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Friday Review » Music

Updated: April 19, 2013 16:00 IST

In-depth explorations

G. SWAMINATHAN
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Kunnakudy Balamuralikrishna.
Kunnakudy Balamuralikrishna.

The imaginative phrases, complex brigas and riveting raga alapanas were a treat.

If we consider old ‘is gold’ and ‘enduring,’ we should also accept that the ‘youth is bold.’ Kunnakudi M. Balamuralikrishna keeps growing in his musical pursuit preserving and promoting his youthful dynamism. He does not touch any item superficially but prefers to delve deep.

Thooran’s Suddhasaveri number ‘Thaye Tripurasundari’ turned out to be a windfall for Balamuralikrishna to take off on an interesting swara tour at ‘Kamadhenu Vanangum’. Well, it was time to soothe and smoothen the senses after that striking venture; Balamurali’s deliverance of Syama Sastri’s ‘O Jagadamba’ was an ode to devotion and dripped with emotion backed by clarity in diction.   

Quite amazing; the usually romantic and slightly feminine Mohanam assumed a significantly romantic but masculine form in Balamuralikrishna’s treatment. The raga essay sated with imaginative phrasings, complex blend of kaarvais and brigas and riveting akaras, was enticing. Tyagaraja’s ‘Evarura Ninnuvina’ was equally forceful, Balamuralikrishna going for niraval and swaras at ‘Savana Rakshaka Nityosva Seethapathi’. His swarakalpana galloped through valiantly. In such calculative moves, a few meandering segments could have been eschewed by a talented vocalist like him.

Subhapantuvarali was taken up for Ragam Tanam Pallavi. The raga was given a solid structure, Balamurali presenting ingenious, melodic and stimulating phrases of the raga. He also justifiably presented an exhaustive tanam to match the alapana. The pallavi ‘Kanna Va Mani Vanna Va..’ was in Chatusrajathi Jampa talam.

Balamuralikrishna has admirably practised the art of dramatising the raga, infusing enough pauses, and poignancy with intensity in his raga essays, kriti rendition and niraval. It could be very well felt by not only hearing him sing but also while watching his changing facial expressions and exciting gestures.

Pakkala Ramadas (violin) was a perfect foil to the vocalist’s creativity and range. His swara exchanges with the vocalist were quite engaging. R. Ramesh and B.N. Chandramouli on the mridangam and the ganjira respectively, were conspicuous throughout apart from their extended thani. 


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