Reposeful alaap to heavy-weight all the way

RISING TO THE OCCASION: Vidushi Ashwini Bhide

RISING TO THE OCCASION: Vidushi Ashwini Bhide  

Celebrating the richness of Indian culture, the 6th International Convention of SPIC MACAY saw some sublime performances by stalwarts of Indian classical music

The 6th International Convention of the Society for Promotion of Indian Music And Culture Amongst Youth (Spic Macay), held at the IIT Kharagpur this past week; concluded with a memorable overnight concert of riveting ragas following the time theory of Hindustani music from dusk to dawn.

The historical institution happens to be not just the first ever Indian Institute of Technology, but also where the seeds of Spic Macay, the dynamic cultural movement, were planted by Dr. Kiran Seth four decades ago when he was a student here way back in 1970s. Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, the present Director of IIT Kharagpur, delivered an inspiring inaugural address praising this cultural movement that transforms the youth with the values, diversity and richness of Indian culture.

He welcomed delegates who had come from all parts of India and abroad to participate in this week-long ‘Aashramvasa’, with a hectic schedule starting at 4 a.m, the Brahma-muhurta with variety of yoga sadhanas from naad-yoga to hatha yoga and from Gurbani to Baul gaan.

The opening morning session of invocation by the brilliant students of Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty from Shrutinandan, the auspicious Nadaswaram by Vidwan Sheshampatti Sivalingam and Sattriya by Guru Ghabkant Bora and disciples; paved the path for the impressive inaugural concert by the legendary violinist Dr. N Rajam, whose music draws inspiration from the gayaki of her guru Pt. Omkar Nath Thakur. Although one felt that instead of Desh as her main raga, she could have chosen a more sombre and spacious raga for the important inaugural treat, but the delicately laid out alaap was full of haunting cadences of something eternal and true. The slow composition set to vilambit ek-tala revealed the interiors of the melodious raga, progressing gradually in alaap barhat, before unveiling her expertise in the heavy-weight gamak taans. The Teentala composition proceeded to the Tantrakari Ang Jhala towards the end.

The Thumri style melodious alaap in raga Khamaj opened into the devotional aura of ‘Vaishnav Jan toh….’ before she concluded with the typical Benarasi Dadra set to the lilting gait of Dadra tala. Arindam Mukherjee, a brilliant disciple of Shankar Ghosh, was there to accompany her on tabla. One only wished he listened and responded to what Rajam had to say, instead of showcasing his own virtuosity.

All in the family

The ghatam-vidwan Vikku Vinayak Ram was the other attraction of the inaugural evening. He along with his son V. Selvaganesh and grandson Swaminathan on kanjira and A. Ganeshan on morchhang created a magical spell of the most complicated rhythmic patterns and Kannokkol right from the opening ‘Shiva-Tandav’ invocation. Explaining the difficult chhand of 7 & ½ beats cycle Selvaganesh established an instant rapport with the young audience. The kanjira jugalbandi by the father-son duo, had the sound effects of not just a train passing through a bridge but also a passenger coming in and out of an air-conditioned compartment with the kind of tonal details of dampening and smashing sounds, only a drummer of Vikku’s lineage could add.

The wide vocal range of Begum Parveen Sultana’s seasoned voice traversing from ‘ati-mandra to ati-taar shadja in Madhuvanti and Hansdhwani khayals and tarana concluding with her popular Bhairavi bhajan, “Bhavani Dayani” was followed with Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s Maru Bihag and the usual fare of lighter stuff and the oft-heard Grammy tune on Mohan Veena. Pt. Ram Kumar Mishra provided brilliant tabla accompaniment, but for the unbearably deafening volume.

The Carnatic and Hindustani vocal recitals by Vidwan T.V. Shankarnarayan and Vidushi Ashwini Bhide next evening, were simply sublime. Ashwini chose Yaman, the most melodious evening raga with detailed treatment during the vilambit khayal, “Mo man laagi…”, composed by late Kishori Amonkar. The forbidden shuddha madhyam surfaced up in the following drut Ektaal tarana, converting the raga into Yaman-Kalyan. Presenting the popular Miyan Malhar bandish, “Bol re papiha..” next, Ashwini informed the students that it was not the film song from “Guddi” but a traditional composition of Sadarang. The concluding kajari had just the monsoon related lyrics, not the typical genre, but that lacuna was made up by the appropriate accompaniment on harmonium by Vinay Mishra and tabla by Vinod Lele. Shahid Parvez played a reposeful alaap in Jhinjhoti with disturbing power and appeal and followed it with compositions in Jhaptal and Drut Ektaal, a melodious dhun in Gara concluding with a ‘Taksali Drut Teentala Gat’ in Bhairavi with the old world charm. The great fluency and force of rendering reached it to the climax of a jet speed jhala with superb support on tabla by Subhankar Banerjee. Vidwan N. Ravikiran gave Carnatic concert on Chitra Veena.

Reposeful alaap to heavy-weight all the way

The overnight concert opened with a memorable Shuddha Kalyan, Shahana Kanada and Desh by Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar. Vidushi Shruti Sadolikar had singular nuances of Jaipur gayaki on her renditions of Nand, Kafi-Kanada and a Haveli Sangeet pada of Alakhdas in old raga ‘Mukhi’ that sounded similar to the present day Shivaranjani. Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty brought alive memories of Ustad Amir Khan in raga Megh and Ud Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in Thumri Pilu “Kate na birha ki rain…”.

Kumar Mardur invoked the vermilion beauty of the dawn with the twin madhyamas of his lilting Lalit. Ud. Wasifuddin Dagar offered the ‘Arghya’ of the Komal Rishabh of Bhairav falling into the meditative depth of Shadja, in his Dhrupad and Dhamar renditions preceded with the detailed Aalapchari of this ancient art form. He invited the youngsters to join him in the concluding Bhairavi composition that reached the week-long event to its sublime climax.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:07:19 AM |

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