She was the first flautist to represent India at the ‘National Flute Convention’, held in Atlanta, USA in the year 1999, and the first Indian in the Musical Festival Organised by the American Musical Instrument Society, South Dacota USA in the year 2006. She is none other than Mala Chandrasekar, “A Top” graded flute artist of AIR, with several accolades and awards, including Kalaimamani from Government of Tamil Nadu, who is performing over three decades now. Undoubtedly, she continues in the Tradition of her famous Gurus, the Sikil Sisters, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Kunjumani and Neela, in playing style, combining the stronger aspects of both Kunjumani’s clear classic lines with Neela’s flair and expresiveness.
This artist, who is, known for her exquisite manodharma and innate sruti and laya, mastering the art of weaving a rich repertoire of carnatic music on the flute in Vocal Bani rather called as Sikkil Bani, in a chat is emphatic.
What is very important says Mala Chandrasekar, “Absolute faithfulness to paadhantara in rendering the kirtanas, to bring out the ragas in their inherent unfading beauty. No doubt, nowadays , performing compulsions, influence creativity with spontaneity, but yet succumbing to temptations, to play swaras like ‘fire works’ impede them.
She always, introduces, Traditional aesthetics, in contemporary musical practices, which is the need of the hour, but displays innovative spirit, which provides the vital link between traditional art and contemporary concerns. She laments that the gurukula system is slowly vanishing, resulting the lack of perception in understanding, the intent of the composers.
Her recent performance for Mylapore Fine Arts Club was wholesome, appealing and reposeful with account on her fascinating bani. The graceful style of her rendition of Ramachandram Bhavayami, of Deekshidar in raga Vasantha, certainly gave an insight into imbuing the music form, which is more than more technique.
If the neraval at Kagustham Deemantham, stood out for perceptive presentation, the Harikhambodi kiriti of Thyagaraja, brought out, with its beautious aspect, drew distincted praise from audience. She felt very emotional when the Yamuna Kalyan, kiriti dedicated to Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.
The befitting finale with the enthralling rendition of Mairthreem Bajathee, reminded us of MS Subbulakshmi, which had an abiding effect on the listeners and was illustrative of her skill, to dwell expressively, on the features of emotive aesthetics. Gopinath (violin), Balashankar and Presanna(ghatam) played with perception.