KOCHI: A refined and mathematically choreographed symphony dominated by percussion instruments is the hallmark of Kerala music. �Elathalam, though considered as playing the second fiddle to other instruments, emphatically gives life and vigour to the Kerala art.
This idiophone instrument helps in ornamentation and orchestration, whether it is used during a ritualistic occasion or while performing melam, says K. Narayanan of the Kshethra Kalaaswadaka Samithi of Kalady.
One of the leading performers of this instrument, Maniyamparambil Mani turned 60 on May 11. Born at Cherpu, Thrissur district, he was initiated into the world of percussion at a very early age and made his debut at the age of 13. His performance is characterised by the clarity of the beats during three or four hours of the melam. The good rapport he has with the pramani (helmsman) adds flavour to the orchestra. His commitment to the art form and the confident and simple style make him dear to performers and rasikas.