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Rich repertoire

Madhavi Ramkumar
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REVIEW Ashwini Satish’s concert was noteworthy for the spontaneity and clarity of the sancharas

Fluent articulationAshwini Satish
Fluent articulationAshwini Satish

Avocal concert by Ashwini Satish, accompanied by Vittal Rangan (violin), and Adamya Ramanand (mridanga) was part of a three-day festival of budding and young talents organised recently by Ananya Cultural Academy, Bangalore.

The recital, comprising works of the post-Trinity composers, began with ‘Eranapai’, Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer’s varna in Todi raga and aditala. The energetic pace of Mysore Sadasiva Rao’s ‘Vanajaksha’ in Gambhiranatta and aditala was accentuated by a spate of kalpana swaras that were a logical extension of the tenor of the krithi. The following fluent articulation of Ranjini traversed the three octaves with ease and was notable for the spontaneity and clarity of the sancharas in the tara sthayi, though repetitiveness was discernible in a few phrases. ‘Pranamamyaham Sri Prananatham’, a composition of Mysore Vasudevacharya set to a rare mishra triputa tala found the artiste coming into her own, with fluent kalpana swaras affixed to the madhyama kala sahithya beginning ‘Ranjini Raga Thoshitham’. The alternating focus on the madhya and tara sthayi rishabhas towards the end of the swara prasthara was especially absorbing.

A short sketch of Sarasangi led to Ramaswami Sivan’s “Neekela Dayaradu” in khanda chapu thala, a vivid contrast to the previous item. Kamboji was next taken up for a detailed alapana that progressed in meticulous fashion from the mandra sthayi, notable for intricately woven patterns suffused with classicism and based on commendable improvisational ability. While adequate attention was bestowed on each of the pivotal notes such as the gandhara and dhaivatha, a greater sense of repose and longer pauses at crucial junctures would have further intensified the melodic appeal of the raga. Veena Kuppaier’s masterpiece ‘Koniyadi’ in adi tala, a brilliant choice, was rendered with absolute fidelity to its majestic pace, weighty structure, and multiple demanding sangathis. Manodharma and technical expertise coalesced seamlessly in the beautifully crafted and fairly detailed neraval incorporating diverse rhythmic patterns. Kalpana swaras in the first and second speeds, and a few intervening avarthanas in the tisra gathi, culminated in diminishing tala cycles centering on the thara sthayi shadja.

The solo raga alapanas, and the improvisational responses of the violinist were soaked in raga bhava and melody, while excellent percussion support augmented the total impact of the performance.

The well-structured concert featured some exquisite compositions by different composers in a variety of ragas and talas, each announced by the artiste, and were indicative of a rich repertoire.

Madhavi Ramkumar

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