Monday, December 29, 2008

Nithyasree's concert at Music Academy

I had been to Nithyasree's concert at The Music Academy, Madras, on December 25,2008. It was a holiday for me as the day was XMas day.

After having a fine evening tiffen, I went to the academy nearly at 3:45 PM, half an hour before the start of the concert. There was a huge crowd and it was well organised as a long line.

Before describing about the concert, let me tell you the story how I got the ticket. It was about 8 AM in the morning. After completing my music class, I took an auto to the academy. There was again a big crowd for getting ticket. I approached the counter. They asked me to get a token first for getting the ticket. So I went to the token issuing person and got a token, specifying the ticket rate (balcony) and number of tickets needed. He wrote the same in a paper and gave a number for me. It was 83!

Then I was waiting in a chair, similar to the one that will be at hospitals for visiting a doctor or at the collector office for meeting a collector. I was waiting for my number to be called. 56, 57... 75..79.. 81,82..... 83. Yeah! It was my turn to get the ticket. I got the ticket.

With a sense of satisfaction of having achieved something, I went to home.

Now the time is 4:00 PM. I am waiting to enter the hall in the steps that proceed towards the main hall balcony. This reminded me of waiting in the queue at Tirupathi for getting the darshan of swami venkateswara. Finally after a long 30 mins waiting, I entered the hall and got myself seated at a comfortable place.

The time is 4:15 PM. I am eagerly waiting for the curtain to be raised. Two bells rang. Wow, the curtain raised and the artiste greeted the gathering and signed on for a wonderful start of the divine concert. Darbar raga adi tala varnam, kick started the concert. It was a good starter (like a hot vegetable soup). Then followed Tyagaraja's Nee daya radha in the raaga vasantha bhairavi. It made the environment lively. The fast kalpana swaras were superb. It was like popping up cheese balls during a dinner.

Then started the sunadhavinodhini raga alapana. I was a bit proud that I was able to identify the raga on hearing the very first line, when others were struggling for it. It took of very well and Nithyasree handled the raga very efficiently. Why because is the raga's structure is like S G M D N S - S N D M G S. If by mistake R (Rishabam) comes, it will turn to hamsanandhi. Such a delicate ragam is sunadha vinodhini. The song she sung was Mysore Vasudevacharyar's composition Devadi Deva. The kalpana swaras can be compared to an avalanche of electrons that will come from a laser beam.

Then was the Nattakurinji raga song Karunai Purindhu. This time, the raga was so soft, in contrast to Muruga that she sang in Jaya TV Margazhi Maha utsavam. May be since this song started with the word Karunai (grace) it was so soft, and the song Muruga, since it was Bharathi's song, It was majestic. In the song Karunai Purindhu, the words and the beats went hand by hand.

Then came the famous, Tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam in the raga Ananda bhairavi. No body can beat her grand mother smt DKP in Dkshithar kritis. And here too the same. Each and every syllable was perfect. One need to note the science embedded in the kriti. The concept of differentiation (Big to Small) and integration (Small to big) can be observed in this kriti.

Differentiation in the pallavi - Tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam - agaraja yoga vaibhavam - raja yoga vaibhavam - yoga vaibhavam - vaibhavam - bhavam - vam.

Integration in the charanam - Prakasam - Thathva swaroopa Prakasam - sakala thathva svaroopa prakasam - siva sakthyathi sakala thathva svaroopa prakasam.

The raga mudra and the sahitya kara mudra is given in such a nice way by dikshithar. He describes, Tyagaraja as Sri Guruguha gurum sachidhanandhabhairaveesam. A nice kriti.

Then came the majestic Kambodhi ragam. Nithyasree sang, Sri Raguvara. The rendition of swaras for each and every line of charanams was quite innovative. Aalapana was studded with phrases - P D S - P D S R - P D S R G and so on. The violinist Sri M.A.Krishnaswamy replied for those phrases with GNB Style of swaras - P D S - D S R - S R G - R G P and it was "sabaash sariyana pOtti". For this song, Nithyasree gave tani avartanam. It was a real laya sancharam.

Then was the beautiful Karnaranjani. Nithyasree sang an RTP (Ragam Tanam Pallavi) in this raga. It was a wonderful RTP. Pallavi was about sri Maha vishnu. It was set to the talam Thisra jaathi Jampha taalam in sankeerna nadai. This pallavi educated me about the combinations of taalas and nadais. Here every beat should contain 9 sub beats and there should be 6 beats per aavartanam. That is 123 1 12 is the form of the taalam. Each and every aksharam was crystal clear and I could see that sitting from the last row of balcony.

The pallavai was followed by ragamalika swaras consisting of 16 ragas excluding Karna ranjani. Bhoopalam, Kaanadaa, Jaganmohini, Ataanaa, Amruthavarshini, Nalinakaanthi, Neelaambari, Kalyanavasantham, suddha saranga, Janasammodhini, madhuvanthi, naattai, Gowlai, aarabhi, varaali, sree and then back to karna ranjani. It was a 16 storeyed building built out of 16 ragas.

Then was the sidhubhairavi raga viruttham followed by a song - Adi deva paramathma, about Lord Venkateswara of Tirupathi.

Then was her fame - Kandha nee oru malaivasi in the raga - Ahirbhairavi. It was simply superb.

Then came the swift, valaji raga tillana. Nithyasree stressed twice on the raga mudra "valarseela migu pazhani...". I dont know how many would have noted it.

The whole concert was maintained in the same pace. The open throated singing of Nithyasree added beauty to the concert. Every swara was clear and so the words too.

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