Music

Rooted in the classical tradition

N.P. Ramaswamy   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A concert by Carnatic maestro N.P. Ramaswamy in Kochi was composed of a wide range of kritis that were sung flawlessly.

The artiste’s compositions, which found place in the concert, were works of marvellous artistry. A varnam in Keeravani was the vocalist’s own composition and had swara korvais in the charana that were set melodically. In one of his own compositions ‘Ekadanthaya’ in Reetigowala, the vocalist created a devotional mood and this further percolated to the other compositions sung later.

Ramaswamy’s music can be described as neo classical. He kept the traditional elements intact, yet infused his own experiments and virtuosity into the technical aspects. ‘Anudinamu’ in Begada and ‘Sri Ranganathaya’ in Dhanyasi were rendered well.

The alapana of Shanmukhapriya was rich in aesthetic content and the concert explored the various possibilities of the raga without sounding obtrusive. Muthayya Bhagavathar’s ‘Vallinayaka neeve gathiyani’ had the right kalapramana and feel, the neraval at ‘thalli thandri’ being the icing on the cake. After ‘Mayamma’, the Syama Sastri kriti in Ahiri raga, Viswanathan, who provided vocal support, sang most parts of ‘Vararagalaya’, the racy Tyagaraja kriti in Chenjukamboji raga, which was embellished with crisp chittaswaras.

Ramaswamy’s musical ingenuity was showcased in the ragam taanam pallavi that he presented in raga Kharaharapriya. Even though the vocalist did full justice to the elaboration of the raga and tanam, it was the very sophisticated pallavi that stood out. He took the first line of the Tyagaraja composition ‘Samanamevaru’ and presented thrilling variations. Sunita Harisankar, on the violin, found it hard to keep pace in the beginning but pulled through the rest of the concert.

Flawless and fast, the vocalist made a reverse run through the ragamalika swaras. Balakrishna Kamath was in his element and played diverse rhythmic patterns on the mridangam. He also blended the variations and gati bhedam remarkably well. The tone of the instrument was impeccably resonant. He managed a tani without the support of any other percussion instrument.

‘Ee vela nannu brovara’ in Kamas brought the concert to a close.

The concert at Nirvana School of Music was organised by Nirvana School of Music and Gosree Ganasabha, Mattanchery, Kochi.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 1:50:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/rooted-in-the-classical-tradition/article5529615.ece

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