Music sans nuances

IN THE concert organised by Music Education Trust, Shanmukhapriya and Hari Priya (Priya Sisters) clothed their singing style in attractive voice modulation, the latter for the most part lending support when the former's deficiencies could be sensed. In concerts generally today, there is a conflict between the demands of classicism and their practical application. Much of music's appreciation among listeners is related to the familiarity of songs, not exactly how they are rendered.

In the alapana of Subhapantuvarali by Shanmukhapriya and Bhairavi by Haripriya the movement came through the play of fast-paced sancharas. Their music should certainly rise to great levels if they realise that its strength lies more on gamakas than on brigas alone, for musicians of their calibre, it should not be difficult to switch over to enhance the raga bhava. As it is, their performance made a knowledgeable rasika to ponder whether there was anything beyond the clich�s.

The Bhairavi raga was well designed and compellingly projected. Its appeal sprang more from pace than from poise, the sanchara span being mainly briga-oriented. Shanmukhapriya's version of Subhapantuvarali failed to impress because of lack of tonal trimness which at the top reaches had to be taken over by Haripriya.

The kirtana selection included "Dharini-Telusukonti" (Suddhasaveri) "Sri Satyanarayanam" (Subhapantuvarali) and "Enaati-Nomu-Palamo" (Bhairavi) as heavy items, but in interpreting them, the intensity was not marked by depth. To make the listeners enjoy the classic nuances of Carnatic music, not just to please them, is what is expected of experienced artistes like Priya sisters. Richness of a raga's beauty or the grandeur of a kirtana is evoked only by the depth of exposition.

There was no individuality in M.A. Krishnaswamy's solo versions because he attempted to toe the line of the vocalists fully. He is capable of a better account of his vidwat than the way he played Subhapantuvarali and Bhairavi alapanas.

The percussive accompaniment by Melakkaveri Balaji (mridangam) and Madippakkam Murali (ghatam) was vivifying and energetic.

Package fell short

In the concert of Gita Ramasubramanian and Uma Prabhakar for the TTD Information Centre there were not occasions to be thrilled by their singing nor was it down right monotonous. Revealing sufficient grounding in the art, the progress of alapanas and rendering of songs were meticulous, but the additional input that makes a concert lively and noteworthy was missing. It was the package of good songs that counted most - "Vandeham" (Hamsadwani of Annamacharya) "Sitamma-Maayamma" (Vasanta) "Marugelara" (Jayanti Sri) "Saamaja-Vara-Gamana" (Hindolam) "Narada-Muni" (Pantuvarali) and "Rama-Nee-Samana" (Karaharapriya).

The patantara of the kirtanas was traditional without any perepheral embellishments. But the inclusion of Hindolam song immediately after the Jayanti Sri Kirtana was not certainly a happy choice.

Hindolam and Pantuvarali in the first half of the concert were given alapana status. The sancharas and development were just politely pleasing. Karaharapriya was the main raga that was well handed without being able to capture its grandeur.

The violinist T. Hemamalini absorbed the line of thinking in her solo versions. A.S. Ranganathan (mridangam) provided an invigorating tani avartanam.- SVK

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