ABHANGS The release of an Aruna Sairam CD included a special concert by the singer. M.V. RAMAKRISHNAN
A runa Sairam's special concert organised at the Music Academy's acoustically marvellous main hall on Sunday last was in connection with the release of her latest CD featuring a set of seven Abhangs, produced and distributed by Nadham Music Media.
At a brief function, the first CD was presented to Leela Samson, director, Kalakshetra, by veteran Tamil cinema director K. Balachander.
Aruna Sairam rendered all the songs figuring in the CD, as well as a few others, in a memorable performance which turned out to be as spirited as it was spiritual.
Aruna has succeeded in creating an authentic sound effect in the CD by having several North Indian instruments, such as the sitar, harmonium, Hindustani flute, tabla, pakhwaj, dholaks, dholki and cymbals as accompaniments.
North meets South
In the concert under review, the same instruments (minus the flute) were featured, supplemented by the Carnatic violin, mridangam and ghatam.
An interesting and not very obvious fact in this context is that all the Northern instruments were also played by competent musicians based in Chennai as recording artists (mainly from the film industry).
Some of the rousing devotional songs in Marathi which effectively transcended the language and secular barriers and held a very large cosmopolitan audience spellbound and spiritually moved for more than an hour were compositions by Sant Namdev (‘Teertha Vittala,' ‘Bhakta Jana Vatsale'); Sant Eknath (‘Majhe Majhe Pandhari,' ‘Omkaara Swaroopa'); Sant Janabai (‘Dalitha Kaanditha,' ‘Pandharichya Raaya') and Sant Samatha Ramadas (‘Kadaakadani').
In addition to the above songs, all of which figure in the CD, Aruna rendered a Tamil verse from the ancient music of the Azhwars (‘Pachchai Maamalai Pol Meni'), and demonstrated the striking sentimental and lyrical resemblance it has with the Marathi song, ‘Savale Sundara Roopa Manohara,' by Sant Thukaram, which happens to be one of the abhangs, Aruna is fond of featuring in her Carnatic music recitals.
The fascinated audience left the auditorium in a euphoric mood.
The performance warranted a triple A rating -- Aruna's Abhangs were Awesome!