Devendrakumar Patter Mudhol adeptly blended raga and lyrics; Suvasini Arunachalam’s voice was pleasing and resilient

Devendrakumar Pattar Mudhol sang under the auspices of Swarasankula Sangeetha Sabha recently. He was accompanied by Gurubasappa Hugar (tabla) and Shriram Bhat (harmonium).

The vocalist, clearly endowed with a talent to blending the various elements of music, presented these in a composed manner. He gave importance to both the raga and the lyrics, and allowed the emotive content of the bandish under interpretation to shine. However, the taan patterns were similar in different stages of the performance; it was so across the ragas, as well.

To illustrate, consider the two bandishes he presented – one in Puriya Dhanashri and the other in Maru Bihag. In the first, the bada khayal “Ab To Ritumaan” unfolded the artiste’s merits, with various distinct dimensions to both the sthayi and antara sections. His voice modulated suitably to materialize the intended mood and intonated to realize the sentiments embedded in the composition.

An array of embellishments comprised bolupajs (imparting perspective variations to the lyrical import), sargams (adding vitality to the passages), sargam taans (displaying musical magnitudes of those notes) and taans. The taans were not very impressive, as they needed better imaginative construction and recognizable versatility. The chota khayal, “Payaliya Jhankar”, trod a similar path, summoning similar observations.

The vocalist developed raga Maru Bihag through “Lage Nazariya” and “Raina Basi Jab”. He later led listeners to appreciate a rueful bhajan (“Krodh Na Choda Jhoot Na Choda”) and a thoughtful Akka Mahadevi vachana (“Thumbidudu Thulukadu Noda”).

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Shri Thyagaraja Sangeetha Sabha arranged a vocal concert by Suvasini Arunachalam, who was accompanied by C.N.Thyagarajan on the violin, Bhargava on the mridangam and Shyam on the morsing.

The singer’s pleasing, resilient and expansive voice is capable of infusing the desired sentiments into the lyrics. However, in the present instance, she could not explore her potential to full satisfaction. Though the causes may have been intrinsic, external factors such as poor acoustics influenced the experience, particularly rendering the lyrics unintelligible.

She commenced with an invigorating presentation of Patnam’s varna, “Chalamelajesevu”, in Keeravani. However, there was a need for accuracy in adhering to the swarasthanas, and so Keeravani fell short of exerting its charm on the audience. This discrepancy, combined with metrical inconsistencies in different degrees, percolated into the subsequent stages of the concert as well.

Interesting compositions like “Samayamide Nannu Brova” (Kedara – Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer) and “Raghuvara Nannu” (Kamavardhini – Thyagaraja – preceded by alapana and later embellished with strains of kalpanaswaras) lead the audience to the focus of the concert, “Rama Ni Samaana” (Kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja).

She was fluent in expanding Kharaharapriya, and likewise in framing the kalpanaswaras. Apt pauses would have rendered the lyrics more meaningful and decisive stresses corresponding with the laya patterns would have imparted fervour to the fluently improvised note-phraseology. The charana, “Paluku Palukulakuthene”, featured thani avarthana. The concert comprised compositions like “Veni Maadhavana Thorise” (Vadirajaru), “Karedalu Thanna Magana Yashade” (Helavanakatte Giriyamma) and “Charanamule Nammithi” (Bhadrachala Ramadasaru).