Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Music and Mirth !

Music and Mirth !

Yet another cool Margazhi evening at Chennai . Was looking forward to this concert by Varmaji , as it also meant meeting up with some of my musical mates !

The concert began with Maharaja Swathi Thirunal’s Khambhoji Ata taala varnam .. Sarasijanabha . Setting the tone for a breezy evening . Followed by a krithi on Shiva and parvathi ..Rakshimpave Rajathagiri in Maya malava gowlai . The neraval at Dakshina kailasa muna Deekshanu Vasinchi Kamaakshi Ee jagat Saakshi ..was so soothing , and wished it would go on for eternity . Familiar ragam ,rare krithi ..made me wonder about the composer until I heard Thyagayyar’s ankitamudra .
Varmaji , as always shared the speciality of this krithi being one of the many krithis by Saint Thyaggarja on Shiva ,which he learnt from his guru Dr BMK after hearing it in a Cassette ,many years ago .
Being a Friday I guess it was devoted to mother goddess .. Sama – Annapoorne visalakshi was followed by Amba kamakshi – the swarajathi in Bhairavi by Shyama sastri .

Then came Raminsuvarevarura in raga Suposhini with a lovely chittaswaram by Dr BMK. True to its name it was quite nourishing and made us all sit up !

The main piece , a swathi Thirunal krithi – Saroruhaasana jaaye was truly mesmerizing . Avaneeswaram Vinu on the violin was exceptionally good and the thani avarthanam by Sri Harikumar on the mridhangam was so melodious . I always feel his mridhangam also sings along . Manjoor Unnikrishnan on the ghatam played with absolute abandon and it was really a treat to watch the rhythmic conversation between them ! 

Wish I had more Laya gnanam to appreciate it better . The math in it makes me enjoy it from a distance and not get too close for comfort ...

As always , Varmaji paused in between and gave elaborate introductions about each and every one of his accompanying artists . A gesture well worth emulating, in my humble opinion.

Why doesn't every musician  do it ? Not every one in the audience  is a frequent concert goer to know the accompanists by their name if not fame .. leave alone raga names and composers . God be with pamara rasikas like me . Sigh.

Forty minutes of kamavardhini a.k.a Pantuvarali has left an indelible mark in my memory . 

Sarvam Brahmamayam in raga Khamas ( misra ) was rendered with such classy, unexpected sangathis . Cant help marveling the apt choice of raga by the tunesmith – Dr BMK , for a philosophical Sadasiva Brahmendral krithi .

Time for listeners’ choice !

Sri rama namam maruvaam maruvaam a Bhadrachala Ramadasar krithi set to tune by Dr BMK in Sankarabharanam and set to Tisra gathi eka thalam. The tune and gathi make it quite jaunty !

And a one minute nottuswaram which refuses to leave your head for more than a day .. pankaja mukha sankara . ..rendered with typical modulations by Varmaji brought out wide grins from the audience ! 

Kuntalavarali thillana ! BMK Thrillana - rendered by Varmaji in his inimitable style, yet with the original flavor intact !

Always come out of Varmaji’s concerts with much peace as his music is such … More so because he takes his audience along , explaining the nuances of rare krithis , ragas and educates the lay rasika about the composer and compositional excellence laced with subtle humor ! 

May his tribe increase !

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