Fusion with a difference
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer receiving the Bheeshma Award from Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal.
THE KUMARA Raja Hall at the Chettinad Vidyashram was packed to capacity on December13 when Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, T. M. Tyagarajan, Seshadri and Viswanathan of Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai and Cleaveland Sundaram were felicitated by Maximum Media. The evening began with a pleasant vocal recital of Mambalam Sisters Chitra and Vijayalakshmi.
After the awards function in which Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal honoured the illustrious recipients, a thematic presentation titled, ``Sathya Meva Jayathe" organised by mridangam maestro Karaikudi R. Mani brought a lot of joy and cheer to the audience that gave the ensemble a standing ovation at the end.
The show began with eight youngsters coordinated by Sulochana Pattabhi Raman singing with harmony Sri Ganapathi Sachidhananda Swamigal's ``Visaala Lochane" composed in the style of western music. Maayooram Viswanatha Sastri's ``Jayathi Jayathi Bharatha Matha" was given a new melodic outfit - credit to music director Sharath. His interpretation of the song with shifts in the modal tonic and as a talamalika with the original raga of the song, Khamas, making its appearance at the finish was indeed a fine-tuned effort.
Mandolin U. Srinivas receiving the Arjuna Award from the Swamigal.
``Dawn to dusk," a composition in raga Shrothaswini, conceived by the flautist Balasayi, described the sublime transition that takes place from sunrise to sunset through the medium of ragas. Shrothaswini sounded akin to Dikshitar's Udayaravichandrika, that is Shudha Dhanyasi with a Kakali Nishadam. The Brindavani portrayal by Narasimhan on the violin to the superb percussion accompaniment of Mani was an exercise in fluid aesthetic grace. John Antony on the electric guitar strummed a piece in the jazz format again composed by Balasayi.
The Behag segment conceived by Mani in the Carnatic idiom found Injikkudi Subramaniam on the nagaswaram also chipping in with clean tonal quality and commendable adherence to sruthi. This section was noteworthy for its excellent musical and rhythmic arrangement. The tani avartanam in Misrachapu with extraordinary clarity by Karaikudi Mani and talented Sundar Kumar on the Kanjira was the most radiant gem in the entire shining tiara. Sundar Kumar has the capacity to turn potential into performance. ``Sathya meva Jayathe" in Sanskrit written by Kavi Kannan emphasising the fact that truth conquers all, was set to music by Ramesh Vinayakam.
This song was tunefully rendered by Sharath, V. S. Narasimhan and Mani himself. Allam Durgaprasad on the gottu vadhyam, Sivaramakrishan on the Sitar, D. A. Srinivas support mridangam, Madhusudhan on the tabla, and Richard Stein, a U.S. student of Mani on the drums, the other members of the orchestra, made it possible for the rasikas to enjoy an evening of fusion music with a delectable difference.
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