Melody without depth

IT IS a truism that a young artiste well endowed with a glossy voice is carried away by the glamour it imparts to his or her music standing in the way of gaining musical maturity. In such a situation creativity and expressiveness become servile to tonal dazzle. Haunting music is not just about the mellifluous nature of the vocal chords alone, but how well it is matched by the intensity of depth, of which M. S. Subbulakshmi is a standing example. The angle of vision of many young artistes today is more on cutcheri allure by the manipulated deployment of the voice than on the aesthetic modes of expression. This pattern is getting well defined.

A sensitive presentation of music is a greater challenge to a vidwan or vidushi than alapanas, songs or swaras gurgled out in a heroic mould. The new generation of vocalists has tremendous zeal to convey to the rasikas that it is giving new direction to musical expressions, which is quite welcome, but it would enhance the stature if melodic rendering is blended with reverence for depth. Many young women artistes have gifts of a good voice that helps them take melodious strides to measure the dimensions and reach in the exploration of the tara sthayi and thereby weave enhancement.

It was an exclusive Tyagaraja session from Nithyashree Mahadevan for the Sri Thyagaraja Seva Samiti's Bahulapanchami function. The cutcheri was a grand feast of vocal showers. Nithyashree sought to make her presentation attractive through the thrills of the throat, mainly in raga alapanas. She handled Bhairavi and Mohanam in her programme. The raga sancharas were meticulously manicured by clever turns of phrases marked by creative excitement and mesmerisingly manipulated. ``Koluvaiyunnade'' (Bhairavi) and ``Sitavara-Sangitagnanamu'' (Devagandhari) and ``Evarura'' (Mohanam) were the major pieces rendered marked by simplicity of presentation. The other fleeting items were ``Anaatudanuganu'' (Jingala) and ``Gananamosagaraada'' (Poorvikalyani). M. A. Krishnaswamy was the violinist shadowing the vocalist in every step. Nithyashree's father, L. Shivakumar, was the mridangist who identified himself with his daughter. Raman (morsing) was in the backstage all the time.


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