Timeless tunes

Indian classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar’s works will come alive at a concert on November 25.
Late Kishori Amonkar with her long-time student Pt Raghunandan Panshikar
Late Kishori Amonkar with her long-time student Pt Raghunandan Panshikar

BENGALURU: When one thinks of Indian classical vocalists, the sensational Kishori Amonkar cannot be forgotten. To remind the audience of her time and works, SurSagar, a Bengaluru-based organisation dedicated to promoting Hindustani music in Bengaluru, is organising Unsung Kishori in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Bengaluru, on November 25, 5.30pm onwards.

The concert is set to take place at Canara Union, Malleswaram, where late Amonkar’s unheard compositions of bandishes, ghazals, bhajans and abhangs, will be delivered by one of her most loyal disciples and performing vocalist, Pt Raghunandan Panshikar.

“Amonkar is often associated with khyal and the light classical genres thumri and bhajan, which emphasise the importance of delivering bhav or emotion to the listener. But through life, she secretly experimented with lyric-heavy ghazals to deepen her expertise in Hindustani music,” says Radhika Joshi, one of the organisers from SurSagar, narrator, classical vocalist, and disciple of Pt Raghunandan Panshikar.

She adds, “It’s not a genre you associate with Kishori Amonkar.” Yet, in this upcoming event, Panshikar, a student of Amonkar for about 20 years, will perform the artiste’s ghazals, which very few people have heard or even known, as she never performed them to a crowd.

Panshikar also takes an interest in different genres other than classical vocals. He has worked on his diction of Urdu to improve the performance of his Hindi compositions, which he will show during
the concert. According to Joshi, his speciality is his versatility in presentation. Accompanying Panshikar, a carefully-curated lineup of instrumentalists will also be performing, such as Milind Kulkarni on the harmonium, Vinayak Netke on the tabla, Rohit Kulkarni on the keyboard and Abhijit Bhade on the side rhythm.

The first half of the concert promises to feature never-heard-before bandishes composed by Amonkar, showcasing a combination of one full khayal and several smaller, fast-paced compositions.The second half will also include unheard ghazals, shabad kirtans and Marathi, Hindi and Kannada bhajans, proving a testament to her interest and drive for knowledge in the realm of Hindustani music and beyond.

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