Mandolin Srinivas @ Odukkathur Mutt, Bangalore

Mandolin U. Srinivas performed to a packed and overflowing auditorium at the Odukathur Mutt in Bangalore yesterday. He was ably accompanied by Sri S.D. Sridharan on the violin, Trichy Sri B. Harikumar on the mridangam and Sri S.V. Ramani on the ghatam. In the 3 hour concert, Sri U.Srinivas once again showed why he is rightly acclaimed as a child prodigy and why he is still one of the best instrumentalists around. If I were asked to choose one aspect of the concert that I would remember for a long time to come, it would be the beautiful way in which he played the compositions. It was almost as though a very good singer was sitting on stage and singing the compositions. This kutcheri was a very good example of how learning vocal or at least knowing the sahitya of the song can help an instrumentalist. The songs dEvAdidEva (sunAdavinOdini) and himagiritanayE (sudha danyAsi) played in the concert were very good examples of the same.

Another good part about the concert, which is generally missing from most other carnatic music concerts, was the artist’s interaction with the audience. Sri U. Srinivas announced details of the composition he would be playing next, almost before every song. If not at the beginning, artists should at least make such announcements at the end of each song, especially in instrumental concerts where recognizing what song is being played might be a bit difficult at times for many people. This will also help the artists connect well with the audience.

Sri Harikumar and Sri Ramani provided quality percussion accompaniment, the highlight being the 15 minute odd taniavartanam. Another very good aspect of Sri Harikumar’s mridangam accompaniment was the effective use of “ghumukhis“. I think after Sri Trichy Sankaran, this is the first time I am seeing any other artist use it so beautifully in a concert.

The list of songs played is as follows:

1) nI dayarAda (varnam) – AndOlika – Adi – g.n. bAlasubramaniam

2) srI ganapathini – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja

3) dEvAdi dEva – sunAdavinOdini – Adi – mysore vAsudEvachAr

4) entarAnI – harikAmbOji – Adi – thyAgarAja

5) dEva dEva – mAyAmAlavagOwla – rUpakam – swAti tirunAl

6) himagiri tanayE – sudha danyAsi – Adi – harikEsanallUr muthiAh bhAgavathar

7) idi nyAyamA – mAlavi – Adi – pattanam subramanya iyer

8) bAlagOpAla – bhAiravi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

9) govindA ninna – janasammOdhini – Adi – purandaradAsa

10) thIrAda vilayAttu – rAgamAlika – Adi – subramanya bhArati

11) gOvinda – Ahir bhAirav (?) – Adi – sAi bhajan

12) bArO krishnaiyyA – rAgamAlika – Adi – kanakadAsa

13) chandrasEkharA – sindhu bhairavi – Adi – pApanAsam sivan

14) thillAna – misra sivaranjani – Adi – lAlgudi g. jayarAman

15) pavamAna – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja

Today’s concert at the Odukkathur Mutt is by one of my favorite singers Sri T.M. Krishna. The schedule of the concert series is available here.

Upcoming concerts in Bangalore organized by Advaita

The following are the upcoming concerts in Bangalore organized by Advaita:

14th Aug 2006 (Monday)

6:30PM – Carnatic Vocal by Smt. Sudha Ragunathan at RV Dental College Auditorium, JP Nagar, Phase 1, Bangalore (Ticket: Rs. 100 available at venue)

15th Aug 2006 (Tuesday)

6:30PM – Special Independence Day music program – Violin by Sri Kunnakudi R. Vaidyanathan at RV Dental College Auditorium, JP Nagar, Phase 1, Bangalore (Ticket: Rs. 150 & Rs. 250 available at venue)

8th Sep 2006 (Saturday)

6:30PM – Carnatic Vocal by Sri T.M.Krishna at Mangala Mantapa, NMKRV Women’s College , 22nd Cross, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore (Ticket: Rs. 100)

The venue, timings and the price of tickets for the following concerts have not been announced yet. The time should most probably be 6:30PM. The dates of the concerts might be subject to change considering that Advaita has already changed the dates of a few concerts from what they announced previously.

29th Sep 2006 – Carnatic Vocal by Smt. Nityashree Mahadevan

30th Sep 2006 – Hindustani Vocal by Gundecha Brothers

1st Oct 2006 – Carnatic Vocal by Madurai Sri T.N. Seshagopalan

2nd Oct 2006 – Hindustani Vocal by Smt. Shubha Mudgal

13th Oct 2006 – Rare ragas & Compositions – Part 2 by Sri R.K.Srikantan

11th Nov 2006 – Musical Nite by Sri S.P. Balasubramaniam (SPB) and Sri Gurukiran

15th Dec 2006 – Carnatic Mandolin by Sri U.Srinivas with Sri Zakhir Hussain on the tabla

1st Jan 2007 – Hindustani Vocal by Pt. Jasraj & Smt. Durga Jasraj

10th Feb 2007 – Santoor by Sri Shiv Kumar Sharma

18th Feb 2007 – Rare ragas & Compositions – Part 3 by Sri R.K.Srikantan

The Gokulashtami concerts series at the Odakathur Mutt starts from today. You can refer to the detailed schedule under the Category “Music Events” on the right side of this page/blog.

R.K.Srikantan’s “Rare Ragas & Compositions” Concert – Part1

He is 86 years of age and you wonder whether he will be able to perform when you look at his frail frame seated on a chair-like structure. When he starts singing, you wonder if the strong voice is actually coming from this old man. He is none other than veteran Carnatic music vidwan “Sangeetha KalanidhiDr. R.K. Srikantan who presented part 1 of his concert series on “rare ragas and compositions” at the R.V. Dental College Auditorium in J.P.Nagar, Bangalore yesterday. He was accompanied by Sri H.K.Venkatram on the violin, Sri Mannargudi A. Easwaran on the mridangam and Sri Dayananda Mohite on the ghatam. Vocal support was provided by Sri Manasa Nayana. The concert was organized by Advaita.

The highlights of Sri R.K.Srikantan’s performance were beautiful sangathis, shruti suddham and clear pronunciation of words that comprise a song, all this with a loud, clear and strong voice. Veteran mridangam vidwan from Chennai, Sri Mannargudi Easwaran provided very good percussive accompaniment. It was nice to see him encourage and enjoy the korvais played by Sri Dayananda Mohite on the ghatam during the taniavartanam.

One observation however regarding the choice of kritis is that except for a couple of them (say the AndhAli and the danyAsi one and you can count in the nAttai varnam also), almost all the other kritis are sung in thyAgaraja aradhanas regularly, if not in regular concerts. I am not sure if they can be termed rare as such.

The concert details/list of songs are as follows:

Vocal: Dr R.K.Srikantan
Vocal Support: Sri Manasa Nayana
Violin: Sri H.K.Venkatram
Mridangam: Sri Mannargudi Easwaran
Ghatam: Sri Dayanand Mohite
Tanpura: Sri Jagannath

List of Songs:
1) sarasijanAbha (varnam) – nAttai – Adi – pAlghAt paramEswara bhAgavathar
2) idi samayamurA – chAyAranjani – Adi – thyAgarAja
3) vinavE O manasA – vivardhani – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
4) manasA srI – IsamanOhari – Adi – thyAgarAja
5) tappaganE – sudha bangalA – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
6) kalalanErchinA – dIpakam – Adi – thyAgarAja
7) endundI bedalitivO – darbAr – misra chApu – thyAgarAja
8) brihannAyaki – AndhAli – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
9) vidulaku – mAyAmAlavagOwla – Adi – thyAgarAja
10) raghupatE rAma – sahAnA – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
11) syAma sundarAnga – danyAsi – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
12) tanayuni brOva – bhAiravi – Adi – thyAgarAja
13) nAma kusuma – srI – Adi – thyAgarAja
14) mangalam kOsalendrAya (mangala slOkam) – srI
pavamAna (mangalam) – sowrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja

Part 2 and Part 3 of this concert are scheduled for 13th Oct 2006 and 18th Feb 2007 respectively.

Worldspace Satellite Radio

I got my Worldspace Satellite Radio subscription activated yesterday. For more details on what Worldspace is and what it offers, please visit the website . The primary motivation behind getting it was a 24×7 music channel dedicated to Carnatic music called Shruti, a 24×7 Hindustani classical music channel called Gandharv and no channel dedicated to Himesh Reshammiya. Going by the programs that were broadcast yesterday, I should say that I am happy with the subscription. I just hope they don’t start repeating the programs too often.

Apart from these two channels, there are 38 more including the ones on old bollywood numbers, latest bollywood hits, punjabi songs and tam movie songs. Refer to the Worldspace website for more details.

FYI … Advaita is organizing a thematic concert on rare ragas and kritis by veteran Carnatic music Vidwan Sri R.K.Srikantan today in R.V.Dental College Auditorium, 1st Phase, J.P.Nagar, Bangalore. The concert is expected to be from 6:30PM to 9:30PM. Tickets can be bought at the venue. Tickets were priced at Rs 40/head, the last time I attended a concert organized by the same people.

Ramayanam by Sikkil Gurucharan

I bought Sikkil Gurucharan‘s music album “Ramayanam” , a set of 3 CDs released by Rajalakshmi Audio, Coimbatore last week. It is a beautiful compilation of carnatic songs depicting the story of Lord Rama. There are in all 16 songs and a mangalam with most of the songs having an appropriate viruttam. The list of songs is as follows:

1) sAketa nagara – harikAmbOji – Adi – mysore sadAsiva rAo

2) dEva dEvam – danyAsi – kanda chApu – annamAchArya

3) dasaratha sutha – jOnpuri – Adi – vAnamAmalai jIyar

4) kOlam kAna – nAttakurinji – Adi – ambujam krishnA

5) kalyAna rAma – hamsanAdam – Adi – UthuKAdu venkatakavi

6) sItA kalyAna – kurinji – kanda chApu – thyAgarAja

7) eppadi manam – husEnI – misra chApu – arunAchala kavirAyar

8) E rAmuni – vakulAbharanam – misra chApu – thyAgarAja

9) bhajarE mAnasa – AbhEri – Adi – mysore vAsudEvAchar

10) vittuvidadA – kEdAragOwla – Adi – arunAchala kavirAyar

11) anumanE – malayamArutham – rUpakam – arunAchala kavirAyar

12) sarasa sAma – kApinArAyani – Adi – thyAgarAja

13) rAma nAma pAyasakE – Anandabhairavi – Adi – purandaradAsa

14) rAma jOgi – kamAs – Adi – bhadrAchala rAmadAs

15) mAmava pattAbhi – manirangu – misra chApu – muthuswamI dIkshitar

16) gIthArthamu – suruttI – Adi – thyAgarAja

17) mangalam – madhyamAvati – Adi – thyAgarAja

All the songs have been sung beautifully by Gurucharan. Some of them have been sung a shade faster than they are usually done. My personal favorite is the hamsanadam kriti “kalyAna rAma”.

It would have taken a lot of effort to compile all the songs, choose the viruthams that fit in with the songs and to render them in an excellent fashion. Kudos to Gurucharan and to the people behind the compilation … an album certainly worth buying.

Gokulashtami concerts in Bangalore

Details of the Gokulashtami concert series at Odukkathur Swamigal Mutt, Gangadhar Chetty Road, Near Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore are as follows:

29th July 2006 (Saturday)
6.00 pm: Kadri Gopalnath (Saxophone) – A. Kanyakumari (Violin) – Haridwaramangalam A.K.Palanivel (Thavil) – Sukanya Ramagopal (Ghatam)

30th July 2006 (Sunday)
6.00 pm: U.Shrinivas (Mandolin) – S.D. Sridharan (Violin) – Trichy B. Harikumar (Mridangam) – S.V. Ramani (Ghatam)

31st July 2006 (Monday)
6.00 pm: TM Krishna (Vocal) – H.K.Venkatram (Violin) – K. Arun Prakash (Mridangam) – M.A.Krishnamurthy (Ghatam)

1st Aug 2006 (Tuesday)
6.00 pm: Lalgudi GJR Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi (Violin Duet) – Mannargudi A. Easwaran (Mridangam) – B.S.Purushottam (Khanjira)

2nd Aug 2006 (Wednesday)
6.00 pm: Priya Sisters Shanmugapriya & Haripriya (Vocal) – M.A. Krishnaswamy (Violin) – Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam (Mridangam) – Sukanya Ramagopal (Ghatam)

3rd August 2006 (Thursday)
6.00 pm: Malladi BrothersSriram Prasad & Sri Ravikumar (Vocal) – Mysore M Manjunath (Violin) – Srimushnam V Raja Rao (Mridangam) – B. Shree Sundar Kumar (Khanjira)

4th Aug 2006 (Friday)
6.00 pm: Jayanthi Kumaresh (Veena) – Arjun Kumar (Mridangam)S Karthick (Ghatam)

5th Aug 2006 (Saturday)
6.00 pm: Nithyasri Mahadevan (Vocal) – Akkarai S Subhalakshmi (Violin) – P Satish Kumar (Mridangam) – G Guruprasanna (Khanjira)

6th Aug 2006 (Sunday)
10.30 am: Lecture Demonstration on Approach & techniques of improvisation by N.Ravikiran & Sriram Parasuram (Vocal)
6.00 pm: N Ravikiran (Chitravina) – Sriram Parasuram (Violin?) – K V Prasad (Mridangam) – Vaikom Gopalakrishnan (Ghatam)

7th Aug 2006 (Monday)
6.00 pm: Sanjay Subrahmanyan (Vocal) – Nagai Muralidharan (Violin) – Thanjavur Ramadas (Mridangam) – T.V. Vasan (Ghatam)

8th Aug 2006 (Tuesday)
6.00 pm: Dr. Sreevalsan J Menon (Vocal) – S.Varadarajan (Violin) – Neyveli R Narayanan (Mridangam) – Guruprasanna (Khanjira)

9th Aug 2006 (Wednesday)
6.00 pm: Neyveli Santhanagopalan (Vocal) – B.U.Ganesh Prasad (Violin) – V. Kamalakara Rao (Mridangam) – N Amrith (Khanjira)

10th Aug 2006 (Thursday)
6.00 pm: OS Thyagarajan (Vocal) – Mysore M. Nagaraj (Violin) – Karaikudi R. Mani (Mridangam) – V. Suresh (Ghatam)

11th Aug 2006 (Friday)
6.00 pm: Madurai TN Seshagopalan (Vocal) – M Chandrasekaran (Violin) – Umayalapuram K Sivaraman (Mridangam) – B. Sundar Kumar (Khanjira)

12th Aug 2006 (Saturday)
6.00 pm: Pithukuli Murugadas & Party (Vocal)

13th Aug 2006 (Sunday)
6.00 pm: Sudha Ragunathan (Vocal) – H.N. Bhaskar (Violin) – Poongulam Subramanyam (Mridangam) – R Raman (Morsing)

These concerts are organized by Sri Guruvayurappan Bhajan Samaj Trust.