Meandering melodies

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TRANSITION Pandit Vyasmurthy Katti
TRANSITION Pandit Vyasmurthy Katti

The first public vocal concert of harmonium maestro Pandit Vyasamurthy Katti was marked by involvement and poise

Shruthi, an association for the promotion of Hindustani classical music, recently hosted two unique vocal concerts to celebrate the 25th year of the organisation. It was the first public vocal concert of the renowned harmonium artiste Pandit Vyasmurthy Katti, who has accompanied many of the luminaries in the world of Hindustani classical vocal music.

Several musicians were present on this occasion and Pandit Katti proved his credentials as a vocalist before a very learned audience. The vocal recital did not appear to be a maiden performance venture for a confident Pandit Katti, who sang with a total sense of involvement and poise. Katti’s vocal guru Pandit Indudhar Nirodi graced the recital of his disciple.

Pandit Katti commenced his morning recital with raag Ramkali which belongs to the Bhairava group of early morning melodies like Lalit, Vibhas, Gunakali etc. An ‘audava sampurna raga’, Ramkali is also characterised by the unique deployment of the madhyam note in its shuddh and teevra forms.

He presented the raga in two compositions: a bandish in the vilambit (slow) tempo and the drut (fast) laya. In the vilambit composition “Tere durbar mein”, Pandit Katti demonstrated the salient features of the raga in the avartans (cyclic movements) highlighting the sonant (vadi) and consonant (samvadi) notes, pancham and shadj respectively.

However, it was in his bol alaap and bol taans in the medium tempo that Pandit Katti could bring out the quintessential flavour of the raga more effectively than in his alaap. His sargams and taan kari were noteworthy in the Drut teen tal composition of 16 beats, “Sagari raina ke jage sughar chatur balma”.

The next raga was raag Vibhas of Marwa group which is a lesser known raga than Vibhas of Bhairav group. The Madhyalaya teen tal composition “More sajanva” was marked by lyrical beauty and the chota khayal in the same tal “Kuwarva hamara mahmmad shah sadarangile” popularised by Pandit Paluskar evoked a mood of nostalgia.

The devotional composition in raag Maand “Suniyo saayi araj hamari, kijiyo daya drishti aaj” a bhajan by Acharya Ratanjankar had a poignant appeal. Umakanth Puranik and Udayaraj Karpur provided harmonium and tabla accompaniment.

*** The second concert was a vocal recital by Poornima Bhat Kulkarni, disciple of late maestro Pandit Basavaraj Rajguru. Kulkarni chose raag Charukeshi, originally a melody from the Carnatic melakarta adapted to Hindustani music.

The vilambit ek tal composition (rhythmic cycle of 12 beats) “Brij ke sakhiya jaago, shyama bansi ki dhun baaj rahi he” was remarkable for its rich emotive content and lyricism. The meandering alaap unfurling through several avartans and the crisp taans captured the plaintive romanticism of this raga. The lilting adha teen tal composition in the drut laya “Ratiya katath naahi karo kahe ab” had some brilliant taankari matched by the spirited tabla accompaniment of Pandit Rajendra Nakod.

In the mellifluous voice of Poornima Kulkarni, the afternoon melody Patdeep acquired a haunting appeal. The jhaptaal bandish in the Madhya laya “Dhan dhan bhaag” followed by a drut ek tal composition “Jhanan jhanan bajat payaliya more utho jaago pyare balma” transported the audience to sublime heights.

Poornima Kulkarni demonstrated her versatility and range through a laudatory delineation of the thumri prakar in her exposition of an adha teen tal composition “Samajhat nahi panghat piya mei haari” in raag Khamaj. There were brilliant flashes of Hamsadhwani in her rendition of Khamaj, which were negotiated with subtlety and aplomb as creative exercises in ‘avirbhava- thirobhava’. Here she was ably assisted by Ravindra Katoti who accompanied her on the harmonium.

Kulkarni concluded her recital with the Devaranama “Ena pelali narahari ninna mahimeya”, a ragamalika in ragas Sohni, Lalit and Bhatiyar, which turned out to be a comparatively tepid rendition, although it had a few redemptive flashes.




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