Thursday, December 24, 2009

Aruna Sairam - Chennaiyil Tiruvaiyaaru

Dec 23, 2009, Wednesday - Kamarajar Hall.

The hall was like tirupati devasthanam. Full of people standing in the queue eagerly to enter the hall. I was also one among them. People literally thronged into the entrance much like first show of a new movie released. It took nearly 20 mins for the crowd to settle down. Aruna started to sing Kizhvanam vellendru in dhanyasi ragam. She placed a short niraval in the line devadi devanai sendru naam sevithal.

Then was the kalyani raga kriti of Oothukkadu Venkatasubbaier. It was one of the saptha ratna kriti. I heard for the first time. It was a nice kalyani. Then was the natakurunji raga. After a weight alapana, she sung Vazhi maraithirukkudhe malai pola oru maadu paduthurukkudhe. It was Gopalakrishna bharati kriti from nandanar charitham. Aruna sung it so well. The emotions of nandanar, his longing to see the lord inside the sanctum sanctoram, but nandi infront of the lord stood in the middle. I was about to shed tears when she was about to finish the song.

To ease the emotion, she sang subrahmanyena of muthuswami dikshitar in the raga suddha dhanyasi. Swaras were rendered at the line prabravamadhi of anu pallavi.

Then was syama sastri kriti kanakasaila viharini in the raga punnaga varali. It was a divine rendition. After this slow paced song, there was a fast dakka raga song of tyagaraja - the famous raka sashivadana. Then was the majestic kamboji raga alapana. It was an elaborate one. She sung Tiruvadi charanam yet another composition of gopala krishna bharati. Aduthu vandha yennai thalla laagadhu harahara yendru sonnalum podhadho - niraval and swaras were just amazing.

Then was the brindavana nilaye in the raga ritigowlai. Her traditional way of rendering oothukkadu kritis with absolute bhava was observed in the kriti. Then was an abhang in the raga darbari - bhaje mrudanga talavidha. Ganapati paapa moriya mangala moorthi moriya was welcomed by the audience with claps. Then came the request from the audience to sing maadu meikkum kannae. She sang without any hesitation. We were rejunuvated by the song, thinking about the childhood days.

Then was the viruttham om muruga in the raga shanmukapriya. After few lines it was a nice transition to neela mani raga and Aruna sung enna kavi paadinalum. She added words lakumi maamiyum paarkavillai in anu pallavi and alatchiyamo unakku unnai naan viduvadhilai in the charanam.

The concert was concluded with arunagirinathar tiruppugazh muthaithiru in the raga shanmukapriya. It was a wonderful concert.

Unni Krishnan - Chennaiyil Tiruvaiyaaru

December 20, 2009, Sunday - Kamarajar Hall

It was a pleasant sunday evening. Unni Krishnan started the concert with Narayana Tirta's nata raga kriti Jaya Jaya swamin. After a steady rendering of the sahitya, there was a brief medium paced kalpana swaras. Then was the mayamalavagowla kriti tulasi dhala of tyagaraja. There were swift flowing swaras for the song. Then was the shanmukapriya alapana. Unni chose andavane unnai vendugiraen. Apt niraval at thandavam aadum and swaras were also interesting.

Then was the rarely sung nagaswarali alapana. I got the raga at the first line itself as it resembled sri pathe nee patha of tyagaraja. Unni selected padumanaban maruga muruga. Then was a traditional thodi raga alapana. At the start it was like dhanyasi without rishabam in the aarohana prayogam and later it was pure thodi. Unni sung kaddanuvariki of tyagaraja. It was a longtime since I heard this kriti. Indeed it was a feast.

Then came his famous jagajanani in the raga ratipatipriya. Kavadi chindu (pulli kalaba mayil paahan) followed the song. Then was a fast dhinakarunakarane nataraja of papanasam sivan. He concluded the concert with a hamsanandi raga tillana.

Nithyasree Mahadevan Chennaiyil Tiruvaiyaaru

December 19, 2009, Saturday at Kamarajar Hall, Teynampet.

There was a decent number of people at the hall to witness the concert of Nithyasree. She started the concert with a charukesi raga varnam by Lalgudi Jayaraman. A humble start. The next song was okapari joodaga in the raga kalavathi, a composition of Tyagaraja. Kalpana swaras were nice and brief. Next was nannu vidachi in the raga ritigowlai, composed by Tyagaraja. The ritigowla alapana, steady rendering of the sahitya, portrayed DKP - DKJ school in her.

Fourth song was saraswathi manohari in the raga saraswathi manohari, DKP fame dikshitar song. Nithyasree chose mohanakara muthukumara in the raga neethimathi (60 th melakartha raga), a song of kotiswara Iyer. The kalpana swaras caught the very essence of the rare raga. This raga resembles simmendra madhyamam except for the dhaivatha swara.

Next was mohana raga alapana. An elaborate one. She chose Mysore Vasudevacharyar's Ra ra rajeeva lochana rama. She placed the niraval in the anupallavi - yela nee garuna kalkani karanamemo gaalara. The swaras were interesting. She changed from chatusra nadai to tisra, khanda, misra and sankeerna nadai in an alternating fashion which was very subtle. The swaras proved the artiste's command over the layam. But the sahityam she rendered seemed she was not much confident at few places. I may be wrong in this observation. The tani played by the percussionists were not up to the mark. It was a normal one.

Now a days we are hearing lot of innovations in tani and it seemed to be a normal one that is heard during practice sessions.

Kavingar Va Ve Su has translated a poem of Rabindranath Tagore in tamil. Nithya sung that song in rakesri raga. I think it was tuned by her. It was very pleasing indeed. Then came the beatiful raga malika of purandaradasar - nanenu maaditheno. Ranjani, Mohanam and kaanada ragas were rendered excellently.

The last song was a viruttham in the raga tilang yenniya mudidhal vendum of subrahmanya bharathi. The penultimate line of the virutham "nanniya ninmun ingu nasuthidal vendum annai" was not completely rendered. "nanniya nin mun ingu" was left out and she rendered only nasuthidal vendum annai. Then was bharatha samudayam vaazhgave. When she started, there were claps from the audience which served as the tempo for the song. The second stanza of the song, 30 kodi janangalin sangam muzhumaikkum podhu udamai, was sung in her own style - like 40 kodi, 60 kodi, 80 kodi, 100 kodi.. and so on.

With few ups and downs the concert was a pleasing one.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sanjay Subrahmanyan - Kartik Fine Arts

13-12-2009, Sunday, 6:00 PM - Kamarajar Hall - Sanjay Subrahmanyan sings for Kartik Fine arts. I saw such information in a news paper. I was thinking it would be better if I attend this concert. But getting tickets for the concert is not that much easy now a days, as all are getting sold out very soon. So let me try next time - I thought with in myself. Then I got a phone from one of our family friend that he is having tickets for the concert. Wow!! very dream coming true!!! I was excited and got ready to attend a golden concert.

Reached the venue 15 mins earlier and took the seat allocated for me. The curtains raised sharply at 6 PM. Sanjay was accompanied on the violin by Nagai Muralidharan, on the mridangam by Guruvayoor Durai(yet another veteran) and on the ghatam by T.V.Vasan.

The concert started with todi raga ata tala varnam. Then was Arunachala kavi's hanumane saamikkindha adaiyalam sollaiya in the raga malayamarutham. The swaras for the song were like a strong breeze. Third was andholika raga. Sanjay chose tyagaraja's raga sudha rasa. The kalpana swaras were amazing. Then came the brave bhairavi. After a weight alapana sanjay sung rama lokabhi rama. The niraval and swaras were proudly holding sanjay's trademark. So much of breath control holding on the same swara for a long time, so much of confidence to experiment new styles. It was a power packed rendering.

Then came a soft and scintillating sankarabaranam and sanjay rendered idhu nalla tharunam. It was at a steady pace. The next raga was rishbhapriya. I heard MLV's gananaya desika so I could easily recognize the raga. There were murmurs among the audience as they were not sure of what raga was it. Once the alapana was over and the violinist too has completed his turn, a member among the audience rose up and asked what the raga was and the artiste replied that it was rishabapriya. Yet another feather on my cap! Sanjay sang the same gana naya desika of koteeswara iyer. In the charanam there will be lines saying about the raga. It is as follows - "shadja rishaba priya gaanthaara madhyama panchama dhaivatha nishadha.. saptaswara sangita kavi kunjara dasa". He was repeating the line shadja rishaba priya and stressing on the raga.

The swaras were in such a way that they ended with sa ri ga ma pa dha ni saptha swara.. or sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa dha saptha swara.. The tani avartanam played by guruvayur durai and T.V.Vasan were superb. Lot of rare sancharas in the laya. They played andhadhi type of tani avartanam. That is, mridangam will stop at a jathi and from that jathi (sol) the ghatam will start. It was quite interesting.

Then was marukelara in the raga jayanthasri. It was a quick rendering. There after due to personal limitation I started from the venue but with a satisfied heart.

T.M.Krishna concert - Asthika Samajam Venus Colony

That was on Saturday (12-12-2009) I glanced through Mylapore times magazine. There were schedules of different music concert. But one name caught my eyes and it was T.M.Krishna.

I am going to hear a full fledged concert of that artiste for the first time. I was longing to hear him for the past years but unfortunately I could not make it. I had been hearing this artiste through radio or CD or TV. First time I am going to see him and hear his concert live!

With lot of enthusiasm I started for his evening concert 6:30 pm. Being a saturday the normal relaxed mood got imbibed into my mind. It was organised by Sruthi Laya kendra of Guru Karaikudi Mani (veteran mridangam player).

The first song was in the raga kalyani - rama nee vaadu kondo in rupaka talam. It was a composition of Saint Tyagaraja. I had never heard it before. This added more enthusiasm in me, looking forward for the kalpana swaras. The artiste sung niraval and then followed by kalpana swaras. TMK was at his peak in the very first song itself. I couldn't control my hand putting the tala when he sung the niraval and swaras.

Then was kuntala varali. He did a brief alapana of the raga. Many sitting beside me were not sure of the raga. I got it at the first line itself. This made me to be proud about myself (!). Just joking..

He sang unnai thudhikka - the first composition of Tamil Tyagaiah Papanasam sivan. Niraval was made in the first line of charanam "Ponnaattilum sirandha punniya kamalalayam". This was on Tiruvarur Tyagaraja swami. Following the niraval was the avalanche of swaras.

The third song was a quick vinaradana manavi in the raga devaganthari. This is one of the sri ranga pancharatnam that Saint Tyagaraja has composed on Srirangam Ranganathaswami. This is the raa patthu time of vaikunta Ekadesi and it remainded me of my days at trichy.

Fourth was the saveri ragam. Krishna did an innovative alapana for nearly 20 minutes. There is a ragamalika written by kadaloor subramanian "raga thil sirandha ragam yedhu". In that he would have mentioned - "kaveri pol odum saveriya". That was apt for the saveri sung by krishna. Amazing flow of swaras. The way krishna held for a long time in the uchcha sthayi swaras in the alapana was highly commendable. When he was trying the high pitched brihas it made me to think that he is arguing with the raga saveri. "Hey please come... Will you not come? Wait and see.. I will handle you..". Once the high pitched brihas were presented perfectly the next phrases made me to think that he was telling the raga devata, "see how I made you come? Good.. thanks..".

Then was the tanam which was also great. Krishna chose a pallavi set to khanda jaathi triputa taalam (2 kalai).
khanda jaathi - lagu has 5 counts (a beat followed by count using little, ring, middle and index fingers )and triputa talam (has a laghu + 2 dhrithams (dritham - beat + turn). So there are 5 + 2 + 2 = 9 counts and 2 kalai means tapping a count 2 times.

The pallavi he chose was "Sri rama para brahmma kripa paalam rama brahmma sutha sucharita". T.K.V.Ramanujacharyalu on the violin, B.Harikumar on the mridangam and B.S.Purushottaman on the kanjira offered a fantastic support to the singer. Singer was also enthusiastic in appreciating the accompanists wherever apt and encouraging them. This was the fantastic part of the concert. Not many concert will contain this portion where all are on the same page.

Ragamalika swaras were in the raga mohanam, malayamarutham, sindubhairavi. Of these sindubhairavi needs special appreciation.

Next was a bhimplas raga song on lord krishna - gokula... Then was my favourite muralidhara gopala in the raga maand. I heard MLV singing this song in the morning in my music player. Evening TMK sang. The last song was mangalam written by Bhadrachala ramadasa in the raga kurunji - Ramachandraya janaka raja jaa manoharaya..

It was a wonderful treat for the saturday evening by Krishna. Energy level never faded from the start to end.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Softsmith Free Webinars Dec 2009

Following are the list of courses provided by Softsmith Infotech for December 2009.

CRM Features
MS Access Database
Load Runner Basics
Perl Programming Basics
Linux Process Monitoring
QTP Basics
Insurance Fundamentals
Android Programming Basics
HR Performance Appraisal
Basic Accounting - a must for everyone
Flash Basics
Microsoft Project Plan - MPP
Non-functional Testing
Free Bug trackers - bugzilla, bitbucket
Critical points in coding and testing

Register for the same at OpenMentor