Blending Carnatic Notes and Western Pop

The Elements Fusion concert had a host of top musicians giving a refreshing touch to ragas.

Published: 08th July 2014 07:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2014 11:07 AM   |  A+A-

carnatic

CHENNAI: How would you feel listening to the famous Tamil carnatic song Enna Thavam Seidane and the mesmeric Hindi bhajan Raghupathi Raghav Rajaram delivered in a single piece? Wouldn’t that leave you feeling overwhelmed? A fusion concert named The Elements organised by L K Charitable Trust saw this fantastic blend. The curtain raiser to the Trust’s annual function held on Sunday, saw luminaries delivering breath-taking compositions, leaving the gathering struck with wonder.

 The group comprised renowned playback singer Haricharan Seshadri (vocal), music composer and lyricist Navneet Sundar on keyboard, Naveen Kumar on bass, B S Purushotham on kanjira, percussionist S Muralikrishna on drums and one of India’s most celebrated maestros Mandolin U Rajesh on the mandolin.

As customary, the evening began with greeting lord Ganesha. The carnatic song Gnana Vinayagane sharanam in the enthralling Chakravaakam ragam was a unique one. Haricharan, for whom it was the first ever fusion concert, added a western colour to the song between the pallavi and anupallavi. Also, with some drums played in the background, the rendition was impeccable. The brigas and swaras were in harmony and the listeners were visibly elated.

The ensuing piece saw Mandolin U Rajesh delivering some hair-raising notes. A piece from the album Into The Light was highly westernised with a classical tinge. This fast-tracked delivery was slow on drums giving a contrasting touch. The next piece called Fireflies, though rendered in ragam Vakulabharanam, appeared more pop-like with seamless breaks and stretches.

 Unnai allal vere gathi illai in the soul-stirring Kalyani ragam, with a long aalap at the start, witnessed a long solo session of kanjira towards the end. It was a perfect mix of western and conventional music. The next piece was a jugalbandhi between Mandolin Rajesh on mandolin and Navneeth on keyboard, followed by another between Purushotham on kanjira and Muralikrishna on drums.

What came next was the highlight of the evening. The very first line of the composition Enna Thavam Seithanai had the gathering excited. Haricharan managed to perfectly connect this song rendered in ragam Kaapi with Raghupathi Raghav Rajaram – the enchanting Hindi bhajan.

The ensemble signed off with the next composition Unnai saran adainthen and subsequently received a standing ovation from the audience.

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