Lakshmi Sreeram and Gayathri Girish showcased the two classical forms with deep commitment to grammar and composition.
Among the series of music programmes conducted on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Hamsadhwani presented a jugalbandi by Lakshmi Sreeram and Gayathri Girish.
In a jugalbandi, the common factor, apart from the Indian roots, is the ethos that brings out melodies and rhythms of a similar kind, evoking moods of matching passion, albeit rendered in widely different styles.
Going by the claim that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, or ear in this instance, one could, without much effort, rate this programme as one of great pleasantness and soul-stirring melody. The colours of the northern and southern traditions were depicted richly by Lakshmi and Gayathri with deep commitment to grammar and composition.
The recital began with the Hindustani raag Bhairav, with an alaap by Lakshmi, in her refined and mild voice. Gayathri juxtaposed Mayamalavagowlai followed by Tyagaraja's ‘Meru Samaana', bringing out the native power and depth characteristic of her voice. Lakshmi continued the thread with a bandish in teen taal. The swara exchanges flowed easily and melodiously.
Violinist Sanjeev introduced Nalinakanti, letting Gayathri take up treatment of GNB's ‘Nee Paadame Gati.' Lakshmi portrayed its North Indian counterpart, Tilak Kamod, crowning it with a bandish.
She then took up the main piece in raag Bagesri, with aalap, followed by two khayals, first in vilambit teen taal and then a chhota khayal in drut ek taal, composed by Pandit Vyas. In the next piece, Gayathri's Kalyani was matched by Lakshmi's Yaman; Tyagaraja's ‘Etaunnara' was followed by Lakshmi's khayal ‘Eri Ali.'
A ragamalika featuring Chandrakauns, Bhatiar, Khambhodi and Ahirbhairav followed. The artists wrapped up the concert with a lively tillana and tarana.
The concert stood out for the graceful blending of the styles. The vocalists demonstrated with great sensitivity how there can be confluences with one stream gracefully merging with the other, without being intrusive.
This is made possible by the commendable rapport among all the players; the singers achieved this by competent steering of the proceedings.
Sanjeev on the violin and Ganapathyraman on the mridangam gave ample support on the one side, while R. Suresh on the tabla and Vinesh Madri on the harmonium boosted the other.