By Dr. Rama V Bennur
There is an uniqueness in his singing. His approach to different ragas express a quality that is essentially his own. His prowess and dexterity stands out in his recitals. He has carved a niche for himself with real hard work and dedication.
Yes that is Vid. Abhishek Raghuram, the young vocalist and mridangist, grandson of Palghat Raghu. Though dipped in classicism, his approach to any raga are daring and his own. The distinct nature, despite singing the traditional music is obvious.
He performed at Suttur Mutt in Mysuru for the 257th Moonlight Music Programme on Aug. 1 for a packed audience.
His preparation for the concert was a pleasant surprise. Rare Raga and krutis marked the day. He was accompanied by Vid. Alankode V.S. Gokul on violin, Vid. Yella Venkateswara Rao on mridanga and Vid. G.S. Ramanujam on
The opening Navaragamalika Varna ‘Valachi vacchi’ by Patnam Subrahmanya Ayyar had a few frills of his own that made it more colourful.
The three compositions he sang were all composed by Tyagaraja. But they were very rarely heard. Telisi Rama Chintana is the usual Keertana we hear in the raga Poornachandrike. But he started ‘Palukamemina nyayama’, another nugget from Tyagaraja’s mine. It had an attractive Chitteswara too.
The main raga of the day was Suryakantha (17th mela), yet another rarity. His scholarship came alive in the alapana. Infinite variety of combinations in mostly speedy sangathis were weaved with utmost clarity and energy.
His command on the Ragalapana is worthy of an artiste far beyond his age. It was not only matured and detailed, it showcased his bold and dashing approach too.
Gokul too contributed in making it a memorable one. ‘Muddumomu eladu’, (needless to say it was uncommon), unfolded beautifully. The Kalpana swaras in different nade and speed enthralled the rasikas of Mysuru. It turned in to a cascade by the end.
Vid. Yella Venkateswara Rao, one of the most senior mridanga artiste along with the senior most percussionist of Mysuru, Vid. G.S. Ramanujam created a variety of rhythmic patterns in the Thani avarthana.
With another Keertana of Tyagaraja in Todi Raga ‘Ninuvina sukhamugana’, Abhishek chose to sing Kannada Devaranamas and a Vachana. ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’, ‘Sada enna hrudayadalli’ and ‘Ullavaru Shivalayava maduvarayya’were presented with bhakti and involvement. It was indeed a rejuvenating experience for music lovers.