Friday Review » Music

Updated: February 27, 2014 16:03 IST

Her smooth voice triumphed

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S. Sowmya. Photo: V. Ganesan
The Hindu S. Sowmya. Photo: V. Ganesan

Sowmya’s performance saw vocal balance and consistency

The concert of Sowmya as part of the Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha Aradhana Festival, adhered to accepted standards of music, strictly on the lines of text book guidelines. She was not too concerned about enriching the kirtanas aesthetically, as mushc as meticulously rolling out the sangatis. So it was just a simple, straightforward presentation without attempting to reach the inner core.

This was the perspective she held in view, in the rendering of ‘Evvare-Ramayaa’ (Kangeya Bhooshani), ‘Samagana Nilva’ (Kokilavarali) and even the familiar Dhanyasi song ‘Sangeeta Gnamu.’ The former two items were exuberantly handled to expose her vidwat.

The same objective motivated her alapana technique. It was not aimed at raising exhilaration of raga bhava; but not to offend musical propriety. What caught one's attention was the smooth flow of her voice. The sancharas were symmetrically arranged and there were no fault lines in the imagery of the ragas.

In this format were the alapanas of Manirangu (Raa Nidhi Raadhu) and Nattakurinji (Kuvalaya Dala Nayana).

The familiarity of the two kirtanas ‘Naa Mo Ralakimpa’ (Devagandhari) and ‘Koluvai Yunnade’ (Bhairavi) somewhat lifted the level of the performance. The emotional pitch of the Devagandhari kirtana somehow evaded her. In the delineation of Bhairavi raga there was consistency and vocal balance.

Sriramkumar was the violin accompanist. In his solo versions of Manirangu, Nattakurinji and Bhairavi, he faithfully toed the line of Sowmya. It adhered to form, but class is that undefinable something that distinguished between Sowmya and Sriramkumar, the music was subdued neither to thrill nor to reach great heights.

The enlivening part of the concert was provided by Neyveli Narayanan on the mridangam in the company of Anirudh Athreya on the ganjira. His uncanny insight into the core of rhythm lifted the song session, which was the prime importance he held in view. There was tuneful restraint in his tani, and it was well responded to by the ganjira artist. His style called for recognition and respect.

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