Venue: Parthasarathi Swami Temple, Triplicane, Chennai
Date: 12 May 2007
Organizer: Arulmigu Parthasarathi Swami Temple & Parthasarathy Swami Sabha
Vocal: Vid. T.M.Krishna (TMK)
Violin: Vid. V.L.Kumar
Mrudangam: Vid. Poongulam Subramaniam
Ghatam: Vid. S.Karthick
List of songs:
1) rAju veDale – tODi – rUpakam – tyAgarAja (NS)
2) srI rAmam – nArAyaNagauLa – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (O)
3) vADinEn vADi (viruttam) – varALi – tirumangai AzhwAr
Azhi mazhai kaNNA – varALi – Adi – ANDAL (S)
4 ) manavyALakin – naLinakAnti – Adi – thyAgarAja (A)
5) rAma bANa – sAvEri – Adi – thyAgarAja (ANT)
6) jAnaki ramaNa – kApi – Adi – vAnamAmalai jeer (O)
7) tirupati vEnkaTa ramaNA – sindhubhairavi – Adi – purandaradAsa
8 ) karpUram nArumO – khamAs – kanDa chApu – ANDAL (O)
9) mangaLam kOsalEndrAya (slOkam) – suruTTi
10) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – tyAgarAja
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)
When was the last time I heard TMK live? Can’t recall. Blame it on the cricket fan in him and/or his concerts abroad (and/or my poor memory), his absence from Chennai for quite a long time ensured that I rushed to Parthasarathi Swami Temple today to listen to his comeback concert (if you could term it so) despite my having been bedridden with high fever. The moment TMK started singing, I had this joyful feeling of having recovered back something dear to me that had been long lost.
TMK’s first song “rAju veDale” brought back memories of the days when I used to, at the risk of getting beaten by people around me, play multiple times, an audio cassette of his that had the song. Neraval/kalpana swarams were done/put today at “sEvanu gani surulu virulacE prEmanu pUjincaga” to some explosive accompaniment on the mrudangam. varALi flowed in TMK’s version of Tirumangai Azhwar’s “vADinEn vADi” from Periya Tirumozhi, especially in the phrases “ODinEn ODi” and “nArAyaNA enum nAmam” which TMK elaborated a lot. Sri V.L. Kumar played some good sacharas on the violin during his reply for the viruttam. This was followed by a heart moving rendition of Andal’s “Azhi mazhai kaNNA” with kalpana swarams at “vAzha ulaginil … “. The slow speed swarams were especially very impressive. TMK touched the nishAdam of the upper octave while singing them.
Next came a short raga alapana of naLinakAnti. When his turn came, Sri V.L. Kumar probably imagined himself in the hills of Uttaranchal among the locals and the effect showed. A slow rendition of “manavyALakin” was followed by a detailed raga alapana of sAvEri. If TMK touched nishAdam of the upper octave in varALi, he touched shadjam of the lower octave in the sAvEri alapana. Just when I was wondering how clear his voice was even at this note, he took a jump and landed at dhaivatam of the octave below the lower octave for a second before springing back again to shadjam of the lower ocatave and rounding up the alapana. I was just left gaping at the amazing range his voice could traverse. Sri V.L. Kumar started his alapana by almost playing “kari kaLAbha mukham“. TMK did neraval at the line “tammuDu baDalina vELa … ” with some nice endings played by Sri S. Karthick whenever he got the chance. TMK then signalled for taniavartanam which was played in the catusra and tisra naDais. Since TMK had to rush to catch a train for a concert in Coonor tomorrow, he sang 2-3 more songs before wrapping up.
Now for the “kOrvai of the day”… this one was played by Sri S. Karthick in the tisra naDai:
12 aksharam pattern x 3 times = 36 aksharams = 6 beats
tha ; dhi ; ki ; Na ; thom ; (15 aksharams)
tha, dhi ;, ki, Na, thom, – 2 times (instead of the usual 10 aksharam pattern “tha, dhi, ki, Na, thom,” that usually comes here, play 12 aksharam one two times to get 24 aksharams)
tha, dhi, ki Na thom – 3 times (21 aksharams)
Total aksharam count for kOrvai = 96 (=16 beats = 1 avartanam of Adi tALam, 2 kaLai)
Though it looks simple to say/play, what an intelligent use of patterns of 5, 6 & 7 ….. and it sounds quite nice on the ghatam too !!!!