Brahma Gana Sabha Music

Across the globe with music as company

Crossroads - A musical journey. Photo: K. Pichumani

Crossroads - A musical journey. Photo: K. Pichumani  

‘Cross Roads,’ the programme dedicated to the memory of Vasanth Subramaniam and M.N. Subramaniam took the audience on a journey across continents. The instrumental ensemble comprised Embar Kannan on the violin, Sathyanarayana on the piano and keyboard, Sumesh Narayanan on the mridangam, Arun Kumar on drum pads and I.B. Shallu Varun on the bass guitar.



After ‘Vande Mataram,’ ode to the mother land, we were flown to Ireland. The music on the violin and keyboard evoked an imagery of cool lush landscape, a more lively mood setting in with the rhythms on the pads. The next stop was China, here the tunes were reminiscent of the dragon dance with a strong flavour of Mohanam.



Can the lilting dance music of flamenco and salsa be anything other than Spanish? Beginning with the deep tones of the bass guitar, the instruments joined to create vibrant waves, conjuring up images of swirling skirts and tapping shoes. The folk tunes of Scandinavia came on with the rich notes of the organ, created on the keyboard, joined by violin and drums. Initially Kannan and Sathyanarayana charmed us with the violin and piano in the Hungarian sojourn; then it moved to folk tunes and one could visualise men and women dancing in the meadows in vibrant costumes.



It was time to touch base and we came home in the background of the Vanaspathi alapana on the violin and piano, joined eventually by the percussionists with rhythmic beats of seven; the deep resonance of the bass guitar by Shallu created a new dimension to the pan-Indian music. The journey then took us to Egypt with a cruise on the Nile alongside groves of olive and dates rich with the sounds of animals and chirping birds (created on the synthesizer). How could we forget South America? The next destination was Brazil, the land of samba and soccer; Sathyanarayana played a lively tune on the accordion accompanied by Arun Kumar on the pads, later joined by Kannan on the violin.



Flying right across the Mediterranean we came to Arabian sands and belly dance with energetic music.



It is time to get back home in the company of Ratipatipriya and Charukesi; the keyboard could create varied sounds and this time it sounded like gottuvadyam to begin with; both Kannan and Sathyanarayana played the alapana moving from one raga to another seamlessly. The swara segment was quite scintillating, though the violin drowned the keyboard throughout the concert. Thanis by Sumesh and Arun Kumar were sparkling. Film music too was not forgotten with a string of old Hindi songs as the finale.



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Printable version | May 31, 2020 11:31:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/across-the-globe-with-music-as-company/article6682686.ece

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