Monday, March 27, 2006

Keerthi Unni

Apart from T.H. Lalitha, Sindhu Nedumangadu, and the like there are hardly any professional women violinists in Kerala. Hence Keerthi Unni’s arrival has been welcomed by all. She has been gaining popularity as a Carnatic vocalist and member of Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram. She was trained by Kumari Varma in Kathakali music. She learned the violin from Dileep from Chottanikkara for a brief period and honed her skill with practice and by listening to concerts.

Owing to the absence of an opportunity to highlight the grace of the diction in a violin solo, Keerthi prefers vocal recitals. All the same her violin solo that was held in connection with the festival of Ernakulam temple, under the aegis of Kshethra Kshema Samithi, showed that she has a bright future if she dedicates herself to regular and formal training. There is a natural tonal strength in her playing which is free from a jarring screech, a common feature that mars recitals of beginners. She has a style that is slanted more towards the conventional and set up the tempo with the Ata thala varnam in Kambhoji to proceed with Annapoorne in Saama by Deekshithar and Endaro Mahanubhavulu before outlining Malayamarutham. Then came Manasaa etu lo by Tyagaraja. Her aesthetics came to the fore with Sankarabharanam and swaras grafted to Akshayalinga (Misrachappu) revealed how vocal training is helpful to a Carnatic instrumentalist when unfolding a major Deekshithar composition. Kaappi (Enna Thavam) by Papanasam Sivan and Alaipayuthe by Oothukadu Venkata Subbaier in Kanada followed. Tripunithura Subbaraman on the mridangam and Tripunithura Hari Swamy on the ghatom accompanied her.
By Courtesy The Hindu-Kochi on 28.1.05


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