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Music Season
The Chennai December Festival

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Music Season

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SRI RAMA BHAKTA JANA SABHA

Contrasting voices, swift swaras

G. SWAMINATHAN

Krishnakumar and Binny’s vocal prowess has a definite reach.

Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

Care and delicacy: Krishnakumar and Binny Krishnakumar.

Trivandrum Krishnakumar and Binny Krishnakumar have good voice and potential. Binny’s voice is quite sharp and traverses wide range with ease and Krishnakumar has a soft but bass tenor. To sing together with such contrasting voices is a challenge.

‘Innum En Manam,’ the Charukesi pada varnam of Lalgudi Jayaraman was the opening item of the duo’s concert.

Maestro Balamuralikrishna’s find, Sumukham, a raga with just three notes (ri, ma, ni) was their next choice (‘Mahaneeya Mana’). The duo exchanged swaras with care and delicacy in this piece. Raga Lalitha was developed by Binny.

The structure had an overflow of embellishments, mostly stemmed on brigas and sweeps.

‘Hiranmayeem Lakshmim’ of Dikshitar and an animated niraval at ‘Sangeetha Vadya Vinodinim’ was notable. Mohanam became the core item with Krishnakumar handling the raga with his swirls and glides predominantly with a few parts of repose. ‘Mohana Rama’ of Tyagaraja had its charm in an engaging manner. Here too, the swara sallies on the pallavi were swift.

The major drawback was the loud audio system and the disturbing echo in the hall; this almost marred the right effect in this case. If the Krishnakumars are to continue with duo concerts like this one, it is high time they evolved a specific methodology to showcase each one’s expertise. Individually, Krishnakumar and Binny’s vocal prowess and manodharma has a definite import and reach, and blending them does not seem to be that simple a task.

V.V. Srinivasa Rao (violin), Mannarkoil Balaji (mridangm), Ravikrishnan (ghatam) extended their support to the duo with sincerity.

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Music Season

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