Concert-goers, like all clichéd species in our dualistic world, are of two varieties. One — probably attributing to sound waves a tactile quality — appears to feel that proximity to the stage offers the more direct communion with the artiste. The other (such as myself) prefers a secluded seat, sequestered from the epicentre, where they have adequate space to ruminate on the music.

So there I was, tucked away in a cosy balcony seat, savouring Abhishek Raghuram’s Reetigowlaalapana , presuming that no sound save from the audio speakers could pierce the serenity of the atmosphere.

Raghuram had had some issues earlier with the treble and had to stop to alert the audio techinicians.

But suddenly, Raghuram’s silken voice seemed to falter. He stopped short, and it wasn’t one of those pregnant pauses that expert vocalists employ to accentuate the beauty of the musical phrase. It was a nonplussed silence. I followed his politely annoyed gaze to the middle of the front row, where an irate senior citizen appeared to be vocally disgruntled about something.

A sabha official was trying to cajole the mama into occupying his seat, but something continued to irk him.

For a while, Raghuram tried in vain to get a sanchara in edgewise. After an uncomfortably long time, the mama was resettled in a corner seat.

If the concert space is not accorded due deference, artistes themselves might soon begin to seek a secluded dais from which to sing.


Making light of the darkDecember 11, 2012