The Taramati Music Festival presented varied genres, but did it turn out to be a harmonious blend for listeners?

In a fit of over-enthusiasm to shove all genres into one evening, the organisers tend to overlook the audience’s preferences and staying power, the climatic conditions, the distances in a metro and the impossibility of blending varied moods. So, we had to relegate the dance to memory (ctrl+s) and log on to the ‘world music ensemble’ that came close on the heels of ‘Samanvaya’ (Bharatanatyam-Odissi) within a matter of 30 minutes!

Fair enough, for all those who came back to our seats after invading the food courts. The brain, however, took its time to switch over from visual to audio mode, nevertheless, some effort and we stayed tuned especially since we got a start with the floating fragrances of Arab notes through the Farghalys’ exotic music.

We were still drifting in those archaic melodies when we were ushered into the Hamsadhwani by Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatts’ Mohana veena which tweaked like a sitar. The ace musician explored the raga and handed it over to Prasanna whose guitar actually was made to emanate music like a veena with human voice. He moved over to giving expression to the raga with Vatapi ganapatim... with a powerful percussion provided by Bengaluru Amrit on the kanjira.

The mohana veena chipped in with a racy taan which was mind-boggling with the tabla maestro Shubankar Banerjee on one side and the kanjira on the other interpreting it in the language of the percussion. We had our fill of sound and music with the entry of Ayman Boujlida, a ‘value addition’ (since he was a foreigner!), striking at the drums vociferously and suddenly there was a welcome pause; a soothing balm in the form of Rakesh Chaurasia embraced our pulsating hearts and a harmonious pleasure pervaded the environs with his cooing notes. This was further enhanced by the Farghalys joining in with their melodic tones tuned into the flute. The effect was enriching.

Prasanna’s ‘Kalyani connection’ was breezy. There wasn’t anything ‘Disappointing’ (as it was titled) in tuning in to Kalyani. It is a markedly holy raga no matter how it is treated. Back to the rest of the ensemble in union, which sent heat waves through sheer ‘musical’ sound that made the wintery chill bearable. Despite the musical warmth, the open air cold currents were descending down our spine egging us on to call it a day. The musical bonanza was part of the Taramathi Festival under the aegis of AP Tourism Development Corporation and Banyan Tree Events.

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