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Music of the mystics

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The 12th edition of Kala Coast celebrated Maharashtra’s saint poets

Avadhoot Gandhi and group, a talented set of musicians from Alandi, near Pune, presented folk forms based on the compositions of Maharashtra’s saint poets at the 12th edition of Impact Series, the bi-monthly event of Kala Coast. The performance was held at the Talent Studios in Andheri, Mumbai.

Coming from the holy location that houses the Samadhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar, the musicians have inherited, through oral tradition, a rich legacy of devotional and folk music with deep literary content. They have enhanced their art by widening their repertoire to include bhajans, gavlan, bharud, bhedik, jagran, gondhal and duff gaan.

Appealing abhangs

The group began with ‘Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari,’ in a namasankirtana format and moved to popular pieces such as ‘Roopa Pahata Lochani,’ ‘Sundara te dhyana,’ ‘Jai Jai Vithala Rakhumayi’ and ‘Oos Donga Pari.’ The original appeal of abhangs was further enhanced through their emotion-filled renditions. The Lok Sangeet genre was introduced with a Jagran, ‘Malharichi Vari’. The Gavlan introduced was ‘Bhulavile Venu nade’ and ‘Aayi ga Aayi’.

‘Satvar paav ga mala’, the traditional Bharud was both light and replete with deep inner meaning. Avadhoot Gandhi, the lead vocalist, hails from a family of priests of the Shree Narsingh Saraswati Swami Mandir in Alandi. Being an actor in Marathi mythological plays and playback singer for films, have added to his performance dimension.

Haridas Shinde, singer and percussionist, whose ancestors were at the court of Shivaji Maharaj is adept at playing rare instruments like Sambal and Dimdi. The rhythmic canvas was varied and vibrant. Siddarth Mesta wielded the kartaal, the pivotal instrument in these renditions. Ashok Shinde, disciple of tabla exponent, composer, researcher and scholar Aneesh Pradhan, added measured cadence.

Raj Shirodkar, disciple of mridangam artiste Baburao Satam, provided Pakhawaj accompaniment. His familiarity with the nuances of the Warkari tradition was evident in his style of playing. Abhay Nalage, harmonium player, doubled up as the anchor, making it lively and informative for the audience.

Post the performance, in an interactive session, the group shared its musical journey with the audience. “We host the Impact Series as a bridge between artistes and audience, enabling dialogue, and in the process a deeper appreciation of diverse art forms,” informed Sudhir Nayak, renowned harmonium artiste and director of Kala Coast, who curated the conversation.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:48:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/music-of-the-mystics/article29972110.ece

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