Sensitive and subtle, Savita Narasimhan took rasikas on a melody-filled musical journey
Signs of imperceptible finesse characterised Savita Narasimhan's style which is finely balanced and intensely elegant. These aspects were in abundance at her concert for Asthika Samaj as part of the Sri Ramanavami series. If a lofty approach to classicism and relevant technique define an artist as sensitive, Savita is an exemplar.
Savita kept the presentation subdued to highlight its classiness. It was the precision of tonal manipulation that lent an edge to her creative process.
The recital began and progressed with the three items: ‘Tulasidala Mulache' (Mayamalavagowla), ‘Varija Nayana' (Kedaragowla) and ‘Rama Bhakti Samrajya' (Suddha Bangala). The interpretation was sensitive and provided a glimpse of her music's singularity. She embellished them with a keen eye on nuances. What constituted her distinctive pattern in handling the songs in the programme was her concern for chaste articulation with felicity.
‘Eppadi Manam Thunindado' (Huseni) was a superb experience and showcased her insight into the melody of the sahitya, lending an emotive dimension.
The Thodi suite, ragam, kirtana ‘Dasu Kovalena,' niraval and swaras formed an energetic part of the recital. In the alapana, the pulsating flow of sancharas had many variations set in, an aesthetic format focussing on the raga's subtle shades. Gracefully and with ease, she awakened the special rasa of Thodi.
The sanchara formulations revealed her musical mind at work, with her voice giving its approval. The direction she gave to the vinyasa induced the raga to lay bare its beauteous facets.
In rendering the song, she showed clarity of sahitya and sharpness in sangati. At this stage, her voice had sufficiently mellowed down to bring out the richness of the kriti and its bhava.
Earlier she sang Patnam Subramania Iyer's ‘Korina-Vara' (Ramapriya) prefixed by a well-defined alapana. The concert as a whole conveyed where Savita's heart lay in understanding music's delights. It is a matter of satisfaction that in a short time, she has reached the realms of refinement. She has been smartly ascending the ladder, and her objective unerringly has been tuned to the sanctity of music.
Violinist Padma Shankar realised what would go well with the vocalist's style and her playing idiom toed Savita's lines. The arrangement of sancharas in her solo raga versions epitomised the basic expectations of an accompanist. Mannarkoil Balaji was the mridangam artist whose support was neither aggressive nor inspiring. The thani was robust.