Charumathi demystified the complex tala structure

Charumathi Ramachandran’s lec-dem brought to the fore the intricacies of the rhythm structure

While the Music Academy’s morning academic sessions were a huge draw, one well-attended lec-dem was of Charumathi Ramachandran’s on ‘Pallavis in108 talas.’

The senior vocalist was keen to discuss and demonstrate these talas, especially for the younger generation to know about them.

It was an intellectual and aesthetic exercise and one was drawn to the beautiful ragas used and the easy demystification of the intricacies of the lagu, drutam, guru, plutam, kakapadam and so on. These are some of the angas of the 108 talas explained . It was a delight to see quite a lot of hands in the air, moving to the right and left and closed fists moving in circles as audience members followed the demonstration of various parts of a talam.

The basic angas

“Creation of a talam or rhythm is pure maths,” said Charumathi, establishing “the pallavi itself is a free expression of a one-line idea.” The vocalist spoke aboutthe 108 pallavis she had composed in the ancient 108 talas, and presented a few. The 108 talas use only six angas (of the 16 Shodasangas) — anudrutam, drutam, lagu, guru, plutam, and kakapadam.

The first pallavi, ‘Madana Gopala Giridharane Krishna,’ she demonstrated was in Madana tala (comprising two drutams and one plutam), in raga Behag and was followed bykalpanaswara and a korvai. She was ably assisted by Usha Rajagopalan (violin) and Sivakumar (mridangam).

Next came a pallavi in Janaka tala (four laghus, two gurus, then two laghus and one guru): ‘Mithila puri vaazh Janaka raajanin pudalvi Vaidhehi Ayodhi Ramanai nokkinaal’ (Hindolam). The korvai sparkled in Srotovaha Yati.

Charumathi then sang the final pallavi ‘Varalakshmi varuvaai arul nee tharuvaai’ in raga Salaga Bhairavi. This was in Lakshmisa tala (two drutams, two khanda laghus and one plutam). Niraval and ragamalika swaram ended with a korvai.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 5:07:34 AM |

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