Muvattupuzha: Father Kuriakose Kachiramattom, a dean of Malayalam Christian devotional music, has passed away. The famous singer and director of the Angel Voice orchestra troupe was 79 years old. His funeral is scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. at the Holy Magi Forane Church in Muvattupuzha.
Father Kuriakose has led the Angel Voice troupe in over 50,000 stage performances in various countries, including European and Gulf countries. At a time when the direct participation of priests in cultural events was restricted, he obtained special permission from the Church to create the music troupe. He was the heart, soul and lifeline of his troop.
Many popular playback singers, including Rimi Tomy, hailed from the Angel Voice troupe. Singers NF Varghese, MG Sreekumar, KG Markose and Minmini have been associated with Angel Voice at different times.
Angel Voice was also the first troupe in the state to use imported musical instruments and sound systems for ‘gaanamela’ in Kerala.
Father Kuriakose also had the distinction of being the first person to present Carol Tableau in the state.
Father Kuriakose was all the rage among devotional song lovers when he rendered the song “Kara kavinjozhukkum karunayin karangal”. Listeners could feel the devotion and spirituality in the air as he performed this favorite devotional song.
Father Kurikose’s mortal remains will be transported from his sister’s residence to Nirmala Medical Center on Saturday. The body will be kept for public homage at Holy Magi Forane Church at 11am on Monday.
Father Kuriakose, who was ordained a priest in 1967, began his service as Assistant Vicar of St George’s Cathedral, Kothamangalam in March 1968. He worked as Bursar of Nirmala College and was also the founding Principal of KM George Memorial Industrial Training Center (ITC). It was voted best ITC in Kerala in 1979.
As deputy choirmaster of the diocese, he established a committee called Rising Star which functioned mainly at Kothamangalam Cathedral. Several cultural activities, including gaanamela and theater, have been organized by the committee.
The church choir which started at Nadukani Church was later converted into a gaanamela troupe under the Muvattupuzha Angel Voice banner.
Minmini pays tribute
“I participated in Muvattupuzha Angel voice programs while singing for Cochin Arts and Communications (CAC). They used to call me for their special programs. I was 15 or 16 years old then. Father Kuriakose had much affection for me. He encouraged many during the first years of my career. I last saw Father Kuriakose at the KCBC awards ceremony in 2005. It is painful that he is no longer with us today,” famous playback singer Minmini said.
Many other extraordinary talents came out of the Muvattupuzha music school established by Father Kuriakose with the Angel Voice troupe.
The pieta in front of St. Joseph’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Meenkunnam, near Muvattupuzha, is the result of his efforts to develop the talent of a young carver.