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Friday Review » Music

Updated: December 25, 2009 13:35 IST

Lending a classy effect

M. RAMESH
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TRADITIONAL: Geetha Rajasekhar Photo: K.V. Srinivasan
The Hindu TRADITIONAL: Geetha Rajasekhar Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Geetha Rajasekhar's singing is an amalgam of a clear, ringing voice and unrelenting fidelity to tradition.

Both Geetha Rajasekhar and violinist M.A. Krishnaswamy made the concert memorable – in two different ways. The vocalist with her scintillating Shanmukhapriya, and the violinist with his remarks on the percussion. Krishnaswamy, who found the mridangam and ghatam too loud, curtly told the sound technician to tone down their volume

Despite this, the concert was classy. Geetha's singing is an amalgam of a clear, ringing voice and unrelenting fidelity to tradition; it is a mystery why she is not a crowd puller.

There were three main components of the concert – Shanmukhapriya (‘Ekambareswara Nayakim’ of Muthuswami Dikshitar, the main piece), Begada (‘Va Muruga Va' of ‘Spencer' Venugopal, popularised by D.K. Jayaraman) and Sriranjani (‘Bhuvinidasudanu’, Tyagaraja). While all the three were good, the crown belongs to Shanmukhapriya. The alapana was brisk and briga-oriented, reminiscent of GNB.

The line ‘Kanchi Nagara Nivasinim’ was taken up for niraval and swaras. Geetha’s style of swara singing, observed in many of her performances, is like watching a Ferrari go down the track. Snappy singing has its own charm, but one would like to see how she sings slow, karvai-based swara sequences.

The Begada and Sriranjani pieces were good too, but they both were in some ways incomplete. The Begada piece had no swaras.

The Sriranjani piece was tailed by lovely sets of swaras, but they did not touch the upper ma.

Veteran mridangist Thanjavur Subramanian showed great sense of anticipation while playing for swaras. Despite the gesture from the violinist, he played very well throughout the concert.

H. Sivaramakrishnan made his presence felt during the thani.


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