Bhakti and aesthetics combine in Arasi’s songs, which Sumitra Nitin rendered with bhava.

Raga Sudha Hall

Sumitra Nitin’s concert after the CD release of Arasi’s compositions was a showcase of lilting Tamil lyrics. Naada Inbam unveiled a contemporary composer on Sunday last. Arasi’s song, “Inru Varuvano” in Kalyanavasantham, is popular and she places no mudra except that most of her songs would have the word “Arul” in them. A composer with a musical lineage, Arasi (Rajee Krishnan) is related to Ambujam Krishna.

Arasi’s new offering is “Inide Vandarulvan,” a CD (Rs. 100) sung by Sumitra Nitin brought out by Swati Soft Solutions. It was refreshing to hear a two-hour presentation of mostly Tamil pieces at Sumitra Nitin’s concert at Raga Sudha Hall in a thematic concert after Mrs. Y.G. Parthasarathy released the CD of compositions by Arasi. The singing demonstrated Arasi’s expressive compositions in the tradition of her family of singers and composers such as Ambujam Krishna and V.V. Sadagopan.

This is her third CD release. As Mrs. Y.G.P pointed out, Rajee has composed with bhakti. Striking descriptions, be it of nature or Krishna’s antics, leave one with a sense of being there.

Cleveland V.V. Sundaram receiving the first CD noted Arasi’s penchant for simple and sweet words. Sumitra’s thematic concert was a good idea to show rasikas what’s in store.

Sumitra traverses the higher octave easily as her Pantuvarali sketch revealed in a prelude to “Alaiveno” in Pantuvarali. The niraval-swaram at “Aridam Undan Namam” infused several intelligent phrases. Sumitra could boost her performance by modulating her voice to be in strict adherence to sruti.

The preceding “Inide Vandarulvan” in Ritigowla revealed Arasi’s prowess at raga bhava.

Sumitra’s Thodi alapana wove dexterous progression even as violinist Ambika Prasadh matched it with depth. “Enaiyundo,” the Thodi piece with enthusiastic niraval-swaram on the same words, caused an emotional rapport with the audience.

Sumitra displayed one attractive composition after the other —”Vasantham Vandade” in Vasantha, “Vandalum” in Kalyani (an excellent composition), “Kandan vindai” in Tilang, “Chinnakkaiyai virittu” in Karnataka Devagandhari (an arresting piece) and “Inda pillai,” a ragamalika, which should have come out with more impact.

Erode Nagaraj on the mridangam and D.V.Venkatasubramanian on the ghatam exhibited interesting vinyasa during the tani.

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