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Display of musical acumen

Harish Bal
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Concert M. Jayachandran's recital in Kochi was in tune with the expectations of the audience. Harish Bal

When a full crowd thronged the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan auditorium in Kochi to listen to a Carnatic music concert by M.Jayachandran, it vouched for the artiste's fame as a music composer, singer and reality show judge. He certainly lived up to the high expectations, not just with his musical acumen, but also with his pleasant demeanour and communication with the audience.

The organisers managed to rope in some of the best names in Carnatic music, such as Changanassery Harikumar on the mridangam, Embar Kannan on the violin and Tripunithura Radhakrishnan on the ghatam.

The brief prelude to Amruthavarshini gave way to Dikshitar's ‘Anandamruthakarshini.' This ended in long winding swara passages with immense variety. Korvais and kuraippus blended marvellously and it was indeed in kalpanaswaras that Jayachandran excelled.

Noteworthy rendition

Interestingly, he presented the line ‘Haradipoojithe shive' at different edupus (starting points). The vocalist rendered the compositions at a leisurely pace and this came across in his presentation of ‘Orajoopuju' in Kannadagowla and Shyama Sastri's ‘Brovavamma' in Manji raga. His liking for softer melodic ragas like Nalinakanti and Ahirbhairav, which have featured mainly in his movie compositions, was evident in his rendition of ‘Neepadame gathi nalinakanthi' and ‘Pibare ramarasam' towards the last lap of the concert. A complex raga for detailed treatment, ‘Vagadeeswari' was safe in the hands of Jayachandran who unfurled the scale in mainly short phrases, emphasising the jeeva swara rishabham.

Perfection in phrasing was Embar Kannan's hallmark in bowing and he presented the raga, rich in fervour and scope. Unlike his almost aggressive self, Harikumar, on the mridangam, was sober and composed in his support for the compositions. Jayachandran presented slow swaras with utmost precision and crisp endings. Kannan replicated this spirit quite well.

Hardly had Jayachandran sung a few phrases of Charukesi than walked in actor Suresh Gopi, stirring up one and all in the audience. The vocalist stopped to verbally express his pleasure at the actor's entry. Thereafter, the vocalist seemed slightly distracted as he presented the raga in two phases. The jumpy progression to distant notes and his strong upper octave sancharas struck a chord with the audience. Kannan scored well in the second phase, as he dynamically swirled through the rapid sancharas. Radhakrishnan was in tandem with Harikumar on the mridangam after the first phase of the tani avarthanam, and what ensued was a neat progressive execution that developed into ecstatic moments of rich cadence.

The Swati padam ‘Kanthanodu chennu melle' in Neelambari delighted with its serenity and this was tagged on with a sloka rendition in ragamalika in Hamsanandi, Dwijavanthi and Hamirkalyani. The concert was organised by Rasikapriya, Kochi.


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