By Dr. Rama V. Bennur
Ganabharathi of Mysuru has a unique way of creating opportunities to young and upcoming artistes. Apart from providing stage regularly in its monthly concerts, it celebrates ‘Taruna Bharathi’ exclusively for youngsters during its Tyagaraja and Purandara Dasa Aradhana celebrations.
It has also recently introduced a special programme called ‘Chiguru.’ Taruna Bharathi was started in the year 1986. The main artistes and the accompanists are normally within 30 years of age. Two days are reserved for these budding artistes.
This year too, there were four concerts altogether by the youngsters. Bhargavi Venkataram and Anjali Sriram sang on the 31st of January. Guruprasad and Pavani Kashinath performed on the 1st of February.
Bhargavi is the daughter and disciple of Vid. H.K. Venkataram and Vidu. Triveni Saralaya. Now she is being groomed by Vidwan T.M. Krishna. Blessed with a shiny voice, Bhargavi has a matured manodharma that easily transforms her musical thoughts.
Her kalpana sangeetha displays her confidence which is also the hall mark of her singing. She was accompanied by Pradeshachar on violin and Vishnuvardhan on mridanga.
Bhargavi opened her concert with ‘Brova bharama?’ (Bahudhari) with a frill of Kalpana swaras. Her delineation of Kalyani in the mellifluous voice created many melodic designs. Pradeshachar too unleashed his imagination which was beyond the display of skill. They both were at their best. ‘Nidhi chaala sukhama?’ was sung with a neraval at ‘Mamatha bandhanayuta narastuti sukhama?’
A brisk rendition of ‘Manavyalakinchara’ (Nalinakanthi) lead to the main raga of the day — Saveri.
Traditional, yet exploring alapana was filled with nuances of the raga. Both the young artistes were very pleasing. ‘Raama baana traana shourya’ was the right choice. Vishnuvardhan provided good rhythmic support. Bhargavi concluded her concert with two Devaranamas ‘Ninna bhakuthiyanu needo deva’ and ‘Hari kunida.’
The next singer was Anjali Sriram. Vidu. Nagamani Srinath and Vidu. M.S. Sheela have groomed her. She has performed on many platforms and has a few CDs to her credit. Rich imaginative skill combines with good sense of rhythm. She is a very dashing and confident singer.
Anjali performed with the same accompanists. The opening ‘Jaya janakikantha’ (Nata) paved way to ‘Raga sudharasa’ (Andolika). In contrast to that was raga varali. Her interpretation of the raga was a proof of her capability. Exploring every possibility, she dived in to the raga. It would have been more effective if only she had honed her voice.
‘Eti janmamidi ha’ was rendered perfectly with kalpana swaras. Fast keertanas like ‘Telisi Rama chinatana’ (Poornachandrike) suits her rigorous singing.
Anjali revealed her matured manodharma in the raga Bhairavi. The swift sangathis weaved an intricate tapestry of Bhairavi. Her artistic endeavours resulted in creating rich shades of the raga. Pradeshachar’s melodic bow was aesthetically satisfying.
‘Lalithe shripravriddhe’ flowed in all its grandeur. Vishnuvardhan was good on mridanga. Anjali Sriram concluded her concert with a Devaranama ‘Ranga Baro’ in Sindhubhairavi.
Young Guruprasad’s love for saxophone is very deep and that is his first and last choice. His elders in the family are Nadaswara players. But he wants to stick on to saxophone, despite the challenges it poses. He enjoys the richness of its sound and the challenge of creating gamaka in it. He is focused on mastering the tough instrument.
He gave a Karnatak classical concert on the 1st of February at Veene Seshanna Bhavana as a part of Taruna Bharathi. He was accompanied by Yashaswi on violin and Vikram Bharadwaj on mridanga.
The opening Varna ‘Karunimpa’ (Shahana) was perfect indicating the right pace to follow. ‘Niravadhi Sukhada’ (Ravichandrike) enabled him to display the skills on the instrument. He had chosen only two ragas to elaborate. Saramathi and Bhairavi. Saramathi was soothing with very soft sangathis and bhairavi was embellished with suitable gamakas. Yashaswi too followed the main artiste. ‘Mokshamugalada’ and ‘Upacharamu’ had a cascade of kalpana swaras. Vikram Bharadwaj provided good support on mridanga.
Pavani Kashinath hails from a musicians family. Her mother is a veena player, father, a percussionist. Grandfather a violinist and she has chosen to be a vocalist. She successfully portraits her musical thoughts in her fragile voice. She was accompanied by Keshava on violin and Vikram Bharadwaj on mridanga.
She too opened the concert with Shahana Varna. She paid obeisance to Goddess Saraswathi in ‘Sarasiruhasanapriye’ (Puliyuru Doreswami Iyer) after a short alapa in nata. Surprisingly she had chosen different composers and only one composition of Tyagaraja was sung — ‘Bhajanaparulakela’ (Surati). ‘Saatileni guruguhamurthy’ (Poorvikalyani-Tanjavuru Ponniah Pillai), ‘Sarojadalanethri’ (Shankarabharana-Shyama Shastri) were some of the other Keerthanas she sang.
Her sketch of Poorvikalyani and Shankarabharana were quite good. Shankarabharana was superb with the perfect expression of her manodharma. Keshava’s ‘Daatu swara prayoga’ gave a different taste to the raga.
The kalpana swaras for ‘Sarojadalanethri’ at ‘Saamagaana vinodini’ were brisk and lavish. Keeping Taara shadja as the centre, they both created beautiful patterns. Vikram Bharadwaj added pep to it. On the whole, these youngsters proved that they have a bright future in music.