The importance of the role of today's youth in preserving Carnatic music traditions for future generations has been well understood. Towards that objective, sabhas provide a forum for encouraging the youngsters to showcase their talent. That was in display at the Kartik Fine Arts vocal concert of K. Gayatri — a talented youngster, gifted with a pleasant voice.
She was accompanied on the violin by S.P. Ananthapadmanabhan, B. Sivaraman on the mridangam and S. Venkatramani on the kanjira. Her training under a stalwart musician Suguna Purushothaman was evident in her performance.
The sincerity of the effort displayed in the concert platform proclaimed her to be a fully worthy performer and this was confirmed by a good audience turn-out in attendance for a morning concert. It is also possible to discern the shades of influence of some of the popular artistes of today in her brika-laden phrasings.
With a facile voice, capable of speed and brikas, there was a natural attractiveness in her renditions.
It is plausible that the manodharma aspect of music, the musical idiom and the aesthetic proportion grow over time and with the artiste's experience on the concert platform.
The song list for the concert was well-chosen. Gayatri began with the Andolika varnam of G.N. Balasubramaniam, Nee daya rada and followed it with a not so-often rendered kriti of Mysore Vasudevacharya in Simhendramadhyamam Nikenduku dayaradu.
She was at her best at injecting tonal fervour during the neraval and swaras rendition for the kriti. The in-depth improvisation at the early part of the concert settled the stage for setting the tempo of the concert and for the more detailed expositions to follow.
Two ragas were chosen for detailed exposition, Nattaikurunji and Kalyani. The raga delineations were ornamented with many brika oriented phrasings.
After the Nattaikurunji alapana, the Swati Tirunal kriti Mamava sada varade was rendered in a leisurely style with neraval at Lalita manihara su lalite mam pahi and brisk swaras in two kalams.
After the Kalyani elaboration, Dikshitar's masterpiece Bhajare re chitta was presented with neraval and swarams.
B. Sivaraman along with S. Venkatramani presented a brisk taniavartanam following the Kalyani kriti.
After the Nattaikurunji piece, Ema ninne (Mukhari), the Subbaraya Shastri kriti was presented in a sedate manner and Gayatri followed it with a racy rendition of Tyagaraja's Illalo pranatarthi (Atana). She concluded the concert with some of the lighter pieces; Hari tum haro a popular bhajan in Durbari Kanada, Neerajadala (Mand) and a Tiruppugazh in Poorvikalyani.
S.P. Ananthapadmanabhan supported her competently on the violin with his essays of Nattaikurunji and Kalyani, but without any demonstrative highlight.
B. Sivaraman's mridangam accompaniment was of top quality and the punch and texture of rhythmic syllables embellished the sangatis. His mridangam added depth and was one of the brighter spots of the concert.
(Y. Chandramouli is a software engineer, music lover and can be reached at email@example.com)