Akkarai Sisters captured a gamut of swirling sancharas to deliver ragas in a grand manner.
Ultra-speed exposition in tandem with reputed percussionists is the in-thing in today’s concerts particularly of youngsters. Over the years concepts, values, attitudes and ideologies fundamental to Carnatic music culture are getting blurred. In the context of changing tastes and massive onslaught of other entertainment media to stick to highly refined music by some dedicated artists is obviously difficult. Preserving public image overrules quality consciousness.
In the concert of Akkarai Sisters, Subbulakshmi and Sornalatha, at the Kapali Temple festival series soaring inspiration and compelling tempo–preserving technique were in perfect fusion. They are well grounded in the basics of classical music exposition aimed at pricking the brain. In rendering kirtanas the attempt seemed to be to invoke intellectual image, rather than their poetic face. In raga delineation they captured a gamut of swirling sancharas to build up the ragas in a grand way. Percussive support from J. Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and S. Karthick (ghatam) was not just energetic sound patterns but vibrating chords of song embellishment.Lilting kriti
The first raga alapana of Vachaspati was by Sornalatha with a song composed by her grandfather lilting in structure and percussive idioms. The alapana covered the three octaves. The raga picture was replete with colourful contours.
Subbulakshmi’s alapana of Kumudakriya (‘Ardanareeswaram’) was in Hindustani mode well responded by the violin accompanist Narmada. Her style emerged from sadhaka content. This aspect gave direction to impact dynamism submitting to the lure of career environment.
As a relief came the Khambodi alapana and the kritana ‘Thiruvadi Charanam.’ She laid heavy burden on her voice to make her lavish interpretation of raga and kirtana exceptional. The musical equipment of the Akkarai Sisters is quite formidable to be discerned from how well they worked it out in concert concern. Equal concern for visranti and music of peace would take them to a higher level of experience.
In the Kumudakriya alapana (solo) Narmada well emphasised her expertise in handling Hindustani patterns with ease and felicity.
In the thani exchange between Vaidyanathan and Karthick equal proportion of percussive precision and romantic korvai patterns came to the fore. It was not only erudite but also soundly pronounced.