PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — Indian American musician-composer Chitravina N. Ravikiran set a new record of sorts in world music during his recent trip to Chennai in January. There, Ravikiran set a composing record by setting music to 1330 Tirukkural verses in 16 hours. To put things in perspective, this is comparable to completing a 26-mile marathon in barely 15 minutes, according to a report on PRNewswire. Tirukkural, composed by Tamil philosopher Tiruvalluvar during the 2nd-4th Century BC as couplets, are replete with themes ranging from moral codes of conduct to romance.
While there have been a few attempts to set them to music, Ravikiran’s 16-hour feat is unprecedented in world music. A project of this magnitude in any type, style and language would normally require several weeks to months for even the most creative composers at an average of eight to ten minutes per verse, the release said.
“To me, it is not just a record but more of a miracle, which cannot be measured in human terms. To be honest, I don’t even know if I can take credit for this! Things just flowed automatically,” said Ravikiran, speaking to the media at the end of the final session.