P. Kalinga Rao

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P. Kalinga Rao
P.ಕಾಳಿಂಗ ರಾವ್‌
Birth name Pandeshwara Kalinga Rao
Born 1914
Aroor ,Udupi
Origin Udupi district, Karnataka, India
Died September 21, 1981(1981-09-21) (aged 66–67)
Genres Bhavageete, Sugama Sangeetha{film songs}
Occupation(s) Singer, music composer

Pandeshwara Kalinga Rao (Kannada: ಪಾಂಡೇಶ್ವರ ಕಾಳಿಂಗ ರಾವ್‌) (1914 – September 21, 1981) was an Indian Bhavageete and Sugama Sangeetha singer and composer in the Kannada language.[1]

Biography[edit]

Kalinga Rao was married to Meenakshamma.[2] He had four children Prema, Vasanth, Sharath, and Santosh. Kalinga Rao was a primary school drop-out. But his knowledge of six languages was near scholarly.

Pioneer of light music[edit]

He popularised the Kannada Bhavageete, a form of music that derives lyrics from popular poetry and devotional works.

Kalinga Rao is widely regarded as the pioneer of the Kannada sugama sangeeta genre. He was active for three decades from 1950 and thankfully almost all of his tunes were recorded either by the gramophone companies or All India Radio. Kalinga Rao began his musical life in the era of the 78 rpm gramophone record, and the three-minute discs took his music to audiences all over Karnataka. He was also a rage on radio, and started a musical counter culture that could take on expensively produced film songs.

Poets Kuvempu, Bendre, and K S Narasimha Swamy were writing inspired lyrics that would soon turn into classics, and Kalinga Rao was instrumental in composing tunes for them. He also sang Purandaradasa and folk songs, emerging as a complete practitioner of Kannada music. Kalinga Rao used the medium of music more as a promoter of poems of great Kannada poets such as Kuvempu, D. R. Bendre and Gopalakrishna Adiga than as a performer unlike professional musicians. It was not the music, but the words of these poets which sought importance in his compositions.[2]

Distinctive composition[edit]

Kalinga Rao had learnt Carntatic and Hindustani classical music, but chose to experiment and arrive at a style that struck a balance between classical music and film music. Aesthetically, the genre he created drew from both worlds: raga nuances from the former, and the freedom to break from raga grammar from the latter. He also brought in Western orchestra colour, just like the movie composers, but was sparing in their use. Kalinga Rao mastered a mellow, understated, and chorus-easy style. He was the Chief Composer at the Gubbi Veeranna Drama Company. He acted and composed the music for Kannada cinema "Vasantha Sena".

Influence[edit]

Kalinga Rao's composer-singer tradition was carried forward by Mysore Ananthaswamy, C. Ashwath and Shimoga Subbanna, and grew into a movement in the 1990s, giving rise to annual conferences and schools teaching sugama sangeeta. Mysore Ananthaswamy leaned towards the filigree of the ghazal style and excelled at tweaking Western styles for Kannada songs. C. Ashwath evolved a style that dramatised a folksy style. His signature composition Udayavagali Namma Cheluva Kannada Nadu which inspired the Kannada unification movement was a landmark in the Kannada light music tradition.

Commemoration[edit]

A compilation of his works was released in the form of a CD titled Barayya Beladingale in 2010 with the help of some Government officials and talented artistes like D Srinivas, Rajesh, Suma Rani, Nelson, Venu, Arun Kumar, Varadaraj, Caleb and V Umesh. Kalinga Rao's original recordings used a piano, strings, clarinet, trumpets, and a tight rhythm section which often incorporates folk sounds. The magic of his music isn't completely lost in the digital format, although listeners who have heard him on spool and vinyl records may miss the warmth of his era.

Department of Kannada and Culture Organised a programme to mark the birth centenary of P Kalinga at Ravindra Kalakshetra on 6 September 2014. The Chief Minister of the state of Karnataka Siddaramaiah inaugurated the day-long event. A photo exhibition was organised to introduce the legendary singer to the present generation. Beladingala Hakki, a 240-page book on Kalinga Rao, a CD on his recordings of Rangageethegalu (theatre songs), and the radio play for which he composed music was released on the occasion.[2][3]

A Kannada monograph P Kalinga Rao, edited by B S Keshava Rao and Jayashri Aravind and published by the Kannada and Culture department, brings to light many interesting events from his life, including one where a government official demands certificates of his music qualifications for the grant of an artist pension. Kalinga Rao angrily rejects the pension, but chief minister Devaraj Urs steps in to help him in his needy days.

Popular songs[edit]

List of some of his popular songs.

Songs Lyrics Singers Music Genre
Thoogiro Chinnava Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Lullaby
Yaakaluve Ele Ranga Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Lullaby
Adu Betta Idu Betta Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Indian folk music
Baarayya Beladingale Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Indian folk music
Attillada Manege Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Indian folk music
Moodal Kunigal Kere Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Indian folk music
Betta Bittiliyuttha Traditional P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Indian folk music
Yaaru Hithavaru Ninage Purandara Dasa P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Devotional
Maadu Sikkadalla Purandara Dasa P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Devotional
Nageyu Barutide Purandara Dasa P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Devotional
Helkolok Ondooru G. P. Rajarathnam P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Kannada poetry
Holiya Hunnime RC Bhoosanuramath P Kalinga Rao BV Srinivas Kannada poetry
Brammaninge G. P. Rajarathnam P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Kannada poetry
Baagilolu Kaimugidu Kuvempu P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Kannada poetry
Anantadim Kuvempu P Kalinga Rao BV Srinivas Kannada poetry
Mugila Maarige Ragarathiya D. R. Bendre P Kalinga Rao BV Srinivas Kannada poetry
Aluva kadaloLu Telibarutalide Gopalkrishna Adiga P Kalinga Rao BV Srinivas Kannada poetry
Anthintha Hennu Neenalla K. S. Narasimhaswamy P Kalinga Rao G. K. Venkatesh Kannada poetry
Yerisi Haarisi Kannadada B. M. Srikantaiah P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Patriotic
Ilidu Baa Taayi Da Ra Bendre P Kalinga Rao BV Srinivas Patriotic
Udayavaagali Namma Huilgol Narayana Rao P Kalinga Rao, Mohanakumari & Party P Kalinga Rao Patriotic

Death[edit]

Kalinga Rao died on September 21, 1981.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nightingale of Karnataka". OurKarnataka. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d Khajane, Muralidhara (6 September 2014). "The life and times of Kalinga Rao". The Hindu. India. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Khajane, Muralidhara (4 September 2014). "Kalinga Rao: 100 and evergreen". The Hindu. India. Retrieved 16 October 2014.