By Dr. Rama V. Bennur
The percussion instruments have come a long way from a crude shell tala to the unbelievable electronic equipments like Rhythm pad that can produce the sound of any number of percussive instruments. The traditional membranophones have survived the tough battle of time and are still an inseparable part of classical and folk music.
Despite the prevalence of rhythm in our life, its grammar some how seems to be eluding away at times ! The fact that many rasikas mistake ‘Tani avarthana’ to be an interval or the end of a concert confirms this.
Ganabharathi, the music sabha of Mysuru that is known for its innovative programmes, is trying to bridge this gap by arranging ‘Layavadyotsava’ from 2018. The response to this day-long festival is certainly encouraging . Variety and unity marked this festival.
‘Layavadyotsava-2019’ was recently held at Veene Seshanna Bhavana. The educative morning sessions had five lecture- demonstrations and the post- lunch had a variety of percussive ensembles that enthralled the audience. Veteran Mridanga player Ganakalabhushana Vid. T.A.S.Mani inaugurated the festival and presented a lec-dem on the new ‘Solkattus’. He was accompanied by two of his disciples T.N.Ramesh and young Shyamakrishna. He explained in detail how solkattus could be adopted to different talas.
Vid. Sudarshan from Mandya gave a talk on the Muktayas in different taalas. Right from tracing the origin of the word ‘Mukthaya’, he elaborated on the subject which was very useful for the students and rasikas as well.
Vid. Tumkur B. Ravishankar explained how the ‘Korapu’s are formed in different taalas.
Vidwans G.S. Ramanujam and A. Radhesh’s topic was the origin, development and formation of ‘Moharas’. Ramanujam’s approach was simple and straight forward.
Vid. H.L. Shivashankaraswamy demonstrated ‘Avadhana’ in different taalas which require good amount of concentration.
Dr.Umesh from All India Radio led a folk troupe to display a variety of traditional folk instruments. His introduction was very informative and held the audience with interest.
Vid. Narayan and troupe played Tavil and Nadaswara.
A display of Chande and Maddale by Vid. Krishna Chaitanya threw light on Badaguthittu and Tenkuthittu forms of Chande. There were four different ensembles that mesmerised the audience with their lively and rhythmic music.
‘Yuva Kalavidaru’ directed by Tumkur Yashaswi, an orchestra consisting of Mysuru artistes, directed by Tumkur B. Ravishankar, another ensemble directed by H.L.Shivashankaraswamy and ‘Nadalaya Sinchana’ led by G.S.Ramanujam and others.
It was heartening to see almost all the percussive artistes flock together to celebrate this Layavadyotsava with enthusiasm.
Nearly 45 artistes participated in this day-long festival and proved their unity.