The Naadhalaya group pulled off an entertaining fare.
Orchestration did not have a place in Carnatic music for a long time. This may be due to the fact that individual skills are the focal point of our music. Multi-rhythm orchestras gained acceptance a few years ago. It is now the turn of multi-melody, multi-rhythm combo. It is still an unproven experiment as the contrasts of individual manodharma and collective, formatted play in unison are yet to be seamlessly blended.
The Naadhalaya group however, pulled off an entertaining fare. Flute (Sruthisagar) and violin (Venkatasubramanian) were the melody providers while the thavil (Valayapatti Malarvannan), mridangam, ganjira (Sethuraman) and morsing (N.Sundar) backed up on rhythm.
Presenting mainly familiar songs, the artists packed in sufficient segments of individual play in the Ritigowlai raga and swaras (‘Janani Ninnuvina,’ Subbaraya Sastry) and Kapi RTP. Sruthisagar was more pleasing in the lower octaves while Venkatasubramanian played well within Carnatic contours in his essays. The duo’s rendition of ‘Ksheerasagara Sayana’ (Devagandhari, aint Tyagaraja) was soothing and they ensured that the melody did not yield to rhythmic domination.
The concert started with Mallari in Gambhira Nattai and continued with ‘Teratheeyagarada’ (Gowlipantu, Tyagaraja) and ‘Pantureethi’ (Hamsanadham, Tyagaraja), presented with a bit of frenzy. The kanda triputa pallavi reached a crescendo with the rhythm group taking over the climactic moments. I
t was an entertaining mix of alternate and sequential laya vinyasa that must have captured the audience imagination, even though one felt that the decibel level, for a closed auditorium, was beyond the scope of sensitive listening.