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The sacred and thesublime

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The fortieth version of Surashree Kesarbai Kerkar Sangeet Samaroh introduced collectively musicians from all gharanas

How does one describe the chic? It’s the coming collectively of the aesthetic and moral, it’s the even handed mixture of sensibility and illustration, a sense that releases the perceiver from the constraints of human situation — to listing a couple of. The fortieth version of Surashree Kesarbai Kerkar Sangeet Samaroh, an annual pageant of music hosted by Kala Academy, Goa, had many lofty moments that took the listener past kind, magnificence, feeling and rhetoric. Music rose above the ‘seen’ taking the listener to a noble and profound state of rasanubhava. It was subliminal.

How do you pay homage to a musician of Kesarbai Kerkar’s stature? Susheela Mishra writes in her essay on Kesarbai Kerkar: “All her life she strove for perfection in her artwork, and such was her devotion to the musical traditions of her Gharana (the Jaipur-Atrauli or Alladiya Khan gharana) that she by no means cared to decrease her lofty requirements, not even to draw a big viewers.” An applicable providing to Kesarbai can’t be imitation, can’t be virtuosity — it can’t be something lower than the sacred. The Sangeet Samaroh had ample proof of this: most musicians on the pageant put out their sincere selves shorn of dazzlement.

In a three-day pageant with so many live shows, it could quantity to a mere itemizing if one dared to write down about every certainly one of them. Some musicians solid a spell, and what’s here’s a trickling effort to doc it. Saskia Rao took raag Puriya Dhanashri to new depths along with her scintillating rendition on the Indian cello in a jugalbandi with Pt. Shubhendra Rao, her partner and famend sitarist. A pious and honest musician, Pt. Shubhendra’s music is richly evocative. Regardless of coaching underneath a legendary guru, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Shubhendra is an unique thinker. His narrative was reflective and absorbed Nonetheless, it was clearly Saskia’s day — the richness she delivered to the rendition created an environment of a symphony of cellos. Endowed with an insightful imaginative and prescient, Saskia yoked the temper of the raag with the soundscapes produced by her fantastic instrument. With a Dhrupad aesthetic, typical of the Maihar gharana — the rhythmic variations within the jod part, the sensible interpretations and the silence they might infuse even once they picked pace, triggered deep interior stirrings. Saskia’s profound musical self constructed an overarching temper of contemplation, exploring microtonal intervals in numerous melodic configurations. It was not merely a wealthy portrayal of a raga, however of conviction, braveness and creativeness.


Poornima Bhat Kulkarni and Shalmalee Joshi have been equally gorgeous. Music, in these artistes, was a pure outpouring of their sadhana. As they sang, they plunged into depths, and dared to scale new heights. Poornima – along with her strong and well-toned voice — rendered Shivmat Bhairav, made immortal by Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur. The raag is a mixture of Bhairav, Bhairavi and Todi and kind of creates the environment of Bhairav, barring a couple of deviations. In a method that’s strongly Kirana, with influences of Gwalior and Jaipur, Poornima’s strategy was methodical and neat. Her rendition of the bandish, ‘Tero hello dhyaan’ was layered, with nice management over rhythm. Her boltaans, layakari and taans have been flawless, as she traversed the three octaves effortlessly. Her rendition was harking back to the doyenne Gangubai Hangal for whom music was presenting the information imbibed from her gurus and fewer as private achievement. Quiet practitioners like Poornima are custodians of nice musical traditions.

Shalmalee Joshi’s Yamani Bilaval bandish, ‘Prem galiyan mein’ took some time to heat up, however the later phases have been pure delight. With a fluid and open-throated voice, her rendition was charged with stunning layakari, immaculate taans. In her singing that harassed the emotional, Shalmalee appeared like she was on a melodic quest — it gave her complete presentation a religious dimension. With the enjoyment of a seeker in her singing, she stored the viewers enraptured.

Not all nice gurus are lucky to have worthy disciples, however Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty actually is, and so are Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra. The truth is, talking of Anol Chatterjee, Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty says, “At any time when I hearken to Anol, who’s like my son, I really feel raga music is in protected palms.” A reliable scholar and practitioner, Anol Chatterjee is a advantageous mix of mind and emotion, talent and soul. In an in depth exposition of Miya Ki Todi, he unravelled word by word to create a tapestry of longing. He dressed up each element, decoding it luxuriantly. With excellent voice management, he peaked and mellowed notes to create completely different emotional results. He improvised on the shadja (sa), caressing the contours of different notes, directly increasing the that means of the stationary nature of shadja itself. Anol Chatterjee’s creativeness is complicated, rendition easy. He’s simply among the many greatest musicians of our occasions.

For many who heard Diwakar and Prabhakar Kashyap for the primary time – Kashyap Bandhus — it was mesmerising. Torchbearers of the legacy of khyal virtuosos Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra, their elucidation of raag Patdeep was like advantageous filigree. In no hurry to disclose the hidden depths of the melody, they created a sound narrative of lengthy pauses, silences, a sudden surge and a fade out. The dhrut bandish modified the momentum with stunning taans and layakari. The articulate Diwakar, even demonstrated typical Banarasi taans to nice appreciation. There was no sense of competitors between the brothers. They participated within the musical journey like true collaborators, inspiring and understanding one another’s music.

Of tall order

Musicians like Pt. Ram Deshpande are nice belongings to the musical custom of India. Skilled in Gwalior, Jaipur and Agra gharanas by maestros, he introduced a Dhanashri, predominantly Agra in model. Accompanied by his son Gandhar Deshpande, strong creativeness and vitality have been the hallmarks of the live performance. There was not a single second when the power dipped, in reality, it steadily progressed to a crescendo. Laya got here alive in his melodic therapy Marwa was poignant in addition to a structural magnificence.

The majestic actions of their meditative music spoke of the legendary standing of Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra. The tehraav, murkhis, sapaat and vakra taans have been as charming as their physique language indicative of their deep involvement of their artwork. They got here from a place of deep submission marvelling at each musical grace that got here their manner that night. This was true of Pt. Venkatesh Kumar as nicely — his rendition of Chayanat was a wealthy construction of concepts. Sans frills, his music upheld laya and lalithya. He rendered the immortal bandish, ‘Jhanan jhanan jhanan baje’ harking back to Nisar Hussain Khan saab and Malavika Kanan.

A particular point out should be made from Prachi Jathar, the younger vocalist from Goa, who gave a advantageous begin to the pageant. Bestowed with a very good voice and temperament, she sang a shifting Yaman. Milan Gandhar was an attractive, bandish-centred presentation. What she must construct is stamina, and she’s going to soar.

The pageant noticed among the best tabla and harmonium maestros. Most memorable have been the veteran Vishwanath Kanhere, Sudanshu Kulkarni, Dattaraj Surlekar, Dayanidesh Kosambe and the famend Arvindkumar Azad. As all the time, Ojas Adhiya was a stunner.

The pageant was profitable in presenting the most effective of Hindustani music — vocalists, instrumentalists and accompanists. For the listener, it was as soon as once more a reminder that an expertise so transcendental is greater than human effort. A samyoga?

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