Who's This Genius From Chennai Who Stunned AR Rahman, Ellen Degeneres

A 13-year-old boy from Chennai is fast becoming a viral sensation among music lovers from all over the world. Calling Lydian Nadhaswaram anything other than a child prodigy will be an understatement. He was only 2 years and 2 month old when he first laid his hands on a xylophone stick and played it in proper rhythm. This amazed everyone but most of all his father Varshan Satish who brought him a drum set for kids before the day ended. 

That day his father, who is a music director in the Tamil film industry, sensed that his son was a gifted child but even he hadn't imagined the heights Lydian would scale even before stepping into his teenage years. Recently, he was invited at The Ellen Degeneres Show where he shared that he can play Mission Impossible with his left hand and Harry Potter theme on his right, simultaneously.


As a toddler, Lydian would beautifully play the drums while his elder sister played the piano. The instrument caught his fancy and he started to keenly observe his sister play it. Once she was done, Lydian would lay his hands on the instrument and play it by his ear. Watching his fingers dance on the piano made it very clear to his father that he has a special interest in the instrument. He began teaching him piano. You will be shocked to know that the boy mastered tabla in merely eight months.

Lydian has incredible tempo knowledge. So it has become an easy task for him to play the tabla in recordings along with a few senior tabla players, says his father Satish.  

As per a Hindu Business Line report, one day, at KM College of Music and Technology, founded by AR Rahman, Lydian watched a student playing Rimsky-Korsakoff’s ‘The Flight of the Bumble Bee’. This composition, which has the pace of submachine gunfire, the learner played haltingly, slow enough for Lydian to memorise it. From YouTube Lydian learned that it was a fast piece. Within two days, he could play it at an astonishing 190 beats per minute (bpm).

ynqenvnjq3nlgyxvtetegwhgxqytx3t7.jpgLydian can play 10 instruments perfectly.

Lydian's musical name

His father Satish says, "The Lydian Mode is the first mode of scale in music. When I heard that a boy was born to us, I was at my theory class learning about the Lydian Mode Scale, so the first name that came to my mind was Lydian. Nadhaswaram is an ancient South Indian instrument which is a very tough instrument among the wind instruments and in the entire world for sure. ‘Nadham’ means ‘beat or feel’ and ‘swaram’ means ‘sur’."

Lydian is gifted with two remarkable abilities: perfect pitch and musical memory. He learns in a fortnight what an average musician does in 10 weeks or so. He practises at least five hours a day.

Credits: The Teenager Today, The Hindu Business Line

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