The veena and Venu (flute) synergy of D. Balakrishna and D. Vamshidhar always gets it right. Their performance at Gayana Samaja for the Percussive Arts Centre during the 34th Taalavaadyotsava was well articulated.They displayed energy and passion with the incorporation of specific, dynamic sangathees. One found the combination to be more cohesive as a duet, especially in the tone and movement departments.The Kedara raga krithi Bhajana seya raada (Anaiah) brought out the skill and panache of the instrumentalists. A brief raga prelude in Darbar and Thyagaraja’s fine krithi Raamaabhiraama continued to show how exhilarating classical music can be on string and wind instruments.
Unfolding of Poorvikalyani raga was touchingly poignant in slow movements and playful in the faster movements. Ramnad’s familiar krithi Parama paavana and its extensions in the manodharmic segments displayed their latent talent. Bhairavi was delineated in detail. Thyagaraja’s Tanayuni brova had lyrical and emotional lucidity. A crisp Vara Narada in Vijayasri raga led to a comprehensive raga, tana and pallavi in Moahana raga. Raga and tana were rendered well. Vamshidhar sang and demonstrated the pallavi line Palukave pathitha paavani neevu set to trishra jhampe tala. The elaboration had trikaala and gatibedhas. The duet concluded with a Salaga bhairavi tillana by Veena Doreswamy Iyengar.
Golden jubilee fest
Veteran TAS Mani on mridanga fashioned his play most appropriately to suit the soft and mild outputs of veena and flute. B.N. Chandramowli was an energetic collaborator on khanjira. One of the leading music schools, Karnataka College of Percussion led by veteran mridangist TAS Mani and his versatile vocalist wife R.A.Ramamani is celebrating its golden jubilee year.
The Manis are known for extraordinary individual artistry and also for their internationally acclaimed fusion music. As prolific teachers they have innumerable students who have been enriching the Karnatak music field. As part of the yearlong celebration of the golden jubilee year, a four day monsoon festival was held at Seva Sadana, Malleswaram. It was marked by wonderful and wide ranging programmes. It was captioned as the Ek raga Taala Vaibhava series. Young vocalists performed with a select raga as their theme in the first slot and an ensemble of percussionists led by seasoned artistes presented the grandeur of rhythms in the second slot of the four day programme.
On the concluding day (Thursday) the hall reverberated with raga Behag when child prodigy and now young and multi faceted vocalist Varijasri sang. Generally, this raga gets featured in the latter stages of music concerts. But Varijasri did a marvelous job by rendering a full fledged concert based on that raga. She opened with a glorious account of the raga in a varna by TRS. With her beautifully textured voice, she captured the various moods expressed in the raga. She infused Mysore Vasudevacharya’s Paahi Krishna Vasudeva with melody.
There were moments of poetry, particularly in the slowly-shifting harmonies of madhyamas. She displayed her remarkable artistry in each piece, playing with finely crafted phrasings and clearly defined articulation. That transparency was also abundantly evident in the following raga, tana and pallavi. Particularly striking was her unfathomable manodharma. She played it with a tenderness that underscored the smooth mellowness of the music. The detailed singing of pallavi Neela Megha Ramakrishnam bhaje madhura murali gaana lola was profound. The young accompanists R.Achyutha rao (violin) and Jagathipriya Sathavalli (mridanga) vied for equal honours.
The monsoon festival ended with a pleasant downpour of rhythm. The members of the Laya Milana, an ensemble of Sri Mookambika Talavadya Sangeetha Kala shale led by proficient percussionist B.K. Chandramowli presented a fine a cultural overview as well as instrumental specifics. They demonstrated key rhythms and styles. Each instrument was played alone and in an ensemble. This concert was played with superbly choreographed precision by the percussionists. The players LVMukund (flute), SYashaswi (violin), B.K.Chandramowli (mridanga, konnokkol and direction), Dhruvaraj (mridanga), ASN Swamy (khanjira), T.N. Ramesh (ghata), Udayraj Karpur (tabla), Bhaskar (dolu), Bhagyalakshmi Krishna (morsing), Gopi Shravan (drums), Kartik Mani (special percussions), Somasekhar Jois (konnokkol) and Sridhara (dholak) gave us a set of entertaining miniatures, some of which stretched the definition of percussion music.too. The ensemble began with the popular Begade varna (Inta chala). Mukund and Yashaswi laid formidable foundation for the ensuing beautiful edifices of laya. In the next Raga, swara laya three ragas — Hamsadhwani, Abhogi and Kalyani were rendered backed up by the ensemble rendering 3-4-5 gatis in sarvalaghu patterns in varying speeds. It ended up with percussionists’ well worked out mukthaya.
The way Mukund rendered the swaras in these ragas was praiseworthy. The ensemble reached the climax in the expounding of Reetigowla.
Dr M SURYA PRASAD