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T M Krishna @Unnati Center, Gokulashtami Festival 06 Aug 2016

Vocal : T M Krishna

Violin : H K Venkatram

Mrudangam : Arun Prakash

Ganjira : Anirudh Athreya

List:

01 sarasa sAmadAna – kApi nArAyani – Thyagaraja (O,N,S)

neraval @ ‘hitavu mAtalentO bhAgabalkitivi’

02 yArukkAkilum bhayamA – bEgaDa – Subbarama Iyer? ( A,S )

03 vallabha nAyakasya – bEgaDa – Dikshitar ( Tanam, S)

04 chANarO ee mOhamu – khamAs – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar ( O )

05 RTP – mukhAri – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 Kalai , 1.5 eduppu

pallavi line ‘ kAdalippOm nAm anaivarum ‘aridAna?’ manita vAzhvai’

pallavi in rAgamAlika kIravANi, shrI,nAyaki, sahAna, sindhubhairavi

No swaras

tani Avartanam

06 cherarAvadEmirA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A )

07 hE gOvind. hE gOpAl. – kAmbOji – Surdas

08 pagh gunghurU rE (mIrA bhajan) – pIlu

Hmm.. What would you call the listener (me,in this case) who is confused between Bhairavi and Mukhari ? My friend AG came with an apt answer; Bhairavi+Mukhari = Bhikhari.

MukhAri, I said to myself, as soon as he started the alapana. Wait, am I hearing bhairavi ? No, there is clear mukhari phrases. Oh, tanam is sounding bhairavi. Could this be mAnji, no way. No, it is mukhari. Or should we wait for H K Venkatram to come to our rescue when his turn comes. Oh,no. There wasn’t a violin turn. Krishna is starting the pallavi. Let me freeze it on mukhari.

I am not the only one confused. The organiser’s mail came in the morning, which announced the pallavi is in bhairavi. Was I wrong then. Hold on, what is the second mail all about. Ah, they have corrected it. It now says, mukhari. Stop it Jayan, no more debate. Mukhari it is.

A couple of years back Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan gave a concert at Nadasurabhi on Allied ragas. And to his merit and credit,he chose to sing the pallavi in bhairavi+mukhari. I had no confusion then, between bhairavi and mukhari. Probably, it wasn’t my day. Or one should blame MDR, whose ‘eLAvatAram’ was playing in my car for the entire day.

This summarises my evening yesterday. The confusion did not end there. Ask about the Surdas bhajan. I am for kAmbOji, or was it harikAmbOji ? Did I hear traces of khamAs as he twisted the corners of the brief alap he did before the song?

Pardon me. I am lost. The blame is entirely and squarely on me. Krishna started majestically with a short kapi narayani sketch. Slightly stretched the neraval at hitavu matalento, but was top class, which he did alone, without a reciprocation from violin. However, the kalpana swaras was done by H K Venkatram, after a brisk start from Krishna.

Begada alapana started with some exquisite phrases, and this time he did announce it as begada to those who were looking perplexed. After the impressive start, he mostly did long slow phrases in middle and upper octaves. Yarukkakilum bhayama, popular in the bharatanatyam circuit was sung very leisurely, apt for a dance performance, way. Added to it a few rounds of lovely swaras. Some great great rounds in the upper octaves. Begada isn’t over. After mulling for a while, he started tAnam, mumbled ‘same one’ as he started. Dikshitar’s masterpiece was sung in much pleasing tempo followed with some faster rounds of kalpana swaras.

Khamas jAvali was to follow. This time pronouncing it as ‘chANarO’ with a clear ‘chh’ syllable to start. I have been listening to this as ‘jANarO’ for a long time, including that of Krishna. Probably a correction from his side. Interestingly, the karnatik.com site has the lyrics as ‘sAnarO’. Ramesh Swamy spoke after this and was followed by few felicitations to the new Magsaysay winner.

It is now the pallavi started. I have said enough about this. There was no swaras, but he sang the pallavi line in ragamalika. Looked like he got hooked on to sindhu bhairavi as he elaborated it for a while. There was no trikalam too, as he pointed to Arun Prakash for tani avartanam. Arun Prakash and Anirudh started with very slow pattern around the time division, doubling up as it progressed to greater speed. Except for some fabulous pattern he played towards the end, by and large it wasn’t very appealing.  There was  a large exodus post the tani avartanam, people seems to have taken the advise of Ramesh Swamy well, delaying the departure post tani.

HK Venkatram played a very nice alapana in reetigaula and TMK added to the impact with an impressive cheraravadEmirA, adorned with sangatis after sangatis of the pallavi line. This definitely was beautiful. The Surdas bhajan, spoke above, and a meerabhajan concluded the concert.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this concert. It was brilliant at patches and was confusing and sluggish at places. I’ve heard better concerts of his.

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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T M Krishna @ Odukathur Mutt, 04 Sep 2015

Vocal : T M Krishna

Violin : R K Sriram Kumar

Mrudangam : Manoj Siva

Ganjira : Anirudh Athreya

Song list :

01. kanakashaila vihAriNi – punnAgavarALi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,S )

niraval & svara @ ‘ shyAmaLAmbikE bhavAbhdhi taraNE, shyAmakrSNa paripAlini janani

02 krSNA nI bEganE bArO – yamunA kalyANi – Vyasaraya ( A )   – entirely played by RK Sriramkumar

03 tAnam – yamunAkalyANi

adi nIpai maruLu konnadIrA (jAvaLi) – yamunAkalyANi – Dharmapuri Subbarayer ( S )

04 tuLasI bilva –  kEdAragauLa – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

niraval @ ‘uramuna mukhamuna shiramuna bhujamuna’

swara 1 @ ‘ paramAnandamutO’

swara 2 @ ‘ tuLasI bilva’

05 mAyE tvam yAhi – tarangiNi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S )

niraval & Swara @ ‘ samudAyE guruguhOdayE sudhAtarangiNi antarangiNi ‘

06 tani Avartanam – mishrachApu

nidhi chAla sukhamA – kalyANi – Thyagaraja ( N )

niraval @ ‘ sumatI tyAgarAjanutuni kIrtanai sukhamA’

07 rAgamAlika Alapana in bilahari, bhairai, sAma & vasanta

sutRum vizhi chuDar – rAgamAlika ( bilahari,bhairavi,sAma, vasanta) – Subramanya Bharati

08 lEkanA nannu – asAvEri – Thyagaraja

09 shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya ) – rAgamAlika starting at asAvEri and a flurry of them.

Wonderful wonderful concert. I missed the first two. Thats all he need to do. Less of talk and more and more of such concerts. Every one of them is a gem. Every piece he sang yesterday was outstanding. He was much more at peace, did not attempt to be forcefully controversial. Except dragging the last shlokam from one raga to other in a flurry, he was in his elements through out.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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T M Krishna @ Seshadripuram Rama Seva Samithi, 27 Apr 2013

Vocal : T M Krishna

Violin : H K Venkatram

Mridangam : V Krishna

Ghatam: S N Narayana Murthy

List:

01.  smaranE sukhamu – janaranjani – Thyagaraja ( S )

02.  evarani – dEvAmrutavarSiNi – Thyagaraja ( A )

03.  RTP – kalyANi – misrachapu x 5 kalai ?? ( I dont know how to put it)

       pallavi line : ‘lOkAbhirAmam SrIrAmam bhUyO bhUyO namAmi’

       rAgamAlika swaras in sahAna, kIravANi, varALi, latAngi, bEgaDa, hamIr kalyANi, brindAvana sArang, madhyamAvai

       tani Avartanam

04.  chinna nADenA – kalAnidhi – Thyagaraja

05.  navarasa SLOkam ( srngAram kshitinandini viharaNE) – rAgamAlika ( kAmbOji,SAma,sindhubhairavi,mOhanam)

06.  sA pasyAt kausalyA – jOnpuri –  Panchapakesha Shastri   ( O )

07.  pibarE rAmarasam – yamunA kalyANi – Sadashiva Brahmendra

08.  vaishNava jan tO – ?? –  Narshish Mehta

09 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

The choice was difficult. Sanjay singing at Fort School, Sreevalsan Menon at BTM and to decide to attend TMK over them wasn’t an easy one. These days its very unpredictable. In the end, I am not overwhelmed by the concert. No, Kalyani is not the reason. 75% of the concert was taken up by one RTP. There wasn’t any thing great to talk about apart from that. Having said that, everything he sand was neat and to his standard. There was nounpleasant incidents with mike or others ( except he said “no need to vote of thanks” to the organiser who tries to do his usual ritual after the main). There was no raga only and stand alone tani avartanam or any such pranks. Concert was good, but was too lopsided to the kalyani pallavi, which by itself was grand.

Concert started at 6:45, after the usual long drawn tuning of the tanpuras, the testing of various levels of amplifications, couple of gulp of water from the flask, few humming , adjustments of seating. Finally when he was ready and started humming the janaranjani a car parked inside the concert arena, decided back himself with the reverse alarm in full sound. However, it all settled without further harm to the sentiments, as he started smarane sukhamu.  Kriti was sung beautifully and added to it was few brilliant set of alpana swaras. Devamruthavarshini was the first alapana which was good in parts. Its a fabulous kriti and Krishna did only elevate my liking to the kriti with a classy rendition. I was hoping to listen to a neraval and swaras but it wasn’t to be.

Kalyani alapana came soon. Slow, meticulous and elaborate. Lot of singing at the higher octaves. Notwithstanding my liking ( the absence there of) for kalyani, I thought it wasn’t presented in an orderly fashion. There was lot of aha moments, but was in patches. HKV in his return was more traditional and soothing. Tanam was looong and fantastic lasting more than 20 minutes. Pallavi was set to Mishrachapu x 5 times. I am not an expert but will seek some help in identifying the tala. Ragamalika swaras was stupendous alternating between HKV and TMK, culminating with a back and forth non-stop singing in all ragas. The other Krishna with PSN did a good tani avartanam at the end.

Post main was noted for the navara slokam, followed by Jonpuri and Gandhiji’s favorite ‘vaishnav jan to’. It iwas a good concert, but the balance was too tilted to a single item. A bit more variety would have been more fulfilling. But then, it is TMK and one should be ready to these structure.

PS: My encounter with Simhendramadhyamam and Keeravani continues. Krishna had a fairly good rounds of swaras as part of the Pallavi, which was ok. But, as I was entering the premise, the young lady who was singing in the evening ( before the main artist, like you see in major rock shows where a local artist perform to keep the audience in check) was singing rAma rAma guna sIma.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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T M Krishna , Sri Rama Lalita Kala Mandira – Spring Festival Feb 5, 2013

Vocal : T M Krishna

Violin : R K Sriram Kumar

Mrudangam : Arun Prakash

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List :

01  rAvE himagiri kumAri – thODi – Shyama Shastri  ( N,S)

neraval & swara @’kalyANi kanchi kAmAkshi nI pAdamE dikku’

02  SrI rAmam ravikulAbdhi sOmam  – nArAyaNa gauLa – Dikshitar ( A )

03  sanAtana paramapAvana – phalamanjari – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

04  nagna vipina nagna gagana – kalyANi – P T Narasimhachar , puTiNa

05  rAga – AlApana mAlika 🙂  – vAgadISwari , gAngEyabhUshaNi , kIravANi,kApi

06  srI mAtrubhUtam – kannaDa – Dikshitar

07 tani Avartanam – khandajAti dhruva x 2 kaLai

08  tAnam – Arabhi

chAla kallalADukonna – Arabhi – Thyagaraja

09  bArO krishNayya – mAND +rAgamAlika – Kanakadasa

10  SLOkam ( rAmAya rAmachandrAya rAmabhadrAya) – SankarAbharaNam?,sahAna, kAmbOji, ? , kannaDagauLa

sogasu jUDa taramA – kannaDa gauLa – thyagaraja

11  krishNA nI bEganE – yamunAkalyANi – Purandara Dasa

12 nenjukku nItiyum – sindhubhairavi – Subramanya Bharati

13  mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

I would like to look at this concert in two parts. The brilliant first part, very sedate, very classical very traditional, though a bit on slower tempo. A start which gave a lot of hope for another stellar ‘concert’ as he did in the ‘amplification marred concert’ I attended at the same venue.  But then the second part , despite being good in their own rights and merits, did not leave me with a lasting impression. It was good until the beautiful poem of ‘Putina’, the shift started there on.

Vagadeeshwari alapana was good and for once, I was hoping to hear paramatmudu after a long time, but the violin alapana starting off at vagadiswari shifted /drifted towards gangeyabhushani, on a prompt by the singer. But, the short gangeyabhushani alapana from Sriramkumar was brilliant. Krishna continued the change to Keeravani with few impressive high octave singing, and yet again Sriramkumar gave a classy drift from keeravani to kapi, and was concluded with few rounds from Krishna. On completion, he announced that it was meant to be so, and there will be no kriti or pallavi to follow. Treat this as an individual item in the concert, was his remark.

After a filler in Kannada, he decided to take it a step different. He wanted Arun Prakash to play the tani as a separate piece, in any ‘tALa’ he preferred to do. There will be nothing preceding or succeeding the percussion performance piece. Arun Prakash went a step further, offering to play the tani for any talam, suggested by the audience. Some one from the audience , then shouted ‘khanDa dhruva’ and while remarking that this would be a test for him to put Tala, Krishna asked whether he preferred single ‘kaLai’ or ‘two kaLai’, and it was finalised for 2 kaLai. Thus the tani avartanam begun, and they did a commendable job, one of the best I’ve heard in recent times.

A tAnam came soon after the tani avartanam. A long and very impressive tanam in arabhi with an equally brilliant support from Sriramkumar. I couldn’t but notice the repeated phrase at ‘dhanam tA.. dhanam tA’ during his singing, not getting any response from organisers, it changed towards ‘dAnam tA’. Interestingly, he concluded it with another ‘dhanam tA’ request. No offense meant to the artist, but I found it hilarious. It wasn’t a pallavi but Chala Kallaladu was sung, which again was pretty good.

He refused the request for the usual ‘thanks giving speeches of the organisers, announced, ‘they want to thank the artists and we artists want to thank the audience, and that’s it’. Concert continued with a chain of short kritis, some of them was sung beautifully.

Fantastic start until the multi raga alapana. The concert. despite the individual pieces being brilliant, lost the overall charm after that stage.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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T M Krishna , Gayana Samaja 44th Annual Music Festival 28-Oct-2012

Vocal : T M Krishna

Violin : R K Sriram Kumar

Mrudangam : Arjun Kumar

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

Song List:

01. gajavadana – thODi – Kumara Ettendra ( N,S)

neraval & swara @ ‘vAgvilAsa kArtikEya guhavara’

02. evvarani – dEvAmrutavarshiNi – Thyagaraja ( A )

03  YadukulakAmbOji – ( A )  – ended abruptly , thanks to some issue with the amplification.

04 Siva Siva Sivayana rAdA – pantuvarALi – T ( N )

neraval @ ‘Agama mula nutiyinci’

05 SrI vAlmIkalingam chintayE – kAmbOji – aTa tAla – Dikshitar ( A,N,T )

neraval @ ‘shankaram sOmakulAmbikAmbhOja madhukaram’

06 RTP – rudrapriya – Chaturasra Triputa x 2 kaLai

pallavi line ‘ AkAsha rUpam Sivam, ArdrOtsava vaibhavam bhajE ‘

ragamalika swaras in ‘rudrapriya, sindhu bhairavi, behag, naLinakanti, dEsh, dwijAvanti, nIlAmbari

07 bArO krishNayya – rAgamAlika – Kanaka Dasa

08  sLOkam ( rAmAya rAmabhadrAya rAmachandrAya) – khamAs

brOchevAravarurE – khamAs – Mysore Vasudevacharya

09  nenjukku nItiyum (?) – punnAgavarALi – Subramanya Bharati?

10 rAmachandrAya janaka ( mangaLam) – kurinji – Bhadrachala Ramadas

The whole evening was full of drama. It was very irritating and insulting while seated inside, but looking back it provided for a lot of funny moments. So, do not judge anyone harsh, even if I sound so in the next paragraphs.

Its after three years, that I decided to attend a TMK concert. I did it in a pure democratic way, by voting, with 3 out of 5 voted for Krishna, and a couple for Pt Jasraj at Chowdiah Memorial. Krishna’s concerts are usually crowded with rasikas, and we decided to reach early to find some accommodation inside the auditorium. Despite reaching by 5:30, we could find place only at the fag end of the hall, last few rows of seats. A place, I must say, not conducive to listening to music. The area is so cramped and despite few fans switched on, you have a sense of suffocation due to lack of oxygen. So, the set up wasn’t all that great for a good listening, but gave ample scope to listen to few non musical surroundings.

Krishna started his concert in ‘his traditional’ way, with a heavy kriti upfront. Gajavadana in Thodi was sung very well. The nereval was very good and the swara that followed was just brilliant.

Devamrutavarshini alapana was good, albeit short. So was the return. But I thought the kriti was rendered fabulously, with some great singing at the SivuDanO ..mAdhavuDanO , with some good percussion support.

Soon after, he started a slow deliberate build up of yadukula kAmbOji alapana. The trouble started here. As expected the Mic-Amplification turned out to be the villain again. A couple of times, Krishna stopped singing, sitting close eyed in silence, before building it up from where he left. The trouble persisted and he decided to remove his mic stand and sing without the microphone. The violinist followed suit. The disturbance ( of some noise getting amplified) continue to distract him and it was then he decided enough is enough. He demanded the entire amplification system to be shut down and the personal to move out of the control room. Until he made sure these are met, the concert was held standstill.

From this point, concert was without any support of amplification. Which means, people at the back seats were left to the mercy of the level of sound the singer, the instrument and the percussion could produce to the entire hall. From this point, all I could hear was the snippets of what was going on at the stage. Krishna, on his part, called all those who were seated in the balcony seats to come over and sit on the stage. If he was adamant on not using any amplification, I was equally adamant to remain where I was ( not that there were seats available in front), until the concert was over. The loss, definitely is mine.

Back to the concert, as Krishna suddenly broke into ‘Siva Siva Sivayana rAda’ leaving the beautiful YadukulakAmbOji alapana where it was with a fast paced pantuvarALi. It definitely, brought the concert back alive with another set of fast paced neraval. Kamboji was the main, with an elaborate alapana with some outstanding singing at the higher octaves. More so, because only that part was audible to me. Whenever he was in the lower octaves and slow soft singing, al I could see was the hand movements and body gestures. some of them were like a batsman mock-practicing an extra cover drive, after being beaten by the bowler in the previous ball, to give you an idea.

During this time, my wife playing with my hand phone, managed to change my profile picture on the facebook, I could hear and smell( how disgusting) few loud belch ( you bet! ) , a elaborate highly emotive ( by sound and stretched hand over the head) yawn from a gentleman visibly bored, and innumerable sneezes that shook the seat ( you cant blame him, the area where we seated was full of particles that cause you sneeze), apart from a girls loud calling to her mother.

On such a day, he choose to sing a rare ( I haven’t heard this kriti before) Dikshitar kriti on the deity of Tiruvarur “SrI vAlmIkalingam”. Let me admit here, that I could not hear the words clearly, and if not for the help of Google, I would have thought he sang SrI valli dEvasEnapathe in kAmbOji , taking his experimentation to a different level altogether (its a silly joke,pardon me). The kriti by itself is pretty long and Krishna, to whatever I was able to hear, did a phenomenal job. The neraval was one of the best I ‘ve heard ( despite the fact that I am hearing this for the first time ) and was shear joy to watch others having a good time on the stage. Neraval was very elaborate, lasting more than 10 minutes. He did not sing any kalpana swaras for this, gestured Arjun kumar to start his tani avartanam. I cant comment on the quality of the tani avartanam, but going by the overall stage mannerisms, and some excited remarks from Krishna, give me the confidence to say, Tani avartanam was very good. We could hear Arjunkumar’s left hand ( remember, he is a southpaw) playing, not the minor nuances with the right. Giridhar Udupa’s case was even pitiable. All I could see was the shake of his head, and the final ‘frustrated’ bang on the poor ghatam with both palms were the only audible sound from the earthen pot. Overall, the tani avartanam in ‘aTa tALam’ did not reach us to appreciate it effectively. However, I applauded for the visual fair that I witnessed.

There was some more drama during the main. post the alapana’s the organisers came to the stage from the side and requested for the amplification to be re-established. Krishna silenced him with the finger on his lip, and waved him off. But, they had better ideas. Clandestinely switching on the mics, they tried to diffuse the situation with some sneaked in amplification through the abandoned mics on stage. Arjunkumar was quick to notice this and with a ‘magnificent gesture’ he removed the cable from the mouth piece, nullifying the effect of mrudangam being amplified ( rightly so, I thought). Krishna too sensed something is going on during the tAnam, which he confirmed by a tap on the far lying microphone. He was quick to reach out to pull off the cable, a feat repeated by Sriramkumar, with a smart tap with his bow, and the subsequent removal of cable.

By now, it was 8:45 and Krishna, started another alapana, in Rudrapriya. A short alapana in two phases preceded slightly more detailed tAnam, which saw some kind of engagement between the vocal and violin, which did not reach us as the cables were removed.  Krishna seems to be singing something and I was sure that the pallavi had started and as it is I am not able to hear. I dawned on me only after a while that Krishna was attempting to ‘compose’ a pallavi line ‘on the stage’. After a few minute of ‘trial and error’ he seems to have concluded on the ‘very creative pallavi line’ and he sang the ‘purvangam’ few times for the rest of the crew to fall in line with his idea. I should be fair here to the team. The ragamalika swara singing that accompanied the pallavi ( there was no trikalam) was worth the evening. Alternating the ideas from one ragam, easing from one to the other, Krishna and Sriramkumar, left the audience spellbound.

He sang bAro Krishnayya and searched the organisers with a lifted finger, to check if he can sing one more. I guess, the organisers by then had fled the stage and there was no one to be seen. He however continued accepting a request from the nearest rasika seated on the stage. Concluded the concert with a fast paced tamil piece and mangalam.

As I was leaving the hall, I could see the organiser coming on stage and apologising for the mishap. Please note, he too spoke without microphone, saying it was unexpected and these things do happen. I did not stay long to hear the rest.

Seriously, this concert would have been an outstanding concert, if only the organisers had managed to have a decent audio system, and if only Krishna had a little more patience. At the end I felt I was deprived of the listening pleasure of one of the best concert I’ve attended this year ( just by the kritis he sang and not by my enjoyment at the end). Seldom you see such a brilliant set of kritis in one concert. Every thing Krishna sang was briliant, but it wasnt for the majority of the audience. One can understand Krishna’s frustration and while empathising with him, I still believe he would have agreed to re-install the amplification for the benefit of all those who came in to listen to him on a Sunday evening.

In the end it left sour taste in mouth and the 44th annual festival at Gayana Samaja did not start in a right note. I hope the situation improves the coming days.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Concert songlist

 

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