Chennai and Tamil Nadu
Rainbow of melodies
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
‘Paduka Saigal padu,’ another O.N.V. number, was a tribute to the
late K.L. Saigal for his immortal song ‘Soja Rajakumari soja.’
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
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
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
The concert ended with the popular piece ‘Mile sur mera hai thumhara.’
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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