KHMC Fall Concert 2016 - A Beautiful Treat For Listeners
Ragini Sanath and Sarita Deshpande
Carnatic concert update by Ragini Sanath
Is anything better than the colorful autumn in New England ?…Yes,the reverberating melodies from the recent KHMC concert. Welcoming fall, the Karnatic Hindustani Music Circle (KHMC) October concert session, was hosted by Smt. Uma Sankar (founder of Sruthilaya school of music) and Sankar Gangaikondan on October 22, 2016 at their home in Shrewsbury. (KHMC is a grassroots,non profit New England based music organization that works towards presentation of Carnatic and Hindustani musical forms from artists based out of New England and sometimes from performing artists visiting from India.)
Thanks to Smt. Uma Sankar and Smt. Priya Anand we were privileged to hear Smt. Jayashree Aravind (https://jayashreearavindblog.wordpress.com) an accomplished Veena artiste from India and her senior disciple Sri. Anugrah Lakshmanan (https://jayashreearavindblog.wordpress.com/lead-disciple- 2/). The
artists were accompanied by Sri. KMS Mani, a veteran mridangam artist visiting from India. (https://jayashreearavindblog.wordpress.com/kms-mani/).
The evening started with the Carnatic music junior segment which was a student concert showcasing the rare kritis from the workshop held by Smt. Jayashree Aravind, from 17th-20th October. The workshop students (Sreya Sankar, Sahana Sankar, Sindhuja Anand Raj, Adarsha Ramesh) clad in traditional South Indian attire presented lovely compositions of various composers melodiously with perfect coordination and ease. Sri. Mani was very encouraging and supported the young artists. The compositions presented were Jaya Jaya Janakikantha (Raga Natai, Adi taLa, Sri.Purandaradasa), Bhalire vairagyamento (Raga Kalavathi, Adi taLa, Sri.Bhadrachala Ramadasa), Shiva shiva bhavacharanam (Raga Sourashtram, Adi taLa, Sri. Narayana teertha), Ramajogi (Raga Khamach, Adi taLa, Sri Bhadrachala Ramadasa), Kamalambam Bhajare (Raga Kalyani, Adi taLa, Muttuswamy Deekshitar) followed by a neat kalpana swaram execution, the segment concluded with a lovely Tamil Thirupugazh Avani Thanile (Raga Desh, Adi TaLa). It was heartening to note that they had mastered the compositions in just 4 days and could confidently present them garnering audience appreciation.
After a brief refreshment break, the senior segment started with a voca presentation of Sri. Anugrah Lakshmanan. The artist blessed with a soulful voice began the concert with a composition -Kaalai thookki Nindru deivamE in the restrained raga Yadukula Kambodhi-, composed by Sri. Muttu Tandavar set to Adi taLa setting the stage for the audience to enjoy the music that would flow next. This was followed by a brief introduction of Raga Huseni and Deekshitar’s kriti Sri Kalahasteesha, set to Khanda chapu. Next composition Therateyagaraada, a kriti by Sri. Tyagaraaja was presented with a deep involvement. This was composed by the saint in supplication to Lord of Tirupathi and tuned in Raaga Gowli Pantu (Mayamalavagowla janya, a raga rarely heard in kutcheris) set to Adi taLa.
He moved on to present a devaram/thevaram a traditional devotional Tamil poetry on Lord Shiva. The artist has been extensively trained in this art form and it was a treat to the audience listening to him singing the Thevaram (Vananai) in Keeravani Raga. This was presented after a detailed exposition of the enchanting Raga. A neraval at Dheeranai and an elaborate swara kalpana brought out his creative space. He went ahead to present a JavaLi in Raga Pharas, Adi Taala, a composition of Sri Dharmapuri Subbarayayar, melodious Jagadodharana a Devaranama in Raga Kaapi and Adi taaLa. He celebrated the spirit of Tamil Nadu through Bharatiyar’s composition Sentamizh Nadenum in tishra nadai and concluded his presentation with a composition set to Raga Suruti. The audience in this segment of the concert were treated to wide mix of rare compositions in contrasting ragas and different TaLas. Noteworthy mention to Sri. Mani who doubly compensated the absence of a violin accompaniment in the concert. His mridangam sang in unison with the vocalist.
The second half of the senior segment was by the guru Smt.Jayashree Aravind herself on the Veena. The grace with which she played the wonderful instrument, the artist could be just described as “Varaveena Mridupaani”. She ensured a participating audience with the compositions she presented. The concert commenced with a brisk Chalamela Varna (Raga NattaiKurinji, Aditala), followed by a Swathi Tirunals composition Devadevakalayamide (Raga MayamAlavagowla, Roopaka TaLa) with a brief swara prastara. The ever popular Sri. Tyagarajas kriti- ManavyaLakinchara (Raga Nalinakanthi,Deshadi taLA) and the Pancharatna Jagadanandakaraka (Raga Nata,Adi Tala) delighted the rasikas. The masterpiece of the evening was Sri. Tyagarajas krithi -Chakkani Raja Margamu (Raga Kharaharapriya, Adi Tala). The ragas expanse and versatility was brought out by its elaborate melodic exposition. A masterful Taanam on the Veena starting with Kharaharapriya and moving on seamlessly to a bouquet of Ragas Saveri, Shahana, Behag, Neelambari and Bhouli and bringing it back to Kharaharapriya was a delight to hear to setting a relaxed peaceful mindset. The neraval and swaraprasthara were played with a great imagination and technique.A masterful Tani avartanam by Sri. Mani had the audience totally engrossed in the Mridangam rhythms. The concert concluded with the popular Thillana Geetadhuniku (Raga Dhanashri, Adi TaLA) of Sri. SwatiTirunaL.The ease with which she played the Veena and got music into the space and our minds was meditative.The concert concluded leaving the audience wanting for more to allow for the Hindustani segment to start. The specialty of the evening was the varied genre of compositions the audience were treated to.Definitely this concert will reverberate in our minds for a long time to come. The venue, the traditional ambience was just perfect for the classical evening. The hosts were amazing ,the audience very receptive and the chilly evening was accompanied by delicious hot food.
Hindustani Segment Write up by Sarita Deshpande
After melodious and marvelous presentations of Carnatic segment there was Hindustani sangeet performances by Smt. Vandana Rao and her students accompanied by Shri Rajesh Pai on the tabla and Smt Sarita Deshpande on the harmonium. Another junior artist, Shri Pai's student, Kanishk Pothireddy also played the tabla for Vandana's students.
The segment opened with the students singing Raag Bhupali. The bandish ' Jhanan Jhanan Mori Baje payaliya' in Taal Tritaal. Three of Vandana's students - Aradhna Rana, Meenal Garg, and Zainab Nawab- expanded the raga with Aalap and couple taans. The presentation of this Odav jati (raga with 5 swar) raga was very nice. Raga Kafi was the next raga presented by Sonia Sharma and Suraiya Shaikh. The raga was portrayed by showing the beauty of komal G and komal N. Special mention of the bhajan ' kahan karu vaikunth ' composed by Pt. Jasraj ji. The occasional use of shuddh Nishad raised the beauty of presentation. The king of Raga - Raga Yaman was personified by her next two students, Pooja Goswamy and Swetha Krishnan, in a very sweet manner. The popular bandish ' Tori Re Basuriya' a typical teentaal composition, pinpointing amazing teevra madhyam followed by energetic tarana was appreciated by audience very well.
Smt. Vandana Rao opened up her musical offerings by early morning raga Bhairav. She sang Bada Khyal composition 'Balamava' in Vilambit Ektaal followed by madhya teentaal bandish 'Jaag Jaag Jaga'. Her rendition consisted of very melodious and well tuned relationship of komal Rishabh and Komal Dhaivat. She then presented Raag Shankara singing a beautiful composition of her Guru Shrimati Sadhana Upadhyay and herself. The composition was in praise of Lord Shankara 'Jai Jai Shiv Shankar' The swar rachana of ' G P P G P G S 'D S S' ' G P P GP N(D) S' N P G P' gave a great essence of Shankara. The attendees enjoyed this high powered melody in Vandana's amazing voice. Vandana showed one more different style in Hindustani classical music which is the ancient form of 'Dhrupad' while revealing her next Raga Malkauns.Dhrupad started with very slow Aalapi starting from lower octave touching amazing komal dha's and Ni's of the raga. She used syllables like A Ra Na Na, Ri Ra Na Na, Te Ta Ra Na Na. These Nom Thom syllables are used in expanding and presenting this wonderful style, which all the Rasiks adored very well. Smt. Vandana Rao showed a great presentation of Dhrupad starting with very slow speed, adding syllables and then concluding the same with Madhyam Speed. She then presented one sweet bandish 'Jayathi Jayathi' followed by 'Tarana' in Malkauns. She rounded off her concert by singing a nice Bhajan in Raga Bihag. The full Hindustani segment was a great feast to all the attendees.
You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/