Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Singing Priest

An interview with Fr. Paul Poovathingal, a priest who is an M.Phil. in Carnatic music

(After clicking the play button, please wait a bit for the audio file to load; or 'pause' right after you click 'play' and then wait for the audio to load and then click again on 'play' to stream the audio)

Duration: 53m 10s

"Music is the bridge between religions" - Says Fr. Paul Poovathingal CMI who has earned the name the "singing priest." Fr. Paul is a graduate in English and Psychology from Christ College, Bangalore. Though he had exposure to music at the age of 17, his seminary duties did not allow him much time to presume it. But after graduation the pull was too strong to resist and at the age of 31 he dedicated himself to the study of Carnatic music. But why was it so? It is not common for a Christian priest to take to classical Carnatic music! Says Fr. Paul, "as a priest my search was for reaching divinity; I felt that music was the best means to achieve the goal and realise divinity." He joined the Sangita Shironmani course at the University of Delhi where he also did and continued with his Masters and won a gold medal. While in Delhi he had learnt music from a few eminent artistes like T.R. Subramaniam. Later he pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Madras under the guidance of Prof. Karaikudi Subramaniam. In Chennai he found gurus in K. J. Yesudas and more recently Vaikom Jayachandran.

In this episode, Fr. Paul talks about the following things:

  • Carnatic music
  • Importance of literature in Carnatic music
  • His musical journey
  • Carnatic music and Kerala Christians
  • Carnatic music v/s the other tradional music systems
  • The new trend of learning traditional arts

He also sings the following Carnatic krithis in this interview:

  • Deva deva kalayaamithe
  • Vaathaapi ganapathim
  • Saama gaana priye


The Hindu Interview
Focus on Kerala article
The Hindu article


shinto said...

hello father this is me shinto mathew pls give ur mail id and phone no there.
thank u

Jo said...

Hello, here is Fr. Paul's email ID: