The Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival concert led by violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam was an aural treat that saw a confluence of various international music styles.
The Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival that was held in Thiruvananthapuram featured diverse musical styles, which converged with a virtuoso performance by violinist L. Subramaniam.
The show began with a relaxed, solo performance by Miya Masaoka on the koto, a traditional Japanese 13-stringed instrument. The piece was set in a pentatonic scale that sounded very similar to the Carnatic raga Revathi. The pristine tone of the instrument flavoured the piece with tranquil touches that evoked a meditative mood. Miya's deft manoeuvres on the koto produced sizzling “runs” and pronounced vibratos that showcased the scope of the instrument.
Solo Cissokho on the kora (African harp) stole the first half of the show, with his entertaining solo. The melody he played more or less resembled Carnatic raga Bilahari and was ornamented with a beautiful ostinato (continuously repeated melodic figure) that set the groove. As Cissokho sang with the arpeggio, the music that came straight from his heart connected with the audience, as they clapped and kept time.
Pritam's acoustic piano solo was a light and lively show setting off myriad chord progressions built around melodic movements of the keys.
The violin duet by Dr. Subramaniam and his son Ambi Subramaniam began with the composition ‘Journey' based on Mohanam. Their duet transformed into a magical journey as the maestros discovered newer dimensions to the raga.
The accompanying mix of Western and Eastern backing added to the feel of the composition. This was followed by the piece ‘Time is right' with a funky bass groove, precise electric guitar interludes, and percussion that gelled superbly with the strings.
The spectacular thani, with ‘panchanada' patterns on the mridangam (V.V. Ramanamoorthy) and the morsing (Sathyasai), was a special tribute to the late veteran mridangam artiste Palghat Mani Iyer.
Kavitha Krishnamoorthy then enchanted the audience with a semi-classical film song in raga Malhar and a thillana composed by Dr.Subramaniam. The penultimate violin-koto duet had violin strains by L. Subramaniam blending quite nicely with the strumming of the koto.
The finale turned out to be a grand affair when it artistically aligned all the styles with Dr. Subramaniam's masterpiece. Gems of improvised Kharaharapriya rained from the violinist, as the composition attained its acme.
Dr. Subramaniam's daughter, Bindu, sang the backing vocal portion in the song. The musical extravaganza, organised by Swaralaya, was a complete aural treat.