percussion ensemble in Kerala, on May 7, on the banks of the dying Bharathapuzha

Largest traditional percussion ensemble in Kerala, on May 7, on the banks of the dying Bharathapuzha:

Edappal, May3:The banks of the Bharathapuzha at Perumparamba, near Edappal, are set to reverberate with the sounds of the largest traditional percussion ensemble in Kerala, on May 7.

At the six-day crowdfunded event, over 600 instrumental music exponents including tribal and Dalit artists will play 35 types of instruments, watched by thousands of enthusiasts and 30,000 students of 200 schools in Palakkad, Thrissur, and Malappuram districts.

Santhosh Alamkode, a master of ‘panchavadyam’, said he had long yearned to organise such a festival on the banks of the dying Bharathapuzha: that would take the message of river protection and the diverse cultures it fostered far and wide.

 The 35-year-old exponent, who won a Limca Book entry with the largest ‘panchavadyam’ performance by 201 artists and the largest ‘thayambaka’ with 101 artists, is hosting the event through his own Sopanam School of Panchavadyam. It has so far trained 850 boys and 55 girls in instrumental music.

Santhosh, who took up ‘panchavadyam’ at five, was instrumental in starting the first all-women ‘panchavadyam’ troupe with 33 performers, who till then worked as daily-wage labourers in farms. Sopanam runs an all-women unit that makes and supplies traditional musical instruments such as ‘chenda’, ‘idakka’, ‘thimila’, and ‘maddalam’.

A musical melange

Exponents of ‘panchavadyam’, ‘thayambaka’, ‘melappadam’, ‘villinmel thayambaka’, ‘mizhavu’ and ‘thudikottu’, besides other instruments will be there at the event.

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