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Rainbow of melodies


The concerts organised in connection with the Nishagandhi Festival offered rasikas a wide variety of musical experiences.

Tonal magic: Trivandrum Krishnakumar and Bini Krishnakumar,

The crowds at the music venue on the final day of the Nishagandhi Festival was a recognition of the response to good music. Ghazal singer and music composer Umbayee and playback singer Gayathri enthralled listeners for an hour with their rich repertoire. Umbayee started with a popular nazm ‘Baath nikalegee phir dor talak jayegee.’ He continued with ‘Chupke chupke,’ a ghazal composed by Syed Hazrat Mohani and popularised by Ghulam Ali.

Next was a Mehdi Hassan piece ‘Pyar bhare do sharmi.’ Umbayee also rendered a couple of ghazals penned by O.N.V. Kurup. ‘Neela velicham nila mazha peyyunna,’ tuned by Umbayee himself, was written by O.N.V. after an encounter with two young ghazal singers in Delhi. When the poet spoke to them, the youngsters told him that they were singing for their livelihood. Umbayee poured out his heart to give expression to the lines.

‘Paduka Saigal padu,’ another O.N.V. number, was a tribute to the late K.L. Saigal for his immortal song ‘Soja Rajakumari soja.’

Melodious rendition

Ganesh and Kumaresh.

Gayathri began with Siraj Khan’s composition ‘Jithne muv hai, uthni batein.’ In a soothing voice, she rendered ‘Unke bagair hum jo, gulistan mei aagaya,’ composed by Ustad Taj Ahmed Khan in raga Madhuvanti. Gayathri was at her best when she sang Jagjit Singh’s ‘Dero haram basane walo.’

Accompaniment was provided by Bernie (harmonium), Herald (violin), Sameer Ibrahim (guitar), Dasan (bass dolak) and Antony Pipichan (tabla).

The fusion music concert called ‘Synergy Music,’ which followed the ghazals, was a melange of Hindustani, Carnatic and Western music forms.

The concert got off with Stephen Devassy on the keyboard and Joeboy on the drums. Bass guitar was played by Jossy. Trivandrum Krishnakumar and Bini Krishnakumar rendered the popular Swati Tirunal kriti ‘Gopalaka pahimam’ in Revagupti. Gayathri followed with a bandish in Bagasree.

Bini and Krishnakumar imparted a folk touch to ‘Gandhamo priya raga’ in Punnagavarali.

Stephen’s Western bit in C major 7th chord on the keyboard, accompanied by Joeboy, had the crowd on their feet.

Bini and Krishnakumar sang the pallavi and anupallavi of ‘Pavanaguru pavanapura’ in Hamsanandi. The Hindustani version followed with Gayathri’s ‘Syama sundar’ in Purya. Bini and Krishnakumar also sang Ghanam Krishna Iyer’s ‘Nannu brochuda,’ backed by Western instruments. The other compositions included a charanam ‘Tha thai thakita thaka sruthi gathi raje’ from Swati Tirunal’s ‘Sankara sreegiri’ and a thillana.

The concert ended with the popular piece ‘Mile sur mera hai thumhara.’

Scintillating recital

Ganesh and Kumaresh gave a scintillating violin performance.

Although delayed by more than an hour, the duo gave a brisk rendering on the violin accompanied by Solomon Shadrej on the keyboard, Arunkumar on the drums and Keith Peters on the bass guitar. Christened ‘Adbutham,’ the piece sought to highlight the thread of spirituality that binds the Himalayas, the oceans, the rivers and the deserts.

India is also a land of festivals. Every day, every moment is a celebration. Set in Sudhadhanyasi, the next composition began with soft notes on the keyboard supported by the bass guitar and picked up subsequently by the violinists and the drummer. Ganesh hummed in between the swaras.

The brothers presented a unique composition with a contemporary sound in Dhanyasi for Carnatic music rasikas, a mood different from that of Tyagaraja’s ‘Sangeetha jnanamo’ or Syama Sastri’s ‘Neela lochana’ in the same raga. The composition ‘Ethu enna mayam, ethu enna jalam, ehtuve dhanyasi’ was sung by Ganesh and played on the violin by Kumaresh. It was interspersed with the pallavi of ‘Sangeetha jnanamo,’ played on the flute by Ravichandra.

A piece in krodharasam, portraying Sivathandavam, had Kadri Satheeshkumar expressing the music on the mridangam and Ganesh rendering the bol.

Mandolin wizard U. Srinivas and his brother U. Rajesh began their mandolin concert with a varnam in Kanada, set to Adi tala, and followed it with ‘Sidhivinayakam’ in Sankarabharanam. Next was Tyagaraja’s ‘Nagumo’ in Abheri. A Swati composition ‘Jaya Jaya Padbhanabham’ in Sarasangi, rich with manodharma swaras, followed.

Pattanam Subramania Iyer’s ‘Raghuvamsasudha’ in Kadanakuthuhalam stood out for the charana swarams that were played in double speed towards the conclusion of the piece.

The major attraction of the evening was Kharaharapriya. The kriti was Tyagaraja’s ‘Chakaniraja.’

The duo began with an elaborate ragavistharam. The niraval played at the charanam was embellished with sangatis.

The thaniavarthanam saw deft strokes on the mridangam by Tanjore Murugabhupathi and S.V. Ramani on the ghatam.

The tukadas included ‘Alai payuthe,’ ‘Chandrasekhara,’ ‘Kurai ontrum elai,’ ‘Radha samedha Krishna’ and a Sai bhajan.

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