Sound training and adherence to tradition were evident in the concerts.
The concert of Gayatri Girish in the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha Gokulashtami series had a expository competence which found telling expression in the alapana and rendering of songs. She developed Kharaharapriya vividly which was followed by ‘Chakkani Raja Margamu.’ It was a dignified presentation, bringing out the essential features. The song helped Gayatri showcase its glowing aspects with great ability.
The programme revealed the singer’s sound training, commitment and steadfastness. In her repertoire, ‘Amba Neelayadakshi’ (Nilambari) deserved special mention. The clear intimations of the most reposeful values of music and the enchantment of the sahitya, cryptic in form and substance, made the piece stand out among the other two songs ‘Hirammayim’ (Lalitha) and ‘Amma Ravamma’ (Kalyani).
Dikshitar’s Nilambari composition which combines devotion and music exquisitely, speaks of Indian philosophy. Tradition shapes the spiritual life of people as the observance of Navarathri echoes with the Navavarna songs from many quarters. Listening to Diskshitar’s Navavarana or Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna prepares us for a spiritual journey. Gayatri’s concert served this purpose, for she endowed the songs with lucidity.
The violin accompaniment by Padma Sankar was effective. Poongulam Subramaniam’s (mridangam) play was a stylistic achievement particularly in the tani with D.V. Venkatasubramaniam on the ghatam.
Siblings in sync
When an artist becomes famous on the basis of a technique that catches the fancy of rasikas, others try to imitate that style. The vocal concert of Akkarai Sisters Subhalakshmi and Sornalatha seemed to suggest that thought. In raga alapana, they studiously imparted swirling briga sophistication. The raga swaroopa did not suffer on this count. Good Carnatic music represents sensitivity.
Their song equipment was sound. Interpretation laid stress on projecting percussive overtones. But these aspects have become necessary to build a reputation and today this has become the accepted norm.
If Subhalakshmi and Sornalata can translate this into ear-friendly reposefulness they would set a welcome trend since their reputation as top-class violinists is an advantage in making rasikas enjoy whatever they present.
Subhalakshmi’s Kalyani vinyasa was crisp and had tremendous force. The sancharas were symmetrically arranged. Quite in keeping with this objective the song ‘Kamalaambaam Bajare’ was sung with potent intensity.
The exchange between Subhalakshmi and the percussionists, J. Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and Ghatam Karthick took the performance to the greater heights and showcased their prowess.
Sornalatha presented Mukhari alapana preserving the image of the raga through a disciplined manodharma exercise.
The kirtana was “Entanae’, which was sung without much ornamentation.
Earlier, ‘Nannu Brova Lalitha’ in raga Lalita was given an expansive treatment. The song and the niraval passages held spontaneity.
The violin accompanist Ranjani Ramakrishnan was well-versed in the robust style of the vocalists.
Her repartees were precise and pointed. Vaidyanathan and Karthick had a field day both during songs and the tani.