134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024 : Rich, ringing voice and powerful singing
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134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024 : Rich, ringing voice and powerful singing

April 22, 2024

On the 3rd day of Ramanavami music series at Smt. Alammana Choultry in Srirampet, Mysuru, Vid. Sandeep Narayan gave a vocal concert along with Vid. H.K. Venkatram on violin, Vid. Sai Giridhar on mridanga, Vid. Giridhar Udupa on ghata.

Sandeep is one of the leading vocalists in Karnatak music today. Though born and brought up in the United States, his passion in music and his hard work towards achieving a distinct place in the field has led him to a status that he has earned today. Sandeep imitates his Guru Sanjay Subramanyam not only in his singing but also    in mannerisms.

Sandeep has a stunning, resonant voice with a very wide range that can reach far even without the help of a microphone. His breath control that can run to three-four avartas at a stretch is astonishing.

Sandeep began the concert with Tyagaraja’s ‘RAma ika nannu brova RAda dayalEda’ in shahana. The swarakalpana developed for pallavi enhanced the ragabhava.

The concert when began, promised a 3-hour duration with at least two (if not three) ragas to be dealt with in detail. But Kambhoji was the only item sung though leisurely with an unhurried ragalapana, a relaxed ‘Evvari mATa’ by Tyagaraja with a neraval at ‘Bhakta ParAdheenudanuchu’ (which the vocalist delighted in stopping at parAdhee’ in stead of stopping it as parAdheenu to make it meaningful), a delightful swara array with ‘d’ as the centre, and of course, allowing taniyavartanam.

The result was — it was hardly 9 pm when an unhasty Taniyavartanam came to an end and Sandeep had to kill the rest of the time with only tukdas.

This could have been avoided had he taken up a sub-main for detailed rendition, which would have also satisfied the listeners.

Vid. Sandeep Narayan presenting a Classical Music Concert at Smt. Alammana Choultry, Kunchitigara Sangha, Srirampet, on Apr. 19 as part of 134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024 organised by Sri Ramabhyudhaya Sabha Public Charitable Trust, Mysuru. He is accompanied by Vid. Sai Giridhar on mridanga, Vid. Giridhar Udupa on ghata and Vid. H.K. Venkatram on violin. Venkatram was honoured on the occasion on his receiving Sangeet Natak Academy Award this year.

Before the main piece, Sandeep presented two enjoyable compositions sung beautifully — one in Ranjani — ‘SrinivAsananghri sEve mAduva banni’ by Purandaradasaru set to tune by senior mridangist Srimushnam Raja Rao in Ranjani; and a shloka ‘mAtA matpitA rAmabhadrah’ in ragamalika in Hindola, Hameer Kalyani, Bhairavi, purvikalyani leading to ‘O RAma ninnAmam Emi ruchirA’ of Madurai Somu fame.

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The post tani part included a number of compositions — ‘Bajare SriRAmam he mAnasa’ by Bhadrachala Ramadasa in Vakulabharana,  Purandaradasaru’s popular ‘RAma RAma RAma ennirO’ in Tilang, a Meera bhajan  ‘PAyOji maine Ram rattan,’ a Marathi abhang ‘Abhi raghulal udalitaranga’, ‘Shiva Shiva endomme shivanAgi’ by Siddha Rameshwara and lastly ‘RAmanai bhjittAl’ in Maand, the album of which was recently  released by the vocalist.

While singing the concluding part, Sandeep stopped to ask ‘if the audience were sleeping’ as he expected them to join him to ‘sing and dance along.’

He was warmly applauded by an enthusiastic audience, who joined voices with him in the  last song.

Senior violinist H.K. Venkatram’s version of Kambhoji was excellent and the percussionists Sai Giridhar and Giridhar Udupa (ghata) made their presence impactful throughout the concert and also in the taniyavartanam.

—Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

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