Song of Surrender

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Magic moments

By PNV Ram

I recently had two musical experiences that I am unlikely to forget in a long while. Not often do you go out of a concert hall with the music filling your heart and mind, with the deep-felt melody refusing to go away for days on end.

It was the consummate sahrdaya Sumitra Vasudev who touched a chord deep within on the first of those occasions. She was only singing the prayer song at Nandini Ramani’s Samskrita Ranga event to pay homage to Rabindranath Tagore and Dr. V. Raghavan, but invested her ragamalika sloka with power and emotion, not to mention tender feeling for the lyrics. It was a bravura performance in miniature, and for once, I wished the prayer song would go on much longer than it did.

If VP Dhananjayan is reading this, may he forgive me for defying his fatwa against prayer songs being converted into concerts. I completely subscribe to his views on the matter, but this was an exceptional outpouring by an accomplished musician in great voice.

The second elevating musical experience was provided by the mellow violin of TN Krishnan, accompanied by J Vaidhyanathan (mridangam) and N Guruprasad (ghatam). It was a mikeless chamber concert at Arkay Convention Centre, the first in a series being planned for the next 12 months, by Oli, a team headed by Gowri Ramnarayan and assisted by young musicians Ritwik Raja, Bharathi Ramasubban and MV Swaroop. Krishnan took listeners on an enchanted journey to the past with his pristine bowing and complete mastery of the music. The acoustics, stage d├ęcor and general ambience at the venue were outstanding in their unostentatious, simple beauty.

Like Sumitra the other day, Bharathi Ramasubban sang the invocation—a song in Tamil—beautifully.

The next Oli concert will feature Amritha Murali and party on Saturday, 18 February. Please watch out for the announcement at www.sruti.com and this blog.

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