The musicians who performed at Rasikapriya's music festival displayed the flavours of their respective schools of Carnatic music.

Organisers of the annual music festival of Raskikapriya in Kochi roped in a few lesser known names in Carnatic music this year. The result was far from disappointing.

Ochira Sivadasan and his wife, Prasanna Sivadasan, presented a Nadaswaram concert on the first day. The concert, which boasted of many exciting features, started with ‘Vathapi ganapathim' in Hamsadhwani followed by the Muthaiah Bhagavathar composition ‘Sarasamukhi' in Gaudamalhar. Sivadasan's raga exposition for Kapi was crisp and the composition ‘Jagadodharana' was played with relish. In most of the kriti renditions, Ochira Sivadasan went for a higher speed in the charanam. The tani by Ochira Bhaskaran and Mavelikara Krishnakumar on the thavil began with excellent rhythmic phrases.

Sankaran Nambudiri rendered some rarely sung compositions in his concert on the second day. He presented compositions in Chakravakam (‘Vinayaka vighnanashaka'), Nattai (‘Jaya jaya janaki') and Atana (‘Paramapavani') in the first half of the concert with engaging kalpanaswaras. He presented raga Mohana pristinely. ‘Pahimam parvati parameshwari,' the composition by Dikshitar had some packed swaras. Rasikapriya, the last raga on the Melakarta chart was presented with restraint. Edapally Ajith on the violin succeeded in capturing the beauty of the raga. The vocalist's dependence on the ‘notebook' became a distraction as he had to look for syllables every now and then even while doing the niraval.

The mukthaippu was delectable as Shankaran combined three patterns to wonderful effect. The tani saw veteran ganjira player Thrikkakara Shantaram shining within his subdued role. He gave an impromptu performance with Anish Vasudevan on the mridangam where rhythmic patterns gushed, at times simple, at times intricate.

Young vocalist Bharat Sundar was the surprise package of the festival. A student of P.S. Narayanaswamy, Sundar charmed rasikas with his effortless kalpanaswaras and unassuming demeanour. He proved that even swara singing can communicate emotive content of the raga, a feat rarely achieved, as he sang the swaras for the Varali kriti ‘Seshachalanayakam.' The niraval at ‘Aravinda patra nayanam' too had many exciting high points.

Accent on syllables

The build up of Todi was impressive and even the fast sangatis were replete with bhava. If one thought that the energy level was low in the initial half of the concert, it was bang on in the main item. The vocalist's reverence to the literature is admirable, as he punctuates the syllables exactly. The Tyagaraja kriti ‘Kaddanuvariki' was mellifluously sung. Manjur Ranjith (violin), Palghat Mahesh Kumar (mridangam) and Haripad Sekhar (ghatam) were the accompanists. Hence, the Rasikapriya music festival had the flavours of distinct schools of Carnatic music, each different in its approach and presentation.

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