9th January 2012, 02:47 PM
Kafi with Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty electrifies Amdavadi rasikas
Nawab Kalb Ali Khan (1865-1887) of Rampur - now in Uttar Pradesh - was a worshipful disciple of Bahadur Khan, an ustad of sursingar (a precursor of sarod). The nawab's love for his mentor inflamed wild envy in his courtiers. The nawab decided to use music to eliminate the meanness.
One day, he ordered the courtiers to report to his durbar at a particular time. Before the session was to begin, he requested Ustad Bahadur Khan to start playing outside the durbar hall. No courtier kept the appointment that day. The ustad's mastery not only froze the courtiers, but also purged their souls.
If Ustad Bahadur Khan made the courtiers put off their durbar appearance, Pandit Chakraborty made Amdavadi audience put their lives on hold.
At the festival venue - Amrut Mody School of Management - one young neo-rasika gushed: "Is raat ki subah nahin honi chahiye' (This night should not end!). Panditji elucidated Kafi, a raga not normally associated with the khayal form he presented. But because of his supreme saadhana, Kafi looked as resplendent and proud on khayal as jewellery would on a beautiful bride.
As for his Saptak performance, panditji set his own composition to Kafi. He began with the hymnal deliberation of 'Jako man laago' and then roused the sparklier disposition of the raga with 'Batiya banavo nahin bar bar'. In the finale - 'Ja rey koyaliya', panditji annexed every register with regal authority. Kafi expressed its innate shringar ras like a lover's heart: surging at the sight of the beloved; plummeting at the moment of farewell; and soaring again when an embrace is granted.
9th January 2012 02:47 PM
9th January 2012, 07:08 PM
12th January 2012, 01:35 PM
Organised by Sparsh Foundation in aid of SparshVachana, the charity wing of Sparsh Hospitals, the event brought together veteran vocalist and composer Balamuralikrishna and talented violinist Jyotsna Srikanth on one platform for the first time. When Balamuralikrishna’s soulful Carnatic classical rendition was blended with world fusion, it was an unparalleled experience for the audience.
Bombay Jayashri Ramnath is idolized by Carnatic connoisseurs because her singing expresses the atoning purity of a stotra. Since her intellectual command is absolute, her instincts are supple. Ramnath did not come to the Saptak Music Festival - on Day 10 - with a precooked programme. "I planned the repertoire after considering the ambience," Ramnath told TOI. But she is unassuming about her creative facility. "I owe it to my guru, Lalgudi Jayaramanji," she said.
A young Ambi Subramaniam played with endearing charm and easy elan in an ensemble of percussion and other stringed instruments and then accompanied his mother Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam's velvety voice to play a Carnatic thillana, who also sang a special classical number 'Badal badse' dedicated to the monsoons. The doyen of Indian violin Dr L Subramaniam played a composition 'Journey' that he had been created for Yehudi Menuhin with Ambi.
20th January 2012, 08:13 PM
There were several factors which made Prince Rama Varma's recent vocal recital at the Vinayaka Temple in Besant Nagar a memorable exercise in excellence.
Playing the mridangam was veteran T.V. Gopalakrishnan. The three primary sources of Rama Varma's inspiration are his guru, Balamuralikrishna, his idol, the late maestro M.D. Ramanathan and his mentor TVG, who himself is known for his very special rapport with Balamurali now and MDR then.
On the violin was S. Varadarajan, an outstanding disciple of TVG, who has not only learnt the subtler techniques of playing the violin from his many-sided guru, but also assimilated the latter's compelling spirit of give-and-take among performers.
When these three musicians got together in front of a highly enthusiastic audience in the sacred ambience of the Vinayaka Temple, perhaps it was inevitable that the performance should have a monumental quality.
The twin towers that cast a deep spell on the audience were Shyama Sastri's swarajati, ‘Kaamaakshi,' in Bhairavi -- strongly reminiscent of MDR's majestic rendering of the same composition -- and Balamuralikrishna's soul-stirring song ‘Omkaara Aakaarini' in the intriguing raga Lavangi, invented by himself.
These were preceded by fine versions of ‘Vaataapi Ganapatim Bhaje' (Hamsadhwani, Dikshitar) and ‘Jayalakshmi Varalakshmi' (Lalita, Annamacharya).
All three performers seemed to be at their very best, revelling in one another's company. The mridangam sounded melodic, not only in the solo session, but throughout the concert. Watching maestro TVG perform and recalling his many valuable contributions to Carnatic and Hindustani music, one couldn't help wondering why the Music Academy hasn't yet conferred the Sangita Kalanidhi on him.
30th January 2012, 08:12 PM
CRITIQUE ON MUSIC SEASON
CHENNAI:� We scanned the music season, to assess whether Carnatic music will be retaining its highly aesthetic and elevating spirit, as its unique individuality. We evaluated the depressing ‘drought’ by way of attendance, during the rest of the year. We intonated our faith in ‘young musicians’ who are developing their art to the ‘quality’ of old vidwans, by their intrinsic academic strength and� good voices.
While on this aspect, as I have been pointing it out in my reviews, practice of the ‘book spread inspiration’, is coming to stay, even for the oft repeated kirtanas. It is certainly an acknowledgement, on the part of the musicians, that the songs have not been committed, fully to the memory. The sangathis in ‘Trikalam’ is only an alibi, to cloth the ‘bookish skeleton structure’ to make them respectable.
Such an adhoc approach to song interpretation, makes it obvious that either the mind of the musician is not in the beauty of the song or his or her devotion to the great composers is so fragile, that he or she is not able to understand the ‘intent’ of the composers, who have dedicated their lives to the ‘preservation of high standards’.
Few musicians were looking into papers before them, even while singing Kalpana Swaras! Probably the paper contained information, as to where to commence, particularly ‘long’ SWARA KORVAIS, also help to systematise, even ‘Kalpana Swaras’.
The extraneous aides, to make carnatic music, and still pass for a ‘great fine art’. It is not more ‘artifice’ than ‘art’.
Let us evaluate the role of the Sabhas and the Rasikas Organisations for fostering culture are more concerned with the ‘entertainment value’ and so to them, music is only one item among others. The Sabha organisers should understand that as long as they overrate the ‘utilisation value’ of money, and the arts depending on the ‘doles handed out’, there can be no hope, for our cultural heritage to ever attain its� pristine glory.
Those harping on ‘Standards’ would be ‘poo-poohed’ by Sabhas, since they make their toll any way.
Decades earlier, only a small group of musically knowledgeable listeners formed the audience. Their aesthetic sense of appreciation was elevated by the sheer artistry of the giants of that day. Today, we see people of all hues, listening to music and waiting to applaud at the torrential Tara Sthayi.
There needs to be a critical examination of the ‘real worth’ and not the ‘inflated worth’ of the musicians. There is no room for personal bias, consideration of consanguinity or any other such relevance.
If reality is any reflection of the present trend of ‘money flow’ only towards the coffers of the sabha, at the cost of sanguine cultural thrust, there is need for soul searching by musicians/organisations and rasikas.
23rd March 2012, 08:31 PM
R.Latha: Please check your hub mailbox. Thanks.
30th May 2012, 10:47 AM
Guys a happy news from my side. I will be performing in 5 different sabha's in this year's musical season. I have Mylapore Fine Arts, Narada Gana Sabha, Vani Mahal, Bhrama Gana sabha and Parthsarathy Sabha in the pipeline. Hopefully chennai music rasikas can attend my concerts. The dates not finalised though...
30th May 2012, 10:53 AM
30th May 2012, 11:23 AM
Thanks Rockstar...It will actually be my third year for the music season and is my biggest one yet....
30th May 2012, 04:49 PM
Congrats AS. Booking started for December?