Mysore was buzzing this week with a sitar recital and two vocal concerts

Ankush Nayak’s sitar recital (Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, Mysore) was a remarkable experience. All the components of his presentation flourished on delicately achieved proportion and artistry.

The overall method mesmerised, and the badhat was methodical and inspiring. He laid emphasis on bringing out the melodic aspects of the ragas; every movement ideally inclined towards creating the desired mood. Raga Madhuvanti stood in the front line. In his meends, in the undulating glides, andolans and deep gamaks in particular, there was not only the relish of Shantha rasa, but also had a fine blend of Shringara and Adbuta evolved into a musical whole. Particularly so when he aesthetically blended his strokes on the drones (chikaris) with pleasing articulations on the main strings.

Creativity and spontaneity characterised Raag Jog, featuring elaborations in vilambit and drut. A meticulously planned concert concluded with a bhajan (“Raghupati raghava”) and “Vande mataram”.

The percussionist’s (Bheema Shankar Bidanur-tabla) tuneful tekas and imaginative layakaris smoothly supported the lead artiste’s raagvisthaar; sams and tihayis arrived gently to conclude admirably-woven passages.

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Another good concert was by young Shrinidhi Koushik (Aditi Krishnaprakash’s violin and Adhamya’s mridanga) singing with maturity on par with the dignity of both the music and compositions.

His carefully trained soft voice was resilient to traverse the required sthayis finely adhering to the shruthi; dedication has enabled him to maintain consistency in laya; and swaras and lyrics emerged with purity and clarity.

All the above features reinforced the devotional content of “Shri Krishnam bhaja” (Thodi-Dikshithar). He developed Thodi, highlighting its nuances with respect to different emotional and melodic aspects, corresponding to various levels of its scale.

Graceful progressions and diction laid before the audience the essence of the lyrics, later casting favourable influence on the neraval (at “Paakashasanadi”) as well.

All along, both the percussionist and the violinist inspired him admirably, sensing his gentle and refined disposition. The concert included Shyamashastri’s “Shankari shankuru” (Saveri), and Muthayya Bhagavathar’s “Sudhamayi” (Amrithavarshini).

*** Madhuvanti’s singing, enriched by emotive expressions through her bold voice deserved appreciation. She was at ease in all pitches; and the clarity she maintained while narrating the lyrics made a difference.

“Paramapurusha” (Lalitha Panchama-Swathi Thirunal) and “Venuganaloluni” (Kedaragoula-Thyagaraja) strongly set their favourable impressions: whereas, the former breathed the element of serenity, the latter kindled a sense of devotion.

Neraval at “Venulella Drishti” (“Venuganaloluni”) liberally appended by attractive strains of kalpanaswaras, was nearly exhaustive. Strict adherence to shruthi, maintenance of purity in swarasthanas, imagination in framing the kalpanaswaras and a natural capability to infuse desired moods, elevated her concert with musical distinction.

Vadiraj’s soft beats (mridanga) was in tune with the singer’s vocal and metrical intonations embedded in the lyrics. At the same time, the discrete melody accompanist, K.T. Udaya Kiran, in addition to giving necessary lifts to the lead artiste’s voice, added his own interludes for further embellishment.

V. NAGARAJ