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T S Sathyavathi, LecDem and Concert on the Compositions of Muthaiah Bhagavathar @Nadasurabhi 05 Nov 2017

Vocal : T S Sathyavathi

Vocal Support : Archana Bhoj

Violin : Nalina Mohan

Mrudangam : Tumkur Ravishankar

Ghatam : N Gurumurthy

Theme : Lecture Demonstration + Concert on the compositions of Harikeshanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Vidushi T S Sathyavathi’s lectures are always a class apart from the rest. It’s her ability to communicate, the knowledge and capability, the presence and preparation, the on stage demeanor and the her persona makes it very memorable every time I had a chance  to listen to her. Yesterday’s concert was no difference.

I have attended many special programs on Muthaiah Bhagavathar, either as a thematic concert ( The one TNS did at Gayana Samaja years ago, is still fresh in my mind) and lecture Demonstration (Prof K Venkataramanan at Essae Music is one such) in the past. A few days ago, Vid Shyamala Venkatesan was singing at FM Amrutavarshini , an exclusive Muthaiah Bhagavathar concert. What am I coming to say is that it is not uncommon that a thematic presentation on the legendary composer/musician is planned and presented at many parts of the country.

Prof Sathyavathi’s talks are always unique. Instead of dwelling on the ‘Life&Times’ of the Composers and addressing the chronological importance of his events, she takes us to the music of the vaggeyakara, its lyrical beauty and structural and aesthetic brilliance.

01 On tat puruSAya (shLokam)

She started her talk by saying every  time she think of a composer and dig deep into his compositions, she gets disappointed as she cant reach the “unfathomable bottom” of  the vast reserves. Every time one think of the composer, it opens up in manifold layers. One will always be ‘wonder stuck’ on how could they be blessed and chosen by the GOD to contribute to the musical tradition and cultural values.

She said, she is not going through the biographical details, and her concern is primarily to unearth the beauty of his compositions , to analyse and appreciate. She said analyse is not in critical way, ‘no vimarshana, but darshana’.

As his background, she mentioned him spending two years in Chennai and 7  years in Trivandrum, before moving to Mysore under Nalwadi’s patronage. She also mentioned about the book on musical theory by him ‘Sangeetha Kalpadruma’.  He had  an outstanding voice , he had voice training for nearly three years. He was equally adept in all the three octaves, but was a master in tArasthayi singing. This is evident in his musical works. His practice as a Harikatha exponent , which he started at the age of sixteen -thus the ‘Bhagavathar’ name , must have helped and mandated ( to reach the masses in pre-amplification days) singing in tara sthayi. He was also an authority on languages and words. They were replete with meaning and spontaneous expression. Sanskrit and Telugu were the natural language of music and he was proficient in both, apart from his mother tongue Tamil. He learnt Sanskrit from his uncle ( she used the word sOdara mAma) Lakshman Suri. He was a very impressive personality and was well respected and honoured wherever he went. He traveled far and wide within India and outside ( Burma and Ceylon). He was a multifaceted personality in the musical field. A Bhagavathar, Singer, Vaggeyakara and writer. In the post trinity composers he is the one with pre-eminence. She said,  it is  not appropriate to compare different vaggeyakaras, but Sadashiva Rao, despite being a composer of equal if not better merit, did not receive as much popularity as Muthaiah Bhagavathar, for the latter was appealing to all ( aligned to all tastes). She also said, Thyagaraja is more popular than Shyama Shasthry through the vast spread of disciples. Muthaiah Bhagavathar, who was a Harikatha singer had his popularity with the masses. He also used this medium to popularise some of his compositions, as they were composed to suit the occasion.’ Valli Parinaya’ was one of the stories being told and many compositions like valli nayakane in shanmukhapriya ( and other Subramanya kritis) are sung during his harikatha kalakshepam.

Vaggeyakara, she said has to be an expert in 3 aspects. One should not forget the last ‘kara’ sound. He should be able to write,compose and sing. The lyrics and music has to blend. Each vaggeyakara will have his uniqueness, a stamp of individuality. If one has an ear and eye for identifying this, the vaggeyakaras approach to the rAga, tALa and lyrics can be seen as unique to him.

She quickly mentioned the compositions of Muthaiah Bhagavathar. He had composed around 400 kritis, 108 chmundamba ashtothara, 108 shivAshtothara, 7 vAra kritis ( each day of the week and not navagraha kritis), 10 thillanas, 10 varnams ( 5 in Adi and 5 in aTa, 5 pada varnam, 4 daru varnam and 1 tAna varnam).  Datu swaras, dvita , zig zag pattern, fleeting movements(flights to upper octave) and tara sthayi sancharas are some of the specialties of Muthaiah Bhagavathar.

01 mahiSAsura mardini ( varNam) – AndOlika – Adi

She illustrated the flight and dvita prayogas through the Andolika varnam. She said, HMB was very particular about each of his composition and would work until he was satisfied with it. She cited and example of him meeting Vasudevachar and requesting him to sing  Shankarabharanam. He continued this for around 6 months and during these meetings composed the Shankarabharanam kriti.

In his compositions, the ‘rAga bhAva’ shows up in the first sangati. She emphasized , it is not rAga but rAga bhAva, which comes with specific gamaka use. Raga is more than the scale, but not the soul. Muthaiah Bhagavathar also had an inclination towards holding on to a single note. She exampled with the hamir kalyani thillAna

02 thillAna ( uDanata tana ) – hamIr kalyAni   ( ta na na na na na  na na na  – 8 mAtra at Shadjam)

03 thillAna ( dhIm tana na na na dhiraNA) – vasanta – khaNDa Eka

tAra sthAyi sanchAra

All his compositions have tAra sthayi sancharas. He usually reached the tAra sthAyi madhyama/panchama in the anupallavi itself. This was largely influenced by Thyagaraja. She said, initially  he was highly influenced by Thyagaraja. The Pallavi,anupallavi & Charanam in all compositions, mostly in madhyamakala prayogas,  use of Adi and Roopakam for Tala etc. However, during the compositions of ShivAshtOthara kritis, the Dikshitar’s influence was evident. Mostly written in Sanskrit and in Vilamba kAla.

She sang parts from 3 compositions to illustrate the point.

04 kALarAthri svarUpiNi –  Urmika

anupallavi line ‘kALi karALi kapAlini shUlini’.

She said, the HArikatha vidvAn is singing here, whose voice is trained to sing at higher octaves and voluminous to reach the masses.

05 jAlandhara supIThasthE – valaji

anupallavi line ‘bAlArka kOTi prabhE’

06 ratna kancuka dhAriNi – kAmbOji

She said, rAga bhAva is replete in his compositions, and they offer many places for neraval.

‘mandagamanOllAsini, dEvEndranuta mrudubhASiNi’ from ratna kancuka dhAriNi

Who teaches neraval ? It’s the composer. The composer should allow the artist to elaborate, without disturbing the composition.

07 bhairavi paramEshvari – bhairavi

The singer should also have the ‘sAhitya jnAna’,to know where to sing neraval and where not to.

‘bhavarOga nivAriNi bhakta jana paripAlini from jAlandhara

She said, some people stop at bhavarOga in during neraval. Neraval should not be forced on the composition. As example she said some of the Dikkshitar’s composition. It is better not to sing neraval for certain kritis, else the vision of the composer is damaged.

Going back on the rAgabhAva in the first sangati or the pallavi line, she sang few  examples to clarify the point :

08 madhurApura nAyikE – chakravAkam

09 chakra rAja rathruDE – dharmavati

10 charAcharE jagad rUpE – nAyaki

11 shrI shivE jaya vaibhavE – AbhOgi

The composer has used the raga very judiciously , sangatis are apt. It is we, artists, choose to do gimmick.  One has to go closer to the composer, he will guide you and lead you. He will also tell you how much you can improvise, and whether the composition can take your innovation.

Rare Ragas

Muthaiah Bhagavathar has composed in many rare ragas, discovering them and giving them an identity. He has also brought some of the forgotten ragas to the forefront. Mohanakalyani is one prime exammple with popular compositions like bhuvaneshwariya and siddhi vinAyakam. Inspired by hindustani raga sOhini, he gave new dimension to hamsAnandi. There are as many as 30-40 compositions in rare ragas and she wanted to highlight a few of them.

12 tappu mannisO tAyE mahAmAyE – mAyapradIpam

Janya of kharaharapriya, but does not sound similar to the parent raga.

13 dEvi shrI mahAlakSmi dInapAlE rakSisO – harinArAyaNi (S )

Again a janya of Kharaharapriya. All his new ragas have scope for singing kalpana swaras

14 sArasamukhi sakalabhAgyatE – gauDamalhAr

Sahitya

He has written in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. However, he was not very comfortable in Kannada. It was not considered as a language for compositions. Nalvadi was persistent in asking them to compose in Kannada language ( including Vasudevachar) and they were very reluctant. Vasudevachar finally relented and composed Karuniso tAyE. Muthaiah Bhagavathar, used words like ‘paripAlisO’ , mAtE, tAye etc in otherwise full of sanskrit adjectives. There could also be a possibility that some court poet has written some of them and he merely set them to tune ( if the name Devottama Jois, whom he praised in the mangala kriti is taken as a clue).

In the 108 Chamundi Ashtothara kritis, the opening line itself is the name of the dEvi on whom the composition is based ( I think she mentioned the devi stothram)

15 vijayAmbikE – vijayanAgari

She said, the version ( pAThAntharam) she learnt had the words kripashAlini, but it is sung as ‘gauri pAlisO‘ these days.

16 mAtE malayadhwaja ( daru varNam) – khamAs

ettugaDe swara patterns ni ma ga ma..dha ni sa ma ni ga ma.

‘Prasa’ usage was very common in his kritis. DvitiyakSra, Adi prAsa, anthyAkSra prAsa are used in various composition. Again we can see the inspiration from Thyagaraja with his own uniqueness. She used the word , ‘anusmaraNa and not ‘anukaraNa’, or we can call it ‘prabhAvita’ .

17 siddhivinAyakam – mOhanakalyAni  – anuswram ‘m’ comes through out the composition.

Niroshtaka ( she used the name as NirOshtaka instead of the familiar nirOShta) is another interesting ragam he composed. As the word indicates there are no ma or pa in the raga as well as in the composition,where the lips do not touch each other. It is also said to be an ‘ashAsthrIya’ rAga. According to the shAsthra, rAga should have either ma or pa as ‘ma’ is the prakriti svara ( mostly influenced by the vEdic music). She also mentioned Balamuralikrishna’s lavAngi as another raga without ma or pa. She also made reference to the ‘dashakumara charitam’ of Dandi where one of the prince, whose lips were bitten by ‘love’ and thus  could not speak those syllables where lips have to close, narrated his experience without using any words which force him to close the lip. She said, this probably the first ‘nirOStaka’ chapter in literature. As an aside, let me add the book of French Writer Georges Perec, ‘A Void’ is written without using the letter ‘e’ in its entire 270 odd pages.

18 rAja rAjArAdhitE – nirOSTha

She corrected the common error of singing ‘rAja rAja rAditE’. It is rAja ArAdhitE’ . I am corrected of my wrong understanding.

JayamAlika prabandha, originally  written in 8th century and has it commentary  in rAjamAnasOllAsa where the’jaya  lakSaNa is in the beginning of every sentence. Swathi thirunal has composed one such kriti in maNirang ( jaya jaya padmanAbha)

19 jaya mahiSAsuramardini – hamsadhwani

She said, one has to take breath after the complete line and not stop at ‘jaya mahiSAsura’, which created ‘apArtha or anartha’.

With this she decided to skip the rest of her commentary and present a short concert for 45-50 mins.

Concert

01 sudhAmayi – amrtavarSiNi – rUpakam – HMB ( O,S )

02 vAnca tOnu nA – karNaranjani – Adi tishra gati – HMB ( A )

03 Adityam dEvAdi dEvam – mAyAmALavagauLa – Adi x 2 – HMB ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘sakala charAchara karma sAkSinam’

04 shrI AnjanEya jagadEka vIrA – jhunjutti – Adi – HMB

05 shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – madhyamAvati

I was expecting some rare gems in the concert as well and I was not disappointed. After a brisk amrutavarshini, where she sang nice rounds of swaras, she sang a short karnaranjani alapana. Very nice and full of familiar passages  of the  raga. A detailed Mayamalavagaula alapana between both the singers before the ‘vAra’ kriti ( being the Sunday) was presented. Impressive neraval and good kalpana swaras before the percussion duo played a short tani. Both played simultaneously, as in the case of a Radio Concert. Another little gem of jhunjutti kriti on Anjaneya was sung before closing the day with a madhyamavati shlokam.

The supporting artists did a commendable job.On such a day of lecture one will be called on at random and have to stop/start as the main artist decide to stop and explain and take off from the same point.

Such programs , especially conducted by such eminent vidvans and vidushis are  instrumental in improving our appreciation of carnatic music. Vidushi Sathyavathi is one of the best in this department with her knowledge and music. Wonderful Sunday morning spent at Nadasurabhi.

PS : These are my observations from her lecture. I am sure, with my limited knowledge, I would have missed some of the points she mentioned or misunderstood a few here and there. These are my errors and not from the artist.  Corrections/ additions/suggestions are welcome.

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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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T S Sathyavathi , Lecture Concert on Mysore Vasudevachar @ Nadasurabhi 21st Aug 2016

Vocal : T S Sathyavathi

Vocal Support : Lavanya & Anjana

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrdangam : Tumkur Ravishankar

Ghatam: G Omkar Rao

Lecture on Compositions of Mysore Vasudevachar

01. shLOkam ( yo’ntaH pravishya mama vAcam imAm prasuptAm)

Dr.Sathyavathi, started her evening lecture with explaining the importance of understanding the composer in appreciating his music. Knowing the musical vision and the musical acumen of the composer can enhance our ‘joy’ of listening to his compositions. Getting closure to the composer, his sensitivity and sensibility in creating ( and our ability to interpret ) each sangati, is an experience to the listener. Vasudevachar’s 150 odd compositions with notation is available in Kannada, and now in English ( compiled by Sri Bangalore S Shankar and released recently) for everyone’s access. By following the notation you can only repeat what is created, but by studying the composition closely, you can give it a new dimension.

Mysore Vasudevachar is one of the most illustrious composer post trinity. In fact, he was one of the ‘Mysore Trinities’ of the 20th century – Sadashiva Rao and Muthaiah Bhagavathar being the other two, patronised by the Wodeyars. During Wodeyar’s time, all types of music was thriving in Mysore. Western Bands and Hindustani Music was also popular and had great influence on the carnatic music. The evident is in the increased use of hindustani originated ragas in carnatic music. Importantly, these hindustani ragas weren’t used as is, but were given a “new personality, new life and new shade” by Vasudevahar. He studied Sanskrit and Music were his elective during his education at Maharaja College. His Sanskrit was akin to Dikshitar’s. His music had a lot of influence from both Dikshitar and Thyagaraja. From Dikshitar, he followed the ‘madhyamakAla model’ and ‘the bhAva’ aspect and the use of ‘colloquial’ Telugu from Thyagaraja. He did not copy them , but created his own original versions. From Dikshitar, he also imbibed the use of variety of tALa. He composed in large number of irregular talas like chaturashra dhruva, khanda ata, mishra mathya, mishra jhumpa, khanda jhumpa, tisra triputa, mishra triputa and also in tisra roopakam ( different from khanda chapu and probably the only thillana in this tala).

Use of Chitta swaras ( Chitraswara)

He had composed 4 varnas in Sanskrit, including one in praise of Ganesha (probably the only one). Vasudevachar’s use of chitraswara (  she preferred the word chitraswara in stead of chittaswara , gave an explanation of the former and the possibility of the change over the period of time) were special. Each of them were beautifully designed and incorporated. They could have been the result of spontaneity or a deliberation from the composers part. She went on with few examples by singing them and explaining the nuances.

02 chittaswaram from kAnaDa varnam ( vAraNAsyam pranamAmi )

       She mentioned this as ‘sarva svara svarAnga??’ ( do correct me) where every swara takes one akshara.

03 chittaswaram from naLinakAnti varnam ( evarunnAru)

       She explained this can be sung in two modes, in ‘Ghana’ and in ‘naya’, singing the same set of swaras in two style with and without emphasis to give it a different feel.

She made parallel to the ‘Kadambari’ of Banabhatta here. Banabhatta after completing the epic, wasn’t happy with the ending and had requested his sons’ help. The story goes like this, he asked each of them to describe the dry tree. The elderly one came up with something like “shuSkaH kaSTaH tiSThaty agrE’ and the younger one came up with ‘NIrasa  tarUriha vilasati purataha’ and he supposed to have chosen the latter, even though both has the same meaning.

Note : I am gravely erred here to my confession, but it was nice way to describe the nuances of the changes in the way one can perceive and practice the swaras without any differences to the original meaning. I will seek help from ‘knowledgeable’ people and correct it soon.

04 chittaswaram from mandAri varnam ( vanajAkSA )

     This chittaswara traverse in 3 octaves, singing this is a good exercise to the voice.

Madhyamakala Sahityam

Vasudevachar composed many kritis with madhyamakala sahitya, similar to Dikshitar, but it was not a regular feature in his compositions. She explained some of the highlights of his madhyamakala sahitya with these examples

05 madhyamakala sahitya from ‘praNamAmyaham’ in ranjani.

     She explained how he adjust the sahitya to the tAla ( mishra triputa). She said, even if you are listening to the composition in Radio, one should be able to put tala to it,  such should be the placing of the sahitya in a composition.

06 madhyamakala sahitya from ‘mAmavatu shrI saraswati’ in hindOLam

   He was very keen in using the zig-zag pattern – vakra sanchara, here.

Chittaswaras in viLambakAla Compositions

Vasudevachar, spent nearly 6 years at the Kalakshetra, setting music for Dance. Rukmminidevi Arundale was the beneficiary. This stay, however,  helped in his popularity. People came to know about Vasudevachar and his compositions and artists and musicians started singing them in the concerts. She mentioned her own personal experience of a Lec-Dem in Chennai on Sadashiva Rao. She said, very few people knew about Sadashiva Rao and his compositions, where Vasudevachar on the other hand was very popular.

07 chittaswaras from ‘rA rA rAjIva lOchana’ in mOhanam

  She explained the patterns of 3 and 5 in the mukthai in both rA rA rAjiva lOchana’ and ‘chAmuNDEshvai pAlayamAm’.

 She mentioned an anecdote on GNB singing this kriti in front of Vasudevachar. GNB was hesitant, to sing it for obvious reasons,  but in the end with tears in his eyes Vasudevachar was magnanimous to admit that GNB sang the kriti better than he himself has composed. He said some thing in the lines of ‘what I gave you was a ‘nirAbharaNa sundari’ ( help needed !) but you presented it as a ‘sAlankita bhUSita kanya’.

08 chittaswaras from ‘shrI chAmuNDEshwari pAlayamAm’ in bilahari

    She sang the chittaswaras a couple of times and said until you reach the ‘ri’ you don’t know where is he leading you.

09 chittaswaras from karuNisau tAyE in saraswati manOhari

Vasudevachar composed only one kriti in Kannada Language. This was after much request from the King. After all other composers yielded to the demand, and after much persuasion he finally composed one in Kannada.

10 chittaswaras from ‘manasA vachasA shirasA anisham’ in bEgaDa

She said, it was the beauty and duty of him to enhance the lyrical vision of the kriti here. Same notes takes a different approach. She explained this change of ‘bhava’  of the raga at the charanam line karuNAnvitam

11 chittaswaras from praNatArthi haram in chenchurutti

Vasudevachar has many compositions on Vishnu and a few on Rama. He had composed only one or two kritis on Shiva.  Pranatarthi haram is one of them.

Rare Ragas

Vasudevachar composed in many rare ragas, or new ragas like kadanakutuhalam, sudha sALavi ( not heard this before) etc and in hindustani ragas ( 3 in hindustani kApi and 2 in behAg).

She said the version of the hindustani kApi kriti she was taught by Doraiswami Iyengar was a different pAThAntaram from what is popular now. Her version, did not have kAkaLi niSAda or anthara gAndhAra. It was a janya of kharaharapriya. But, she said, the current version is different and the book of Vasudevachar’s compositions is also with the new version.

12 bhajamAdhavam anisham – hindustAni kApi

Bhava aspect in his compositions

Sensitive and subtle interpretation of the rAga is essential to bring out the bhAva in the compositions. She explained this with shAradE pAhimAm in yadukula kAmbOji

13 shAradE pAhimAm – yadukula kAmbOji

She said, her Guru was the best in singing this kriti and she is only making an attempt to go closure to his singing.

Before concluding her lecture on the specialties of his compositions, she did give the statistical highlights for the record ( 8 jati swaras, 16 varna, 150 kritis, 10 thillanas,6 javali and 8 ragamAlika compositions including those in praise of each of the trinities). She said it is important to understand the composition and know the meaning for one to appreciate the composer. Otherwise, one will say ‘music is good’ but will not be ‘special’ to him. Grammar alone can’t help. Mere grammar is not poetry, it had to come from within. Its the same with music.

Note 2 : These are some of the points I ‘noted’ from a running lecture. There are many short comings in this update and it is my own limitation in capturing the essence of what was spoken. There are few mistakes above and I welcome anyone correcting me here.

Concert

01 evarunnAru ( varNam) – navarasakannaDa

02 mama hrdayE – rItigauLa  ( S )

03 bhajarE rE bhaja mAnasa shrI narasimham – mOhanakalyANi  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @’paramAtbhuta rUpadharam karuNAkaram harim’

04 palukavadEmirA – dEvamanOhari

05 bhajarE rE mAnasa shrI raghuvIram – AbhEri ( A,S,T )

06 tillAna ( nadru dhIm nAdru dhIm dhIm taraNa dhIm) – kAnaDa

07shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya)

Concert was the continuation of the lecture. She explained each compositions ,its nuances, the specialties as she moved on. The selection of varnam, made my day. Beutiful reetigula came in with some memorable swaras to accompany.  But the highlight of the evening was the mohanakalyani kriti. A classy  alapana, allowing one of her disciples to pitch in occasionally, followed by probably the best kriti in mOhanakalyani ( my personal preference). An elaborate neraval at ‘paramAtbhuta’ was brilliant. I’ve heard this kriti from TNS (and fallen for its beauty ) many years ago at Gayana Samaja ( he sang neraval at ‘paramabhakta prahLAda) and again last year at Sanjay Nagar. The kalpana swaras were impressive too. Abheri was the main, and it had to be his masterpiece ‘bhajarE rE mAnasa’. Alapana was short, there was no neraval but had a detailed kalpana swaras.  Tumkur Ravishankar and Omkar played a delectable tani avartanam post main. The percussion, especially Ravishankar, was very good through out the evening. So, was Charulatha on violin. Her following for Abheri and Mohanakalyani was very good. She concluded her concert with the tillana in thisra roopakam set in kAnada. Very  informative session followed by a sweet and short concert.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Sumitra Nitin, “Harnessing the Power of the Varnam” – lecture- demonstration @ Ranjani Fine Arts , 13th Sept 2014

Vocal: Vid Sumitra Nitin

The idea of this lecture, Sumitra said, is largely addressed to the students, to help them understand, learn and practice all the attributes of carnatic music ( raga alapana, neraval, singing kalpana swaras, tanam, kalapramanam etc) through appropriate practice of the varnams. Varnam, an integral part of every students learning curve and his or her performance at the concert stage. This attempt is not to look at thearray of varnams and its specialities, but to look at the concert singing attributes through varnams. She mentioned all the aforementioned attributes of concert singing can be practiced through varnams at the early stages of the learning.

Varnam, as a form, is a late entrant to the scheme of classical music. The earliest varnam reported to be identified as the ‘mOhanam’ varNam of Sri Govinda Samayya, composed in the late 16th or early 17th century. Thus it is not an old compositional form, but one of the most used in the concerts and most useful for the students. In the teaching methodology a great emphasis is given to the learning of varnam and Sumitra said a student should learn at least 25 varnams during his learning phase. Citing the Ilayaraja’s song ‘ninnukOri’ from the film music, she said she will use the popular mohana varnam ‘ninnukOri’ for the rest of the evening to demonstrate the aspect she mentioned above.

Tana varNam

Ninnu kOri, is a tAna varNam. Tana varnams are called so because they are set in the tempo of tanam singing. She demonstrated this by singing the pallavi line of the varnam replacing the sahitya with tanam syllables. Effective practice of varnam can help a student to eminently perform tanam singing.

While singing alapana for a ragam, you have enough time to form your phrases and are sung in all three speeds. However, while singing tanam, one has to have a continuous flow and are usually sung in madhyama kalam. Varnams are also composed in madhyamakala tempo. She demonstrated these aspects singing alapana and tanam for mohanam in line with the ninnu kOri varnam.

Earlier days, there was something called ‘chittai tAnam’, a model tanam or tanam guides. Practicing chittai tanam helps you to sing tanam during concerts. However, this is not in practice now. Instead, she said, we can use the varnam to practice the tanam singing.

Pada varnam

Padams are the slowest of the compositions. One need a certain musical maturity to sing pada varnams as it is slow paced and with a lot of artistic and aesthetic appeal. One need a lot more practice to perform pada varnams. She said, Sri T M Krishna, had recently taken pada varnams to the main stream of the concerts.

* manavi kai konna rA dA – SankarAbharaNam – Tanjavur Quartette

Singing neraval for pada varnams are used during dance programs. They are very challenging as their tempo is very very slow. Learning pada varnams are of immense value to the students of music and she said every students should learn at least 2 pada varnams in their repertoire.

Since the focus is not on types of varnam, she said we will get back to tana varnams for the days discussion. She said a varnam is like a sari. A sari can be worn in many different ways. As in the case of sari, a 6 yards of cloth that can be worn as many ways, one can use the varnam during the learning period in many ways to enhance the knowledge of the musical attributes.

kalapramanam

The first problem she will address, she said, is that of kalapramanam. How to maintain the tempo during the singing. She said, unless one is a master of laya, a student can use the metronome to steady their kalapramanam. Keeping the metronome at a constant beat, one can sing the varnam in 2 speeds and 3 speed. She demonstrated the same with the mohanam varnam.

‘Akaram’ singing

One should also practice the varnam by singing it in ‘akaram’ replacing the words.Olden times they used to practice with all vowels. However, she noted, there are two schools of thoughts in this. One school restricts the practice only to ‘a’karam, while the other schools are open to all the vowels. This will also help the students in singing the alapana for the raga.

Arohana – avarohana phrases

All the varnams, include the arohana and avarohana (ascend and descend) phrases in the composition. This would also help the students to get the grip on these phrases by practicing the specific phrases in the varnam. She demonstrated this using the Sankarabharanam varnam singing ‘daya judara rajakumAra’.

Pronunciation

Varnam also teaches you to pronounce the words correctly. It is important for the teachers to emphasize on the right pronunciation and punctuation of the lyrics at the early stages of the learning. However most of the lyrics are in Telugu, and it might not be easy to explain the meaning to the student. Some of them are also ‘srngara rasa’ based which makes it difficult to explain the complete meaning to the students. But students should be taught to use the right words ( she quipped the use of ‘mira’ instead of EmirA’ ).

Also, most of the varnams are with out the bhAva or the emotive content in them. While there are abundance of ‘rAga bhAva’, there is no emotive bhava, especially the tana varnams. Pada varnams are definitely an exception.

Talam

One can learn to deploy various tala and laya combinations with the appropriate practice of varnam. An experienced student should practice with various tala structures, different take off points etc with varnams to equip him in future.

She demonstrated the various ‘eDuppu’ using the ninnu kOri varnam. Singing at ‘samam’ is easy but singing atheeta (one before samam) or anAghata ( one , two or 3 akshara after samam) will help the student to face any ‘laya’ and rythm based challenges. Explaining this with ‘taka’ and ‘takita’ before the kriti she explained these nuances.

One can also do trikalam and tisram, essential attributes of pallavi singing , through methodical practice of varnam.

Changes in Gati

One can also practice the changes of gati or naDai through varnams. Most of the Adi tala varnams are with 4 aksharas per beat ( chaturashra) and a change of this into 3 ( tishram) can be practiced using muktai swaras. After every 3 lines, one will have to reach samam. She demonstrated this with the counting sa she sang.  With ‘Tana’ varnams , which usually has 6 lines, this can easily performed. However for the sAvEri varnam which has 8 lines, one will have to repeat the first line of the muktai swaras to make it 9, to sing this way.

One can also do a khaNDam ( 5 counts), mishram ( 7 counts) and sankeernam( 9 counts) appropriately. However these would be a theoretical exercise, not really practiced. Ata tala varnams which has 14 counts can easily be sang in mishram. She deonstrated this with the bhairavi varnam viribONi.

Ragam

Varnams typically have all the important ‘prayogams’ of a ragam. They will also have a few ‘apoorva’ prayogams as well like the ‘sa da pa’ use in Sankarabharanam or the ‘sAranga’ like sa-ri-da-pa in the kalyani varnam.  Varnams also give you the gruha swara, amSa swara and the nyAsA swara of the ragam (??). It will also help you practice to end your kalpana swaras, by carefully examining the varnams. She explained a few of these with sahana varnam ‘karunimpa’ , noting all the swara phrases are ending either at ‘sa’ or ‘ri’.

jaNTai and dhAtu prayogams

Students can practice a lot of jantai and dhatu prayogams using varnams as they have plenty of them. She demonstrated this with the ninnu kOri varnam again.

Charanam lines

Sumitra explained that the charanam line of a varnam is a mini pallavi. Explaining this with a demonstration she said all the aspects of manodharma sangeetham can be done at the charanam line. She recalled an instance where Smt Vedavalli sang a short neraval at the charanam line, later clarifying she had not done any innovation, but they were in practice in earlier days.

Swaras for Varnams

There are two thoughts about singing kalpana swaras at the end of the varnam. Demonstrating with kalyani varnam and with kAmbOji varnam, she demonstrated how one can sing kalpana swaras for varnams and how a student can learn from the varnam on how to end the kalpana swaras.

Trikalam

Trikalam is usually a pallavi exercise and is rather complicated for a non-laya oriented person. Singing the given line in 3 speeds with tala being constant. She explained how one can do this practicing a varnam, demonstrating through abhOgi varnam

She said, the last charana swaram of the varnam gives you the entire gamut of the ragam and are usually starts at ‘shadjam’, Kedaragaula varnam being an exception ( starts at ‘ri’). It also gives us all the constructs that is unique to that ragam. She sang a few lines to explain this aspect, singing the mohana kalyani varnam of Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman.

Smt Sumitra Nitin, concluded her short lecture with a surprise varnam composed by her. She said, this was done during an advanced training conducted by Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. Emphasising the importance of varnam he asked each of the participants to compose one overnight and present them in the next class. This varnam , was a result of that exercise. An interesting varnam with a lot of technical brilliance to it. One has to listen to this again with full accompaniment.

unnai nAn nambinEn guha sOdaranE – kEdAram – Sumitra Nitin.

This is a good idea for a Lec-Dem before the concert by Ranjani fine Arts and a good , relevant subject to explain. Good job done by the organisers and the vidushi.

These are some of the aspects that I could gather during the speech and I am sure with my incompetence, I would have misunderstood or missed many points.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Lec-Dem

 

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Veeneya Bedagu – Life & Music of Veena Seshanna Lec-Dem by Prof. Mysore V Subramanya @ Essae Music Foundation, 17 Mar 2012

Lecture  Demonstration :  Prof. Mysore V Subramanya

Supported by :

Ashwin Anand ( Veena)

Ramani Sankar ( Vocal)

Giridhar ( Vocal)

Aditya ( Violin)

B R Srinivas ( Mrudangam)

The Lecture Series at Essae Music Foundation is back with another Lec-Dem on a Karnataka vaggeyakara. Prof V Subramanya, eminent musician and critic, and most importantly, the great grandson of Veena Seshana, came in to introduce the life and music of his great grand father.

The tri-murtis of Carnatic Music is known to every one who are interested in this genre of music, started Prof. Subramanya. But, he continued, that many would not be able to name the “Mysore Sangeetha Trimurtis’. Few will be able to name one, but not beyond that. Naming Seshanna, Subbanna and Bidaram Krishnappa as the trimurtis from Mysore, he said Seshanna was the most prominent of these musicians by far.  You always prefix Veene before Seshanna, as one does ‘Mahatma’ in front of Gandhi. Veena and Seshana had attained the status of ‘abhinnabAva’ or synonymous to each other.

Similarly, Mysore is known for its palace and the Maharaja. After that, it is Veena that comes in to one’s mind after that( masala dosa, set dosa, Mysore pack etc to follow) . Mysore Kingdom was associated with this divine instrument for a long time. He said “veeneya belagidu Mysuru’….

Seshanna was born in the year of 1852, when the kingdom was under the rule of Mumudi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. He has a long lineage of musical heritage in his family. Unless the present musicians, where we see 2-3 generation of musicians in their family, Veena Seshanna was 24th generation of the musicians , both vainikas and the palace vidwans. The early generations, were in the palace of Tanjavur during Nawab’s time n Mysore. Bhakshi Venkata Subbayya, the great grand father of Veena Seshanna, was brought back to Mysore by Mummdi , to start the music again in the palace. He was not only given the asthana Vidwan post, but was also given the powers of a ‘Diwan’.

Of his ancestors, Pacchimirium Adiappayya, famous for composing the varnam Viriboni, stands apart from the rest. Viriboni is considered as the crown jewel of all varnas, and Prof Subramanya said, a concert can not fail, if it started with viriboni varnam, which is the most popular varnam till date.  Viriboni is a complete composition, even though it is a varnam, with all the beauty of Bhairavi. Adiayappayya was given the citation as ‘Veena Margadarshi” – Guiding lamp. He referred to a 78 rpm record of M S Subbalakshmi,in which she had sang this varnam. He said, after listening to that rendition, one DO feel like stopping the plate, without continuing, wanting to listen to it again, such was the beauty of that piece. King Sharabhoj(?) of Tanjavur in recognition to the contribution of Adiappayya, presented an entire village of ‘kapistala’ to the musician. This village is later came in to the hands of the family of Moopanar. The family was moved back to Mysore, where they were given utmost respect. The king himself was a musician, who has written a geete in the respect of the musician, composed in Reetigaula, and is called ‘sapta tALESwari gItE’.

Seshanna was born in 1852, to Bhakshi Chikkaramappa,as his last son. Chikkaramappa, himself ws a vainika in the court of Mysore Maharaja. At the age of 10, Seshanna had his major break through. King Mummudi, though a Kshatriya, was very pious. Apart from his regular ‘trikala sandhyavandana’ he used to celebrate all the religious functions. during Shivarathri, he used to invite all the major musicians of South India to have a full night musical fair.  The musicians used to sing elaborate pallavi in various raga and tala, and the court musicians were asked to perform in the same raga or tala immediately after that , keeping the local musicians fully attentive and on guard.  In one such occasion, a musician from Tamil Nadu performed a complicated pallavi, to the shock and surprise of the court musicians. No body could grasp and sing the same, and while they were anticipating the wrath of the king, the young boy ( of 10 yrs) Seshanna, came forward ( to his father) and offered to attempt. His father was taken aback and was scared. The king, not only a learned musician, his physical appearance with all that huge mustache was very intimidating. However, left with no option, he said, this can be performed by my son. Seshanna, matching the shruthi, sang the alapana for 10 mins and pallavi with trikala. The court , mesmerized by his singing, gave him a standing ovation. Extremely pleased Maharaja, placing the child in his lap, showered him with presents. He asked Chikkaramappa, to take care of the young prodigy prophesying him to be a great musician.

Seshanna’s father passed away, when he was only 12 yr old. He came under the protection of his widowed elder sister Venkamma, since then. Venkamma, molded the musician in Seshanna. Seshanna continued his learning under Mysore Sadashiva Rao and Dodda Seshanna ( father of Subbanna).  Venkamma’s regime was very strict. The boy has to practice his lessons every day and was fed only on completion. There was a daily practice chart, which was followed by Seshanna and Subbanna ( who was his cousin).

Sadashiva Rao was the direct disciple of Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar, who was a direct disciple of Thyagaraja himself. Sadashiva Rao had the privilege of performing in front of Thyagaraja, singing a kriti in Thodi, in respect of the great composer himself. Prof. Subramanya said, there is a ‘bhajana mandapa’ in Walajpet on the way to Chennai, which was build by Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavather, and there you can see a painting of Thyagaraja, drawn by one of the disciples. In the same premise, there is another painting of Walajpet Bhagavatar teaching his students, which also feature Sadashiva Rao as one among them.

Seshanna was the ‘asthan vidwan’ in the court of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar, who himself was proficient violin player.  There are confirmation of concerts where the Maharaja himself accompanied the main singers. Later Krishnaraja Wodeyar, became the king of Mysore, and Seshanna continued to be the asthan Vidwan in his court as well. It was Krishnaraja Wodeyar, who gave the title of ‘Vainika Shikhamani’ to Seshanna. He received titles and gifts from almost all the kingdoms of India, from Travencore to, Baroda. All in all, Seshanna received 42 Gold Medals from various parts of the country. To his magnanimity, all the 42 were given away to people by Seshanna. One Barkathulla Khan, Chowdiah when he demonstrated the 7 string violin, Bidaram Krishnappa and many more were recipients of these medals. His house was thronged by musicians and music lovers. 40-50 people were regular for lunch and many more during the day.

Seshanna had the rare privilege to perform in front of the visiting Emperor George IV in 1912, the only musician from South India. The memorabilia of the same is present in the Buckingham Palace. There was also a famous painting by Raja Ravi Varma on Veena Seshanna. He later joked that he was planning to bring a replica of that painting to present to Essae Music foundation, but will do it on a later occasion.

Seshanna can be said as the principle archtect of the Mysore lineage of Veena. He gave a new definition to all aspects of Veena playing, be it its fingering technique, the importance given to the lyrics, or the method of holding the Veena. He was even mastered the art of playing the Veena standing, which Prof Subramanya said, he atempted once and failed miserably.

There are many books and publications on Veena Seshanna, Yuga Purusha, Purusha Saraswathi, Vainika shikhamani etc.

Music

Veena Seshanna’s kritis are not very popular in the current concert scene. Barring a few musicians and few compositions ( especially Thillanas) , his name is not regularly heard. Prof Subramanya said, it is not surprising, since most of the musicians learn to sing 25 odd kritis and sing the same for next 50 years. He joked that he can predict most of the singers, these days.

Seshanna had a large ‘sishya-parampara’ to boast. Most of the current vainikas of Karnataka are insome way or other connected to this great musician. some of his direct disciples include Bhairavi Lakshminarayanappa ( L Raja Rao’s father) , Chitrashilpi Venkatappa, Thirumalai Rajamma, A S Chandrasekharappa, V N Rao and Veena Venkatagiriappa ( Guru of Doraiswamy Iyengar).

He composed kritis for performing in Veena, Vocal and for Bharatanatya. His compositions include swarajatis, varnams, devarnamas, keerthanas, thillanas and javali ( one javali). He has composed in various tala, many ragaas including a few rare ragas.

Swarajati or Jatiswara

There are 12 swarajatis of Veena Seshanna. He said in Tamil Nadu music circle, they differentiate Swarajati and jatiswara by sahitya. In Karnataka, there is no such practice of differentiating between swarajati and jatiswara. Most of the swarajatis of Veena Seshanna are without ‘sahityam’, hence can be called Jatiswara. Recently, he said, the sahitya of Junjhuti swarajati was found. He has written swarajatis in common ragas as well as a few not so common ragas like Vanaspati and Manavati. He deployed various tala structure from the common chaturasra triputa( Adi) to khanda aTa ( 1 ), sankIrna tripuTa ( 1) and roopakam (1). Apparently, there are only two compositions in Sankeerna Triputa and one of them is by Veena Seshanna. He said, the bhairavi swarajati can also be sang as a pallavi.

Kamboji swarajati, is special. Each charana starts at each swara starting from shadjam , progressing to tara shadjam. There are two charanams starting at nishadam.

01 swarajati – kAmbOji   by  Ashwin Anand ( Veena )

The kapi swarajathi has another interesting take on the raga. Set to Khanda Ata tala with ateetha eduppu, it is fairly difficult to play on Veena.  The kapi has the arOhana of kharaharapriya and a vakra avarohana  ( Note : I could be wrong here in understanding, do correct me if I’m wrong).

02 swarajati – karNaTaka kApi  by  Ashwin Anand ( Veena )

Varnam

Seshanna composed 9 varnams in total, in both Ghana ragas and apoorva ragas ( like jhala varALi). There are two ragamalika varnams one in 14 ragas and the other in 18.

03 nIrajAkshi ( varNam 0 – sAvEri – mishra jhumpa  by Ashwin Anand ( Veena )

Keertanas

He composed 11 keertanas again in popular ragas and few in rare ragas like gowri, natakapriya etc. King Krishnaraja wodeyar once remarked that there are no sufficient kritis in many of the melakarta ragas that can be performed in concerts and asked the court vaggeyakaras to create in each of these ragas. Seshanna took up this challenge and composed one in ‘rishabhapriya’. There are other notable compositions in this raga by Koteeswara Iyer and Vasudevacharya.

04 manasulOni (?) – rishabhapriya   Roopakam  by  Ashwin Anand ( Veena)

Thillanas

Seshanna is widely known as a vaggeyakara for his thillanas. He has composed 17 thillanas, most of them in praise of his maharaja ( poshaka mudra). He has composed in varied ragas including a few inspired by hindustani music ( like darbari kanada, behag and kapi).  Thillanas are usually fast paced suited to perform towards the end of the concert. However, Seshanna’s thillanas are usually with ‘vilamba kala’ starting. In his thillanas, the raga bhava is preserved as is the case with a keertana.

The junjhuti thillana is said to be his signature composition. Unlike its hindustani equivalent, here it is not a ‘sampoorna raga’. The arohana stops at dhaivata. on a side note, he said Mysore and Junjhoti has a long connection. Junjhoti is often used in the music of dramas, and the audio versions of some of the old drama performance are available even now.

Veena Seshanna, to his credit, has explored all the possibilities of this raga composing swarajati, javali, devarnama and thillana. Prof Subramanya recollected a discussion he had with Doraiswamy Iyengar, who had high regard for the junjhoti thillana of Seshanna.

06 thillAna – junjhoti   by Ashwin anand ( Veena)

He said, Veena Seshanna’s compositions are difficult to learn and perform but are good to listen. He commended on the effort by Ashwin in taking up some of the difficult compositions to perform today, as the Vainika paved way to vocals.

Vocal

The demonstration continued with the vocalists on the stage.

06  swarajati – bhairavi   by giridhar

07 varNam ( mAyA A mELarA ?) – nAtakurinji   by Ramani Sankar

08 rAma ninna nera nammiti – Anandabhairavi  by Giridhar

Seshanna has composed two thillanas in thodi which are noted for its dhAtu and jati prayogas.

09 thillAna ( na diri diri dhIm dhIm tanana tana dheeem) – thODi  by giridhar

Devarnamas

There are 5 devarnamas by Seshanna on 5 deities

10 shiriyE twaritadindalendanu ? – junjhoTi  by Ramani Sankar

Prof V Subramanya concluded his lecture thanking the organiser, the artist who supported him and the audience. He said, Seshanna’s compositions are difficult to perform, but remembering a great vidwan is a great way to honour the artist and the blessings of Seshanna will be bestowed upon all those who performed and listened to him today.

—–

Essae Music foundation by choice, bring presenters who has direct connection with the artists and Vaggeyakaras being presented. This gives tow fold advantage. One, the unknown facets of the musicians and his compositions will be presented with a new insight and two, they bring in a kind of authenticity to the lecture. Prof V Subramanya is known for his knowledge and his command on the subject and language. His presentation today marked by his trademark humour and clarity of thought. He never bore people with mundane and unimportant data, but make the lecture attractive by his appropriate measured approach.

On the artists part, they all participated effectively to the proceedings and a special mention should e given for Ashwin who was very impressive in his Veena play.

Note : This is from the notes of a running lecture and I might have missed a lot of important aspects. More over, Prof Subramanya gave his lecture in his stylish, clear Kannada ( no mishra Kannada) which make me handicapped from absorbing the complete essence of his words. This report would have suffered from that as well, an aspect I am trying to improve. That said, if there are any errors, factual or interpretation, they are entirely mine and request you to let me know if you notice any. I would like to make the corrections as appropriate.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Essae Music Foundation, Lec-Dem

 

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Prof. K Venkata ramanan – Lec Dem on The Life and Music of Harikeshanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Vocal : Prof. K Venkataramanan

Vocal Support: Ramanathan

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : Padmanabhan

Professor Venkataramanan started the morning  referring Sri  Muthaiah Bhagavathar as Sangeetha Chakravarthy. He would rather talk less and sing more kritihs that reflect the genius of Sri Muthaiah Bhagavathar, he said, before starting the proceedings. However, to the benefit of the audience, he went through the life history briefly.

Sri Muthaiah Bhagavathar, born to Lingam Iyer and Anandavalli Ammal on the 15th ov November 1887 at a village called Punalveli near Rajapalayam in Thirunelveli District. His ancestors on his mothers side were reknowned Tamil scholars. While he was only 7 years old, his father passed away and he was brought to Harikeshanallur, under the protection of his uncle. At the age of 9 he started learning music from Fiddle vidvan Sambashiva Iyer of Tiruvarur in Tanjavur District, along with learning languages Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Sanskrit apart from Vedas. He returned to Harikeshanallur at the age of 19. His early recognition came from the State of Travancore. Moolam Thirunal Maharaja presented him Rs1000 and a ‘Veerashringhala’ pleased with his concert. He married to Sivakami , daughter of his uncle at the age of 22.

On the request of Krishna Bhattji, he learned the Marathi Style Harikatha and started performing vaLLi kalyANam, kausalya KalyANam and few others in the ‘satdhi neeti’ style. In early 20th century, he performed in the Mysore Palace in front of Krishnaraja Wodeyar, and he was appointed as the ‘asthana vidwan’ where he stayed for long and most of his compositions were originated during this tenure. He wrote ‘Chamunda Ashtothara’ in Kannada, Shiva Sthrotra in Sanskrit, Navavarana kritis, all types of varnams, Thillanas. King asked him to compose a band song to be performed “Jumbo Safari” and while the discussion was on, he composed the ‘notes’ on the go and sang then and there. State of Mysore recognised him with a citation of “Gayaka Shikhamani” the first such award of the many that followed including Sangita Kalanidhi.

In the year 1936, Travancore Maharaja requested him to popularise the kritis of Swathi Thirunal. He suggested to start a Music Academy to teach Swati Kritis, but insisted on creating jobs for those who pass out of the college. The post of Music Teachers were created in every school on this request, a practice continued in Kerala State even today. Muthaiah Bhagavathar, joined the College as its first principal and appointed eminent musicians like Keshava Bhagavathar, N V Narayanaswami and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer as the teachers. He also got the fees to very manageable levels for the students. Prof Venkata Ramanan recalled having paid Rs 5 per month as tuition fee in his early years and Rs 8 for advanced training.

In 1941, he authored a book titled ‘Sangita Kalpadruma’. He was given D Lit by Travencore University for his contribution to Music , subsequent to the release of the book. He was the first musician to receive doctorate. He joked, that these days every one is receiving Doctorate’, loosing its value. Sri Muthaiah Bhagavathar passed away on the 30th June 1956.

Muthaiah Bhagavathar will be remembered for his contribution to Carnatic Music as a composer. He has composed many kritis in his lifetime which are popular in the concert circuit. He has also considered to have introduced numerous new Ragams to the Carnatic music arena.

He started his concert with a varnam on Chamundeswari.

01 mahishAsura madhini – AndOLika ( O )

02 siddhi vinAyakam – mOhana kalyANi – ( A, S )

Muthiah Bhagavathar composed all types of varnams , tAnavarnams like the above, pada varnam and daru varnams. He chose to sing sAma varnam saying even though it is short it is special. The other daru varnams in khamAs ( more popular) and vasanta ( at this point Sri Bangalore Shankar who was in the audience, chipped in with hindustAni kApi) , which are difficult to learn and sing and he did not prepare.

03 balumOsa mayyanurA ( daru varNam) – sAhAna ( A )

He said ragams sAranga malhAr and nAgabhUshani are like twins. Unless you are familiar to both these ragas, you will not be able to identify one from the other. Explaining the differences ( I guess, nishadam in avarohanam in nagabhushani) he said, he will sing a composition each to clarify the differences.

04 srI mahAbalagiri nivAsini – sAranga malhAr ( A,S )

05 gaNEsha skanda janani – nAgabhUshaNi ( A,S )

NiroshTha is another interesting raga from this genius composer. As the name suggest, nirOshta does not uses ma and pa ( the close of mouth thus eliminated). The krithi composed by Muthaiah bhagavathar does not have sAhitya and swara that require closing of the lips.

06 rAja rAja rAdhitE – nirOshTha

Urmika, he says was composed with the memory of durga in ‘bhadrakAli avatar’. The composition of Muthaiah Bhagavathar, uses words and phrases from ‘lalita sahasranamam’ cleverly mingled with his brilliance. Urmika, to the layman is Simhandra madhyamam minus dhaivatam.

07 kALarAthri swarUpiNi – Urmika ( A,N,S )

         neraval and swara at pallavi line

08 uraga rAja maNi valayE – paSupati priya

09 sarva jagat vyApinam bhajEham – manOrama

10 niramayE niranjanE – kuntaLa varALi

11 yArukkum aDangAda – bEgaDa

12 satchAmara ramA vANi – hamsAnandi

13 Notes ( da ri sa ri ga ri da ? )

14 thillAna ( dhim ta rara ) – hamsAnandi

this thillana was compolsed for Sri Chithira Thirunal Maharaja

15 jaya mangaLam nitya Subha mangaLam – vasanta

SLOkam ( lOkA samastA sukhiNo bhavantu ) – madhyamAvati

What a performance. The alapanas of Saranga malhar, naga bhushani and Urmika, the swaras that he sang, the neraval for Urmika,..every thing as top class. One need to preserve some of these gems of Muthaiah Bhagavather as he demonstrated the nuances of the compositions. He was ably supported by the accompanying artists, and I was very impressed by the young Srinidhi, who was outstanding through out. Wonderful Sunday morning with some fabulous music.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Concert songlist

 

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