Friday Review » Music

Updated: January 8, 2010 14:21 IST

Expert exposition of ragas

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Photo: R. Shivaji Rao
The Hindu
RICH APPEAL: Sowmya. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

The most distinctive pattern of Sowmya’s music was chaste expression. The flexibility and precision activated her manodharma intentions. While every aspect of her performance carried regal bearing, there was also a swell of tenderness. The raga portraits and handling of kirtanas were effective reflection of passionate anubhava. Her exposition mirrored her urge to scan the right beauteous areas. These qualities were the products of values of music garnered over her professional career.

In her recital her mind was sharply tuned to music of quietude and refinement, the corner-stone of her excellence built on sadhaka foundation. Her alapana technique reflected the tidiness of her creativity and articulation moving towards the classical sphere. The sanchara strands were wrapped in exhilarating smoothness. Her voice well seasoned for full flow was a significant fact of her maturity.

The appeal was richer when the sahitya of kirtanas was softened. She was possessed of supreme confidence sans conceit. Built on talent and self-assurance the poised impact was stupendous.

The concert was smartly programmed with classic songs of Tyagaraja — ‘Yochana Kamala Lochana’ (Durbar), ‘Parasakti Manu’ (Saveri), ‘Manasaa Sri Rama Chandruni’ (Isamanohari), ‘Emidova Balkuma’ (Sarangi) and ‘Kaluguna Pada Neeraja Seva’ (Poornalalita).

Sowmya embellished Saveri and Saranga with an eye for details of their nuancic wealth. The vinyasas, polished to perfection, were full of classical echoes. The subtleties modulated by her vocal sensitivity spoke of her expositional expertise.

In rendering the Tyagaraja kirtanas sampradaya counted a lot, the enunciation of sahityas alluring with depth, pleasantness, clarity and vibrancy. The songs in Durbar and Saranga received maximum stimulating saturation. The enjoyable part of her presentation of the kirtanas was the way she conveyed her internal understanding through gentle vocal niceties. In doing so, she brought all her early discipline and methodical progress in learning into the kutcheri quality.

Thodi, the main raga for ragam, tanam and pallavi, received prestigious treatment fondling its beautiful and fabulous richness. While the development was pervasive there was musical instinct exalted by nobility, sweetness and softness. While the concert provided general appeal to the listeners, it was exhilarating to the fastidious.

Sowmya had T. Rukmini (violin), Manoj Siva (mridangam) and A.S. Krishnan (morsing) as accompanists. The violin support was not overly penetrative, but sufficiently modest to go well with the vocalist. The percussionists brought out their involved closeness to the needs of kirtanas. In thani they had their say of emphatic laya idiom.



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