Sanjay Subrahmanyan offers music for the mind

Sanjay Subrahmanyan performing at Indian Fine Arts Society’s December Festival 2018

Sanjay Subrahmanyan performing at Indian Fine Arts Society’s December Festival 2018   | Photo Credit: S_R_Raghunathan

It is challenging to cast a true and fair view of Sanjay’s musical balance sheet. The debits and credits tally or otherwise depending on what aspect you focus on. On the one hand, there are deviations from melody and the decibel surges which, his Kohli-esque stature and fan following perhaps help condone based on ‘materiality concept.’ On the other hand, there is no denying his mastery over manodharma sangeetham, especially when it comes to alapana of tricky ragas or his bhavam-filled slow speed swarams or his stamina. All these were in full evidence during his concert for The Indian Fine Arts Society.

Sanjay’s strongest suite of alapanas came to the fore with Amritavarshini, Khambodi and Natabhairavi. Amritavarshini, which followed Kedaragowla varnam and ‘Janaki Ramana’ (Sudha Seemanthini, Tyagaraja) was studded with pretty gems, especially in the creative descends. ‘Sudha Mayi’ (Muthiah Bhagavatar) in sprightly Kalapramanam and aesthetic swarams completed a sterling piece. ‘Tyagaraja Palayasumam’ (Gowlai, Dikshitar) was one of the surprises of the pack underlying Sanjay’s repertoire and thirst for fielding good compositions. The other surprise was to follow — Koteeswara Iyer’s ‘Murugayyane aatkol meyyane’ (Tisra tripudai) in Khambodi. Sanjay’s Khambodi alapana was long on time and short on inventiveness. Raghul, maturing fast as an ace accompanist, balanced amazing finger sprints and intellect in painting his alapana of Khambodi.

Natabhairavi, even though a Melakartha sampoorna ragam, is rarely sung in modern day concerts. Sanjay revels in that kind of odds. His exploration of the raga was a complete thesis profiting fully from the beauty spots around gandharam and nishadam and following a model blend of karvais and rapid phrases. Thanam was an extension of the raga endeavour and was reaching the point of diminishing returns when he swung into the Tisra Eka pallavi “Mavoor valar maharani madhuravani.” Poongulam Subramaniam enjoyed the brisker segments more and that theme extended to the thani. Venkataraman on the ganjira made a positive contribution to the swara segments.

Emotive tukkadas, especially with Tamil lyrics is part of Sanjay’s concert DNA now. The norm was followed with ‘Innum paraamukham’ (Begada), ‘Innamum oru thalam’ in Behag (Muthuthandavar). Even though a normal human auditory range is 20 Hz to 20 KHz, the threshold of sensitivity at every frequency range is different. Sanjay swings between 1x and 4x especially for emphasis and that can test us. One is not sure if he is fully conscious of this force. Sanjay has conquered the formula offering ‘music for the mind.’ It could also be for the ears.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 12:16:35 AM |

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