Saketharaman – Unnati – August 10, 2016

Finally I could make it to an Unnati concert! The previous day I missed Lalgudi siblings’ concert because of some priority tasks at office but I made sure I attended most part of Saketharaman concert, and it was almost 1 hour into the concert by the time I could arrive there.

Saketharaman was accompanied by H N Bhaskar on Violin, Mannargudi Easwaran on Mridangam and Sunaad Anoor on Khanjira.

  1. Venugana Ramana – Todi
  2. Enna rakshiso – Subha Pantuvarali
  3. Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Varamu & Saveri
  4. Thalattu padum – Neelambari
  5. Daya Maado Ranga – Madhukauns
  6. Thillana – Yamuna Kalyani
  7. Pavamana Suthudu – Sourashtram

As I was entering the hall, I heard a bit of Mohana Kalyani aalapana and as soon as I settled, Saketh settled back too, to Todi, after doing a brief Graha Bhedam. I was very glad that I didn’t miss the main composition of the evening, although, I think, I missed about 4-5 songs before. Fabulous rendition of Todi indeed. Very well returned by Bhaskar too. Composition was awesome, with Niraval at “Karunya komala Shyamala…” and some patterns were very interesting in it. Kalpana swaras were in his trademark style, although I felt, the returns on Violin could have been better. Amazing Tani by Mannargudi, very energetic. Felt Sunaad was perhaps a tad bit nervous playing with such a great artiste on Mridangam, but did a good job too. I was amazed at how Saketh ended Muktayi with some fabulous swaras, picking up from percussionists’ Tani patterns. Shows his command on Laya!!

I don’t think I have ever heard Subha Pantuvarali on a concert stage till date and Saketh broke it in style! A very short aalapana followed by soulful rendition of the composition.

Ragam Tanam Pallavi – started with Varamu and then transitioned to Saveri. He switched back and forth in a very lovely manner, in both Ragam and Tanam, and each transition was a treat to the ears! Pallavi mentioned the names of the ragas for those who couldn’t identify earlier.. “Varamulosagi brovavayya Saveri raga priya Kaveri rangayya”. Again, he changed the ragas back and forth in each cycle, in kalpana swaras too. Ragamalika section had Ananda Bhairavi and Madhuvanthi swaras. It was a very nice dwi-raga RTP.

All my favorite ragas came one after the other till now and it continued with brief aalapanas of Sahana, Hamir Kalyani before settling into the composition in Neelambari (which I never heard before). Very soft indeed. Very very soft voice, and so were all the other musicians too!

The concert ended with yet another first timer for me in the form of Lalgudi Jayaraman’s thillana in Yaman Kalyani followed by traditional Mangalam.

Bombay Jayashri & Jayanthi Kumaresh – Bhoomija – August 6, 2016

A very special concert, by two very very special musicians, in a packed MLR Auditorium was a feast for the music lovers in Bengaluru!

Bhoomija always comes up with special concerts and this, featuring, Bombay Jayashri and Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh, will be another feather in it’s hat!! They were accompanied by Anantha G Krishnan (Mridangam) and Ojas Adhiya (Tabla).

  1. Keshavaya Namaha – Poorvi Kalyani
  2. Tunga Tarange Gange – Hamsadhwani
  3. Ramachandram Bhavayami – Vasantha
  4. Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Kapi
  5. Thillana – Mand

This was perhaps the most awaited concert of this season and my knowledge is not good enough to write about it. But, I really wanted to document this somehow and hence trying my luck.

It all started with a brief Tani followed by eloquent Poorvi Kalyani aalapana by Dr. Jayanthi. I heard Govinda namas as a song, for the first time, set to tune, so wonderfully, and in whose voice!! So soulful by the one and only, divinity personified, Bombay Jayashri. Veena is an instrument that can produce anything, even including Vedic chants and each and every phrase of the song, on it, was very pristine. What a start to the concert!

Bombay Jayashri started singing the word “Ganga” in many unimaginable ways and in many hues one felt the flow of the holy river cascading down and making the land it touches pure.  Dr. Jayanthi echoed and it was felt that there is sublime river flowing with two banks – Vocal and Veena each bank . That was the effect of the Jugalbandi, perhaps possible only to them being divinity and humility personified musicians!! I never heard the song by Sadasiva Brahmendra, and it will remain in my memory for long time!!

Ramachandram Bhavayami is the next piece in Vasantha. The prelude to it was outstanding… a brief aalapana followed by many different names of Rama, played by Dr. Jayanthi and followed by Jayashri, now exchanging roles from previous piece! It was just magical! The composition by Muthuswami Dikshitar followed and ended with sublime swara patterns.

Kapi is one of my favorite ragas and I never get bored of listening to it. I would have easily heard the Ragam and Tanam played by Dr. Jayanthi in Darbar festival, a few hundred times. Coming back, Raga aalapana was mesmerizing. Tanam was fabulous. I particularly liked the sahityam which was on Goddess Saraswathi, referring to her as “Veena vaadini”. Different patterns of swaras followed and in Ragamalika section Jayashri sung two Hindustani ragas which I don’t know and was returned by Dr. Jayanthi with Nattakurinji and Behag. A scintillating Tani Avarthanam followed, keeping the audience awe-struck!

A delightful concert ended with a Thillana in raga Mand, by Lalgudi Jayaraman.

After the concert got over, I felt, why do these kind of concerts happen very rarely and why only for 90 minutes!!!

DisclaimerPlease excuse me if I wrote anything incorrectly. I am a mere mortal and neither can my vocabulary talk about my feelings, nor can my knowledge in music understand and explain things in greater detail!