At the Gokulashtami series, Sanjay Subramaniam raised his kutcheri to a high level and Gayatri made her recital attractive.

Implementing his provocative bhani through ear-friendly passages, Sanjay Subramaniam raised his kutcheri to a high level in the Krishna Gana Sabha Gokulashtami series. The immediate objective seemed to convey that his method was off the beaten track. With broader manodharma and assertive classicism his venturesome approach has sealed his reputation. Though to a great extent he has succeeded in smoothening the rough edges of his robustness particularly in the tara sthayi, there is still vast scope in him to explore the soothing touch of ‘sogasu’ to his exposition. His musical impulses always led to look beyond hackneyed strands of raga sancharas or sangatis in songs.

The first raga essay was Nalinakanti. It was a long journey seeking the nooks and corners of its topography. He stamped flair and focus and more than his fervour the enormous achievement called for attention. The precision and variations, toughness and clarity made the raga appealing. Musical contents and expressive craft were well-aligned.

The kirtana was ‘Manavyaala,’ in which Tyagaraja has packed Nalinakanti’s beauty in brevity, the sangatis elegantly graceful. His rendering moved with effectiveness and experienced expertise drawing out the niceties and nuances of the song.

With impeccable direction, he collected in his Kalyani vinyasa sheaves of sancharas marked by ability that sprang from intuitive instincts.

His uncanny insight into the core of the raga with the madhyama sthayi negotiations with controlled vocalism spoke of the compositional quality of the alapana. It revealed his mind that took delight in Kalyani’s lyrical visage.

The raga delineation was replete with startling vakra sancharas, revealing in the process, he felt that each time a raga or song is sung there was much to learn and improve.

The kirtana, ‘Bhaja Re Re Chitta’ lent distinction to his interpretative process. Without any pretence of profundity, he sang the song in such a way as to successfully convey its structural grandeur.

Sanjay elaborated at great length Natabhairavi followed by the song, ‘Sri Valli Devasenapathe.’ This happened to be the main item.

As regards the accompanists there was a cordial relationship between the vocalist and the violinist M.R.Gopinath. The solo response in designing the ragas was on the lines Sanjay transmitted his mind-set to him.

The percussive wing in the hands of Guruvayur Dorai and T.V. Vasan (ghatam) was tuned to gain the approval of the vocalist. The thani was punching.

Moving Mukhari

A pleasant voice, refined musical instincts and good training are the triple assets of the young artist K. Gayatri. In her concert for the Krishna Gana Sabha, her aim seemed to be to present the characteristics of Carnatic music in soft idiom. Through tone and accent, she made her recital attractive. To her felicitous voice she brought the weight of guru’s training to the performance. Not erring on over-indulgence there was smoothness and continuity in raga exposition.

The vinyasa of Mukhari was formed with a cohesive design working on its moving texture. Her cultured expressiveness arose from a clear view of traditional Mukhari. With good voice control Gayatri’s alapana was well-matched by intensity of feeling when she sang the Tyagaraja kirtana, ‘Muripemu Galige’. She was able to capture its special fragrance, a capacity that can come only from an authentic patantara which prepares an artist to feel the specific beauties of a piece. It is here that a rasika understands the touch of a guru.

Her musical perspective was focussed in another major raga Khambodi. The simple and straight-forward presentation was familiar, but her vocal modulation gave it an extra appeal. A veil of conventionality permeated the sancharas in the tara sthayi outlined in mellow tone. The rendering of the song, ‘Evarimaata’ was persuasive echoing its graces. Experience has to impart solidity to her technique.

The violin accompanist L. Ramakrishnan was exceptionally open to the rakti of Mukhari and Khambodi. Intuitive manodharma formed fulfilment in the development of Khambodi in particular with sancharas distinctive and vitally alive. The mridangam support was from B. Ganapathiram, who in his thani, was motivated by haste.