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KHMC Pays Tribute To Smt. M S Subbulakshmi

Press Release

Report on Carnatic Junior segment of MSS Tribute Concert
-By Carnatic music Connoisseur

A Margazhi Musical Afternoon in Marlborough.

As a perfect Finale to the KHMC 2016 concert series the event was dedicated to the Musical Legend Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi. Sneha Prasath, Ananya Venkat, Varshini Mohankumar, Saadvhi Raghav and Saisha Prabhakar, senior students of Smt. Sandhya Sridhar enthralled the audience with their majestic performance. Blessed with a mellifluous voice, a deep grip of the nuances of the Ragam and the accompanying Laya, they immersed the audience in the rich tradition of Carnatic music. Ramachandran Balakrishna provided an able accompaniment on the violin. Mridangam support was lent by Inesh Vytheswaran and Shivi Vytheswaran. They began their hour long concert with a brisk rendition of “Inthachalamu” a varnam in Ragam begada. Ragam Abhogi and Bilahari were chosen for a short exploration accompanied by Krithis “Shri Lakshmi Varaham” and “Inthakananthamemi” respectively. Apt Kalpana swarams laced these renderings. In keeping with the theme of the day “Jagadhodharana” was rendered with soul-stirring melody. The “Ultimum Summum” of the afternoon was “Shiva Shiva Shiva Bho” a Krithi in Nadanamakriya preceded in M.S. style with the Virutham “Petra thai Thanai” from Thiruvarutpa of Ramalinga swamy (Vallalar). The ever popular “Maithreem Bhajatha” brought this junior segment to a sublime closure.

Report on Hindustani Segment of MSS Tribute Concert
- By Shuchita Rao

Boston based vocalists Ramchandra Joshi, Vandana Rao, Vaishnavi Kondapalli and Shuchita Rao paid tribute to Bharat Ratna Smt. MS Subbalakshmi by singing compositions sung by her in Sanskrit and Hindi languages. They were accompanied on the tabla by Shri Giridaran Subramanian and on the flute by Shivkumar Ramakrishnan. Ramchandra Joshi began the Hindustani segment with two compositions in Raga Hansadhwani. The first one set to a 16 beat rhythmic cycle was “Laagi Lagan” the counterpart of the Carnatic staple composition in praise of Lord Ganesha “Vaatapi Ganapathim Bhaje Hum”. The second composition, “Viharati Bramhanandini” composed by Pandit Ramashray Jha was set to 14 beat rhythmic cycle Aada Chautaal. Ram accompanied himself on the harmonium during his vocal recital. Vaishnavi Kondapalli presented a melodious Annamacharya composition “Bhavayami Gopalabalam Manassevitam Tatpadam Chintayeyam Sada” set to a ten beat cycle in raga Yaman Kalyan. This song has been rendered by MS Subbalakshmi and many other renowned Carnatic artists. Vandana Rao presented two bhajans, a Soordas composition “Akhiyaan haridarshan ki pyaasi” and a Meerabai composition “Pug ghunghroo bandh Meera nachi” based on raga Sindhu Bhairavi. An informal discussion on the difference between the traditional raga Bhairavi and raga Sindhu Bhairavi ensued with the audience. Shri Ramchandra Joshi explained that when all twelve notes of an octave are used asopposed to just the variant versions of five notes (re, ga, ma, dha and ni) as in traditional Bhairavi, the raga becomes as expansive as the mighty river/ocean “Sindhu”. Shuchita Rao presented a Dikshitar Kriti in raga Dwijaavanti “Akhilandeshwari Rakshamaam Shri” originally sung by MS Subbalakshmi set to 16 beat rhythmic cycle. It was interesting to see the audience and the vocalist show the rhythmic cycle with hand movements in the Carnatic aadi taalam while the tabla played teentaal in the traditional Hindustani style. Shuchita concluded the Hindustani segment with a Meera bhajan sung by MS Subbalakshmi in the movie titled “Meera”. Shri Shivkumar Ramakrishnan provided melodious accompaniment on the flute in a spontaneous manner. The best feature of KHMC programs is the educational component where the audience freely engages in discussion to understand various aspects of classical music including the differences between the Hindustani and Carnatic styles of music. In an intimate space, such a dialog serves to further understanding of music and fosters learning. In this specific tribute concert to MSS, there was not just presentation of music but healthy exchange of ideas about music by all the participants. For Hindustani and Carnatic artists to come together to pay tribute to a stalwart musician like Bharat Ratna MS Subbalakshmi was testament to the fact that music (whether the styles be Carnatic or Hindustani) is universal and has the power to touch the hearts of all listeners alike.

Report on Carnatic Senior  Segment of MSS Tribute Concert
- By Ragini Sanath

The senior Carnatic music section was executed by Srivatsan Raghavan(Sriva) and Ragini Sanath accompanied on mridangam by Mali Santhanakrishnan and on violin by Giridhari Venkatadri( senior student of Sangeeta Kalanidhi Smt. Vid. A.Kanyakumari). Sriva as part of his tribute to MSS chose to sing Vaatapi Ganapathim in Hamsadhvani Raga and Adi tala a prayer to Lord Ganesha , a traditional composition of Deekshita followed by a brief interlude of Swaras between the vocalist and violinist The main composition was Akshaya linga vibho set to Mishra Chapu taala and in Raga Shankarabharana, a raga which characterized MSS. This apparently was one of her favorite ragas and her renditions have remained  unparalleled . Sriva presented the kriti starting with a deep exposition into the raga. Giridhari presented the raga in a soulful manner with a vivid imagination.A scholarly neraval and swara exchange between the artists was a treat to hear. Mali’s brief yet powerful Tani  avartanam  spoke volumes on his experience with the instrument. Sriva  concluded his presentation with a viruttam set to many raagas which he seamlessly rendered with great ease and joy. Ragini presented a more composition oriented segment. She chose to sing Mysore. H.Yoganarasimham’s kritis and some popular devaranamas that MSS has popularized. The segment started with Ekadantam upasmahe in Begade raga and Adi taala , with a brief swara interlude. The next kriti Marachitivo was in a rare raga Latantapriya , adi taaLa .The ever popular Purandaradasa’s Devaranama Narayana Ninna in KhandaChapu taala was rendered starting with a verse Namami narayana from Mukundamalaa, to be followed by a brilliant shuddha dhanyasi raga exposition by Giridhari. Neraval and swara prastaara was presented to this composition. The stoic Pogadirelo Ranga, again a Devaranama in Shankarabharana , Mishra chapu taala was presented. She went on to conclude the segment with a composition Nijada Nija Neenante,a lovely composition set in  the rare Bhanudhanyasi raga set to KhandaChapu taala. The camaraderie between the artists has to be specially mentioned for this composition. It was heartening to note that all the artists in the Carnatic senior segment  had stepped up to fill in for the main artist for the evening who unfortunately had fallen sick and were able to present a wonderful concert at a very short note. As Mali summarized both the artists as part of their tribute to MSS brought out the classicism and the melodic aspects with their respective performances. It was an evening well spent in all humbleness and honor of the great artist MSS,a privileged moment for all artists part of the evening and also the rasikas who were listening to them. The hospitality of the host Smt.Chaya Rangarajan was heart warming and the dinner that followed added to the warmth filling up the chillness of the cold evening.

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