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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NAVARATHRI MANDAPAM – Concert for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Feeling very humbled and blessed to have performed a Carnatic Classical concert for the “NAVARATHRI MANDAPAM” series organized by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Mylapore, Chennai on October 5 th 2013. I did a thematic concert titled “Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma”. This literally means “O Lakshmi! The one who grants all prosperity, welcome!!”. I felt this would be an apt theme for my concert as Oct 5 was the first day of the Nine day Navarathri extravaganza. What better place than the festive, ever-buzzing Mylapore than to begin Navarathri? Beginning with Sri Vigna Rajam Bhaje, a majestic kriti on Lord Vinayaka by Oothukadu Venkata Subbier in Gambira Nattai, the concert warmed up with Kamakshi Swarajathi on the presiding deity of Kanchi, Mother of the universe Kamakshi in Raga Bhairavi. My paataanthara (repertoire) for this kriti, comes from one of my Gurus, Smt. Savithri Satyamurthy is Dr S Ramanathan sir’s padhathi. I felt extremely happy that it was well received by the housefull audience. People love songs like “Nee Iranga enil” in Raga Atana in festive times like these. The kriti made popular by MS Subbulakshmi amma needs just the beginning phrase to grip the audience for the next 3 minutes. I am a huge fan of Shyama Sastri kritis. The bhava with which he addresses Goddess Kamakshi in every one of his compositions, like a son would address his mother, plead with her, humour her, argue with her, everyone one of these rasas flow as a soul-call in his kritis. My concert featured his “Marivere” in Anandabhairavi with the concise two minute aalapana. Following this was my sub-main piece “Saravana Bhava enum” in Shanmukhapriya. I always refer to shanmukhapriya as the PACE MAKER of any classical concert. True to this, it never fails to entertain and engage the listener. The filler song was the not often performed “Vancha Thonuna” with lightning fast swara passages sprinkled in between the song this is a classic in Raga Karnaranjani by harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar. I always love singing this song. Out of all the ragas , there are certain ones that are most fit for worshipping ambal and one such is the universal raga, Kalyani. Kalyani is also one of the many names of Goddess Devi. “Bhajare Rechitha” by Muthuswamy Dikshithar is a beautiful kriti in this raga with Neraval and Swara passages in “Devim Shakthi Beejodhbhava”. The heroine of this concert was “Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma” and audience response to this was amazing with their applause still ringing in my ears:D. During this song I had that beautiful out-of-body experience and it was as though a higher super-power sang through me and I was just the witness, enjoying the music. Such was the grace of Ambal as I believe she orchestrated the entire concert through me! Navarathri, the festive Kolu atmosphere of Mylapore, Jasmine fragrance in the air, lots of good music, lots of happy hearts, that’s what make every festival special and I am happy it became doubly special with this concert! Videos will be out on youtube soon! Will post links here! Accompanying me on “Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma” were: Sri Durai Srinivasan – Violin Sri VS Raghavan- Mridangam Sri Sunil- Kanjira

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