Naada Inbam Music

It's all about voice modulation

Gayathri Venkatraghavan. Photo: M. Vedhan

Gayathri Venkatraghavan. Photo: M. Vedhan  

A tranquil atmosphere is created when a singer dwells on the upper shadja, with sustained power and pitch. Gayathri Venkatraghavan appeared to have realised this, for, in her concert, she offered melodious karvais, in her alapana, kriti rendition and niraval.

Her alapana in Purvikalyani and Kharaharapriya were balanced in terms of aesthetics. Her voice training, assiduous sadhaka and nada stood out.

From start to finish, Gayathri’s voice was vibrant and rich in timbre. Every note in her sancharas had clarity. Her timing too was impeccable in niraval and kalpanaswara renditions.

Commendable support came from Vittal Ramamurthy (violin) and Neyveli Narayanan (mridangam). Vittal extracted the maximum musical value from his bow, through palpable modulation. Neyveli demonstrated the potential of the mridangam through appropriate use of the thoppi on his left hand through sweet sounding gumkis. Purushottaman showcased his talent in the tani avartanam.

The crisp varnam in Kedaragowla, Adi, following traditional practice, and a madhyamakala sahityam of Swati Tirunal, ‘Gajamukha,’ in Mayamalavagowlai, Adi, set the momentum. The brisk exchanges of kalpanaswaras in half and full avartanas were in good taste. The 15-minute alapana in Purvikalyani was precise, underlining the effortless reach of her voice over two octaves. Dikshitar’s ‘Kasi Visalaksheem bhajeham’ was majestic. ‘Jnana Sabhaiyil’ in Saranga, misra chapu, and ‘Sripate, Tyagaraja's Nagasvaravali, Desadi kriti, was pacy with imaginative swaras, after the solemn ‘Mayamma’ of Syama Sastri.

Kharaharapriya shared honours with Purvikalyani. The conclusion came with a 14-minute tani, with mrdangam and ganjira vying for creative space. The Shanmukhapriya kriti ‘'Teninum inikkum’ and a thillana in Revati brought the curtains down.

There were many enjoyable moments in the vocal concert of PRIYANKA PRAKASH . She could execute intricate sangatis and raga sanchara and her laya suddham was evident in the niraval and kalpanaswara execution.

What one felt, needed attention was the absence of voice modulation. Her niraval at ‘Sarasiruha’ in the Mayamalavagowla kriti ‘Tulasidala’ of Tyagaraja was well done. The navagraha composition ‘Chandram bhaja manasa’ of Dikshitar was elaborated with depth. One was impressed by the apt selection and competent rendition. However, a 10-minute elaboration of Atana appeared ill-placed at this juncture. The treatment was text-book perfect in terms of music grammar but did not match with imagination.

Kalyani, after Atana, was slightly out of place but the alapana, prefaced by an invocation to Krishna, was aurally satisfying. ‘Chintanertada’ of Tyagaraja in Kuntalavarali, Desadi, was a refreshing interlude before the main item in Kharaharapriya, ‘Rama Neeyada’.The violin (Pappu Gyandev) threw out pleasant vibrations and the rendering was elegant. The tani of Burra Sriram on mridangam displayed quiet confidence and controlled mastery of the phrases.

Priyanka filled the final half hour with some soul-filling songs. ‘Aramaina’ of Swati Tirunal in Behag, not heard in a long time, was welcome. ‘Gopalaratnam’, was followed by ‘Jagadoddharana’ and a thillana in Sindubhairavi.

If Priyanka can cultivate voice modulation, particularly at turning points, she can go places.



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Printable version | May 28, 2020 4:21:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/its-all-about-voice-modulation/article6682685.ece

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