The Music Academy's morning session of lec-dems focussed on the role of ganjira, ghatam and the morsing.
The first day's morning session of lecture demonstrations, chaired by the Sangita Kalanidhi designate thavil vidwan Valayapatti A.R. Subramaniam, began with devotional music. The Music Academy had conducted a day-long devotional music competition in September this year under an endowment by Rukmani Arts, instituted by Aruna Ranganathan. There were 33 groups and about 200 participants.
The Isai Mazhalai group won the first prize and Balabrundam Gurukulam group won the second prize. The Isai Mazhalai group, which has young musicians, rendered devotional music on the first day.
The group's vocalists Kalpalathika, Brinda Manikavachakam, Arul Priya Manikavachakam, Adityanarayanan and Dikshita were accompanied on the violin by Shyam and on the mridangam by Ashwini.
This was followed by the unveiling of the portraits of Tallapaka Annamacharya and Saraswathi Bai. V. Sriram spoke about Saraswathi Bai and Pappu Venugopala Rao spoke about Annamacharya.
N Murali, president of The Music Academy, unveiled the portraits in the presence of Valayapatti Subramaniam.
The first lecture-demonstration was on the ‘Role of Upa Pakka Vadyams in Concerts' by V. Krishna and his team from Bangalore.
Krishna began his lec-dem with a general introduction of pakka vadyams and upa pakka vadyams. He divided his presentation into two parts. In the first part he dealt with each of the upa pakka vadyams - ganjira, ghatam and morsing, their independent stature, history, evolution, their names and their place and form in the various countries of the world. He then let each of the artists demonstrate the usual rhythmic phrases, the sarva laghu patterns and other permutations of rhythms.
He mentioned the names of the treatises which talk, for the first time, of each of the upa pakka vadyams. He also mentioned the stalwarts of upa pakka vadyams who contributed to the enrichment of their stature in Carnatic music.
First it was Guruprasanna who demonstrated on the ganjira, followed by Giridhar Udupa on the ghatam. G. Rajasekhar on the morsing showed how breathing, lips and tongue help in proper accentuation of rhythmic patterns. He also showed how morsings of other countries such as Russia, Germany and Japan are used.
In the second part of the presentation, Krishna demonstrated the role of upa pakka vadyams in concerts. He began his presentation with a varnam to show how the upa pakka vadyams join in, a little later, in the varnam. They join in usually as the madhyama kalam begins, though there is no hard and fast rule about this.
Upa pakka vadyams embellish the concert as they come in and go out at chitta swaram. Later, vocalist Ravikiran rendered a kriti to show how unobtrusively upa pakka vadyams join the mridangam. Finally, ‘Devi brova samayam' in Chintamani was rendered to show how the upa pakka vadyams join the mirdangam in a vilamba kala composition.
Krishna also wanted to present a niraval and kanakku in swara prasthara but could not do so due to lack of time. He appealed to the audience and organisers to give due recognition to upa pakka vadyams and upa pakka vadyam artists.
Experts Committee member Prof. Tiruchi Sankran complimented the speaker and mentioned the classification of musical instruments of Natya Sastra. He said sometimes ‘profound silence' is the best accompaniment.
Prof. T.R. Subramaniam also complimented the speaker and his accompanists. The session ended with the complimentary remarks by Valayapatti Subramaniam.