Song of Surrender

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sruti sponsors Malladi Brothers concert

By V Ramnarayan


Attending the Malladi Brothers concert on 18 August and the Dr Sripada Pinakapani documentary the next morning was a memorable experience for the Sruti team that participated in the events at Unnati Centre, Bengaluru. Unfortunately, while the concert—an excellent one with the brothers in great voice and the accompanists, especially the subtly supportive mridanga vidwan KV Prasad, in very good form—was very well attended, the Sruti presentation and the Pinakapani tributes on 19 August drew only a small number of visitors.

The enthusiasm and concert intelligence of the Malladi Brothers made them a joy to behold and hear. Here are two splendid voices that do credit to the best vocal traditions of Carnatic music. So powerful are their voices that it is easy to imagine that the siblings can be clearly heard in a microphone-less space. There was much exuberance in the concert which was marked by firm adherence to the traditional underpinnings of the Pinakapani-Nedunuri school, also represented in the audience by Malladi Suribabu, the singers’ father and ‘associate’ guru.  What was perhaps less evident in the busy first half was the quietude typical of a Nedunuri performance, the saukhyam the brothers are no doubt capable of, though the padam-javali segment offered much mellow relief.  The occasional gentle touch can enhance the depth of the brothers' indubitable feeling for melody and lyric, and they will certainly transport listeners to even greater listening pleasure.

The organizers, the SGBS Trust, have done yeoman service to Carnatic music for over three decades in their (once) quiet corner of the garden city, and even more admirable deeds in providing top class engineering and management education to the underprivileged at their top class facility at Unnati Centre, and have succeeded in gathering full houses for their concerts of the established and emerging stars of Carnatic music. Their missionary zeal is evident in the care they take over every little detail and they are great hosts, as we found out (Sruti plans to do a feature story on Unnati soon). Yet, a couple of aspects of the organization, perhaps an imitation of established practice at Chennai, spoil the total impact somewhat.

The first problem was the inescapable gaudiness of stage backdrops and banners proclaiming the event and its sponsors. I was shocked to see Sruti’s own banner staring at me when the curtains went up. All over the world, the best music concerts and dance performances banish this kind of advertisement to other parts of the concert hall, and it is time for us to follow suit. We can do without such loudness and poor taste.

The second irritant endemic to our concerts is the habit of speechmaking interrupting the concert. Both Mala Mohan who made the documentary film—a moving tribute to Pinakapani—and Ramesh Swamy of SGBS Trust proved to be skilful speakers and true sahrdayas judging by their eloquence and appreciation of the music, but it is time again to put an end to the practice of speechmakers coming between the artists and the audience.  It is quite simply bad manners!

3 comments:

  1. Malladi Brothers happen to be one of the very few musicians from AP.I wish people take interest in music,taking these two brothers as inspiration.
    In AP,very few show an inclination to music,very few can even spare a thought about a concert.I must say that its popular culture to ridicule musicians and music.Something must happen from somewhere somehow to change people's bent of mind.And I must thank the crew at sruti for all their efforts.Great article once again!You never fail to bring out the facts RamNarayan sir,that too so straight forward and so apt.Thanks Again.

    SG

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  2. Thank you for writing and sharing a review of the "Sruti" sponsored concert of the Malladi brothers in Bengaluru. The bhaava-laden mellifluous delivery of carnatic classical compositions by malladi brothers always creates a lasting impression in the minds of music lovers.

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  3. I attended Malladi brother's cocncert at Sree Rama Navami seva mandali , chamrajpet , bangalore on 18th April , 2014. My impressions are

    Positive aspects

    1. New Kirtis were rendered .
    2. Dr pinkapani and Nedunri parampara was reflected in full
    3. Dharbar and Saveri Alpana were good
    4. Accompnaying artists provided excellent support to the vocalists

    Improvements needed

    1. Niravls that bring about the Bhava of the saint composers were not coming out because they were too short
    2. Kalpana swarams ( chitta swarams) that embeliish kritis did not come out well and they were very short
    3. Post 9pm the krits that were rendered did not linger in the ears because they were rushed.

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