Music Abhisruti Bezubarua and Karthika Anagha’s jugalbandi was a bold and collaborative attempt.
It was supposed to be a jugalbandi of Hindustani and Carnatic vocal but what was offered by Tarang was two solos with a tail-end and a duet in the two streams! It seemed a strategic move to propel the two up and coming musicians (Abhisruti Bezubarua and Karthika Anagha) individually, establish their standing with the viewers and then foray into what actually the presentation was meant to be.
Whatever it was, the highly generous audience gathered at Saptaparni cheered everything that was presented by the musicians which was by no means of a mean standard,. It had the touch of classicality in as much as it went through the grammar and syntax of music with the right requirements of instrumental accompaniment. From the Sri Mahaganapathim .. in Gowla to the Latangi Aparadhamulu anni manninchi … to Navaneetha chora … in Kurinji, Anagha Karthika’s rendition was racy and so vibrant that we were oblivious to the drone in the background. Viewed singularly, her alapana of Latangi was deliberate, technical and hence impeded in a smooth flow of the underlying sweetness of the raga as such. The rendition of the very yearning kriti needs a mention. The manner in which she made her way through the sangathis gave an impression of a super confident devotee who commanded the lord to overlook his foible (going by the meaning of the composition)! Where is the adherence to the bhava of this delicate lyric? It is not as if one should render only the feeling and forget the format, but the reverse makes all the effort fall flat on the face. The band of new artistes should learn not to feel infra dig in giving emotive element its due diligence. The neraval at kripa jesi … was well handled but as said earlier, a holistic approach to the kriti in its entirety would have enhanced the rendition instead of ‘standalone’ technical flashes. Komanduri Ananthashouri Rajan on the violin and T.P. Balasubramaniam on the mridangam accompanied the artiste.
Abhisruti, in solo stood out a notch higher than her counterpart. For one, she chose the beautiful Maru behag which she expounded in vilambit, madhyalay and druth with commendable swar taan and aakar taan. Markedly clear delineations of the composition with absolute attention to sur and content made for an appealing presentation. Surendra Bharathi on the harmonium and Harijeet Singh made a presence.
The jugalbandi which finally came into being was a volte face.
The duo wore their hearts on their sleeves pleading with audience to give them a generous hearing since it was their first attempt, having collaborated just 24 hours ago! That did not sound very professional either! In the jugalbandi , Karthika Anagha gave a better performance than her counterpart, unlike in the solo. Abhisruti who began the Puryadhanashri alaap after a tribute song from Satyameva jayathe to the rape victim’s memory, went into fanciful flights while her co-singer was much more grounded with the Panthuvarali and chose a very fitting Annamacharya kirtana to go with the Hindustani song. Puryadhanashri is a raag which, when not held with strength and depth is bound to float and give an impression of a light music rendition. Repetitive swara phrases despite racy rendition marked the manodharma. This bold collaborative attempt could have dominated the two hour concert true to its publicity.