Music

K. Gayatri Prasanna's sharp musical sense

K. Gayatri Prasanna has the requisite traits but needs to make a few amends too

K. Gayathri Prasanna gave a creditable account of her musical talent at her concert for Naada Inbam. Once she was out of the opener, the power-packed concert never sagged at any point. Supreme confidence, good musical ideas and clear enunciation are bound to set her up for more laurels.

The concert had a touch of non-familiarity with kritis such as ‘Entha nine’ (Khamas pada varnam, tisra ekam, Subbarama Dikshitar), ‘Bhaktuni charitramu’ (Begada, Tyagaraja) and the rarely heard ‘Emidhamula’ in Sankarabharanam (Tyagaraja). Perhaps it was meant to be the theme. The varnam, though competently rendered, created the atmosphere of a longish dance number, not the perfect start you wish. Momentum was restored with the Begada kriti, ‘Bhaktuni Charitramu’ and the swara annexure.

Dhanyasi (Musiri school favourite ‘Namorala kinchi’, Veenai Kuppier) was prosaic and didn’t advance the concert appreciably. Gayathri’s voice throw is her strength, but can overpower sensitivity as was the case in Dhanyasi. The niraval at ‘Nannukavarada’ brought out the nuances better. Ganesh Prasad’s Dhanyasi treatment was serene.

‘Meevalla’ (Kapi, Tyagaraja) and ‘Sri Kumara’ (from the Musiri treasures again – Atana, Swati Tirunal) provided the talam and scale breakers.

Gayathri’s Sankarabharanam was chiselled beautifully, exploring all the sweetspots around every cluster of swaras over the 2 ½ octave. She tempered her penchant for full-scale onslaught as demanded by the raga.

With Ganesh Prasad gluing to melody, this phase was most fascinating. ‘Emidhamula’ (Adi) has a naturally engaging tempo to add to the effect. Gayathri and Ganesh Prasad combined admirably in the niraval and swarams at ‘Sakshat Karaneeve Rama’. Layam was a strong feature of the whole group as brought out in the swara segment. Gayathri deployed ‘Dhatu’ swara phrases to good effect.

While Ganesh Prasad was a great ally, Ganapathi Raman’s familiarity with vocal music enabled him to deliver the punches where anticipated. K.V. Gopalakrishnan on the ganjira joined the action in the second half and supported well.

Gayathri is blessed with a sruthi alignment that has a six-sigma character. Her high confidence though manifests in daring and assertive body language that may distract the listeners from her good music.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2020 8:39:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/gayathris-line-up-included-a-few-rare-kritis/article25898961.ece

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