The Chamarajpet Ramaseva Mandali’s concert list this year is throwing up local talent in good measure and one of the interesting cutcheris on the main slot was a vocal duet by Krishna Prasad K.V. and Vinay S.R., senior students of vocalist R.K. Padmanabha. “Tell me your guru and I’ll tell you what you are,” goes a saying. True to being a branch of the mighty tree, the concert reflected several knowledgeable features that added value to the over-all perspective of the show.

It’s a joy to mull over the creative facets that the young duo brought in. Todi — a favourite of most Ramanavami musicians this year — taken up in a big way had Krishna Prasad and Vinay come up with deliberative passages with noticeable breath control. Weaving in expressive lines almost lasting a minute, the command the two wielded was impressive. “Our guru exposed us to this kind of detailing that nadaswara vidwan Rajaratnam Pillai had pioneered. The nadaswara baani when taken up vocally gets to be 70 per cent nasal and 30 per cent vocal, although the stream discreetly blends into an insightful melodic construction,” says Krishna Prasad.

And when you heard the two continue the explorations in their taana with a host of resonances and variety humming, it sure needed explanations to understand the melodic exercise. RKP, who demonstrated nearly 12 varieties of the same to this writer, says Taana is exploring a raga-scale in a rhythmic way, the pulse of the flow can be employed to get different effects. Like the Ghanta-taana, used by Krishna Prasad brings up sounds of a bell, the Naabhi-taana explores the lower octaves from deep within the stomach, while the Ashwa-taana weaves in a horse-beat to its make-up. What Vinay employed were the Rudra-taana that had the buoyant 5-beat cycle, the sound of the conch-shell emanated in his Shankha-taana and the Chakra-taana came up in clusters, made up of eight-divisioned brikha passages (specialised oscillations). “It was Mysore Vasudevacharya who initially brought these forms from his guru Patnam Subramanya Iyer in Tiruvayyar and propagated them amongst the Mysore musicians. Our musical granthas (works) include these explanations and I learnt it from Titte Krishna Iyengar and added two more to the list,” says RKP.

While the Mishra-Jhampe tala employed by they in the Todi piece was a challenge for Cheluvaraj on Mridanga and Sukkanya Ramgopal on the ghata, the Thaniavartha was taken up in great aplomb to the 7+3 beat.

The emotive, moving piece was an Ugabhoga in Sindhubhairavi, the descriptive lines taken from DVG’s drama Pratima as a prefix to a tillana composed by RKP. Krishna and Vinay along with Hemalatha on the violin sure gave us something to cherish about that evening.


Krishna Prasad and Vijay have come to their own, as their concert proved