METRO PLUS

Blend of melody, classical purity

M.K. BALAGOPAL

Blend of melody, classical purity

MUSIC IS in her blood. Madhavi Ramkumar, is the daughter of Mali Madhavan Nair who was instrumental in digging out of oblivion a large number of Swati Thirunal Krithis.

Naturally, no eyebrows were raised when she gave up her lucrative bank job a decade ago to deviate full attention to the learning of music. Over the years, she had the benefit of guidance from Neyyatinkara Vasudevan, Vechoor Harihara Subramania Iyer and Mavelikkara Prabhakara Varma. In New Delhi, her concert for Swaralaya was much appreciated

Gifted with a resonant voice capable of exploring the elusive ranges of raga bhava, her recent concert at Kerala Fine Arts Society as part of Swathi Festival turned out to be homage to Swathi Thirunal in every sense of the term. The concert was a blend of melody and classical purity and was enjoyed by all sections of the audience. She used her flight of imagination to do full justice to raga alapana, niraval and swaraprasthara. As it was Swati Festival, only Swati Thirunal Krithis were sung on the occasion.

She was accompanied on the violin by Edappally Ajit Kumar, Percussional support was provided by A.Balakrishna Kamath (mridangam) and Muvatupuzha Sakthidharan (ghatam).Beginning with the varnam Chalamela in Sankarabharanam, Madhavi Ramkumar brought out the beauty of Mohana Kalyani in the Krithi Sevai Sreekantham.

After a brief alapana of Kanada she endeared herself to the audience with Swati Thirunal's popular Krithi, Mamava Sada Janani. Then came Kamala Jasya, a rarely heard ragamalika by the great composer, in 10 ragas revolving round Mohanam.

It was followed by the best piece of the day, Pahi Parvatha Nandini in Arabhi. Beautiful alapana and delectable rendering of niraval and swaraprasthara touched the hearts of the audience. Gangeya Vasana in Hamir Kalyani was another enjoyable piece. The main raga chosen for alapana was Simhendra Madhyamam and the Krithi was the well-known piece Rama Rama Guna Seema.

Many felt that it was a piece that brought out the character of the concert. After Thaniavarthanam by Balakrishna Kamath and Sakthidharan, a number of popular Krithis of Swati Thirunal were rendered by Madhavi Ramkumar with great care and attention.

Her beautiful rendering of Bhaja Bhaja Manasa in Sindhubhairavi attrached the audience. This was followed by the padam, Aliveni Enthu Cheivu in Kurinji and the great composer's popular thillana in Dhanasri. The concluding piece was Bhujaga Sayino in Yadukula Kamboji. Apart from being enjoyable, the concert gave indications that Madhavi Ram Kumar has the potential to scale greater heights in the future.

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