A mixed offering by youngsters

Aadith Moorthy.Photo: S. Siva Saravanan  

The NRI music festival - December 2015 featured by Rajalakshmi Fine Arts, Coimbatore, in association with the Cleveland Thygaraja aradhana committee, showcased the musical talents of the Indian Diaspora based in far off regions such as California, Texas and North Carolina. Six young artists chosen after a rigorous selection by a committee of experts displayed their musical wares during the later half of December 2015.

Good tutelage under Gayatri Venkatraghavan and C.H. Venkatachalam of San Diego coupled with intense saadhakam, the initial vocal recital of Sai Sisters - Sai Kiran and Niveditha Sai - with their sruti-aligned voice

and melodic internalisation of songs was marked by inspirational renditions from the start. A competent alapana of Nasikabhushani for the kriti, ‘Maaravairi’ was an expression of spontaneity and subtle musical perception. Niveditha’s Thodi elaboration was refreshing. Their adherence to tradition was commendable. Vittal Rangan’s violin support was good. Raghavan (mridangam) enriched the concert with his able laya support.

Kruthi Bhat showcased her artistry with her carefully well-chosen numbers. Her reposeful interpretation of ‘Mathe Malayadhwaja’ in Khamas and Thyagaraja’s ‘Eti Janma’ with all embellishments in a melodious voice blended seamlessly with harmony. Her mapping of the contours of Nattakurinji and Kalyani were replete with smooth layers of phrases in the lower and middle registers to bring out the lakshana and lakshya of the ragas. ‘Unnaiyallal’ sung with a feisty niraval and swaras was classy. Shraddha Raveendran’s violin accompaniment was marked by honeyed raga phrases and the laya wing was sensitive and refined.

Despite a husky voice Aadith Murthy’s recital was not sowkhyam music for the listeners. His sedate start with ‘Ninnukkori’ followed by ‘Vinayaka’ (Hamsadhwani) with swaras failed to create a lasting

Impression. His raga vinyasams of Kharaharapriya for the kriti ‘Rama Nee Samaana’ and Shanmukhapria for the kriti, ‘Vallinayakane’ devoid of essential moorchanas failed to light up the beauteous

aspects of the ragas.

Ganesh’s (violin) versions lingered on its graces. Percussive support of Swaminathan (mridangam) was of a high order.

Nishevita Ramesh’s engaging performance with sensitive singing of swaras and clarity of diction began with a delectable version of the Saveri varnam ‘Sarasooda’ in two speeds followed by ‘Varavallabha’ in Hamsadhwani. Her alapana of Pantuvarali was exhaustive for ‘Sambho Mahadeva.’ But, generally her presentation skills need considerable honing in the delineations of the ragas as they were marred by swara dischords in the upper octaves. This was very much in evidence in her portrait of Kharaharapria for the kriti, ‘Janakipathe Jaya.’ The thukkadas in the end were wholesome snacks. Ganesh’s (violin) was soothing. Swaminathan (mridangam) was soft and subtle in the rhythmic layers.

A tenth grader and disciple of Suguna Varadachari, Sriranjani Dharba began her recital with a sprightly number, ‘Amboruhapaadame’ (Ranjani), which was rendered with élan. Her elegant Begada portrait marked by felicity of sancharas for the kriti, ‘Kadaikkan Vaithennai Aalamma’ gave a serene shape to the exercise. The Thodi raga vinyasam was built up sedately and the raga phrases had some bright spots for the number, ‘Kaddanuvariki’ presented with a felicitous niraval and swaras. Her RTP in Vachaspathi with the pallavi, ‘Velane Siva Balane gunaseelane’ was a scholarly exhibition of her laya expertise. Venkatasubramanian’s violin accompaniment was appropriate. Burra Sriram (mridangam) played strokes adding meaning to the percussive support.

Sudarshan Mohan’s innate musical instinct and creativity were evident in sensitive exposition of sancharas in the ragas chosen by him for the kutcheri. His intelligent communication skills in a malleable voice brought out the bhava and elegance of the songs rendered. Setting the tone of the recital with a sprightly presentation of the ‘Sarasooda’ varnam in Saveri, the following ‘Narasimha Mamava’ in Arabhi brimmed with esoteric appeal. Varali and Khambodi were elaborated with a fretwork full of movement for the two kritis, ‘Maamava Meenakshi’

and ‘O! Rangasayee’ respectively. The stimulating niraval for the latter with kalpanaswaras showed his exquisite manodharma. His RTP in Vasantha, ‘Thyagaraja Gurum Aasraye’ carried the stamp of tradition with eloquent karvais sans superfluous frills. It had an aesthetic finesse. His measured approach to the ragas in the mandara and tara sthayis drew the rasikas to the core of music. Venkatasubramaniam’s (violin) deft touches to the ragas and swaras were earworthy. Sai Raghavan’s (mridangam) beats on the instrument bore testimony to his laya expertise.

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