Venue : Arkay Convention Center, Luz
Vocal : Jayakrishnan Unni
Violin : Pappu Gyanadev
Mridangam : R Akshay Ram
Song list :
evvarE (varnam) - sahAna - aTa
paramapurusham - lalitapanchamam - khanDa chApu - Swati Tirunal - S
sujana jeevana - khamAs - rUpaka - Thyagaraja - R S
rAma bhakti sAmrAjyam - shuddha bangAla - Adi 1/2 eDuppu - Thyagaraja
meenAkshi mE mudam dEhi - purvikalyANi / gamakakriyA - Adi - Muthuswami Dikshitar - R N S TA
AdhArame (??) - viruttam - kApi
kanmaNiyE sollaDi - kApi - Adi 1/2 eDuppu -
I owe Jayakrishnan this one. He's one reason I got this passionate about CM down the road. He and I went to JEE classes together for a while way back in 2005 and already at that time he was capable of giving concerts and crazy passionate about music. He had been a student of Neyveli Santhanagopalan for quite a while then. We would walk back to the IITM Gate and he would be trying out virtually all TNS brighas and all kinds of other swaras and raga phrases all the way. At that time I was a novice who knew only few songs and varnams and it was being around him which really stirred up my interest in CM to another level. I knew then he'd go far down the road.
Jayakrishnan's soft voice sounds very reminiscent of KVN these days with the touch of his guru NSG and the TNS influence in manodharma, with a touch of TVS also in his raga alapana phrases.
This being one of those single mic concerts at Arkay, the volume was low, but the natural sound by itself so well balanced by the artistes without all those monitors and other complications on stage.
The concert got off to a brisk start with a varnan in sahAna in aTa tAlam (@Lakshman can you help? ). Paramapurusham was next up, with a grippy chittaswaram and a powerful set of swaras to follow. This really brought back KVN's rendition of it
A short and sedate AlApana of khamAs with touching and intricate phrases followed. Pappu Gyanandev had his moments in his reply. sujana jeevana of Thyagaraja was rendered with swaras at chAru nEtra in 2 speeds, sans gimmicks. Perhaps due to the time constraint (it's almost half time already) , Jayakrishnan carried the bulk of the swara singing on his own shoulders including the final korvai.
A fast rendition of rAma bhakti sAmrAjyam in shuddha bangALa with a nice shower of brigha sangatis filled up the gap to the main number. Micless concerts allow fast paced numbers to race without the high dB assault on the ears when the mics go blasting. So good support from Akshay Ram to keep the sound balanced while keeping the energy level.
It seems to me that the modern Carnatic kutcheri is incomplete without purvikalyANi - but somehow the rAga just refuses to grows old. Jayakrishnan brought his imagination to full use in the available time with the phrases spanning 3 sthAyis. He really does remind me of TVS in this aspect. Impressively rich and detailed phrasing, much like his painting skills (a surprise gift I didn't know he had). Pappu Gnanadev played his turn well, with a long brigha that caught attention, but he'd be even better if he can fine tune his intonation just a bit more.
Well having heard a bazillion purvikalyANi / gamakakriyAs I just knew what was coming. Jayakrishnan took up meenAkshi mE mudam dEhi briskly and gave a very classy and mature rendition of the kriti. Some really detailed phrases coming in the sangatis. He really knows how to pack a lot of musicality into a short space. Neraval was at vidhu viDambana in 2 speeds and well detailed. The kalpanaswaras also continued the high quality phrasing. Some nice cross eDuppu calculations in the slow speed and a swarakashara ending on gamakakriyE. After that the fast speed swaras with the opening combinations featuring a lot of janTa patterns. Then the next round featured some tricky arithmetic. That was then followed by some vintage KVN level swara singing in the kuraippu - and Pappu Gynadev was pushed hard, but rose to the challenge, ably supported by Akshay Ram at the more difficult moments. The final korvai was a tightrope, but he nailed it with a surprise on the last round.
Akshay Ram had supported the team delicately well throughout this micless exercise and now he started off the first round of the tAni in chatushra naDai with a complex korvai to round it off. Second round in khanDa naDai with some sizzling stuff. Then he went on to the farans and the mohra, concluding with a straight to the point korvai. Followed by the conclusion of the kriti with a few sangatis at madhu mata mOdita and ending with a nice theermanam.
A short viruttam in a very moving kApi with some long drawn phrases ending in brighas. On the same level of Bharat Sundar's kApi at Raga Sudha the other day. Followed by kanmaNiyE sollaDi with some classy sangatis.
That brought an end to an excellent concert that felt hamstrung only by the short time slot. Jayakrishnan has excelled at longer concerts too and it's high time he gets an upgrade and more opportunities for his vidwat. The crowd was also disappointing, though the numbers got better as the concert went on (some of them were there to hear the next concert) and I think we need to bring talents like him further into the spotlight where they will be noticed and get their due recognition.
Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
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