Nisha Rajagopal's raga delineation was marked by perspective, range and reach.
With smooth ascent and descent, not resorting to contrivance of voice to create effect and with clear articulation of sahityas, Nisha Rajagopal, singing under the auspices of Sravanam at the TTD Centre, breathed life into the ragas and kirtanas.
The programme stood out for performing skill and sought to please not by fleeting flashes, but on her own assessment of musical values. Concert vichara and sangita vichara moved closely.
There were enough indications to convey that she was aware of the fact that technique alone did not make music noteworthy.
The raga delineation of Dhanyasi ('Vani Arul Purivai') and Madhyamavati ('Paalinchu Kamakshi') was marked by perspective, range and reach. Nisha's direct approach to raga moorchanas in arranging the sancharas and her expressive possibilities influenced her creative instincts. She sang with intensity of feeling. She took particular care to ensure that both in alapanas and interpretation of songs mere intelligence did not overshadow her presentation.
Of the two ragas handled, the turns and twists in Dhanyasi manodharma contoured the raga imagery. It was not just a collection of sancharas but pointed attention to the beauteous niches and solid graces of Dhanyasi.
Lucidity free from vocal extravagances and restrained management were the hallmarks of the picturisation. When she came to Madhyamavati her voice became more responsive to her focused imagination.
The alapana lifted her concert experience to a higher level of sanchara felicity. She had perfect control in negotiating intricate passages in the tara sthayi with sharp precision. Her creative process in developing the raga at length did not fall into mechanical expression but revealed an insight into the dynamics of Madhyamavati.
'Choota Murare' (Aarabhi), 'Ramam Indeevara Syamam' (Purvikalyani, an Annamacharya piece), 'Hirammayeem' (Lalita) were the other songs she rendered. A weighty kirtana in the early part of the concert would have added strength to her effort.
In Usha Rajagopalan (violin) Nisha had a very competent accompanist with harmony and balance making her contribution valuable. In her solo versions the raga pictures came alive leading to a heart-warming experience for the rasikas. Her technique had an imagistic brevity and overall vividness to get into the very heart of Dhanyasi and Madhyamavati.
The mridangist A.S. Ranganathan let his instrument speak gently to Nisha's intrepretation of kirtanas.