Music

Strings of harmony

Kanyakumari and her group. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kanyakumari and her group. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Special concerts marked Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha’s diamond jubilee.

The year 2012-2013 is a milestone for Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai, which completes six decades in the service of fine arts.

The sabha was started in 1952 by a group of enterprising individuals led by Prof. T.V. Ramanujam and R.S. Mani, who were further inspired by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s lament about the lack of a good auditorium in the city. The result was the building of a world-class auditorium which was completed in 1963, and was inaugurated by the then Maharashtra Governor Vijayalakshmi Pandit.

The diamond jubilee celebrations began on July 7 with a concert by Gayathri Girish, accompanied by V.V.S. Murari (violin) and Poongulam Subramaniam (mridangam).

On July 14, a 60-nagaswaram ensemble led by Vyasarpadi G. Kothandaraman was one of the highlights of the event.

Great co-ordination

A surprisingly comfortable decibel level, along with perfect co-ordination among the artists, a judicious choice of items and a splendid tani avartanam by the tavil vidwans led by Konkampattu A.V. Murugaiyan, made the concert memorable.

The highlight was the 60 ragamalika swara suite following a Shanmukhapriya RTP, specially composed by Kothandaraman for the occasion.

A 60-violin ensemble led by A. Kanyakumari was yet another highlight. Again the sheer sound effect of 60 violins playing in unison was in itself an attraction. It led one to wonder if such ensembles could be one way of attracting more audience for Carnatic music. The highlight of the violin ensemble was the Govindanama (ragamalika tuned by Kanyakumari).

The concert was a truly collaborative effort with the main raga Sankarabharanam elaborated by 10 to 15 artists with Kanyakumari graciously taking a back-seat and similarly with the kalpanaswaras for the kriti ‘Swararaga sudha.’

The finale was a Neetimati swara played by Kanyakumari in honour of the occasion, Neetimati being the 60th Melakarta.

K.V. Prasad and Vineeth were on the mridangam and Vimal on the tabla. The rhythm pad was an innovative inclusion to the percussive section, with Krishna Kishore providing amazing effects of ghatam, morsing, tavil and chenda in addition to drums in the tani avartanam.

The Diamond Jubilee Inaugural function was presided over by former President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Seven exemplary individuals were honoured -- E. Sreedharan, Nemi Bhagat Baba, Manohar Aich, T. Mahadeva, M.C. Suresh, Jadav Payeng and Horizon (NGO).

Violinist Prof. T.N. Krishnan, who had played in the inaugural concert at the sabha in 1963 (he had accompanied Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar with Palghat Mani Iyer on the mridangam), was also felicitated on the occasion.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:23:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/strings-of-harmony/article3686725.ece

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