Rajeshnat: Blessed must be our Aishu to be in the graces of such greats as Vellore Ramabhadran, SRJ, TNK and others. Do you think an artist of Vellore's stature compromises his playing when accompanying a young star as Aishu. Or would you say the youngster rises to the occasion to meet the requirements.
Just mind boggling how the young artist behaves in front of such a senior vidwan. Like "rkiran" said one could easily get tongue tied in this case fingering tied.
About a couple of months after Santhanam passed away, I attended a concert of Maharajapuram Ramachandran (with LGJ and VR). Although Ramachandran had been accompanying Santham for many years and probably had given a few solo concerts too, he did seem a little shaken and unsure of himself. VR kept reassuring and encouraging him right from the first varnam in Charukesi all through the concert. Ramachandran got his confidence back after about three songs in and it ended up being a very enjoyable concert.
VR's humility and always defering to the main artist helps immensely with keeping the artist's confidence - even if they are junior. I have watched him accompany really young and relatively unknown artists and he always has the same intensity and concentration. I've never ever seen him slack off even the tiniest bit during any concert. As a contrast, my guru, Shri TAS Mani would almost stop playing and pose for the camera with a big smile; bring a video camera in and he would start his thani right away.
I attended a vocal concert of VR's daughter, Padma in the early 90s in Bangalore. VR did not accompany, but, was sitting in the audience - he watched her through the whole concert without speaking a word to anybody around him. During the vote of thanks, the presenter drew attention to VR in the audience, but, VR very humbly brushed it off.
Slightly off topic, but, a question. What is the deal with the current crop of Mridangam artists (Patri Satish and others) using 2 mics? Is this just for concerts in the US, or, is it the current norm in India too? I did attend a concert with Trichy Sankaran hare last year and he just had the one mic. To bring this back on topic, VR is the only mridangamist I have seen push the mic farther from his mridangam than where the organizer placed it; I have seen him do it in three different concerts.
MMI + TNK/LGJ + VR = Ecstacy.
Add Glenlivet to the above (or to MDR + TNK/LGJ + VR) to achieve Divine Utopian Bliss!