Thursday, 23 August 2012

Musician to watch

Bharathi Ramasubban

One of the quietly accomplished young vocalists in the Carnatic music circuit yet to hit the “big time” is Bharathi Ramasubban, a disciple of vidwan PS Narayanaswamy for the last 15 years.

Bharathi had her early lessons in vocal music from her mother Sankari Ramasubban and her grandmother Sarada Krishnan, a direct disciple of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar.

Some of the sabhas and organisations for which Bharathi has performed in India are the Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha and Naada Inbam in Chennai, Shanmukhananda Fine Arts (Mumbai), India International Centre (New Delhi), and Rasika Ranjana Sabha (Kolkata). She has also performed in the USA and Canada.

A direct ‘B-High’ grade artiste of the All India Radio, Bharathi was a recipient of the Best Female Vocalist Award for 2007 in the Spirit of Youth festival of the Music Academy, as well as the Government of India CCRT scholarship for vocal music during 1996-2004.

An active member of YACM (Youth Association for Classical Music), Bharathi has been the editor of its newsletter ‘Dhwani’. An alumna of P S Senior Secondary School and Stella Maris College, and a gold medallist in her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, Bharathi went on to pursue a research project in Bio-Organic Chemistry at the Center for Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai, and her Masters in Biotechnological Law & Ethics from the School of Law, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

In a concert review in The Hindu, Gowri Ramnarayan said:

Bharathi’s very first piece, a Saranga varnam, was crisp but had the raga contours intact, against this natural soundscape (of the Miraj tambura on stage).

Brochevarevare (Sriranjani) established the appeal of a voice touched with a pleasing, husky timbre. Bharathi’s choice was balanced, her approach emphasised the quality of grandeur. Sentimentality that lightens the load of even regal ragas was completely absent.

Varali’s appeal was maximised by generous akaram, which, in consonance with Bharathi’s distinctive voice, assured connectivity.

When she sang Mamava Minakshi, the reason for focussing on the majesty rather than the pathos of Varali became evident, authenticated by the fine niraval imaging the warrior goddess as Digvijayapratapin’.

Bhairavi was delightful, more karvai strung, the holistic evolution missing no crucial prayoga.

These words accurately describe Bharathi Ramasubban’s chaste, tastefully rendered, nuanced vocalisation. With continued hard work and a consistent focus on her art, she can carve out a rewarding career for herself in the years to come.

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