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Aditya Venkatesh: Soaked In Bhava

Sankaranarayanan Govindarajapuram
09/28/2010

Soaked in Bhava

Aditya Venkatesh performed for the Karnatik and Hindustani Music Circle (KHMC) on Septermber 18th, 2010. After a delightful Hindustani concert By Ms. Shuchita Rao and her students, this young artiste took over for the Karnatik segment. Accompanied by Sri. K V S Vinay on the violin and Sri. Pravin Sitaram on the Mridangam, both accomplished artistes from the area, the concert was very well planned and executed.

The traditional D.K.Jayaraman ‘baani’ was very much evident as most of the pieces that Aditya chose were immortalized by DKJ. Beginning with the Papanasam Sivan Pada Varnam ‘Nee indha maayam’ in Dhanyasi, a piece rarely heard at concerts, Aditya went on to sing ‘Gam Ganapathe’ in Hamsadhwani of Muthiah Bhagavathar. This kriti with rhythmic chittai swaras set the mood for the concert. This was followed by the Kanakadhara stotra and ‘Hiranmayeem lakshmim’ in Lalitha of Muthusvami Dikshitar. The piece was rendered with the required bhavam and neraval and swaras were done in the charanam line ‘Sangeetha vaadya vinodhini’ à la DKJ. The piece was followed by a fast and racy ‘Chade budhi maanura’ in Atana of Sri Tyagaraja. Aditya sang a flash of the raga covering the important prayogas in Atana and followed it up with the kriti and swaras. The swaras were ¼ eduppu before samam in Adi Tala and were very pleasing. 

This was followed by ‘Bhajanaseya raada’ in Dharmavati. The raga rendition was very soulful, especially the prayogas centered on ‘Ni’. The Mysore Vasudevacharya kriti was rendered beautifully with neraval and swaras at ‘Niravati sukhadayakuni’. Swaras with mathematical patterns deserved special mention, showing the artiste’s control over laya. This was followed by majestic Swarajathi of Syama Sastri in Todi, ‘Rave Himagiri’. The artiste needs to be lauded for selecting this piece and rendering it with all the effort and bhavam it requires. The Swati Tirunal kriti ‘Bogendra saayinam’ in Kunthalavarali was a perfect choice for an interlude.

The main raga of the evening was Bhairavi. Aditya’s aalapanai was traditional to the core, embellished with phrases characteristic of the DKJ/DKP school. The kriti he selected was the Tyagaraja masterpiece ‘Rakshabettare’, a kriti popularized by DKJ, but rarely heard these days at concerts. Aditya rendered the kriti beautifully with all its grand sangadhis and followed it with swaras at the Anupallavi line ‘Vaksha sthalamu’.

During the second half, he sang a virutham (composed by his grandmother, which he announced later) in four ragas (Saveri, Shanmukapriya, Sahana and Ananda Bhairavi) and followed it with ‘Singara velavan vandhaan’. Starting the song from the Anupallavi gave it a wonderful feel.  Other songs he rendered were ‘Appane ayyappane’ in Nadanamakriya, ‘Sodhanai sumai’ in Kapi, ‘Karpagame’ in Madhyamavathi. Special mention needs to be mentioned to the rendition of ‘Mamava pattabhirama’, a Dikshitar composition in Manirangu, which was replete with bhava and the javali ‘Mayaladi’ in Surutti. Srimushanam Raja Rao’s thillana in Hamsanandi was a neat rendition. He rounded up the concert with the ‘Dashavatara Mangalam’ of Purandara Dasar and ‘Vazhiya sentamizh’

Aditya’s plus points are his excellent ‘paadhantharam’ of the DKJ school as well as bhava laden renditions of kritis and aalapanais. However, he can resort to more ‘open-throated’ singing and be more experimental in his approach towards the manodharma aspects of music.

K.V.S. Vinay on the violin was at his usual best and his rendition of Bhairavi was very mature, covering all the important phrases. Pravin Sitaram on the Mridangam was very supportive to the singer, following him like a shadow. His thani avarthanam, embellished with nadai variations enthralled the audience.

On the whole, the almost 3 hour concert in a traditional format was very enjoyable, both for the layman and for the connoisseur of music, and served to display the versatility of the artiste. With constant practice, this young artiste has got what it takes to reach greater heights. We hope to hear more from this talented singer in the New England area in the near future.


 



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