Amita Sinha and Asha Tripathi emphasised on the lyrical beauty of the songs.

It was a showcase of talent at the just concluded Gharana, the Hindustani festival presented by Miot International and Prakriti Foundation.

The event saw an enjoyable Dhrupad jugalbandi by Amita Sinha and Asha Tripathi, who were accompanied by Dnyaneshwar Desh on the pakhawaj. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, who passed away earlier this year.

Delineating the oldest form of Hindustani classical music heard today, Amita and Asha presented Damar in 14 beats, a variant of dhrupad – a composition in Shyamkalyan.The piece ‘Aaj braj mein Udat Gulal’ is in praise of Lord Krishna and celebrates Hori.

Amita and Asha began with the traditional rendition of ‘Om’ and set out to present an extensive ‘Nom Tom’ alaap that was systematically developed and meticulously explored.

The duo made great strides in their rendition of the Dhrupad, normally considered a male domain. The composition began in mandra saptak and combined word, melody and rhythm into a unified whole that had a soothing effect. Dnyaneshwar on the pakhawaj, chose patterns that were in tune with what Amita and Asha were singing.

The variations and improvisations came together at the mukhda that ended on the sam. It was a feat of craftsmanship. The antara followed the same pattern in which the text was rendered beautifully to give that melodic effect.

The improvisations were done alternately by Amita and Asha, with accent on the lyric. In ‘Bolbants,’ the words synchronised with the beats, and cross rhythms and meends and gamaks were used liberally while improvising.

The same pattern was followed in the second composition of Dhamar in sultaal of 10 beats ‘Bajath Baansuriya.’ Then followed ‘Aayee hai ghata,’ in Miyan ki Malhar, Chautaal of 12 beats, and here the voices rang clear.

The Tulsidas ‘padam’ in aditaal was also structured on the dhrupad style with beautiful alliterative poetry -- ‘Ghangha man ghat garjat ghora’ making it a visual and aural treat. Last but not the least was a popular composition in Malkauns in sultaal, ‘Shankar Girijapati Parvati Patiswara.’