A tuneful homage

CRAFSTMAN Mevundi’s Multani was faultless

CRAFSTMAN Mevundi’s Multani was faultless   | Photo Credit: Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

The annual Dharwad Utsav pays tribute to the maestros from this musical town

Dharwad Utsav is a unique annual music festival of Hindustani Classical music hosted by the Gururao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha of Bangalore, to pay a tribute to the rich musical history of Dharwad. It has been the abode of luminaries in the world of Hindustani Classical music such as Gayanacharya Gururao Deshpande, Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal , Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Panchakshari Gavai, Pt. Kumar Gandharv, Pt. Basavaraj Rajguru, Pt. Arjun Sa Nakod, Sitar Ratna Rahimat Khan and Pt Sangameshwar Gurav. Pt. Vinayak Torvi, Hindustani classical vocalist and guru throught the Sabha sensitises the acolytes of Hindustani music to the illustrious “ Dharwad Parampara”. This year the Utsav was held in commemoration of two legendary musicans Sripathi Padegar and Ustad Bale Khan. It was appropriate that the vocalist Jayatheerth Mevundi, a disciple of Pt. Arjun Sa Nakod and Sripathi Padegar and Chote Rahmat Khan , the brother of the sitar maestro Ustad Bale Khan were the artistes who were featured in this prominent music festival.

Jayatheerth Mevundi, a young vocalist who has carved a niche for himself in the concert circuits of Hindustani music today, began with a leisurely exposition of the raga Multani in the composition “Kaun des gayo piya mora balamva” set to Vilambit ektaal, an unhurried, meandering rhythmic cycle of 12 beats. Multani is a well-known melody with sombre overtones to it. The raga is known to have originated in the region of Multan as suggested by the name. It is essentially an afternoon raga. This raga has been classified under the Todi family of ragas, but there are disputants to this claim, who consider that it is likely that it belongs to the Dhanashree family. Mevundi’s faultless delineation of the raga through alaap in the rhythmic avartans, bol alap and taankari, impeccable landings on the ‘vadi ‘ and ‘samvadi’ notes in the higher octave were creditable. Although his speedy taans had exemplary clarity and resonance, the lack of clarity in his diction while articulating the ‘sahitya’ of the bandish mitigated the appeal of the vilambit khayal. Technical excellence and craftsmanship could not compensate for the lacuna in bhava or passion.

The lilting drut ektal composition “Nainan me ana bana kaunsi pari,” was impressive for its sophisticated layakari . The accompanying artiste on the tabla, Gurumurthy Vaidya and Pt. Vyasmurthy Katti on the harmonium , captivated the listeners with their aesthetically pleasing ‘sath- sangat’. This was followed by the evening melody Shyam Kalyan. The madhyalaya roopak tal composition , “Mara rasiya, balamva, dasi teri janam janam ki” was marked by some euphonious taans, arresting sargams and uncommon phraseologies.

The rendition of drut teental composition “Savan ke sanj” paled into an anticlimax after a masterful execution of the roopak tal bandish in the same raga.Jayatheerth Mevundi concluded his recital with a Marathi Abhang noteworthy for its sublime, devotional appeal.

Sitar recital by Chote Rahmat Khan, the brother of the late sitar maestro Ustad Bale Khan, began with the beautiful late night melody rag Jog. He began with the customary alap-jod-jhala followed by the ‘gat’ composition in vilambit teental, a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats. Pt. Rajendra Nakod’s energetic tabla accompaniment drew a lot of applause from the audience.


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