T.M. Krishna’s singing reflected his new objective of technique, flair and originality.
The real image of Carnatic music brought about by the infusion of other genres is justified on the ground that art cannot remain static. When breathtaking architectural structures have come up with marvellous old ones still existing, the preservation of heritage buildings has gained enormous public attention. So is the need today to preserve the classical heritage of Carnatic music.
In the concert of T. M. Krishna, for Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, his style bristled with conjured-up creativity served in different moulds. His new bani seems to suggest that he is in the process of discovering fresh dimensions to expository patterns. It had familiar traits but was wayward in execution. His voice ensured reliability to reflect his new objective of technique, flair and originality.
The folds and angles, as he developed, indicated a futuristic look in contents, design and quality. Meandering, a certain lack of precision was manifest. The cutcheri was in the nature of classical music redefined. The mannerism and display of exposition focussed on his eagerness to present his old vidwat image in an reinvented way. It looked like an entry into an innovative culture.
This was the pattern: first item was a javali ‘Entadi-Kuluke’ (Kalyani) with elaborate niraval and swaras. Next came a tanam in Kanada and Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar’s ata tala varnam, then a tani avartanam. The third item was ‘Cheta Sri Balakrishnam’ in Dwijavanti and finally, mangalam.
Here is a suggestion: Instead of the regular start, Krishna could have begun the varnam from ‘Sarasuda’ and come back to the beginning ‘Nera Nammiti.’ Similarly, in the Dwijavanti song, he could have started with the line ‘Nava Tulasi Vanamalam’ and reverted to the start ‘Cheta Sri Balakrishnam.’ This arrangement would have gone well to register his new-found artistic discipline.
Akkarai Subhalakshmi (violin), Manoj Siva (mridangam) and Anirudh Atreya (ganjira) were the accompanists.