Kudamaloor Janardanan enjoys a special status among the top-most array of flautists in India. At equal ease with vocal and instrumental styles of music, Janardanan is a self-taught artiste who made it to the centre stage solely by virtue of the amazing ease and dexterity with which he played (with) the melodious bamboo.
Right from his childhood, Janardanan displayed an exceptional talent in music, the basic lessons of which were imparted to him by his father, G.Krishna Iyer. Janardanan’s precocious skills with the seven notes and a never-ending quest for more soon allured him to the magnificent world of instrumental music. Interestingly, Janardanan began his journey of a thousand miles with a humble toy flute, commonly found in traditional festival fairs.
Janardanan was awarded the scholarship for further studies in music by the Department of Culture, Government of India. He went on to obtain a graduation in Violin from the Madras University.
At a time when flautists of repute in the state were less in number, the only possible way Janardanan could master all possible fingering techniques in flute was by imbibing vocal music nuances onto the flute. This actually turned out to be a huge blessing in his professional life- any keen musical ear could almost make out parts of the lyrics of any song he plays on flute, having never heard it before!
Janardanan’s concerts soon became talk of the Carnatic music world, owing to the way by which he transformed his ‘live’ concerts actually ‘alive’ and ‘lively’ by the spontaneity of his creative juices. No note in his entire concert is preset. Once he is on stage and touches his flute, the flute leads its player- the pied piper, along with his followers- the audience to a musical Utopia.
Praises were showered upon him; however deep down, the inquiring mind of a genuine student of music remained ever thirsty for true knowledge. The unexplored facets of music, those unheard melodies- apparently an enigma he knew was within reach to him, yet seemed elusive, refined his incredible sense of creativity and provided food for thought to a beautiful musical mind.
Mastering techniques plays a crucial role as far as an instrumentalist is concerned. "But who is the real master and where is he?" The exploration finally leads to nothing but music itself. Janardanan came to realize that the seven notes of music and the hues of ragas they give rise to through some divine chemistry is the only ultimate truth in music, transcending all barriers imposed by language, culture and nationality. All you need is the passion and dedication towards the noble art. No tutor could be better than the music in you, which is at the same time, a student and a teacher.
Today, an 'A' Grade artiste of the All India Radio and an empanelled musician at the ICCR, Janardanan maintains a distinct and inimitable style. A very popular and much sought-after stage performer, he never fails to leave any musical mind completely enchanted and spellbound by his performance. The adroitness with which he sails over octaves with absolute comfort, while preserving the musical charm has always been one of his signature traits. He enjoys a large number of faithful fans- true music lovers- following him wherever he performs.
He has gifted his enthusiastic fans with what they would cherish the most- his masterpieces in the form of records, which include:
Keli: 'The symphony of love' (Invis Multimedia)
Viraha: 'The strains of separation' (Invis Multimedia)
Kaivalya: 'the chimes of meditation' (Invis Multimedia)
Swati Murali (Manorama Music)
Madhava Murali (Manorama Music)
Mohana Murali -A concert on the sublime raga Mohanam
Ganesha Murali - A concert on Lord Ganesha
Pranam- A tribute to Ustad Bismillah Khan (Manorama Music)
Gokula Murali - Evergreen Krishna songs
Despite having come a long way, Janardanan is well aware of the road ahead and is now mastering new ways of blending technology into a creative environment and is devoted to assigning a distinct identity to flute as a solo instrument.