Music

Falls short of the mark

Bhavana . Photo. M. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

A dulcet voice may be an advantage, but it cannot be a substitute for ingenuity. Bhavana Mohan with her melodious voice exhibited good training in kriti rendition. But, a concert platform demands something more than just repeating well rehearsed compositions.

The success of a concert relies on the creative ability of the artist seen through the development of raga essays, spreading style of niraval segments, intelligent permutation and combination of kalpanaswaras and the choice of kritis and ragas.

Bhavana’s selection was impeccable. She opened with the Vasantha varnam, followed by a rare composition, ‘Vinayake,’ in Sriranjani. But here one could spot Bhavana’s slightly slapdash approach to Sriranjani alapana.

Her handling of the sub-main and main ragas, Charukesi and Khambodi, revealed lack of depth in comprehension and presentation. The first phrase of any raga alapana should emphasise the raga without ambiguity. Charukesi’s opening and progression were a tad better than the main Khambodi, where she dithered notably during the initial stages. The treatises sounded frail because traditional phrases supported by a few exotic touches and uncertainty in integrating them in a linear fashion cannot be construed as a complete picture of the raga. The swara sallies with Kovai S. Chandran (violin) were enthusiastic and tepid alternatively. Nevertheless, Swati Tirunal’s ‘Kripaya Palaya’ in Charukesi and Tyagaraja’s ‘O Rangasayee’ stood out for their pristine beauty. Chandran presented the ragas and swaras with professional élan and boosted the morale of the vocalist. Umayalpuram V. Kalyanaraman (mridangam) kept pace with the tempo. The concert was organised by Raga Varsha of Selaiyur at Sastri Hall, Mylapore.

PS: The balancing of sound at the venue was inept. The vocals were inaudible at the lower registers because of the higher decibel outputs of the accompanying artists.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 2:08:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/falls-short-of-the-mark/article7255316.ece

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