If R. Ramani's meetu, which matched the lyric was fascinating, S. Srinivasan's gayaki style was equally so.
Naada Inbam had chalked out an eight-day veena festival in memory of its founder, S.V. Krishnan, recently, at Ragasudha Hall, Luz. February 15th was S.V. Krishnan's Remembrance Day and befitting the occasion was a scintillating veena recital by R. Ramani.
It was sad to note that not a single musician who has had the patronage of S.V. Krishnan in furthering his/her career turned up that day. Nevertheless, the sparse audience was in for a treat of quality music from the traverses of Ramani on the frets.
Rendering ‘Thatvamariyata Rama,' (Ritigowlai-Adi-Sivan) she proved that she is one of the few vidwans who cared for the sahithyam -- her meetu matched the lyrics of the song, thus enabling one to sing along. ‘Rara Maa Inti' (Asaveri-Adi-Tygaraja) was straight forward.
The Begada alapana though brief was classically beautiful. The bhakthi quotient was intact in ‘Tyagarajaya Namaste' (Rupakam - Dikshitar), which was sans swaras.
Rakthi phrases with the right proportion of gamakas were the highlights of the Varali essay that was capped with yet another Dikshitar kriti, ‘Mamava Meenakshi' (misra chapu).
Muthiah Bhagavatar's ‘Jalandhara' (Valaji-Rupakam) rarely heard nowadays in concerts preceded Sankarabharanam, the evening's main course.
The combination of short and lengthy prayogas showcased the raga bhavam in full. The purity of her approach made it a meditative experience.
The tanam wherein she included the gana raga panchagam, namely Nattai, Gowla, Arabhi, Varali and Sri also made a similar impact.
‘Enduku Peddalavalae' (Adi-Tyagaraja) came with the right dosage of swaras. Being colleagues at AIR Chennai, Thanjavur Kumar (mridangam) and Pudukottai Ramachandran (ghatam) exhibited perfect understanding while accompanying for kritis. Playing for veena is an art by itself and that Kumar has mastered it was evident from his deft touches and unobtrusive patterns.
Ramachandran did not lag behind. Their tani was replete with lively exchanges. A javali oozing Khamas hogged the limelight towards the end.
Tonal sweetness was the underlying factor that made her concert an aural delight.
Listening constantly to good music helps one hone his skill. The music thus imbued flows out of the artist, who gives it a new dimension. It then becomes a coagulation of all the music he has listened to and the vidwan's own ideas.
S. Srinivasan who was featured by Naada Inbam this past Sunday proved the point. Spending several months in Delhi archiving rare music of veterans and continuing the task at AIR Chennai, has impacted him much. Known for his robust playing with heavy meetus, Srinivasan has changed course adopting a gayaki style to raga sketches. He has also mellowed down remarkably. Sahana alapana suggested the course, the concert would take.
Marked by a free movement of his fingers in all the three strings, his music flowed like a forest stream. Phrases came cascading. ‘Chitham Irangadaiyya'(misrachapu-Sivan) was at the right pace. His delineation of Nilambari (‘Maninoopuradhaari' – Adi -Oothukkadu) again was sublime. Srinivasan then researched Kalyani in the mandhara sthayi at length. On the whole it was expressive of the raga's exquisiteness.
‘Pankaja Lochana' (misrachapu-Swathi Tirunal) was sedate. Shertalai Ananthakrishnan( mridangam) and T.V.Vasan (ghatam) adopted a soft approach to suit the instrument and combined well while playing for the kritis with interesting arudis. Their anticipation in the swara segment was perfect.
Starting his Saveri alapana from the top octave Srinivasan gave it a different colour and his portrayal of the raga was lucid. The silent pauses added to the mood. The tanam that followed was an inspiring effort and ‘Rama Bana,'(Adi-Tygaraja), completely aesthetic.
The rhythm duo Ananthakrishnan and Vasan, maintained the momentum during the tani, thus enlivening the atmosphere.