Raga, slow and steady: on Pantula Rama’s concert

Pantula Rama performinng at The Music Academy

Pantula Rama performinng at The Music Academy   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

Pantula Rama’s unhurried essays captured their beauty

Pantula Rama has a fan club that admires her unique approach to music, which caters to both the informed and the uninitiated. But Pantula does not swerve from the path of tradition.

The highlights of her vocal recital on this occasion were an exhaustive and imaginative essay of Hamsanadham and a special pallavi composed by her in Kharaharapriya (misra gati Adi tala), which was dedicated to saint Tyagaraja on his 250th birth anniversary.

Hamsanadham carriedseveral smooth arcs with the exclusive phrases of the raga coming through beautifully. The choice, as expected, was the popular ‘Bantureeti’ of Tyagaraja with the niraval on ‘Ramanama manu.’ The swarakalpana was built on neat groupings and the kuraippu swaras centering on shadjam provided a convincing closure. This piece was remarkable for its piety and musical charm.

Pantula began the concert with a slow and steady detailing of Kedaragowla. This raga shines better on the upper register sancharas. The vocalist touched upon some phrases in the tara sthayi.

Rich in meaning

To match the unhurried alapana, Pantula rendered Arunachalakavi’s ‘Antharama soundaryam.’ The focus was on the sahitya, rightly so, as it is rich in meaning. ‘Paarkap paarka padhinaayiram kangal,’ which was segued to the pallavi, was taken up for extensive niraval.

The Kharaharapriya treatise was quite lengthy once again and the tanam followed the pallavi, ‘Ramabhakta sironmani Tyagaraja sudeemani.’ Niraval, trikalam and swaras including a bit of ragamalika swaras distinguished the pallavi. The swarakalpana was a bit stretched with ‘dhaivatam’ as the landing note.

Though the vocalist’s skills in handling the ragas and kriti rendition were evident throughout, her voice didn’t cooperate at certain places. Blame it on the hectic schedule or the weather. The opening ‘Sobillu saptaswara’ in Jaganmohini with a brisk swara suite and the fast moving ‘Kalala nerchina’ (both by Tyagaraja) in Deepakam were for record.

Anuradha Sridhar of Lalgudi school followed Pantula like a shadow, at the same time showcasing her creativity in raga essays and swara sallies. V.V. Ramanamurthy and Papanasam S. Sethuraman on the mridangam and ganjira lent good support.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 11:41:49 AM |

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