Yamini 2018 – IIIT Bangalore – Oct 31 / Nov 1, 2018

SPIC MACAY Bengaluru and IIIT Bangalore collaborated to present Yamini 2018, an overnight series of concerts on Oct 31, on the occasion of Karnataka Rajyotsava (Nov 1).

Dr. Rajam started the proceedings with her melodious aalap in Raag Yaman, which was the main piece of her concert. The way she made her Violin sing was amazing and her virtuosity left everyone in awe. Her granddaughter Kum. Nandini Shankar accompanied her ably on the Violin and Sri Ravikiran Nakod followed them closely with his soft playing. She played a couple of Bhajans in Vaishnava Jana to and Payo ji mein ne.. to end her short concert and the start to Yamini couldn’t be better.

Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh presented the National Instrument of India, the Saraswathi Veena as the second concert of the overnight, to a packed audience. IIIT-B student team arranged a few LED screens for people who couldn’t afford to get a seat in the hall and it helped everyone to witness the proceedings. She started with an aalap and composition in a chaste Carnatic ragam Nattakurinji and the swaras were scintillating. She presented a mellifluous aalap of the beautiful ragam AmrithaVarshini. The swaras that followed the song literally poured down like a calm rain with an inch-perfect precision. Kapi is one of the beautiful ragas which has similar scale and structure in Hindustani system as well, and a composition of Saint Thyagaraja was presented after a soulful aalap in it. Sankarabharanam, a majestic scale – common to Carnatic, Hindustani and Western Classical systems of music, was the main piece of her concert. Dr. Jayanthi presented a delightful and an intense Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi in it, demonstrating her virtuosity and the voice of the Saraswathi Veena. A sublime ragamalika Tanam in SankarabharanamHamsanandiValachi and Revathi will be cherished by the students for long time. She was in company of two excellent percussionists – Sri K U Jayachandra Rao on Mridangam and Sri Trichy Krishnaswamy on Ghatam, who complemented her beautifully all the way!

After an intense couple of hours, Dr. Jayanthi ended her concert with a Thillana, a composition of her maternal uncle, Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman, in raga Misra Sivaranjani to leave the stage to another wonderful musician from Lalgudi school, Sri Saketharaman.

Sri Saketharaman started his concert in an unusual style with a Mallari in ragam GambhiraNaata. Mallari is typically performed by Nadaswaram artistes inviting the deity inside temples. His songs in raga Todi (very different from Hindustani Todi) and a typical Carnatic ragam Aahiri were soul stirring. The main ragam of the concert is a chaste Begada, and it was so beautiful that audience enjoyed some of the phrases subtly presented by him in a delicate manner. Sri H K Venkatram on the Violin beautified it in his return in his typical style. The ragam is often referred to as Begada-Meegada to highlight the smoothness of ragam like a fresh cream (Meegada in Telugu means cream over milk) and is known to be very difficult to present. Sri Saketh and team presented an amazing Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi in ragam Shuddh Saarang, one of those typical ragas that got introduced into Carnatic System by getting inspired from Hindustani system. He composed a special Pallavi on Bengaluru on the account of Karnataka Rajyotsava Sumadhura Kannada vaniyu nelasiha Namma ooru swargake mihilagudu. Percussion duo of Sri Patri Satish Kumar on Mridangam and Sri Guruprasanna on Khanjira played brilliantly throughout the concert. He concluded the concert with Baaro Krishnayya and a Meera Bhajan in ragam MisraSurya.

Sri Margi Madhu presented an inspiring Koodiyattam performance in the play, Anguleeyakam. It is an interesting play highlighting the significance of the ring carried by Hanuman in finding whereabouts of Sita. He hands over the ring to her on behalf of Rama and destroys the whole of Lanka with his tail when Ravana set it on fire, after being annoyed by the destruction Hanuman caused in Lanka. In the end, Hanuman returns to Mount Malyavan to meet Rama in ecstasy and hands over the tiara given by Sita in return to the Anguleeyakam given by Hanuman.

Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande raised the symphony of Yamini to great crescendo in the final concert of the night. She shared her deep perspective of awakening of the soul in three mellifluous own compositions in Raag Lalat so apt for the first Prahar of the night. The environment lit up with aggressive taans of Ab to jaago kanhaiyya. Moving from the brahm muhurt to dawn, she caressed swaras with melodious uncommon Raag Mangal Bhairavpresenting madhya lay bandish “tum palan haar” and drut cheej “jaago re jaago bhayi parbhat”. Keeping the tradition, Ashwini ji concluded concert on a high note with a Marathi Abhang in raag Bhairavi. Sri Ravindra Yavagal on Tabla and Sri Vyasmurti Katti on Harmonium complemented her very well, and Dr. Radhika Joshi gave good vocal support.

Note – This is a copy of the report (with a few minor changes) I published to all core members of SPIC MACAY across the world, as the co-coordinator of the event.

Thanks to my colleague Mandar Bokil for his wonderful write-up about Dr. Ashwini’s concert!

Yamini 2018 was indeed a great success with excellent contributions from students, faculty and staff of IIIT-B and of course from the volunteers of SPIC MACAY.

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Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh – SPIC MACAY – 3 December, 2016

It is indeed a refreshing experience to listen to Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh, more so, because I haven’t heard her since August 2016! A lecture concert, organized by SPIC MACAY Bengaluru, at Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra (GKVK) campus, made the audience (students and others alike) spellbound.

Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh presented this concert with Sri K U Jayachandra Rao on Mridangam and Sri Pramath Kiran on Morsing/Tabla.

  1. Nenarunchara Naapaini – Simhavahini
  2. Ragam Tanam Krithi – Saraswathi Namostuthe – Saraswathi
  3. Tani Avarthanam
  4. Revathi -> Saramathi -> Hindolam -> Behag – Thillana (?) – Behag

The lecture concert started with a brief soulful aalapana in Simhavahini. I have heard the composition Nenarunchara a couple of times before, and only from her, and every time I hear, it makes me feel wonderful. A short round of kalpana swaras made it a grand start to the programme.

You must attend Dr. Jayanthi’s lecture demonstrations to hear her talk about the Veena, it’s evolution in terms of shape, structure, size, it’s similarity to the human body and many other interesting things. She did a brief introduction to the National Instrument of India followed by a tribute to the instrument, the Saraswathi Veena, in ragam Saraswathi. She started with a beautiful raga aalapana and transitioned into her trademark Tanam. At one place, she did not even use her right hand for about 20 seconds or so, and everyone was spellbound to see that magic how the vibrations could last that long! She then rendered the very famous composition in SaraswathiSaraswathi Namostuthe which ended with some exquisite round of Kalpana swaras.

Dr. Jayanthi then asked Jayachandra Rao and Pramath Kiran to have a dialogue on percussion to demonstrate different ways the instruments can communicate with each other. It was indeed interesting.

As is the case with any SPIC MACAY concert, a question and answer session followed, in which there were requests for Saramati, Revathi and Hindolam ragas. She did a brief aalapana, starting with Revathi and seamlessly transitioning into Saramati and Hindolam, before finally reaching Behag. The programme ended with a delightful composition in Behag, which she plays very regularly in concerts.

A great concert indeed, albeit short – I felt the Q&A section was a bit too long, else, we would have probably heard one more composition from her.