Concert Music lovers were left enthralled by maestro Balamuralikrishna and ‘Eelapata’ Sivaprasad at a rare joint presentation. GUDIPOODI SRIHARI
Eelapata Sivaprasad’s weak voice may have dashed his hopes of becoming a singer, but he went on to develop the art of whistling music by imitating the tunes, ragas and swaras, an art that Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna dubbed as ‘Gala Murali’. Since the wind instrument-like sounds emanate from the throat of the artiste. On New Year's Day, Kinnera organised a show at Ravindra Bharati wherein both Sivaprasad and Balamurali presented an unprecedented concert together.
However it was more Balamurali’s show, with Sivaprasad accompanying him and sometimes presenting a couple of individual numbers, both accompanied by several instrumentalists — Peri Sriramamurthy and Ramanamurthy (violin) , D.S.R. Murthy (mridangam), Nemani Somayajulu (ghatam), and Y. Srinivas (keyboard) and Harjit Singh (tabla). The opening piece was Balamurali’s own Sakala Ganadhipa in Arabhi . Balamurali then chose to render Bagayanayya in Chandrajyothi of Thyagaraja. Then Sivaprasad whistled Guruleka Yetuvanti in Gowri Manohari, displaying his learning.
Balamurali resumed with Hindolam and evolved the raga bit by bit, taking time to reveal all its beauties in different phases of development. It was an extensive ragalapana adapting strange technique in its evolution in different modes, even allowing Sivaprasad to imitate all the spells appreciating his reproduction. Rendition of Samajavaragamana too acquired different hues in pallavi vinyasa, some sounding very novel. But he never got lost in presenting the sahitya bhava in the kriti part.
The swarakalpana appeared to have become a play field for Balamurali, while demonstrating his vast vocal range.
At one stage he covered al the three octaves and a little more, touching anumandra sthayi too. That received great applause. Violinist Sriramamurthy matched Balamurali’s skills even in distributing it to all the three percussionists. Whistler Sivaprasad too made a daring effort to reproduce all the moves of Balamurali. The taniavartanam by the percussionists was a beauty in itself, with the tabla player excelling. Later Sivaprasad presented a Sai Bhajan as his solo effort.
Balamurali concluded this show by presenting his own tillana in Bridavana Saranga. The score in the initial number of the concert acquired film orchestral colour with bridge music and musical effects provided by the keyboard.
Balamuralikrishan was later felicitated by Chief Justice of A.P. High Court, Pinaki Chandraghosh.
It was an extensive ragalapana adapting strange technique in its evolution in different modes