K. Gayatri emphasised on the emotional content of the kritis.
A smooth-flowing, flawless voice was a great asset for K. Gayatri, especially when it came to singing with grace and finesse. But this also tempted her to indulge in over-embellishing the sancharas and alapanas at the cost of maintaining a good tempo. The thinness of vocal manipulation made her raga vinyasas and interpretation of songs fragile.
Pace and movement marked the presentation of the not-to-familiar Arabhi kirtana of Dikshitar “AkhilandeswaryaI.” There was a natural ease in articulating the sahitya, but it failed to make an instant impact.
To visualise the Varali alapana in its true colour, it has to be short in duration to make its appeal epic. But Gayatri’s handling was flattering in its detail, but in shape and content wearisome.
At the very start of the programme, the lengthy alapana, song and neraval carried the cutcheri in a leisurely, meandering manner. The subtleties she introduced were marked by peacefulness and sweetness. There was no divorce between music and melody.
To compensate for this part of the concert, her manodharma and the rich sancharas opened up the vistas of Kharaharapriya. The alapana pattern had a strong influence on Gayatri herself. The sancharas focussed on the emotive dimensions of Kharaharapriya. The direction Gayatri gave to the elaboration enhanced all facets of the raga. The technique combined dignity and pertinence.
The alapana was well followed by the way Gayatri communicated the loveliness of the kirtana “Rama-Neyeda.” This quality made the presentation remarkably expressive.
The violinist Narmadha’s accompaniment was built on the Parur bani, providing a contrast between her style and that of the vocalist. There was violin’s tonal strength in her play set against Gayatri’s felicity.
The support of mridangam vidwan Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar both during the kriti singing and in the tune, was motivated by regal bearing of the tala structure. Papanasam Sethuraman on the ganjira toed Sivakumar’s line.
Keywords: K Gayatri recital