Kumaresh & Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh – Times SwarSangam – March 12, 2017

A packed hall of the beautiful Chowdaiah Memorial Hall witnessed a great concert with new compositions, lovely experiments and innovative climaxes! Sri Kumaresh (K) and Smt Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh (JK) presented a fabulous “Strings Attached” concert with Sri Patri Satish Kumar on Mridangam and Sri Trichy Krishnaswamy on Ghatam.

  1. Kalyani
  2. Kaanada
  3. Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Shanmukhapriya & Nattakurinji

As I parked my car at the auditorium, a soulful Kalyani aalapana by Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman had just started on my audio system. In a hope of the ragam getting continued inside the auditorium, I turned it off and got off the car. Guess what! The first ragam of this concert was a delightful Kalyani. What a sheer coincidence it indeed was!! Both K and JK presented a very soothing aalapana! Lovely composition took off and I was wondering what it was as I never seemed to have heard it before. Thankfully for the benefit of people like me, K announced it was a “Strings Attached” special composition! The composition sounded as beautiful as Goddess Saraswathi! Kalpana swaras in a variety of combinations enthused the audience a lot.

Kaanada. Well, if God grants me a wish now, I would probably ask him what is the connection between me and this amazing raga! It just soothes me so much that I can never put in proper words. Yet another “Strings Attached” special composition in this ragam made by day! I am in love with this composition in Khanda Chaapu, the start of which sounded a bit closer to Sukhi Evaro in the same ragam. The composition ended with delightful kalpana swaras with some amazing follow-up by Satish Kumar and Krishna, to elevate the performance!

As we started to hear a soul stirring Shanmukhapriya, many including me thought it was RTP in that ragam. After the ragam was explored by both for very good amount of time, there came a twist. Nattakurinji took off from the hands of JK. I have heard it from her many times and I can easily claim, she owns the ragam. So this turned out to be a dwi-raga RTP and I may call it “Mysterious Duality” from here on (with permission)! Free flowing and fabulous Tanam by K and JK in both ragas had everyone on the edge of their seats. A beautiful pallavi was presented in both ragams mysteriously transitioning from one to the other and when the audience were expecting kalpana swaras, the stage was left for the percussion maestros. As they finished the typical initial avarthanam that had many wow moments, it was the time for kalpana swaras alternating between Nattakurinji by K and Shanmukhapriya by JK. I think the idea was to follow the same pattern an otherwise Tani Avarthanam would have concluded with. This experiment was interesting and the mukthayi was left for Satish Kumar and Krishna again to conclude their Tani and the RTP.

Standing ovation at the end of this RTP said it all! A wonderful concert with some refreshing ideas and new compositions was indeed a memorable treat on a Sunday morning!!

Strings Attached – Sri Vani Vidya Kendra – April 12, 2016

Been very long since I penned down my report of any concert as I haven’t been attending many concerts but I can’t afford to miss Sree Rama Navami concerts in Bengaluru!

Strings Attached concert by Sri Kumaresh (Violin) and Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh (Veena) at Sri Vani Vidya Kendra, Basaveshwaranagar, as part of Sree Rama Navami celebrations was an amazing one. I enjoyed this thoroughly even though I didn’t know 75% of the compositions that were presented! They were accompanied by Vid. Shankaranarayanan on Mridangam and Vid Giridhar Udupa on Ghatam.

  1. Kalyani Adi Tala varnam (Vanajakshi)
  2. Gowla
  3. Kanada
  4. Hindolam (?)
  5. Nattakurinji RTP
  6. Sindhu Bhairavi
  7. Harivarasanam (Bhajan)
  8. Madhyamavathi

The concert started with the grand Kalyani varnam, which was played in only one speed as they started at a very higher speed. A brief introduction of Gowla ragam followed by a composition that I don’t know set the tone for the rest of the concert. Scintillating swara prasthara. Enough said!

Kanada aalapana was very elaborate on both Violin and Veena and their sheer brilliance on swaras was quite evident in the end. Hindolam composition was a filler between the sub-main and main pieces of concert. Nattakurinji Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi was very grand with long aalapana and great Tanam (especially from Dr. Jayanthi, equally responded well by Vid. Kumaresh) with a very attractive pallavi in Adi Talam. Swara prasthara was mesmerizing and the Tani Avarthanam was good, albeit a bit louder.

Some chief guest presided over the gathering for the evening, which was quite looonnng. He actually said Veena is the queen of instruments and Violin, the King. That is fine, but many didn’t appreciate when he said something on the lines that instrumental music is next to vocal music. Everyone was waiting for him to finish as they finished concert with last few short pieces. Sindhu Bhairavi is the trademark of Dr. Jayanthi, the Bhajan that followed was very soothing to the ears and the mandatory Mangalam came in the form of Madhyamavathi.

Overall, an amazing concert indeed! One of those very few concerts that I happened to enjoy a lot, despite not knowing what compositions are being played. I was very happy though, that I could identify all ragas and I hope I was correct! 😉

PS: Who said instrumental music is next to Vocal? In my view, it’s the most divine form of music and I am sure many will agree with me.