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Lakshmi and Indu The gamakas were deep and clear
Lakshmi and Indu The gamakas were deep and clear

The Chilakunda sisters presented a competent picture whereas Tara Mohan has plenty of room to step up

Lakshmi Nagaraj and Indu Nagaraj (Chilakunda Sisters) presented a vocal concert at Vasudevacharya Bhavana (as part of Sangeetha Sanje) accompanied by Veena Suresh (violin), G.S. Ramanuja (mridanga), V.S. Ramesh (morsing) and M.R. Manjunath (ghata).

The program started late by an hour, and the slipshod planning considerably dampened the general enthusiasm. Yet, the young and earnest singers’ ardent learning and competence kept the audience fully engaged.

Their melodious voices – endowed with silvery resonance and subtle timber – are trained meticulously to meet the required range. The gamakas are deep, fine and clear, though fine-tuning is necessary for emotive expressions.

In their individual capacities, the first two presentations, “Sarasijanabha” (varna-Kamboji-Attataala-Swathi Thirunal/Tanjai Vadivelu) and “Karunanidhe” (Hamsadhwani) established the artistes as having a firm foundation and imagination (with lively articulations, swift graces, sprightly extempore and the right tempo).

Yet, by rendering the uttaranga of the varna also in two speeds (primarily to include vilamba kaala) and by avoiding the swarakalpana for the “Karunanidhe” (as it already has passages of chitte swaras), the artistes could have advantageously established themselves on a different pedestal of proportion and maturity.

Expatiation of Kalyani created a tuneful ambience followed by Thyagaraja’s “Nidhichala Sukhama”. Neraval at “Mamatha Bandhanayutha” exposed the raagabhaava more than the sahithya bhaava, only for want of softer modulations.

At a stage when the warmth was picking up (“Mokshamugalada” – Saaramati - Thyagaraja) an antithesis awaited the audience: as a sequel to the organisers’ untimely protracted speeches the artistes’ had to hasten towards conclusion.

* * *

Tara Mohan presented Veena concert at Veene Sheshanna Bhavana, accompanied by H.L. Shivashankaraswamy (mridanga) and Ananthakrishna Sharma (ghata). In the first half of the recital, most of the moments flashed an impression that the movements were faithful accounts of what she had ardently practiced. Imagination was inadequate. It was evident in the varna (“Evaribodha” – Abhogi - Patnam) or first few compositions: “Mahaganapathim” (Gawla - Dikshitar), “Sadhinchine” – Arabhi - Thyagaraja) and “Intasoukhyamani” (Kaapi - Thyagaraja).

In case of the krithis, though one could find varieties of gamakas of different intensities and amplitudes, the presentations could not convey the expected emotions for want of smooth flow of the movements. Gentle meetus and melodic space for resonance of notes would have improved the presentation. The picture changed in Vasudevachar’s “Bhajanaseyarada” (Dharmavathi). A blooming manodharma, complemented by fine gamakas, imaginatively connecting the swaras and the phrases, enriched both the raga and the text. The kalpanaswaras too were inspiring.

Both the percussionists, being aware of the delicate tonal qualities of the instrument and the style of the lead artiste, strengthened the general rhythm structure, and proved their mettle in the thani avarthana.

V. NAGARAJ

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