Star of Mysore -Tranquil thodi and creative keeravani by S.R. krishna murthy
Pattabhi rama pandit is among the top-ranking vocalists today. this achievement has not come his way easily. being an it professional, one can understand how difficult it is to preserve the music he has painstakingly learnt from his guru palghat K.V. narayana swamy. it is to heartening to see that concert after concert, his eloquence is on the raise.
He had been invited to sing on Sept. 14, the third day of ganesha festival celebrations at SPV-GMC trust or the vontikoppal 8th cross ganapathi pendal. it was a leisurely and lengthy (in recent days) four hours fifteen minutes concert.
It reminded me of the journey of river sharavathi from its birth place to its confluence at sea. during my service, I had the opportunity to work in jog falls for several years. during this period, as part of engineering investigation, i have traveled along the bank of this river, mostly trekking and using vehicles only when the forest is impregnable and the mountain became hazardous.
River sharavathi, after taking its birth at ambutheertha, flows through calmly till linganamakki dam, where it is held for some time before jumping down the magnificent jog falls. it has many rapids, turbulent flow along the course, which gives momenturn to its flow. in between, it generates electricity at SGS and MG generating stations, passing through pen stock pipes in great velocity, hitting the target, turbines and electrifying the entire state. even at the fag end, the river flows majestically upto gersoppa, where again it generates some more electricity; then on spreads its width, prepares itself to join the ocean. yesterday's concert was very similar to this.
His concert also began with a calm note in bhairavi atta tala varna virubinii, of pacchimiriyum adi appaiah. it gained momenturn with paratpara parameshwara (vachaspathi-adi-papana-sham shivan). he also took a leisurely neraval at adiyandamilla here along with a brief swara. very leisurely flow of riti gowla led jananee ninuvina of subbaraya shastri, set to mishra chapu. maybe he remembered late that he is singing in a ganapathi pendal. as though to amend this lapse, he presented a beautiful shanmukha priya leading to siddhi vinayakam anisham of muthuswamy dikshitar. in fact, it looked as though it was the submain item of the concert, with neraval at the anu pallavi line and a dignified swara prasthara.
The masterly and good gestures of mysore M. nagaraj, who accompanied him, could be felt at this stage when he lead the singer to enhance the embellishment of the raga. the flow of river sharavathi through the turbulences calmed down at linga-namakki dam to prepare herself to jump at jog falls. annapoorne vishalakshi (sama-adi-muthus-wamy dikshitar) gave this tranquility to its slowpaced singing.
Thodi is a wonderful raga when sung properly. thodi, the main raga chosen for the day, was one of the best i have heard in recent days. the two-part alapane splitting at tara shadja and the compolasition dasharathe nee runamu of tyagaraja provided the platform for the eventual jump at the jog falls, which come in the form of neraval and swara prasthara. even his guru KVN would have come on stage to appreciate him. the calculations and modulations were excellent. the end of each sangathi of each cycle of swara had a well calculated different muktaya (ending).
Swaras rolled out like the waters of sharavathi at the falls, in its four branches, thanks to nagaraj on violin, who was provoking the vocalist to extract something more. this is one example of how an accompanist can take the standard of a concert to higher levels.
Tani avartana was another good thing that happened with our mysore youth tumkur B. ravi shankar on mrudanga and vyasa vittala on khanjira. that was the jump at jog falls. the only deficiency for not calling this as pallavi singing was that it did not contain the traditional tana.
Already it was nearing ten in the night. after a vote of thanks, the audience were ready to leave the auditorium. but pandit announced that he would sing the RTP, that too in keeravani. mysoreans, who are used to going back to their homes by 9 pm, sat back. that was the essence of that captivating performance pandit gave that day.
In between the two heavyweight ragas -thodi and keeravani-came a lighter raga jana ranjini as a breather in the form of vidajaldura (adi-tyagaraja). the raga in keeravani was again in two parts, split at the shadja most probably, as he felt it was very late, the singer did not elaborate in the manner as he would have liked. but whatever he did was again first class.
Tana again displayed his skill and the birkas he displayed at moving between the sthayis and the swaras were remarkable. he took up a pallavi madhava sodari sundari, manonmani keeravani. after singing in trikala, the ragamalike came in pallavi line itself, instead of in swara prasthara.
Ragamalike was unique in a sense as the word keeravani in pallaviwas replaced by the name of other ragas, kalyani, bhairavi, bhavani, neelambari and dharmavathi. this was followed by another intricately woven swara prasthara with his hallmark complicated mukthayas.
Pattabhi rama pandit invariably remembers his guru before the end of his concerts, in the form of reciting a specially composed sloka. this was followed by sarvam bramhamayam (jan-jhutti-adi-sadashiva brahmendra).
The conclusion came in the form of dhanashri tillana of swati tirunal, who was the ruler of travankur which is on the shores of arabian sea, where river sharavathi cinfluences. the mesmerised audience sat through upto eleven in the night. that was the quality of the concert presented by pattabhi rama pandit and nagaraj.
Deccan Herald - Heritage music festival celebrated in mysore
The popular music season of mysore the ganapathi mahotsava (likesri ramanavami and krishna janmashtami) is back again. sriprasanna vidya ganapathi mahotsava charitable trust of V.V.mohalla is celebrating its 49th year of heritage music festival in memory of pt. mallikarjun mansur. on the 13th of september, a jugalbandhi of sarod and violin by pt rajiv taranath and vid mysore M nagaraj was arranged. ravindra yavagal (tabla) and A.U. jayachandra rao (mridanga) accompanied them.
These two great musicians of our time though have not played many jugalbandis together, (this may be the 3rd or 4th time) displayed good amount of harmony. after a long expecting moments, the concert started with raga kalyani and yaman.
As the pure and straight notes from sarod and the gamaka laden phrases from the violin filled the pendal, the squeaking sound of mike would dampen the spirit of both the artistes and the rasikas. nagaraj as though determined not to get disturbed unraveled kalyani in a stunning way. a visibly perturbed rajiv (by insects, lack of electric fan and mike) succeeded in pleasing his fans with his deep and sound playing.
They both made the simple 'gat' shine with all the embellishments in their own laykari and tana patterns. sindhubhairavi too was absorbing. the sawal jawab of tabla and mridanga too was very attractive.
Young and energetic pattabhirama pandit sang the next day along with mysore nagaraj (violin), tumkur ravishankar (mridanga) and vyasavithala (khanjira). the virile strength in his style results in a vibrant concert.
This could be experienced right from the opening varna 'viriboni' (bhairavi-atatala) which had a frill of kalpana swaras too. krithis are sparkling in his rendering with sharp and innovative sangathis. 'amba janani' (reethigowla-misra chapu) and 'annapurne' (sama-adi) were example for this. the leisurely approach to raga Todi from lower notes of the middle octave embellishing every note with deep concern and utmost care brought out the raga bhava fully. his voice reached panchama easily in the higher octave.
Tyagarar's 'dasharathe, in a slow tempo was soothing. A neraval at ''bhakthileni kavijaalavarenyalu'' was followed by intricate patterns of swaras. equally good was exemplary as though to inspire the young main artiste. another young artiste from the neighbouring state was pradeep kumar who sang with charulatha ramanujam (violin), H.S.sudhindra (mridanga) and G.S.ramanujan (ghata). he has a good voice and fertile imagination.
He presented a number of krithis with kalpana swaras and alap. 'jayajaya janakikantha'', sogasujudatarama'', sakalagrahabala nine', 'kaalaharanamelara', 'vijayambike', 'akhilandeshwari' and the list goes on. A lengthy alap of dwijavanthi which exhibited his skills lacked in bringing the subtle nuances of the raga. the kalpana swaras had a number of permutation and combinations.
More concert experience and inclusion of voice modulation shall bring the required raga bhava in his alapana. he also should be careful in rendering the lyrics properly. Dr. Rama V bennur
"AS THE PURE AND STRAIGHT NOTES FROM SAROD AND THE GAMAKA LADEN PHRASES FROM THE VIOLIN FILLED THE PENDAL, THE SQUEAKING SOUND OF MIKE WOULD DAMPEN THE SPIRIT OF BOTH THE ARTISTES AND THE RASIKAS.