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Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi, a composer of time-transcending brilliance and encyclopedic erudition, is said to have lived approximately between 1700-1765. The volume of his multi-dimensional creations is only matched by the depth of his knowledge and exemplary attitude. He was a consummate master of melody, rhythm, meter, poetry, dance, drama, epics, mythology, cultural history and geography who was at equal ease in Sanskrit as well as Tamil.
In Sangita Ratnakara, Sharngadeva (1210-1247) lists about 30 yardsticks that certify the qualities of a complete vaggeyakkara. These include not only command over melody, rhythm, meter, rhyme but also a sense of drama, poetry, awareness of characters, situations and numerous other aspects. Venkata Kavi is a rare phenomenon in Indian music who ticks most of these boxes.
From a global perspective, Venkata Kavi contributed as much to the development in the East as his contemporaries Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) did to the developments in the West.
The enchanting magic of his creations have endeared him to thousands of musicians, music lovers and students alike and awed scholars over the years. However, it would take decades of study by specialists in various fields to create a comprehensive understanding of his contributions.
This website aims to provide a bird's eye-view of the composer's genius and also share (directly or indirectly) select audios, videos, notations and lyrics of the composer's works, which will serve as substantial internal evidence about his life and times.
Kalinga narttana Krshna - Painting by Keshav © Krishnafortoday