Saturday, January 7, 2012

Deftly crafted swara patterns

A review of our concert for the Music Academy appeared in The Hindu, January 5, 2012.

Deftly crafted swara patterns

Uncompromising melody, fine gamakas and distinct swaras, brigas and rava sancharas - all these   stood out right from ‘Vallabha Nayakasya’ (Dikshitar, Begada, Rupakam) to ‘Bhuvini Daasudale’ (Tyagaraja, Sriranjini, Desadi) at the veena duet of Jeyaraaj Krishnan and Jayasri Jeyaraaj.

While playing Pantuvarali or Kamavardhini (or Kasiramakriya in Dikshitar's nomenclature), Jayasri displayed not only commendable training in manipulating the string tension but also a profound musical sense, to produce pacy rava sancharas on one string, traversing a large part of the scale, merely through ‘izhaippu.’ She offered a well-crafted alapana before presenting ‘Visalaksheem’ (Dikshitar, Kasiramakriya, Misram). 

The second major raga of the concert, Khambodi, was taken up by Jeyaraaj. Some prayogas in the tara sthayi were conspicuous for their brilliance, and the whole alapana exercise offered a fitting reception to Dikshitar's ‘Sree Subrahmanyaya Namaste’ in a grand two-beat rupakam. With niraval and swaras, the Khambodi chapter occupied a quarter of the total concert time.  

In this rasika's view, the appeal of the talavadya arises from two factors - accompanying during kritis and playing tani avartanam. It was heartening to be able to spot both of these in good measure in the concert. Erode Nagarajan (mridangam) and H. Prasanna (ghatam) added splendour to the concert. Whether it was "dheem, takita jham, ga ma ri ga, etc' of Pillayar’s Begada item or the solemn ‘Visalaksheem’ or the Desadi of Tyagaraja in Sriranjini, the mridangam and ghatam augmented the euphony of the veenas. 

It was the same when it came to changeover from one phase to the succeeding, in kritis and kalpanaswara exchanges. The ten-minute tani avaratanam was a picture of aesthetic restraint.  Muthiah Bhagavatar’s kriti in Pasupatipriya (a derivative of Harikhambodi), ‘Saranabhava’, spoke of apt interposiing between the august Khambodi and the glowing Thodi which was to follow.

The duo’s RTP was with Thodi as the main raga, which then branched into Bilahari, Saveri, Brindavana Saranga and Behag before returning to Thodi. The ragas were played alternately by the vainikas, in a tanam format. The pallavi was simple, set in chatusra triputa (adi), with a tisra step, in praise of Velavan. The concert concluded with Bagesri.  



(photos by Krishna Prasaad)


  1. thank you அண்ணா :)

    கொழிக்கிறது சைனா 14 எப்போது? செம பிஸியா?