Hindustani vocalist Sumitra Guha struck a chord with the audience during her performance in Kochi.

Sumitra Guha is a prominent vocalist from Andhra Pradesh who has made a mark in Hindustani music. Rooted in Kirana gharana, she has assimilated other styles to mould her own style of singing. Her concert at Kochi had a prominent Khayal rendition followed by a few light classical numbers, many of them the vocalist’s own compositions.

The main raga of the evening was Yaman and the vilambit bandish was ‘Sajan ghar nahin aaye…’, Sumitra’s composition in ek taal. The vocalist explored bolbant and taan singing and brought out the sheer beauty of the raga through fast sargams. It was followed by a chota khayal ‘Pehchano sur ki mahima…’.

The main allure of Sumitra Guha’s concert was her high pitched melodic voice with a superior range. She magically traversed the sargam in a full two-and-a-half octaves. Ashwin Walawalkar riveted with the solfa patterns on the harmonium.

She was ably supported by Anirudha Mukherjee on the tabla. Rajesh Prasanna on the flute replicated the few tans effectively. The vocalist spanned sargams further in a traditional composition ‘Chalo kokila madhumas aaye…’ in Desh raga.

Sumitra Guha has done noted work in popularising Annamacharya sankirtana for Tirupati devasthanam. It was her way of giving back to the south through her rendition of Annamacharya’s ‘Narayana te namo namo…’ and Swati Tirunal’s composition ‘Jaya jaya devi jagatjanani…’ in Malkauns. These songs struck a chord with the audience with their fast tempo and variance.

The strong presence of her piercing voice in the upper notes once again came forth in a Meera bhajan ‘Mein apne saiyaan sang saanchi…’. It was her impassioned singing of the Kabir bhajan, ‘Moko kahan to dhoonde bande…’ in raag Kirvani that appealed to one and all in the audience. However in the bhajan ‘Yoon na jane ki baat na karo…’, the music and presentation was felt to be too light.

It was a surprise when Sumitra launched into a Tagore song ‘Chokher aloy dekhechilem…’ after saying that she might not do justice to the profundity of the poetic expression. However, she carried it off well.

The event was organised by JT Pac.