Drumbeats from the heart


Here’s your chance to listen to the Arumukhanam, a percussion instrument that was invented in Puducherry

The moment he knew that this was it, S Gopakumar was ecstatic. The percussion player and teacher from Puducherry, is the inventor of Arumukhanam, a six-faced percussion instrument.

“I worked on it for five-and-a-half years,” he recalls. Introduced in December 2001 as the ‘percussion instrument of Pondicherry’ by then Chief Minister of the Union Territory, N Rangasamy, the instrument changed Gopakumar’s life. The 53-year-old obsessed over it; it was all he thought about during its making.

“I tried various sound systems and positions, before finally arriving at six faces,” he says. For instance, he tried arranging the drums in the pattern of a lotus, only to realise that it didn’t work. “It had to be portable and something that can be handled easily,” he says. An assistant professor at Bharathiyar Palkalaikoodam, Gopakumar is originally from Thiruvananthapuram. He’s been playing percussion since he was seven years old. “I came to Puducherry in 1988,” he says.

During his initial days as a mridangam player, Gopakumar remembers how whenever he performed at other States, people asked him what musical instrument Puducherry had that was unique to it. “‘Every State has its own musical instrument, what did Puducherry have?’ was a common refrain,” he recalls. Gopakumar decided to get to work. He researched extensively, and as a mridangam player, it was natural that he was inclined towards percussion.....Read more

 

Source web page: The hindu


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