It was a cloudy evening where Coimbatore witnessed a gush of excitement amongst the Carnatic Music rasikas. Well, an evening with a rhythm ensemble was something that was surprising for the audience. Coimbatore Music Academy in association with Sri Krishna Sweets presented an assortment of Percussion instruments led by Ghatam Sri Karthick on the theme “Heartbeat Ensemble” at Sarojini Nataraj Auditorium, Kikani School. The evening’s programme started with a Vocal concert by upcoming artist Master Hari Adharsh, disciple of Sri CB Neelakandan Raja. The melodious “Pranavaakaram Sidhi Vinayakam” in ragam Arabhi was followed by Adharsh’s rendition of Annamacharya’s “Deva Devam Bhaje” in ragam Hindolam. His voice revealed peaceful approach towards krithis as it drew sangathis step by step strictly adhering to his Guru’s padantharam. This artist tuned an element of surprise with Thyagaraja’s “Atukaaradani” in ragam Manoranjani. A short essay of ragam Purvikalyani for the krithi “Marachitivemo Nannu” showed Adharsh’s attempt to successfully venture into the traditional concert arena. Though the Upper Shadjam note was reached with a bit of effort, the raga alapana had crisp moves. Soon did the audience realize that he gained additional energy through “Karpaga Manohara” in ragam Malayamarutham where the 10 year old boy did justice to Manodharma singing with his karpana swaras in Khanda Chapu thalam. A quick neelambari ragam occupied the artist’s list followed by a detailed presentation of Purandaradasa’s “Enna Rakshitho” in ragam Subhapantuvarali. Adharsh concluded his concert with a composition in ragam Sindubhairavi composed by his Father-Guru Sri Neelakandan. Smt Sriranjani Ramkumar and Vadasithur Sri Ramachandran gave encouraging support to the budding artist.
Ghatam Sri Karthick and his team opened up the evening’s main concert with a traditional Mallari set to Khanda Jathi Triputa thalam. This Gambheera Nattai piece is presented in various speeds giving the audience a varied flavour of expectations. Violinist Sri M R Gopinath then led the Bowli ragam based “Sriman Narayana” stirring the Bhakthi emotions in the hearts of the audience. A totally unexpected blend of the krithis in Sri Ragam paying a tribute to the Musical Trinity was presented by the team featuring Saint Thyagaraja’s “Endaro Mahanubhavulu”, Muthuswami Deekshitar’s “Sri Varalakshmi” and Syama Sastri’s “Karuna Joodavama” under the common theme – Kamalalayam signifying the place Thiruvarur where the Trinity were born. The Sri Ragam mélange is composed by Karthick himself was followed by a unique Thillana in the ragam “Sallabham”. Coimbatoreans were delighted when the artists drove them to the 1960’s “Marudamalai Maamaniye”. Dhandamu Pettedanura in ragam Balahamsa was then craved by the artists in a fusion form.
The central piece of the concert was in Ragam “Ragavardhini” on goddess Mookambika covering innumerable aspects of laya combinations, percussion combos and musical touches. The tani avarthanam was exquisite as it catered to the interest of the audience with Karthick’s Konakkol. Mandolin U P Raju and Violin Gopinath shared beautiful essays of the raga alapana which added to the excellence of the concert on a whole.
Prapancham Sri Ravindran on the Mridangam played complicated phrases in the tani avartanam giving Ghatam Karthick ways to bring out challenging rhythm patterns. Sri Sundar and Sri Raman beautifully connected the other lead percussionists with their Tabla and Morsing support.
The concert then saw many favourites “Bho Shambho”, “Chinnanchiru Pen Pole”, “Katrinile Varum geetham” and the crew concluded the evening’s programme with a patriotic “Jayathi Jayathi Bharathi Mata”.
The Academy also conducted a two hour long interactive workshop for the young students of Music and dance on “Appreciating the Laya” by Ghatam Sri Karthick covering various aspects of practicing laya and approaching laya. This shows the keen efforts of the Coimbatore Music Academy to develop the young musicians in the city thereby providing them opportunities to explore their talents and grow.