Kalaapini Komkali has inherited the unique vocal style of her father Kumar Gandharv: G. Swaminathan
As the curtains went up, what drew one's attention at once was the significant drone of the tanpuras. Kalaapini Komkali's mehfil was an experience to be cherished. Blessed with a voice that has wide range, Kalaapini, daughter and disciple of the legendary Kumar Gandharva, has inherited the unique style of her father.
With a husky voice that can express razor sharp phrases, Kalaapini offered an elaborate raag Bihag. With her intuitive and inherited manodharma, she presented three khayals; the first in vilambit mode set to ek taal followed by two traditional khayals one in madyama and the last in durita style.
After setting up the raga stage with enchanting swirls, flights and akaras, Kalaapini inducted the khayal credited to her father. ‘Yeh Mora Man' passed through several patterns highlighting the beauty of Bihag in a relaxed manner.
The madyama was ‘Churiya Baar Baar' went smartly and the last one in durit kaal ‘Aamini Albeli' was bouncy. This whole affair took nearly an hour as this was the major offering. The next raag Sur Malhar too carried three compositions. The first one was set in Rupak taal was followed by madyama kaal ‘Dar Laage Bhujiya' and concluded with a fast moving taraana. The presentation included a surfeit of brilliantly conceived sections and extensions, exposing the alluring raga facets of Sur Malhar. Kalaapini sang a special number once again from the compositions of her father, ‘Ajabe Duniya Jaaria Kahan Hai,' a rather intellectual number in Hamir.
It was time for a thumri and Komkali selected Khamaj to project the lyrics ‘Jao Saiyaan'. This was followed by a folk number ‘Ram Bina Siyaava' from the Malwa region she belongs to. This was a vivacious number which described how the fragrance of the Kevra flower (screw pine or Pandanus) from the bride's house travelled to that of the groom's on the day of marriage. Komkali emotionally concluded the mehfil with a Nirguni bhajan of Kumar Gandharva ‘Sunta Hai Guru Gyani' which he himself sang in the Music Academy way back in the year 1967 in his concert.
Kalaapini Komkali's effortless touches to every raag she sang and her ability to underscore the finer nuances were quite appealing. Her brief introduction to every number she sang, the titbits she shared, explaining some aspects of the lyrics in between singing, her frequent switching over from English to Hindi, the easy camaraderie she shared with the accompanying artists Sanjay Deshpande on the tabla and Milind Kulkarni on the harmonium, her upright presence on the stage made her concert more winning.
Sanjay Deshpande and Milind Kulkarni played their roles in a meticulous manner with absolute musical feel.