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Harmonious notes

G.S. PAUL

Father Paul Poovathingal’s selection of popular compositions enabled him to strike a chord with his listeners.

Photo: K.K. Najeeb

Music sans barriers: Father Paul Poovathingal.

Carnatic vocalist Father Paul Poovathingal and his accompanists Abdul Aziz (violin) and Guruvayur Sanoj (mridangam) have made a name for themselves as a musical team that represents the secular nature of the fine arts. In fact, the former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had described them as a “national integration team” after a recital at Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

The same team performed at Sree Ramakrishna Math at Puranattukara, near Thrissur, in connection with Sree Ramakrishna Jayanti.

Poovathingal opened with the Nattakurinji varnam ‘Chalamela,’ a composition of Sreerangam Rangaswamy Nattuvanar, in Adi tala. A cluster of creative sangatis, alluring swaraprasthara and precise kalapramana marked the rendition of the popular Dikshitar composition ‘Vathapi Ganapathim’ in Hamsadwani in Adi tala. Poovathingal could impressively build up the tempo towards the end of the composition. The selection of popular kritis ensured that all the pieces were well received by the audience. ‘Paripalayamam,’ a Swati composition in Reetigoula in Roopakam tala, ‘Kanchadalayakshi,’ another Dikshitar composition in Kamalamanohari and Adi tala and ‘Kripayapalayasoure,’ a Swati composition in Charukesi and Misra Chapu were delectable. Charukesi raga received an ingenious alapana that was noteworthy. Niravals for ‘Narada mukha muni’ was remarkable.

Madhyamavathy was essayed as the main raga and the composition was ‘Ramakatha,’ Tyagaraja’s composition in Adi tala. Aziz’s delineation of the raga was enthralling. Guruvayur Sanoj and Deepu (ghatom) tagged a vibrant avartanam to the number.

Voice production

Poovathingal’s affinity to the Tyagaraja number ‘Sobhillu saptaswara’ was meaningful as the composer focussed on the theory of voice production in this composition, of which the musician is an authority. The Jaganmohini number in Roopakam was inspiring.

The musician also chose a couple of light numbers to underscore religious amity. ‘Yesu naamam bhaje,’ composed by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri, was tuned by the vocalist himself.

Another piece was ‘Salaamulla, salaathulla,’ in Anandabhairavi, set to Adi tala.

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