Music

Rhythm ruled in musical company

Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan presenting ' 'Vibrations. ' Photo: R. Ravindran.

Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan presenting ' 'Vibrations. ' Photo: R. Ravindran.  

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The laya vidwans delighted the audience and there was a touch of jazz too.

“Vibrations” offered enjoyment of an entirely different kind. This was an ensemble formed mainly of laya instruments and made its well-conceived presentation which belonged to the freestyle genre. As the curtains went up, an auspicious beginning was made with the stroke of the mridangam by Tiruvarur Vaidhyanathan who handed-over the baton to Bharath Sundar who used the full power of his voice to render ‘Vakra Thunda Maha Kaya’ in Arabhi.

The violinist (Raghavendra Rao) developed it further and vidwans from four other laya disciplines jelled in. Srisundarakumar (ganjira), A.S. Shanker (ghatam), Raman (morsing) and Arunkumar (drum-kit) formed the quartet. Niwas Prasanna on the key-board contributed with some harmonising oscillations that streamed along gently. The pattern adopted had the playing (or vocally reciting) of jatis which were answered by lyrics, chosen or set in an identical manner to match the jatis with its gaps, elongations and compressions.

The next number was in Jog and in Chapu thalam followed by one in Saraswathi in the regular Adi talam. The second of these logically culminated in the Thani that had several rounds of single and double avartanams. The morsing, ghatam, ganjira and drums operated on the basis of equal opportunity. The laya vidwans delighted the sizeable audience, with their deep knowledge and skilful playing – at varied speeds. The broad rhythmic scope each of these instruments contained had to be heard to be believed. To do justice to the presence of Niwas (keyboard), a number began in Nalinakanti meandered through with melodic phrases to the territory of jazz and landed on Suddha Dhanyasi.

What was of slight concern was that while the instruments when played individually gave sugam and sowkhyam of the highest order the coming together bordered on the noisy. The violinist added to it by raising his output volume. (This was brought down later). What matters is that music is meant to be enjoyed.

This event was part of The Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru Vizha organised by Lakshman Sruthi and Vijay TV and was held at Kamarajar Arangam.

Aside

Thiruvarur Vaidhyanathan said this of his production:

“’Vibrations’ translates into Tamil as Adhirvugal and a release had already made by me in 1995 with the same name. We decided that we should include a proficient singer and hence Bharat Sundar. The other laya vidwans and the drum specialist were given freedom to form their own ideas conforming to the thala. The fact that the keyboard had been included meant that we wanted rasikas to have a taste of jazz too. The compositions were worked out by me with Raghavendra Rao. The blessings of elders and well-wishers, the team’s great effort and the many hours of practice, have been the reasons for our success.”

(sivakumar2004@gmail.com)

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:03:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Rhythm-ruled-in-musical-company/article12719071.ece

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