A soulful recital
Feature Articles

A soulful recital

April 1, 2023

By Padmavathi Narasimhan

On the inaugural day of the Ramothsava series at Alamma’s Choultry, Vidu. Jayanthi Kumaresh performed with Vid. Anantha R. Krishnan on mridanga and Vid. Guruprasanna on kanjira.

An artiste of repute, a collaborator, a creator, a composer, a researcher, a pioneer and an educator, Jayanthi Kumaresh has dedicated her life to the art form of veena playing for more than two-and-a-half decades.

Her concert at Alamma’s Choultry, organised by Sri Ramabhyudaya Sabha, Srirampet, stood out for its melodic shades in its diverse dimensions.

Jayanthi’s method of playing is akin to that of her Guru S. Balachander, a legendary veena artiste. The ‘Balachander Bani’ that she has adapted, of playing many notes at a stretch with a single ‘Meetu’ is very appealing and catchy.  Each of the presentations was loaded with melody.

Jayanthi took off on a brilliant note with a varnam in Natakuranji ‘Chalamela jese’ by Mulaivittu Rangasami Nattuvanar followed by Muthiah   Bhagavatar’s ‘Gam Ganapate Namo Namo’ in Hamsadhwani, for which she knitted elegant and crisp swaras.

Latangi and Kharaharapriya exuded a soothing feel, touching the inner recess of hearts letting the audience stay afloat in musical delight. While her conversational mode binds her to the audience, Jayanthi takes utmost care never to disappoint them. The lively pace of ‘Aparadhamulanu manninchi’ (Tyagaraja, Latangi, Adi) kept the percussionists engaged with the sarvalaghu swara patterns with no interval, concluding with a good but not-too-complicated muktaya. ‘Every phrase in Tyagaraja’s ‘Samanamevaru’ generated a typical soft and flowing feel of elegant music.

The second half of the concert included a short but beautiful RTP in Hamsanada set to Mishra Chapu. The interesting part of the RTP was the ragamalike tanam in Saveri, Reetigowla, Malayamaruta excellently played with gradually increasing speed. The pallavi was a swara pallavi (perhaps Jayanthi likes to knit swara pallavis rather than sahitya pallavi as seen in many of her concerts), ‘rmpnS RMPNS R,M,P,N,S,’ wherein the artiste again played the kalpanaswaras in the same ragas chosen for the tanam, which was a welcome technique that pleased the listeners.

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Anantha Krishnan’s singing rhythm captured the listeners throughout the concert. His taniyavartanam along with Guruprasanna was replete with energetic and buoyant styles.

The end pieces of the concert included ‘Atu karadani balka’ by Tyagaraja and a  tillana in kapi.


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