Monday, March 27, 2006

Veena Gayathri at Thrippunithura

In the late sixties, a mere slip of a girl came on to the platform with the veena and started playing at the Sree Parthasarathy Swami Sabha in Triplicane at Chennai. At the very persuasive touch of her Meettu; raga, krithi and sargam were not isolationist entities but merged with the strains of Nadopasana. In the front row, besides the noted vidwans of that period, there was the eminent musicologist, Prof. P. Sambamoorthy, who wrote later that if the rebirth of Veena Dhanammal was possible it is evidently in this girl, E. Gayathri who deserved an epithet as Veena Gayathri..E. gayathri performed at the recently concluded festival at Ckakkamkulangara temple at Tripunithura. She started with ‘Navaraga Varnam’ by Pattanam Subrahmania Iyer, followed by ‘Sree Ganapathini’ in Saurashtram from Prahlada Bhakthi Vijayam, an opera by Tyagaraja. ‘Sumasayaka’ in Karantaka Kaappi, a Padavarnam by Swathi Thirunal preceded the portrayal of Panthuvarali (Siva Siva Siva), Sree Raga (Endaro) and Hindolam with ‘Saama Gaana Lolane’ by Papanasam Sivan, respectively. Each had a congruous set of manodharama swara, pasted to it. Then she played Yadukula Kambhoji, with ‘Divakarathanujam’, a Navagraha Krithi by Deekshithar, followed by a depiction of Arabhi (Paalimparaa by Pallavi Seshaier), as an appetiser to a tantalizing Kambhoji, in which the Thaanam was woven around thodi, poorvikalyani, kanada and madhyamavathi. The mridangam accompaniment by Trichur Narendran was an object lesson for budding percussionists. . Tripunithura Radhakrishnan with the ghatom did not lag behind. Manasi Prasad from Bangalore who is also an accomplished Bharata Natyam artiste, was highly rated by the audience for her sweet and weighty singing, with her main focus resting on the medium tempo. Her rendition of ‘Kaayaarohaneswaram’ by Deekshithar in Devagandharam or Abheri, set to Roopakam, got a thunderous ovation. Poorvikalyani had a captivating lay-out which the young Engineering graduate built up with enviable craft. ‘Gangadhara’ by Mysore Sadasiva Rao in Roopakam had niraval and kalpanaswara. Dayakar (Bangalore), with the violin, Bangalore B.S. Anand (mridangam), and Adichanallur Anil Kumar in charge of the ghatom, acquitted themselves well. Young Harihara Subrahmaia Iyer, from Senkottai has a geniality and an aptitude to reach out to the listeners, reminiscent of the late Madurai Somu. Iyer began with the varnam in Dhanyasi and drew a convincing map of the raga, Khamas. ‘Broche vaare’ had a few vibrant passages, followed by ‘Sabhapathikku’ in Abhogi by Gopalakrishna Bharati. His pallavi in Hamsanandi was meant for the initiated segment of the audience. Attukal Balasubramaniam was fluent on the violin. .Thrissur Jayaram (mridangam), Anil Kumar (ghatom) and T.Rajasekharan with the mukharsanghu performed with mutual understanding. K.N .Ranganatha Sarma always presents carnatic music as a polished product. His Mohanam, with Kaadambaree (thriputa) by Deekshithar and Mukhari, affixed to ‘Muripe’ (Tyagaraja) were charming, along with RTP in Panthuvarali. Violin by T.H.Subrahmaniam was appropriate. Palldam.R.Ravi, a descendant from the household of the legendary flutist Sanjivi Rao, mesmerised the listeners with his pleasing mridangam play. Radhakrishnan (ghatom) and T. Rajasekharan (mukharsanghu) did their job well. Girija Varma, hailing form a family of musical lineage in Tripunithura, impressed with her portrayal of Sankarabharanam and the presentation of Akshya Linga Vibho was steeped in Samparadaya. Then Saveri came with Murugaa-Murugaa by Periya Swamy Thuran. . V.K. Hariadas (violin), Tripunithura Neelakantan(mridangam) and Mangad Pramod (ghatom) provided an apt mode of accompaniment.

By Courtesy The Hindu (Kochi), 10.3.06


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