With young team of accompanists, B. Kannan offered a high-quality Carnatic music extravaganza.
That B. Kannan plays for the art, and not for the gallery, is something that the consummate veena player has proved time and again by being unyielding in his choice of the off-the-beaten track. His concert for Chennai Cultural Academy had two noteworthy offerings — Nasika Bhushani (‘Maara Vairi’ of Tyagaraja) and an RTP in Simhendramadhyaman. Though the RTP appeared last, it was the Nasika Bhushani piece that had a lingering effect even after it was over. It was a gem of an alapana, delivered in a leisurely pace. Unhindered by the natural limitations of a human voice, the instrument produces sounds that vocalists cannot (at least for this reason, rasikas should flock to instrumental music.) The notes of the second upper octave thundered across the hall with pleasing effect.
The Simhendramadhyaman alapana, again, was a thing of joy. The tanam that followed, however, was not as good, perhaps because of the hurried pace. The pallavi was set in plain Adi talam and there were no multi-raga swara sequences.
Kannan started the concert with the Gowla piece, ‘Pranamamyaham’ followed by an enthralling Amrithavarshini for the kriti
‘Anandamrutakarshini’ of Dikshithar and a Ritigowla piece ‘Janani,’ by Subbaraya Sastri.
Rahul (disciple of M. Chandrasekhar) on the violin provided admirable support, especially for the Simhendramadhyamam piece. The most remarkable accompanist was the mridangam player. Teenager and T.K. Murthy’s disciple, Ashwini, has dared to invade the male-dominated world of percussionists and her presence on the stage, (boy-cut and ear rings) brought smile on everyone’s lips and she did play well.
Ashwini’s co-accompanist on the ghatam was another teenager, Sri Sainath, a disciple of ‘none other than Vikku Vinayakaram’ as Kannan described him.
“Ashwini and Sainath,” Kannan said, “were groomed by ‘Abhaswaram’ Ramji, who identifies young talent and nurtures them.” With another up-and-coming percussionist, Nerkundram Shankar, on the ganjira, Kannan was well supported, and the result was high-quality Carnatic music.