Karaikudi Mani lead a team of musicians to pay homage to veteran mridangam artiste and teacher Parassala Ravi.
‘Sruthilaya,' a music programme lead by Karaikudi Mani, was a delight in layavinyasa; it also brought together some young talents in percussion. B.V. Balasai on the flute and U.P. Raju on the mandolin played ‘Enthani vinavinthura' in raga Oormika, set to tisra nadai Adi tala. They took turns in rendering the raga details. The programme was primarily meant to showcase rhythmic excellence in Carnatic music.
In a ragam-tanam-pallavi in raga Sallapam in Adi tala, the artistes displayed perfect coordination and mastery over their respective instruments. An interesting presence to reckon with was Bangalore Amrit, who mesmerised with his speed and complex rhythm work. His fingering patterns on the ganjira accommodated more than one movement at the same time.
Mani did not play to the gallery and he proved that it was not just ‘noise' that could elicit applause. He could bring about the ‘nada' aspects of the mridangam through soft and strong strokes. V. Suresh on the ganjira played a more subdued role and he followed Mani adeptly. There were many points of variety in patterns in Mani's playing, yet it never became an exercise in mere speed alone. He made sure that the korvais and jharus were properly spaced and timed for the listeners to appreciate.
There was perfect rhythmic coordination in the raga malika swaras presented in Abhogi, Shanmukhapriya, Bahudari and Amrutha Varshini. A discerning audience applauded only at the right points and provided wholesome support to the artistes.
As the phrases got shorter towards the end of the taniavarthanam, Mani still gave his best and was in his element. However, the other artistes found it a bit challenging to offer such a wide variety of short varied phrases. A Surdas bhajan in Gurjari Todi concluded the recital.
The event was held at Sanskrit College auditorium, Thripunithura. The star-studded event, which included the likes of T.K. Murthy, K.J. Yesudas and K.V. Prasad, was organised in connection with a programme to felicitate veteran mridangam artiste and teacher Parassala Ravi.