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Article 1. Source: THE HINDU May 29th 05.

Mridangam artiste breaks world record

Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan, mridangam artiste, created a new world record in marathon performance in mridangam by breaking the present world record of 84-hour continuous performance in percussion instruments set by Suresh Joachin Arulanthan of Australia.



Record breaking show: The mridangam artiste Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan during his performance at the Mascot Beach Resort in Kannur.

KANNUR: The noted mridangam artiste, Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan, on Saturday created a new world record in marathon performance in mridangam as he broke the present world record of 84-hour continuous performance in percussion instruments set by Suresh Joachin Arulanthan of Australia.

Mr. Ramakrishnan, who became eligible for entry in the Guinness Book of World Records after he completed his 36-hour marathon performance in Palakkad in July last year, broke the present world record at the four-day event hosted by the Cannanore Round Table and the Rotary Club Seaside as per the guidelines of the Guinness and Limca Book of World Records, South India. He started his record-breaking performance at 9 a.m. on May 25 at the specially arranged venue at the Mascot Beach Resort here. The marathon concert crossed the existing world record at one minute past 9 p.m. on May 28. The artiste was still continuing his performance.

The organisers said that the four-day event followed the guidelines of the Guinness and Limca Book of World Records authorities. The event was christened ``Rhythm for Peace.'' The marathon concert was largely a solo performance in mridangam based on different `thalas' in Carnatic music known as `layavinyasa'. The musician was allowed a break of 15 minutes every eight hours of performance. The guideline also stipulated that no piece of music should be repeated within four hours. While the entire performance had been video-recorded, there were also local judges observing the performance.

On the third day of the marathon performance, the artiste had felt severe muscle pain. A team of doctors monitored him and ayurveda experts massaged his shoulders to give him some relief from the pain. His relatives and disciples had also stood behind him to encourage him in his determination to break the world record.

Mr. Ramakrishnan, 34, was born in a family of musicians in Kuzhalmannam in Palakkad. He had his early lessons in music from his father, Gopalakrishna Iyer. Having got his first stage performance at the age of 10 in Chembai village, Mr. Ramakrishnan has won several awards, including gold medal in National University Festival, Mridanga Vaadya Kala Thilakam of Kerala Brahmana Sabha, Outstanding Young Person 2004 Award of Palakkad Jaycees. His innovative fusion of mridnangam with other musical instruments is a trendsetter and is widely appreciated by young generation. He has been performing Carnatic music concerts.

Mr. Ramakrishnan, who has a number of music cassettes to his credit, is also a painter, singer and music director. He is also running Sangeetha Vidyalaya to impart training in Carnatic music. The breaking of the world record is expected to earn him a great recognition in the field of classical music. Among the vocalists whom Mr. Kuzhalmannam has accompanied in concerts include K.J. Yesudas, V. Dakshinamurthy, T.V. Sankaranarayanan and T.N. Seshagopalan.

Before starting the record-setting performance, Mr. Ramakrishnan said that his ambition was to perform continuously for 100 hours. The young artiste, who has been playing mridangam for over 25 years, said that he used to practice regularly in preparation for the marathon performance to break the world record.

Article 2. Source: Rediff News , May 29, 2005 22:27 IST

Kerala mridangam artist sets new Guinness record

Young mridangam artist Kuzhalmannam G Ramakrishnan of Kerala on Saturday set a new Guinness record in percussion instruments by playing the mridangam non-stop for over 84 hours.Ramakrishnan performed the gruelling feat in the presence of two representatives of the Guinness Book of World Records at a specially arranged venue at the Mascot Beach Resort in Kannur.Suresh Joachin Arulantham of Australia holds the existing 84-hour record set with drums at Zurich, Switzerland, according to a release issued at the venue.The event titled 'Rhythm for Peace' began at 9 am on May 25, Ramakrishnan's 34th birthday.Ramakrishnan, hailing from Kuzhalmannam village in Palakkad, went past the 84-hour mark at 9.01 pm.The event is being held as per the guidelines issued by the Guinness and the Limca Book of World Records authorities, and has drawn a large number of people.Born in 1971 in a family of musicians, Ramakrishan had his first lessons in music from his father, Gopalakrishana Iyer.He has won several awards, including a gold medal at the National University festival.

Ramakrishnan, who runs a carnatic music school, is an 'A' grade artist with All India Radio and has accompanied renowned muscians like K J Yesudas, V Dakshinamoorthy, N Ramani, Kadri Gopal Nath and N Rajam in the past.

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