Music The Kalasagaram concert was marked by a good mix of ragas and kritis.
The choice of melody-based ragas and unique or uncommon kritis, both create an aura that can raise the level of a concert.
Kiranavali Vidyasankar's recital was a mix of both plus a well-trained voice. Be it the Bowli, Kaapi Narayani, Ranjani, Dwijavanthi or Kunthalavarali- they are all melodic ragas and hence there is an inborn sweetness permeating the lyric, whoever renders them. So the notes of Sriman narayana and Bhogeendra saayenam flowed mellifluous given the impetus by the musician.
The virtuosity of the artiste came to the fore with a fairly elaborate alapana in Karaharapriya the nuances of which were reflected by the violinist Pavan Singh. His dexterous bowing lent beauty to the appealing raga. ‘ Nadachi nadachi , a rare kriti, took form in Kiranavali's full throated expression as she unfolded the sangathis in a neat manner.
The neraval at Pudami sutha was carefully crafted and the improvisation in three cycles to the line gave us the feel of the Karaharapriya in its distinctive syllabic utterances.
The tani contest by Burra Sriram on the mridangam and Rahul on the ghatam was worth a watch.
The same could not be said about the swara kalpana for hitavu matalentho baaga balkitivi (Sarasasa madana) whereas the alapana for Ranjani ( Durmarga caradhamulane ) was singularly exceptional. The sangathis were well laid out, but there was a slight vagueness in diction perhaps due to acoustics, , as we could not really get the lines paluku bothini sabhaloni for which the vocalist undertook the neraval. We were left admiring the neraval without getting at the meaning!
The Dikshitar kriti Akhilandeshwari rakshamam flowed sweet and smooth in full lyrical beauty. The in-built melody of the Dwijavanthi kindles a warm fire in the heart if only the listener is ready to experience it. And Kiranavali didn't disappoint us on this score.
The recital was a part of Kalasagaram's monthly concerts at Keyes High School. We can only hope that the organisation pays attention to the quality of acoustics being provided to the artiste.