Comforting songs

CALMING EFFECT Suma Sudhindra created a soothing ambience  

Muralidhar S.G. led the team of seven artistes in his flute concert, organised by the Bhagini Seva Samaja as part of Ramanavami celebrations. Not only did his scholarship and expertise distinguish the performance, but his very approach to music and the ethical aspects of presenting it created a congenial atmosphere among the artistes.A preference for gentle, calm and methodical approach without taking recourse to tricky and heroic manoeuvrings upheld the majesty and dignity of the compositions. The artistes, irrespective of their status whether a novice or otherwise, inspiringly poured their learning into the entire process in transforming the intended outcome into an artistic whole. Relatively a junior violinist, Sindhu, supporting the flautist, maintained an exemplary imagination and creativity while facing challenging areas armed with instant reflexes. Raga, thana in Hindola after a deserving elaborate delineation, smoothly led on to the pallavi "Raghupathi Rama Dasharatha Rama" wherein a flowery and absorbing elaboration ensued in ragamalika, concluding in imaginatively knit kalpana swaras. Be it in unison or in relays the percussionists unswervingly stuck to rhythm without in any way jeopardising melody, and as a result all the presentations emanated in their majestic glory. H.L. Shivashankara Swamy and Prahlada (mridanga), Anantha (ghata), Ramanuja (morsing) and Anantha Krishna (Khanjira) constituted the percussion group.

Having opted for a slow to moderate pace to build up her veena concert Suma Sudhindra created a soothing ambience at Nadabrahma Sangitha Sabha. Lyrics-orientation imposed constraint on an indiscriminate technical demonstration, rendering the concert sober, and peaceful, though occasionally, instances of going off-key caused mild uneasiness.

Provisions for sufficient pauses, both while transitions were being effected between one stage of the alapana to another and also while passing from one sangathi to another, carried her endeavours to significant depths. With the techniques being kept subservient to melodic aspects, more so in the first half of the concert which was graced by "Entha Mudho Entha Sogaso" (Thyagaraja, Bindhumalini), alapanas and the texts emerged elegantly in a lilting tone. "Ninne Nammithinayya" (Mysore Vasudevacharya-Simhendramadhyama) followed by kalpana swaras carried similar impressions. In this successful accomplishment, young violinist Raghu's role was immeasurable. In addition to enriching the lead artist's manodharma, he added his own lustrous improvisations.

The rest of the concert came under the sway of scholarship where intelligence dominated the aesthetics. Kunthalavarali ("Bhogindra Shayinam", Swathi Thirunal), Kadhana Kuthuhala ("Raghuvamshasudha", Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer) thrived on a sprightly orchestration.