Rich musical fare

THE EXPERIMENT is catching on. Two months ago, it was the Moozhikulam Sala, which organised an infotainment fair by successfully blending display of books, music cassettes, CDs etc. with music concerts in the evening. This month, it was the turn of D.C. Books, Kerala's leading book publisher, to make use of melodious flavour to promote marketing of books, cassettes etc. in a six-day fair at the Gangothri Hall. From August 4 to 9, there were music performances by promising artistes in the evening to create waves of melody.

It was a fair affair for every book and music lover. In the world of books, the choice was very wide to suit the requirement of a variety of customersThe collection of music cassettes and CDs too was impressive. Vocal and instrumental performances of old stalwarts and rising stars were available in cassettes and CDs to satisfy all ranges of music lovers. What deserves particular mention was the availability of live concerts of stalwarts like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musri Subramania Iyer, Semmangudi Srrenivasa Iyer, G.N. Balasubramaniam, Dr. Balamurali Krishna, M.S. Subbulakshmi, D.K. Pattambal, Madurai Mani Iyer, T.K. Rangachari, Maharajapuram Santhanam, Bade Gulam Ali Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Kishori Amonkar, Chitti Babu, Lalgudi Jayaraman, N.Ramani, Ravi Shankar, Bismillahkhan etc. Viji Music on Marine Drive arranged this grand collection for music lovers.

The exhibition on the opening day ended with a solo violin concert by Panavalli Vijayakumar, accompanied by Kottayam Manoj Kumar on the mridangam and Vechur Jayan on the ghatam. Vijayakumar reappeared in a supporting role in the flute recital on the third day and the vocal concert on the fifth day. Tuesday was reserved for a ghazal evening presented by Humble Shine, Vipin and Johnson.

A flute recital by Perumbavoor N. Gireesan created the musical ambience on Wednesday evening. Apart from Vijayakumar on the violin, the other supporting artistes were Arookkutty Mohanan (mridnagam) and Kottayam Chandrakumar (ghatam). After an Abhogi varnam, `Varavallabha Ramana ... ' in Hamsadhwani, `Bagayaneyya... ' in Chandrajyothi and `Enna Thapam... ' in Kaapi were played before taking up the main krithi `Santhatha Munimchi... ' in Valachi. Then came `Sudhamayi... ' in Amruthavarshini and `Paluke Bankara... ' in Anandabhairavi. The concluding piece was `Harivarasanam... ' the well-known lullaby for Lord Ayyappa in Madhyamavathi, composed by Kampakudi Kulathu Iyer.

On Thursday, Nechur Madhukrishnan, a student of the R.L.V. College of Music, Tripunithura, gave an impressive performance on the veena, supported by Kottayam Chandrakumar on the mridangam, Ranjit Arookkutty on the ghatam and Umesh Sudhakaran on the mukharsangh. Two pieces, `Adamodi... ' in Charukesi and `Bhajare Yadunathan... ' in Kaapi endeared him to the listeners. The other ragas handled were Natta, Saraswathi, Bahudhari, Dwijavanthi, Hindolam, Amritha Varshini and Poorvi Kalyani.

The last two evenings were marked by a vocal recital by Kottyam Jamanish K. Nair and a sitar recital by Xavier. Such fairs are eagerly awaited on account of their multiple advantages. One can choose books to read and cassettes to listen. One also gets an opportunity to listen to the musical performance of talented youngsters.