Music

Melody meets nostalgia

IMMERSED IN HER MUSIC: Bombay Jayashri. Photo: M. Vedhan

IMMERSED IN HER MUSIC: Bombay Jayashri. Photo: M. Vedhan  

Music has the power of uniting and easily transcends several barriers. This aspect has been established and reiterated many times by artists across genres.

And AIKYA 2012 did the same. The evening took the packed auditorium of The Music Academy through the various realms of music with which we have grown up. Bombay Jayashri, whose forte is melody of high quality, enthralled the audience with her band of five accompanying artists and seven disciples. When the curtains went up, we could see the silhouettes of the artists against the backdrop of an aesthetic set of azure modern art form.

In the course of her programme, Jayashri prefaced and appended each item with fluent and poignant words. “Music helps us look within ourselves; it gives salvation and tranquillity, and provides a strong bond with our lives,” said Jayashri and explained at the outset that the programme would take the audience through a memorable, nostalgic voyage.

A soft chorus by Jayashri’s students to the sole rhythm on the tabla led to a significant start with Bharati’s ‘Uyirae Nee Katru’ by Jayashri. She chose to touch upon a few phrases of Natabhairavi and rendered the Sanskrit kriti ‘Sri Valli Devasenapathe’ that was steeped in bhakti. This was followed by a flute solo in raag Darbari and the number ‘Janak Janak Payal Bhaje.’ Jayashri once again chose Bharati’s poetry to express the beauty of the horizon. Here the violin and the keys wonderfully supplemented the Natabhairavi notes.

Smooth transition

Then, the singer smoothly slipped into Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s evergreen lyric ‘Aap Ke Nazron Ne Samjha’ (the film ‘Anpadh’), set to tune by Madan Mohan. Embar Kannan added ‘Aakaya Vennilavae’ (‘Arangetra Velai’) of Ilaiyaraja and it continued into ‘Kalyana Thennila’ from ‘Mounam Sammadam’ on the flute by Navin Iyer. Jayashri marvelled at the variety of soulful Natabhairavi notes that made all these numbers so romantic.

The pentatonic notes of Hindolam wafted like a breeze and Jayashri sang ‘Samaja Varagamana’ with swaras with the support of the violin and the mridangam. She touched upon another five notes with Hindustani flourish. Then Natabhairavi’s seven notes on the arohanam and five notes on the avarohanam brought Saramathi to the fore. Jayashri’s Tyagaraja’s ‘Mokshamu Galada’ with a chorus, had a solemn feel.

‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ (Mehdi Hassan), a ghazal in raag Yaman saw the violinist Kannan segueing ‘Sundari Kannal Oru Sethi’ (Dalapathi) and Navin pepping it up with ‘Thendral Vandu Ennai.’

Truly, the listeners were taken on a melodic tour --- from khayal, bandish, verse and sloka to kriti and abhang.

Terming the programme aptly as a kaleidoscopic concert where even a slight turn showing a different shade, shine and design, Jayashri even compared her troupe to the musical notes she had rendered. Her seven disciples as the seven swaras and the five accompanying artists Embar Kannan on the violin, Navin Iyer on the flute, Sai Shravanam on the tabla, J. Vaidyanathan on the mridangam and Navneeth Sundar on keys as five other notes.

The harmonious ensemble concluded with raag Sindhubhairavi in which Jayashri presented Vyasarajapada’s Kannada number and a thillana of her guru Lalgudi Jayaraman.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:29:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/melody-meets-nostalgia/article2949793.ece

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