Carnatic, with designer tag
FUSION Instruments, western and Indian, joined in a melodious mesh for `Carnatic Chills.'
UNIQUE emsemble: Violinists Ganesh and Kumaresh go innovative. PHOTO: S. R. Raghunathan.
Exhibiting a new concept in music requires the right platform to put it across to the people. It is precisely this platform that World Space Live (as part of World Space Satellite Radio's on-ground events to promote different facets in music) provided for violinists Ganesh and Kumaresh to turn programme-designers in their unique package `Carnatic Chills - An Evening of Contemporary Classical Music,' past weekend at Narada Gana Sabha.
The duo's `flights of fantasy' took off with a booming philharmonic effect created on the violins.
Others in the team included Keith Peters on the bass guitar, Ravichandra on the flute, Dhanasekhar Deena on the keyboard, Arun Kumar on the drums/morsing and percussion, Mannargudi Easwaran on the mridangam and S. V. Ramani on the ghatam.
The Carnatic base gives ample room for improvisations and manipulations, and it was amidst this `treading on new musical roads' that the brothers gave room for the guitar, drums, flute, keyboard, mridangam, morsing and ghatam to step in at perfect points to showcase an orchestra of classical Carnatic, jazz, rock, country, and even village folk tunes. The excitement and fun was transparent as each one's role had a definite character.
For instance, in `Laughing Buddha' the jubilant mood flashed across the thundering notes of Mohanasri with varied levels of pitch. The piece was imagined to "make even the Buddha laugh," said the anchor of the show, Neelakant.
"Fire and water" was couched in a serious raga Pantuvarali for translating the extremes... like hot and cold or anger and peace. It earned Keith Peters applause.
The highlight of the Kedaragowla piece was its simple lyric: "Idu Ennavo, Iraivanin Isaiyyo" specially set by Gangai Amaran to match the tune and mood of Ganesh and Kumaresh's creation. Vast and expansive sangatis in Karaharapriya from the violin-duo reverberated for the title track `Carnatic Chills' in perfect unison with Dhanasekhar's keyboard alternating with notes akin to raindrops.
This created a perfect road for Mannargudi Easwaran, Ramani and Arun to change gears for taking on an upbeat race on laya in Aadi talam for a rain of applause.
While the perspective in a mixed bag of contemporary classical music is considered progressive, purists would understandably resist the change for straying beyond the contours of the classical genre. But a wide angle view would help one open up to several positives hidden in these new-age exercises.
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