Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
Post Reply
mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#1 Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Abhishek Raghuram - vocal
Akkarai Subhalakshmi - violin
Anantha R Krishna - mridangam
Chandrasekhara Sarma - Ghatam

Close to 4 hours

1. taruNi - kambhOji Adi varNam - fiddle Ponnusamy
2. mArajananim - nAtakapriya - NCK (Sketch,S @natakapriyaguNAm)
3. nee kEla dayarAdu - sarasAngi - ramaswAmi sivan (R,N,S) Neraval @ sAkEtapura rAmachandranuta
4. srI varalakshmi namastubhyam - srI - MD
5. dinamaNI vamsa tilaka lAvaNya - harikambhOji - T (R, [email protected] line)
6. RTP tODi - Adi 2 kalai (pallavi line: tadikuta kiTa tataku din ta tOm| isaiyilum sollilum |)
Adapted to kalyANi, ranjani, neelAmbari with neraval, trikalam and swarams in each.
Followed by tani
7. appaLam ittu pAru - rAgamalikA - ramaNa maharishi
8. tillAna - (misra) pahADi - misra chApu - LGJ
9. nI nAma rupamulaku - sowrAshtram - T

Where do I begin...on the heels of Rimbaud moving like a dancing bullet thru the secret streets of a hot New Jersey night filled with wonder. Or the sunburned parking lot in California where I have a brother or two meet and a whole of lot of karma to burn?

One might say, Abhishek brings out the poet in people. Even if it is only borrowed verse.

Indulgence. If I were to describe Abhishek's music in one word that is the one I would go for. Abhishek indulges the audience in every sense, with the sheer power and spontaneity of delivery. Not to forget his own indulgence. In every musical whim. Indulgence in every musical idea worth exploring. The concert was a celebration of flow. A flood of ideas flying at you from every corner.

After a relatively sedate taruNi varnam, he began with an impressive sketch of nAtakapriyA. mArajananIm is such a beautiful composition. Its regal gait, the gOpucha yati-laden internal timing and rhythmic grouping of syllables; a treatise on how to make wonder out of the vivAdiness of a rAgam. Abhishek's exploration of the internal metric of the song itself was magnificent.

SarasAngi was handled beautifully; with care not to linger at the oscillating antara gAndhAram to create a sensation of sankarAbharaNAm and with just the perfect phrases using N3 to not show any shades of charukEsi. The neraval (both keezh and mEl kAlam) brought out some unique elements in the N3- D1 drop oozing sarasAngi essence like pixie dust. Akkarai's returns on the neraval were absolutely brilliant.

Both in nAtakapriya and sarasAngi, Abhishek pretty much threw a kitchen sink at Akkarai in terms of spontaneous challenges. A lesser violinist could not have handled this with the grace, quietude and effulgent alacrity as Akkarai. She is brilliant! Even at her young age, I think she has distinguished herself as a top-shelf violinist. It isn't often that I make comparisons. I think she is one of the few in her generation that is most likely to reach the heights set by some of the greatest accompanists of all time like LGJ/MSG/TNK.

I am a huge fan of harikambhOji. Somehow, Abhishek's version did not do it for me. That said, dinamaNI vamsa had all the charm that he could pack. However, I don't think his version compares with the gold standard SSI version that I have etched in my brain. Especially with PSP/TS's sarvalaghu on the anupallavi lines. Despite Anantha's brilliance overall (which I will get to in a second), I don't think he quite got in the groove for this song.

Abhishek's tODi was sensational. A full fire-works 30 minute alapanai reaching every corner of space afforded in tODi. Akkarai only played tAnam. And here I could observe how much she has internalized the fingering technique of many schools. She has the staccato bowing of the LGJ school but large oscillations on the finger board to create gamakAs. My initial impression was that it was reminiscent of MSG (or even LS and others) and then it dawned on me that it was probably a chitraveena/slide technique that she has adapted so perfectly for her instrument.

The pallavi was interesting to say the least. First the unusual pallavi line, but the lines themselves were perfect foil for some amazing rhythmic manipulations. Abhishek weaved each ragam into this pattern, and his use of the rhythmic solfage varied depending on the eigen-pace of each rAgam. His treatment of the pallavi line in nIlambari was vastly different from the same in kalyani. He grahabedam-ed from tODi to kalyAni and vice versa like it was candy, and then sang the same line in unmoored tODi and kalyANi. He brought out some of LGJ's varnam phrases in his nilambari sojourn, which I thought added a delicate touch.

Anantha's tani followed the structure of the pallavi. He used the pallavi line (which is readily demonstrable on the mridangam) as the base and performed variations around it. I am amazed by his technical wizardry and sophistication of his kai. It appears to me that Anantha is now a self-made musician and his accompaniment has a uniquely original element to it.

Chandrasekhara Sarma was wonderful. I had no idea that he was as talented. I think it takes a team like this for him to showcase his abundant supply of talent. He grabbed every opportunity to chime in. His ghaTam has a superb nAdham to it. His use of the bass elements using the outer perimeter of the mouth of the instrument was very appropriate when he played with the violinist.

Abhishek's has indefatigable levels of energy. After a pallavi that would have burned about 3000 calories, he sang "appalam ittu paru". His meticulous commitment to shruti was quite evident as he fine-tuned the tampura to perfect levels even with one song to go. His pahAdi had many misra elements in it (folks in the misra carnatic thread) would have found Abhishek's indulgence in these anyaswaras quite interesting. I wish he had stayed true to LGJ's version; can't say I got into the frame of Abhishek's pahADi, though I tried.

And at the end of the concert, I felt indulged. The pleasant feeling that you get when you have eaten too much, stayed up too late or ran that extra lap. But the satiation was all cerebral, with no corporeal side effects that you get when you indulge.

bombal
Posts: 110
Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 22:54

#2 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by bombal »

happy for you mahavishnu glad you enjoyed it, which oozes out in your review...

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10937
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 11
x 2

#3 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Excellent review Mahavishnu. It was fun to read
and was educational as well. Indulgence indeed.Thanks.

Rsachi
Posts: 5039
Joined: 31 Aug 2009, 13:54
x 2

#4 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by Rsachi »

Mahavishnu,
There are as many brilliant lines in your review as moments in an Abhishek concert! Way to go....
Thanks

kvchellappa
Posts: 3592
Joined: 04 Aug 2011, 13:54
x 1005
x 1

#5 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by kvchellappa »

I hope the musicians read these reviews. It brings to mind the criticisms of Shakespeare which enhance enjoying the rooted in the world, fitting into a pattern and rightly phrased (inventing a new phrase if the existing ones do not meet the demand) original. Where else will one get such stuff shared philanthropically, as it were, with anyone who only just looked for it? Felt indulged in.

thanjavooran
Posts: 2738
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 04:44
x 255
x 14

#6 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by thanjavooran »

Mahavishnu Avl,
An excellent review on this 4 hrs concert. Quite interesting to go through. Enjoyed every line. Many thanx.
Thanjavooran
20 04 2015

rshankar
Posts: 13721
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 22:26
x 831
x 21

#7 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by rshankar »

Ramesh...awesome! And after three uniformly outstanding reviews of this team, once has to misquote the words of the immortal Ian Flemming (Auric Goldfinger) to say, 'once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times? It's sheer brilliance'!!
Looks like the Triple A (we here in the US are used to) may even abandon a stranded motorist, but this AAA combination will always indulge (to borrow your word) a listener!

venkatpv
Posts: 373
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 22:23

#8 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by venkatpv »

great review, mahavishnu.
mahavishnu wrote:nAtakapriyA. ... the vivAdiness of a rAgam
natakapriya is quite non-vivadi. :)

rajeshnat
Posts: 9309
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 120
x 25

#9 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by rajeshnat »

Mahavishnu,
#As usual one of its kind. Indulgence it is to me your review and VK review - I had to read it twice, once to enjoy it and the second time to pause every phrase and assimilate it.

#May be we can talk in person about your harikambOdhi comment , a day before rama nannu brova rA and then dinamani - yet you felt may be abhishek could have done better.

# For me Abhishek sarasangi is one of its kind and the natakapriya that you have said i have heard once in your school in chennai. Abhi gave a lovely natakapriya - sarasangi combination . Todi and pallavi is a sure footed success of abhishek. The kambodhi varnam is new to me.

# I wish I had 200 USD i could have bought a ticket to chandrasekara sharma from SFO to LAX , that way I would have got what i wanted a day before .

# For me the greatest education in what you have written where you have described akkarai playing. I am glad she was used more there.

Few questions:
----------------------
# Quick question for a near four hour concert with a possible 10 min introduction, how was the crowd. Any pointers on numbers?

# Roughly How long was only the pallavi? and How long was the tani?

# Is this concert organized by Mani subramnanyan?

Keep it up, I am glad you wrote a lovely indulgence review . Being monday morning pst , trying to get out of Indolence, your indulgence has made it more difficult. :roll: :roll: .

Sindhuja
Posts: 162
Joined: 31 Mar 2010, 11:11
x 4

#10 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by Sindhuja »

Fitting review (as always) to the outstanding concert that it seems to have been - thanks mahavishnu!
I think I have heard the Sarasangi from him before, can't remember when/ where.

ramakriya
Posts: 1833
Joined: 04 Feb 2010, 02:05
x 1

#11 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by ramakriya »

The concert was a SIFA (www.southindiafinearts.org) presentation.

The concert hall was *full* with many people standing along the walls.

Natakapriya, and vivadi-ness? What am I missing here?

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#12 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Thanks All!

Sindhuja: Missed seeing you yesterday! And then I saw your post on the other thread. I take it that you are still in San Diego (and moving to LA! Look forward to hearing more from you about concerts there)

Rajesh: ManiSubramaniyan's organization is Sankritilaya. This one is SIFA as Ramakriya mentioned.
The kambodhi varnam is new to me.
Ironically, it was one of the first varnams I learned as a child (after Ninnukori in Mohanam). It is considered to be an Alathur specialty (among others). It is a beautiful varnam with very symmetrical arrangements in the charanam. In recent years, sarasijanAbhA has received a lot of airplay; I am hoping to hear more of this varnam. Coincindentally, right after I spoke to you, I was humming this varnam as I was standing in line for the concert. And how fortuitous that it was the first piece!

Another kAmbhOji varNam that does not get much circulation these days is "kamalAkshi" in misra jhampai. I just googled it and found very few references. It is a pada varNam, with beautiful lyrics for the mukthayi swaram and each of the chittaiswarams. I learned this too as a child; but it has somehow escaped all the vessels of my memory.

Venkatpv and Ramakriya: Pardon my poor phrasing :) The relative adjacency of D2 N2 and the slight discord of R1 G2 interval, gives the rAga a certain defiance of expectancy. I think NCK has captured this intervalic effect quite brilliantly in his composition, and that is what I meant to express.

I am really enjoying following these artiste tours. It feels like pieces of an impressionist canvas coming together. I look forward to hearing about the rest of Abhishek's performances elsewhere.

P.S: I just switched to the Safari browser and it has taken the world of autocorrect to an entirely different level. NSFR (Not suitable for rasikas). It was constantly trying to change vivAdiness to vividness. Perhaps that would have been a good thing?
Switching back to Chrome after this post.

Sindhuja
Posts: 162
Joined: 31 Mar 2010, 11:11
x 4

#13 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by Sindhuja »

mahavishnu wrote:Thanks All!

Sindhuja: Missed seeing you yesterday! And then I saw your post on the other thread. I take it that you are still in San Diego (and moving to LA! Look forward to hearing more from you about concerts there)

Rajesh: ManiSubramaniyan's organization is Sankritilaya. This one is SIFA as Ramakriya mentioned.
Yes, in San Diego and the festival here last month was quite lovely. Pity I didn't get a chance to jot down a few lines about each concert - but in terms of the line up it was a mini Cleveland, if I can call it so.

Sorry - //end digression//

arasi
Posts: 16383
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 09:30
x 626
x 8

#14 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by arasi »

Mahavishnu,
Thanks!

A time will soon come when there will be anthologies not of just short stories but of CM concert reviews. Believe me, Pasupathy has already done it--he has brought Kalki's memorable reviews in tamizh from the forties and fifties--from his blog to us. Those of you who can read tamizh can relish them in the Literature Section.

Now, all our ace reviewers were at work this weekend, bringing us the best possible reviews--each in his own style--Mahavishnu, Kedharam, Rajesh--not forgetting spring cuckoo (even Rajesh has taken a shine to my appellation for 'janitor supreme') who has taken to writing excellent reviews. I can't believe that years ago he started a new thread for those not wanting to write a full-blown review (the thread's almost stagnant now!).

Well, why wouldn't rasikAs and musicians read our reviews with interest? Our ace reviewers give us the list first. Then give life to the entries in their responses to them, speak about the nuances in rAgAs, layA, presentation, their little disappointments and more! All in their own inimitable style.

May your tribe flourish and increase, so that the naysayers pause (they are prejudiced), while you folks point out your disappointments too, along with healthy comments and interactions about concerts...:)

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#15 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Sindhuja wrote:Fitting review (as always) to the outstanding concert that it seems to have been - thanks mahavishnu!
I think I have heard the Sarasangi from him before, can't remember when/ where.
This might help jog your memory :) Same location in Santa Clara in 2011!
http://www.rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic. ... 30#p208414

Sindhuja
Posts: 162
Joined: 31 Mar 2010, 11:11
x 4

#16 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by Sindhuja »

Ah, yes! Thank you! :)

Gadolinium
Posts: 39
Joined: 12 Aug 2009, 04:50

#17 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by Gadolinium »

Mahavishnu - That was such a wonderful review and a pleasure to read. I couldn't make it and you made me miss the concert even more.

Just curious - how was the "sri varalakshmi namastubhyam"? It is such a lovely composition, wondering how detailed was his rendering and if you had any specific comments on it. I've listened to very few MD compositions by him, and that could very well be sampling error.

PS: I loved how you mapped a calorie to the RTP - How close do you think you are? ;)

PUNARVASU
Posts: 2498
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 05:42
x 4

#18 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by PUNARVASU »

Mahavishnu, it was a pleasure to read your review! Thanks for letting us partake of Abhishek's music ! We could visualise and derive some pleasure!

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#19 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Arasi, Punarvasu & Gadolinium: Thanks!
Gadolinium wrote:Mahavishnu - That was such a wonderful review and a pleasure to read. I couldn't make it and you made me miss the concert even more.

Just curious - how was the "sri varalakshmi namastubhyam"? It is such a lovely composition, wondering how detailed was his rendering and if you had any specific comments on it. I've listened to very few MD compositions by him, and that could very well be sampling error.

PS: I loved how you mapped a calorie to the RTP - How close do you think you are? ;)
Missed you at the concert, Gadolinium! Hope all's well with you and yours.

Sri Varalakshmi was presented straight up, with no manodharmam sections. Abhishek has a very good sense of kAlapramANam, which I imagine is very helpful when presenting MD compositions. Now that you mention it, I haven't heard that many major MD compositions from him, but the ones I have heard have been quite challenging ones like Tyagarajaya Namaste, Sri natadi guruguho, tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam etc.

RE: the Calorie comment. Ha!
You know, just last week I went to a talk by a physicist at UCSF who spoke about the amount of mass in information (a very von Neumann-esque problem). And consequently the thermodynamics of having a thought (using some beautiful derivations using Landauer's principle). I am sure a good physiologist can work out the metabolic cost of all of this.

My guess is that the metabolic cost is about 2999.99 calories and the rest is sheer brilliance! :)

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#20 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Some pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/MNPrasannaRang ... nref=story

Including one of yours truly, from a random audience shot (see if you can spot it). You don't need a FB account to see the pics.

maduraimini
Posts: 477
Joined: 22 Sep 2009, 02:55
x 1

#21 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by maduraimini »

Very good review, Mahavishnu. Your review is very much like a library book, you want to read again. Really interesting how you connect different things together. Thanks.

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#22 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Why, thank you, Maduraimini!

Gadolinium
Posts: 39
Joined: 12 Aug 2009, 04:50

#23 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by Gadolinium »

mahavishnu wrote: Missed you at the concert, Gadolinium! Hope all's well with you and yours.

Sri Varalakshmi was presented straight up, with no manodharmam sections. Abhishek has a very good sense of kAlapramANam, which I imagine is very helpful when presenting MD compositions. Now that you mention it, I haven't heard that many major MD compositions from him, but the ones I have heard have been quite challenging ones like Tyagarajaya Namaste, Sri natadi guruguho, tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam etc.

RE: the Calorie comment. Ha!
You know, just last week I went to a talk by a physicist at UCSF who spoke about the amount of mass in information (a very von Neumann-esque problem). And consequently the thermodynamics of having a thought (using some beautiful derivations using Landauer's principle). I am sure a good physiologist can work out the metabolic cost of all of this.

My guess is that the metabolic cost is about 2999.99 calories and the rest is sheer brilliance! :)
Thanks Mahavishnu. I've never listened to these songs by Abhishek, will check them out. Only listened to a "Ananda natana prakasham" in a recently uploaded YouTube video.

And thanks for those insights reg. calories. I'm sure this can be calculated. In fact, it has been estimated that a Grandmaster spends north of 10000 calories in a chess game, so should not be too difficult to measure the same for other artistic endeavors. Maybe we can start including this in reports - What say Rajesh? :)

And also thanks for the pictures. I found you very easily, your scholarly presence is difficult to miss :)

karthit
Posts: 19
Joined: 24 Dec 2007, 11:00

#24 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by karthit »

I think many of us have been fooled all along that Abhishek Raghuram is actually a human being ;) I attended 5 concerts of his during the Dec 2014 season and I was convinced he is not ;) I heard he was sick when he was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and the concert he gave was unreal!! He played Mridangam during the Thani!! Even for this concert, I believe he was not well and had a sore throat/cold and then he sings a crazy complex Pallavi and played the Khanjira in the previous concert!! Just pray that this "non-human being" can continue to enthral people with such great music forever and ever Amen!!!

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#25 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Gadolinium wrote: And thanks for those insights reg. calories. I'm sure this can be calculated. In fact, it has been estimated that a Grandmaster spends north of 10000 calories in a chess game, so should not be too difficult to measure the same for other artistic endeavors. Maybe we can start including this in reports - What say Rajesh? :)
If there is anyone who will diligently report such values for every concert attended it is Rajesh! :D

Karthit: If you hadn't mentioned it, I would not have known that he was ill in any way. I could tell that his voice showed some strain, but I just attributed it to a ridiculously busy concert schedule. But he has such an amazing sense of professionalism that none of this was evident.

PUNARVASU
Posts: 2498
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 05:42
x 4

#26 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by PUNARVASU »

Tha padavrnam 'Kamalakshi ' in Kambhoji, misra jampai is a beautiful one. I am able to recollect upto charaNam. Trying to remember the rest of it. I really used to love that Varnam.but I don't think I learnt the sahityam of the swaras.

mahavishnu
Posts: 3338
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 21:56
x 7
x 5

#27 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by mahavishnu »

Punarvasu: You have me reminiscing again. the charnam lines were "Neeketakura neerajAksha komma"... IIRC.
I remember the swara/sahitya poruttham was just wonderful.

Lakshman-ji: Do you by any chance have the lyrics to this varNam? I believe it is by Ghanam Krishnayyar or Kunrakkudi Krshnayyar.

PUNARVASU
Posts: 2498
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 05:42
x 4

#28 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by PUNARVASU »

Mahavishnu, yes.
Kamalakshi ninnEkOriyunnadi
karunimpa manchi samayamu swami

VimalAtmuDaina muktIswara sada
BhakthuDaina muddu rAmalinga chandra bhUpatE

These are the pallavis and anupallavi lines. May need some correction, I think. Pl do send me the uttarAnga swaras and sahityam if you remember/ get them . Thanks

rshankar
Posts: 13721
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 22:26
x 831
x 21

#29 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by rshankar »

mahavishnu wrote:My guess is that the metabolic cost is about 2999.99 calories and the rest is sheer brilliance! :)
Ramesh (and Gadolinium), I am afraid that many of the musicians (and several rasikas as well) do believe in this thermodynamic cost of music, at the expense of their waistlines...need I say more?? :)

shankar vaidyanathan
Posts: 108
Joined: 25 Jan 2014, 18:16
x 1

#30 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by shankar vaidyanathan »

Thank you, mahavishnu, for that poetic review. As others said, I enjoyed reading it twice! Quite interesting insights about the violin playing technique of Akkarai.

shripathi_g
Posts: 352
Joined: 30 Mar 2005, 08:25

#31 Re: Abhishek Raghuram @ SIFA Bay Area April 19, 2015

Post by shripathi_g »

Like Nasreddin Hodja's horse, the concert feels doubly spectacular after reading mahavishnu's review. I was at the concert and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was pretty sure that he was going to start with Sarasijanabha but Taruni was a pleasant surprise. I've heard Manakkal Rangarajan sing it in a recording and remember trying to hunt it down again a few months back.

I could sense that he was not well and his voice felt very rough in the varnam and first half of Natakapriya. Thankfully, he recovered fast and gave a good concert. The pattern I have noticed (over the last 9 years) is that LA gets the Saturday concert and Bay Area gets the Sunday concert. The artists finish the concert late and rush down the next morning here and as a result, their voice is either strained or takes time to recover. For once, it'd be nice if Bay Area could get the Saturday concert.

I haven't heard too many Sarasangi alapanas and it took me a while to get. Sri Varalakshmi has become a favorite after listening to TNS' rendition here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dVbhqX5PiQ). After that song, I realized that he had not sung a pratimadhyamam raga till then and was dreading that he'd take up Kalyani as the main. I was a Kalyani despiser in a former life before my wife introduced me to its beauty but I still will not pay money to hear it :). Thankfully, Harikamboji was also kept short. Thodi was brilliant, especially after the long pause to tune the tambura. I enjoyed the pallavi though the complexity involved is beyond me (hope someone can explain). Didn't mind the Kalyani in the pallavi. :) The accompanying artists got a tremendous workout for their hands and brain. The standing ovation at the end was well-deserved. Already looking forward to his next trip.

Post Reply