By Dr. Rama V. Bennur
The Moonlight Music of JSS Mutt, Mysuru, which happens on every full moon day attracts many music lovers of Mysuru. It caters to all variety of listeners. Classical, Light, Instrumental, Karnatak, Hindustani and even fusion. It doesn’t lag behind in encouraging talented and upcoming young artistes. Thanks to the guiding force behind this.
Recently young Spoorthi Rao from Bengaluru performed for a packed audience (31.8.23). A child prodigy, she is a very familiar figure on YouTube. Now she is a teenager, manifested in to a successful singer who can venture confidently into any area of classical music. Spoorthi Rao was accompanied by C.V. Shruthi on violin, K.V. Prasad on mridanga and Sharath Kaushik on ghata respectively.
The concert began with a Varna in Bhegada Inthachala. She effortlessly sang the varna in two speeds and gave a brief introduction of the Raga Nata. Puranadara Dasa’s ‘Vandisuvudadiyali’ was perfect with a frill of Kalpana Swaras. She had already established her confidence in Manodharma Sangeetha. The alapana of Varali proved it again. Her enthusiasm in giving her best is evident in every phrase. Matured manodharma indulges in time-tested phrases that are pleasing & attractive. The flawless rendering of the raga had a clear accent, intonation. Young Shruthi was also at her best. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Sheshachala nayakam bhajami’ was perfect with a crowning Swara Kalpana. The rhythmical explorations were stunning.
Shyama Shastri’s evergreen ‘Mayamma anine’ (Aahiri) with a soothing effect paved way to a fast number ‘Idi nyayama Sri Ramachandra’ of Patnam in the Raga Malavi. Main raga of the day was Sarasangi. It was a brilliant interpretation of the raga. She is blessed with a voice that is bold and can traverse easily in different octaves. Naturally her alapanas are colourful and vigorous. Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar’s ‘Sadashivamupasmahe’ was the right choice. Vocal prowess at this young age is astonishing. Senior mridangist Prasad provided fantastic accompaniment along with young Sharath. To sum up, youngsters like Spoorthi are welcome to the classical arena. She has a bright future.
Ganabharathi had arranged a programme on the 1st of September which was slightly different. Members of Mani Krishnaswamy Academy presented compositions on the holy place Dharmasthala and its main deity Sri Manjunatha. Nityananda Rao, the Secretary of the Academy, is the guiding force. He was driven by the fact that there are hardly any musical compositions on Dharmasthala and took the initiation to pen down a few songs and entrusted many scholars to write the lyrics in praise of Lord Manjunatha and sanctity of the place. The compositions were tuned by Vidwan Rajkumar Bharathi. It is his mission to train them and popularise them.
Blessed by Dr. Veerendra Heggade, Nityananda Rao has trained a team of singers who started to perform only these compositions. They performed at Veene Sheshanna Bhavana of Mysuru for the first time.
The young artistes were Shreya Kolathaya, Adithi Prahlad, Usha Ramakrishna Bha , P.S. Sunada and Smruthi Bhaskar. They were accompanied by C.V. Shruthi on violin and Nandan Kashyap on mridanga. They started with a Varna in the raga Natakuranji, set to Adi Taala, written by Nityananda Rao. There were lyrics by Shathavadhani Ganesh, M. Narayana, Dr. Hemavathi Hegde, Kadathoka Manjunatha Bhagavatar and Muralidhara Bhat. The singers showcased their manodharma in Alapana and Kalpana Swaras.
All the kritis presented were in perfect unison. The synchronisation was stunning. They literally captured the listener’s attention.
Chalanata, Revathi, Hemavathi, Todi, Dwijavanthi, Patdeep and Madhyamavathi were very well handled. Kudos to this young team of singers.