Jugalbandi Of Nandini Muthusamy’s violin and and Purbayan Chatterji’s sitar. Jyoti Nair Belliappa

Kartik Fine Arts and Nandi Fine Arts recently organised a jugalbandi concert by violinist, Nandini Muthusamy, and Hindustani sitarist, Purbayan Chatterji. Their performance exemplified mastery within the two selected genres that in unison only elevated the music to a higher plane.

The first segment of the event began with individual performances by Nandini, followed by Purbayan, before the jugalbandi, which concluded the programme.

In keeping with tradition, Nandini began with Purandaradasa’s composition in Hamsadhwani invoking Lord Ganesa followed by the presentation of Tyagaraja’s ‘Banturiti’ and ‘Ramakatha,’ sung in Hamsanadam and in Madhyamavathi, respectively, and Rajaji’s ‘Kurai Ondrum Illai, in Ragamalika, which was played with aplomb. Nandini concluded with a complex korvai.

Beauty and ecstacy

Purbayan Chatterji’s performance on the sitar showcased the best of Maiher Gharana and Raga Maru Bihag, exhibited perfection, harmony, beauty, and ecstasy. His innovations on the sitar were elastic, fluid, and profound. He even accompanied singing a bandish and concluded with a sidha jhala.

For the jugalbandi, Nandini and Purbayan chose Charukesi. Pathos emerged as the predominant emotion through the impressive display of prowess over their respective instruments. It was a voyage through the intricacies of the raga.

With smooth and light strokes, swaying to the resonating notes, komal dha and ni, Nandini’s rendition was hypnotic; yet when Purbayan joined with his rendition, he had woven a splendid veil.

After Purbayan’s Alap and bandish, the musical dialogue and repartee took many forms, each with its own melodic possibilitiesand progressions of phrasing, tone, and colour. The initial playing of the ghat was in vilambit, and then in madhya laya.

The two artists alternated and then played together, progressively with more and more complexity. They systematically increased the laya and exhibited cross-rhythmic patterns, using tihais and todas, which then led into a dhrut at an electrifying speed.

Bangalore Praveen, performing on the mridangam, and Yogesh Samsi on the tabla, continued a dramatic exchange until the climactic moment was reached.