Classical vocalist and playback singer Gayatri Ashokan's musical journey in her maiden Hindustani classical vocal album exalts the imagination of a listener, eliciting emotions from deep inside. The album that includes five tracks is dedicated to her guru, Pandit Vinayak Thorvi, who has been her inspiration for this venture.
As the opening track begins to meander through the morning raag Jaunpuri, it dawns on a rasika how entrancing music can be. ‘Baaje Jhananan' set to Vilambit Ektaal proves to be a brilliant exercise with exquisite trajectories in alaaps, notes, and improvisations.
The bandish ‘Chom Chananan' (Drut Teen taal) that follows is constructed with speedy excursions that sustain the excitement until the end. Gayatri treats raag Marubihag (an evening raag) like a gentle breeze caressing a scented flower.
Her flair for singing Hindustani classical gives Gayatri a delightful advantage for exploring such raags with her unique feel-oriented interpretations.
Both the bandish ‘Samajhat Naahi' and ‘Sakhi Bin,' soaked in ravishing phrases, easily lets one escape into a blissful world of melody.
The highlight of the album is definitely Gayatri's magical rendition that stirs a sea of serene feelings, without any flamboyance. The concluding soulful bhajan exemplifies this quality.
Gurumurthy Vaidya on the tabla and Vyasamurti Katti on the harmonium have contributed beautifully to the mellifluous music. The mixing engineer, Saji, who has has endowed the tracks with crisp sounding, deserves a lot of credit for his technical finesse.
Hindustani classical vocal by Gayatri Ashokan
By Gururao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha, Bangalore
Price: Rs. 1,00