Even at the outset, Dr. Subramaniam of Brhaddvani mentioned that the recital of Srividhya Chandramouli was more a meditative exercise than entertainment. Veena, which is divine and delicate, had been employed more for mutual communion with the Almighty than for entertainment; probably that is the reason for its low profile in the music market, Dr. Subramaniam said in his opening remarks at Raga Sudha hall of the ‘Shree Veene Namasthe’ serial that plans to host a veena concert at different locations once in six weeks.
Understandably, Srividhya from the U.S. representing the tenth generation of veena music from the illustrious Karaikkudi Sambasiva Iyer lineage presented a slow and demure fare.
The recital was educative with learners getting a glimpse of the majesty of the instrument. Srividhya, incidentally is the daughter and disciple of the late Rajeswari Padmanabhan.
It was not a surprise that the selection included a large dose of the Karaikkudi school. The Ata tala varnam in Bhairavi was the first number with many intricate sangatis added to it moved in the first and second speed settling the charanam and the swaras followed in the madyama kala.
Srividhya admirably followed another trait of her mother, singing along. This added extra appeal to the delivery as one can follow the sahitya well instead of groping in the dark when certain songs are played by instrumentalists without either announcements or singing.
Srividhya also mentioned that the tanam, the highlight of veena will be added to some of the ragas but not just reserved for the main. So she played a stately tanam for Nattai before ‘Saraseeruhasanapriye.’ Mandari had its fair share of fine elucidation for the well known ‘Ninnu cheppa karanamemi’ by Patnam Subramania Iyer with a prelude of ragam. ‘Orajupuju’ in Kanndagowla and ‘Sarasa sama dana’ in Kapinarayani edged the recital forwards.
The Begada alapana was built with distinctive phrases. ‘Sankari neeve’ by Subbaraya Sastri in its piety and grandeur created a clear meditative mood.
Trichur C Narendran and N Govindarajan were on the percussion front maintaining a low profile.
The eleventh generation artists were introduced to the stage and the audience with little Kapila accompanying his mother on the veena and tiny and cute Sushruta on the tanpura.