By Nya Feinstein
Born to Sing by JustUS Repertory
( A Dhvani offering)
"All I had previously known of the Indian culture was masala dosai that was eaten as fast as it arrived in gorgeously decorated restaurants. We all know Indian food is beyond comparison, but what about the equally rich and sublime musical culture surrounding it? Recently, I attended a remembrance celebration for M.S. Subbulakshmi by Dhvani.
As soon as the lights dimmed in the small auditorium, the smiling audience settled into their seats as Shankar Ramachandran introduced the musicians onstage. Amidst claps of appreciation, Dr. Gowri Ramnarayan's sweet and enrapturing voice transported us happy listeners to a warm day in India as she set the scene for the night's performance.
Sushma Somasekharan and Aditya Prakash sung hauntingly gorgeous melodies that were complemented by the soprano, sweet, song of the flautist, Ramani Thiagarajan. Shreya Devnath's impeccable violin playing lent a lavish melody and harmony to the perfect mix of instrumentation completed by Ramesh Babu on the mridangam and tabla, adding a lively percussion that made the listeners want to dance.
The music was in turn relaxed and flowing, fast and vivid, and a beguiling ceremonial feel. Though I didn't understand the words that were sung (but dearly wish I did), they resonated within the audience in a meaning beyond simple words in any language.
One thing I especially enjoyed was getting to know about M.S. Subbulakshmi and her numerous contributions to culture and society. I can't say I had heard her name before that evening, which surprised me. How could someone that had done so much not be so incredibly well known to the wide culture here in Columbus, Ohio? I can only hope that her name continues to be spread and remembered and can only appreciate and thank Dhvani for the wonderful cultural experience.
(The author is 15 years old)