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Rhythmic extravaganza

V. Nagaraj
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MUSIC It was an interesting multi-part programme

magnum opus Extensive rhythm patterns
magnum opus Extensive rhythm patterns

S unaada Art Foundation and Chhandayan Centre for Indian Music jointly treated the audience with variety musical entertainments at Naadamantapa, Avadhoota Datta Peetha, Mysore.

It was an honest effort to favour both melody and rhythm, also to meet the requirements of connoisseurs of various categories of interest.

On this occasion, the organisers felicitated noted musicologist Ra. Sathyanarayana, and senior maestro of Agra Gharana, Indudhar Nirodi. An unreasonable delay by an hour in commencing the programme sapped all the energy and patience enervating the listeners, and the consequential late night conclusion of the event eventually left them exhausted.

Clubbing too many activities combined with poor planning caused these confusions. Srividya Girish focusing on Dasa and Vachana sahithya started her concert with Purandaradasa's “Pogadirelo Ranga”. As she introduced the compositions with brief alapana-s, the compositions thrived on nice tinge of classical music, her melodious voice instilling delicate sentiments into those lyrics. “Smarisu Sarvada”, “Amrutha Sagaradolagiddu” and “Baso More Nainanme” were other numbers. Vikas Naregal (harmonium) and Jammana Gowda (tabla) accompanied her.

***Jugalbandhi by Nagaraja Rao Havaldar (Hindustani) and R.S. Nandakumar (Carnatic) had to meet abrupt termination before it started gaining perceptible momentum. Competent singers selecting Purvikalyani for an absorbing interpretation, meticulously and ingeniously maintaining purity of both the styles of music they represented. Their approaches collectively aggrandised the core personality of the raga, and it was an excellent portrayal standing out in bold relief against different expansive styles. Their fluent extempore unfurled the import of lyrics, “Sunaada Mantapa” (penned by Nagaraja Rao Havaldar) intuitively, to which the audience instinctively responded.

A tani avarthana by Shailendra Mishra (tabla) and G.S. Ramanujam (mridanga) displayed intelligent and spontaneous reciprocation. Veerabhadrayya Hiremath lent the melody support.

***Veteran singer Indudhar expertise and experience rendered his concert absorbing, inspiring the complete in spite of the time constraints.

Distinct introductory aalap in Shyamkalyan triggered further evolvement of the khyal, “Jiyo Mero Laal”. The movements were brief; but those airs did not lose either their gravity in matters of interpretation or their clarity in terms of description — an index of the singer's musical profundity and maturity. The process succinctly incorporated buoyant tans and inspiring sargams.

Veteran percussionist of equal rank, Samir Chatterjee (tabla) and young melody accompanist of remarkable musical sensitivity, Veerabhadrayya Hiremath accompanied the singer.

***Tablaphilia was the much-awaited magnum opus of the evening: a rhythm extravaganza conceived, conceptualised and materialised by Samir Chatterjee. The theme pertained to four ashrama dharma-s (brahmacharya, grahasthya, vaanaprastha and sanyasa). Relevant stanzas selected from scriptures and tunefully recited by eminent singers provided necessary base on which around 22 percussionists, their tablas tuned to different octaves, built extensive rhythm patterns, as precisely conducted and meticulously monitored by Chatterjee.

Though the lofty concept commanded every appreciation, and its materialisation drew immediate attention, there appeared considerable dearth of melodic experience, as the abstract rhythm sections unduly overpowered the melodic ones, and as a sequel, there ensued moments of monotony.

Alternatively, Chatterjee could have imaginatively interspersed rhythm with melody. Were it so, the rhythm effects would have admirably embellished (in place of conventional alaaps, sargams, taans and so on) the emotive or sentimental aspects contained in the selected texts.

Further, judicious inclusion of a few melody accompanists would have rendered the ensemble complete and the emerging music ‘poetic', prompting for unreserved acceptance.

V. Nagaraj


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