Jayanti carved a pleasing Kiravani alapana

Jayanti Kumaresh

Jayanti Kumaresh   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Jayanthi Kumaresh brought out the beauty of every phrase without sacrificing the nuances

Veena has perhaps had the longest life span as a musical instrument since the Vedic days. What keeps its primacy even today is commitment of stalwarts like Jayanti Kumaresh. Her concert for the Music Academy had both scholarliness and dignity woven into the various pieces that she presented. Given the strenuous practice regimen for veena, her work is even more laudable.

The concert had a chill start as the Rasali kriti of Tyagaraja (‘Aparadamula Norva’), despite some brisk swarams threatened to knock the wind out of her sails.

Begada raga alapana started the process of reconstruction with Jayanti deploying crisp and beautiful phrases. The kriti, ‘Kadaikkan vaithu’ in a lilting misra chapu was rendered robustly without sacrificing nuances. The second speed swaram, accentuated with dattu phrases like ‘sa pa ma ga ri’ imparted the right momentum for the seminal segment of the programme.

Mukhari (‘Emani ne,’ Subbaraya Sastri) gave Jayanti the opportunity to use gayaki phrases along the natural contours of the raga and the kriti. She poured beauty carefully with an ounce glass without abandon. Speed-shift was ushered in with the Vasantha song (‘Ramachandram bhavayami’, Dikshitar) and rapid-fire swarams. The use of ‘jor’ effect with the ‘pulsy’ plucks was absorbing while one is not sure why there were some guitar-like sounds when in fact, western instruments are trying to ape our way of non-discrete playing.

Veena concerts seem to have significant residual time at any point, due to the absence of any non-percussion support. Jayanti used the generous time to carve out a pleasing alapana of Kiravani with a skilful four speed tanam, distinctive of the instrument. The Pallavi was in relatively simple Adi (2 Kalai) but entertainment was added by the ragamalika niraval and swaram in Malayamarutham, Arabhi and Behag, with the cyclical return to the original Kiravani. Jayanti added further dignity to the concert, keeping the swarams to a sensible length.

A multi-percussion ensemble revels in such a setting with their opportunity for thani coming early. The thani of Jayachandra Rao and Tiruchi Krishnaswamy was enjoyable climaxing nicely without bringing the roof down. There are concerts that promote assurance and there are the ones with a difference. This is the former kind.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 6:59:07 PM |

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