Veena : Rajesh Vaidya
Mrudangam : Umayalpuram Sivaraman
Ghatam : Dr S Karthick
Ganjira : B Shree Sundarkumar
01. gajAnanayutam – vEgavAhini – Dikshitar ( O )
02. vAsudEvayani – kalyANi – Thyagaraja (A,S )
03. tani Avartanam
04. chandraSEkhara – sindhu bhairavi – ?
I do not know if I should put this up here. This cant be really called a concert. Hardly anything was played. More than half of the concert was tani avartanam. Nonetheless, this complete the three concert day at Sruthimelanam. Let it be here for whatever it is worth it.
The function felicitating one of the masters of Kerala percussion Sri Mattannur Shankarankutty ate into the concert time. No surprises here. I have gone through this umpteen times. No such function, especially if it involve ministers and other dignitaries involved ever conclude in stipulated time. The organisers managed the time extra ordinarily well until then probably had to let it go, considering the men on stage. This despite the start at 5:00 pm. Anyway, by the time the non musical functions concluded it was around 8:30.
The stage set for the concert soon, UKS took the mike and announced that this would be a one hour concert as they team has to travel back to Chennai. Luckily, he did not make another long speech. But, it took long to get the mike and amplification of all four instruments set to their desired level, each trying to outwit the other. Once, angrily UKS remarked until his volume is set properly, he is not going to play. Every other participants taking the mike and directing the ‘sound man’ in various language to increase the volume for UKS. It took another 20 mins before they finally set about the concert. UKS had earlier announced the kritis that could be expected from Rajesh Vaidya. It was thus clear that he is going to play only two kritis. I split the list into 4 to make it look decent, separating tani avartanam.
Vegavahini or chakravakam was played ok, adding a few rounds of swarams. UKS was at his elements, lifting the overall effect with his legendary fillers and some clever structural intricacies. The other two leading ‘upa-pakkavadyam’ artists by and large allowed the senior to take lead, playing very subtly through out.
Kalyani alapana was rather interesting. While it was clear that he wsa playing kalyani, one was figuring out what is that he is playing. At time, I thought he was doing some hindustany-ish alaap, at other times he was playing similar to tanam. The nontraditional alapana however did not last long. However, he played the kriti very well with some classy accompaniment from UKS. The swaras were interesting too. The percussion trio, lead by UKS played a long tani avartanam. UKS brilliant as expected and the rest matching to the senior allowing him to get his due credit and respect. Rajesh Vaidya played a quick sindhu bhairavi piece to conclude the concert, pack up , receive the honours from the organisers and leave. 25 mins of tani avartanam and 20 mins of veena playing in total.
This was a big disappointment after a mesmerising concert of AKC Natarajan earlier in the morning and a spellbinding ‘pANDi mELam’ by Peruvanam Kuttan Marar in the afternoon. It is unjust to blame the musicians, as they were ready and waiting for their time. Often these meetings gets extended eating into the musical time. Kathakali artists were readying themselves to take stage by 9:30, their stipulated time and for the rest of the night, until 6:30 am next morning, they enthralled the waiting audience, covering up for this disappointment.